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Daily Archives: July 11, 2017

Part 4 – Little talks

 

It has stopped raining and the sky is starting to clear up. We’ve been walking and talking for about half an hour trying to find a place to stay for the night. The tension between us has subsided due to the running and laughing. Finally it feels like we’re back to the old old times of us hanging out. Granted ‘the old times” was just a few months ago but it feels much more than that. The feeling of being with her comes naturally. I’m at ease but at the same time excited. Like something wonderful is about to happen. “Hey do you wanna check that place out?” she asks pointing to a motel down the street. “Sure by the way, do you have any money?” I ask. “Only for the train tomorrow. Umm and I think all the ATM’s are closed by now.” she looks down worryingly. “I don’t have that much but I think I can pay for a small room.” I don’t know how we came here. Not here as in the place but here as in together along about to go into a motel together. I love any chance to be alone with her, to get to know her better but if this turns into just a one night fling I don’t want it.

We walk into the motel with a sign that says ‘OPEN FOR 24H’. There’s a short middle aged man standing behind the counter. The prices are on a paper on the counter and the only one I can afford is the single bedroom. “I can only afford the single bed one. Is it okay?” “Yeah as long as we don’t have to spend the night on the streets I’m fine. I’ll pay you back in the morning.” she looks up and smiles at me but it doesn’t quiet reach her eyes. I pay the man and he hands us a key that says 342. We walk up to the third floor and enter our room. It’s a single bed room alright. A single bed. That’s it. “Well this is fancy.” she says putting her bag on the floor. “Yup a bed, so fancy wow.” I say trying to be funny but coming off as snarky. She’s already sitting on the floor and I sit down next to her. It.s 11:24pm.

“So do we finally talk now?” I ask her. Yeah I get we’ve been talking all day but it just felt like a stream of little talks. It somehow feels like pretending. It’s like we’ve both been careful to not get too deep to the point of no return. She looks down at the floor like she’s thinking of an answer. “Okay I’ll start I guess.” I say breaking the silence. “Why did you get on the bus today?” I ask her even though I want to ask her something completely different. She takes a deep breath and starts talking in a quiet voice. “Just the thought of being in that classroom all alone for an hour and a half…I know I’m not literally alone in that room but it feels that way. Like I’m in this big, white, empty room all by myself and I can hear people talking but can’t fully comprehend it. Almost as if I’m underwater and people are trying to talk at me but I can’t understand. Almost as if everyone in that room, including the teacher are all in on this thing that I’m not a part of. I want to get above water and join them and I keep trying and trying but don’t seem to succeed.” she says like she’s been holding onto that for a long time. All I want to do is hug her and tell her it’s gonna be okay but I’m not sure if that’s true. Instead I ask her how long she’s been feeling that way. “Long enough that I don’t remember how long.”. “Anyways why’d you get in the bus?” she asks me. I’ve been asking myself too. “Honestly, I thought it was to skip classes today but it’s for this. To actually talk to you. I’ve been trying for weeks. If you really felt that way why didn’t you tell me? Why did you avoid me all this time?” as soon as I say that guilt comes over me. She’s going through something rough and all I can think of is myself? “Because I thought I could get over it by myself. Still kinda do. I didn’t want my knight in shining armor to come rescue me from myself.” I try to remain as calm as possible and try to put myself in her shoes. How could she think that being alone is better? “Yes I know you’re strong enough to go through this alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to.” I say. “You don’t understand.” her voice starts to break and it feels like she could burst into tears at any moment. “Then make me understand! I’ve been trying and trying for weeks! Do you realize how shitty it feels to be cut off by someone that you care about without even a slight explanation? If it’s because you weren’t doing so well then I would’ve been there for you. I would’ve been herefor you. Like I’m here for you now.” She looks at me for a moment and says “It always felt like a relief whenever I was with you that I was afraid I was becoming overly dependent I didn’t want my happiness and excitement to solely depend on one person who could walk away and take it all with him…So I walked away myself.” “Look I think I get it. Not fully but I mostly do.” She finally lets out a small giggle. “I’m not your knight in shining armor trying to save you. You’re our own savior I’ll be like your companion. Your sidekick! Like you’re Doctor Who and I’m your companion. Or you’re Conan and I’m Andy!” she’s laughing now which feels like music to my ears. “All I’m saying is you don’t have to do this alone, alright? If you’re afraid of getting overly dependent we can take it slow.  You can go through this alone but just take me with you.” she looks at me with those sweet brown eyes and says “Okay.” and kisses me on the cheek.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Short Fiction

 

Part 3-Running in the rain

“Hey wake up, we’re at the last stop” I hear him say. I open my eyes immediately and look out the window. It’s already dark outside. Oh god. What have I done? Getting into a bus that I didn’t even know where it was going. What was I thinking? Well I wasn’t thinking otherwise I wouldn’t be in this situation with him. On second thought he came here following me. He’s getting up and walking toward the door and I follow. It’s still raining outside so I open my umbrella and we both get under it and start walking.

“Do you know where we are? I’ve never heard of the station name before.” I ask. I’m not really sure to where we’re walking but it looks like we’re going to a street with more people. The city lights are visible and it looks far away. “Yeah it’s just a small city that’s not that popular. I haven’t been here before but I’ve heard it’s nothing special” he answers calmly as if this is just another normal night for him. And I’m starting to get nervous. I hope he doesn’t notice so I take a deep breath and start talking like everything is fine. “What should we do now? I mean we have class on the first period and the last bus and train of the day has already left” I say looking at him. It may look like skipping school wouldn’t be that much of a big deal do me considering I did that today and have been doing that almost every other week. But if I keep this going there’s a high chance that I might fail. Forgetting why I got into university in the first place when classes and life get too hard is a typical occurrence for me. I skipped the same class 3 times and if I do it one more time my attendance wouldn’t be enough to pass so I have to get there tomorrow. “Should we just take the first train? I think we can make it if we run to school from the station.” he says looking at me. Does this mean we’re gonna spend the night together? The first thought I have isn’t uneasiness that I’m gonna spend the night with a guy in some small town that neither of us really know. The nervousness that I felt a few minutes ago starts to fade because I’m just starting to realize that he’s not just anyoneWe were friends at one time even though that feels like an eternity ago. But I still feel at ease with him. “Yeah let’s do that. Should we find a motel or something?” I say. “Yes but don’t you get too excited” he says grinning to himself. “I’ll try to keep my hands to myself haha” I say.

The first thought I have is that I’m not gonna be alone tonight. Nights are the toughest part of the day because when it’s dark and I have no distractions, the only thing left is just me and my thoughts. I’m stuck with myself and at times it starts go get hard whenever I’m alone. Which is pretty crazy since I’m alone basically all the time. I wasn’t always like this and honestly I don’t remember when things started to get like this. It’s been that long. But when I’m with him things start to feel a little lighter, a lot more bearable.

“What happened to your umbrella by the way?” I ask. “Oh umbrellas are for losers who are afraid of getting wet” and for a split second I think that he’s being serious. I don’t know what got in me in this moment, maybe because it’s dark and it’s raining, or maybe the fact that I’m out of town with someone who makes me feel at ease but excited at the same time. Probably both. “Oh really?” I say giving him a serious face and close my umbrella in one swift motion and start running as fast as I can. I look back and he’s running after me laughing and I’m laughing too. If he wanted to catch up with me he totally could, I’m not that fast of a runner. I slow down and turn back to face him. He stops running but we’re both still laughing. There aren’t anyone around us since it’s really late and we’re practically in the middle of nowhere. The only sound we hear is the sound of the rain. I know that we have to go to school tomorrow. I know that this night is not permanent just like the other ones. I know that the thoughts that creep into my head during the night won’t go away easily. But in this moment, when we’re wet from the rain, with tears in our eyes from laughing too hard, and the way he is looking at me is so warm that it feels like coming home, I don’t care about anything else and it’s just us.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Short Fiction

 

Part 2-Ride

 

I barely make it to the bus. I forgot my umbrella in the classroom because I was in a hurry to get out before the teacher came. I only went after her cause I overheard some girls talking about how she doesn’t have lunch with them anymore and never really hangs out with them. Lately she always looks a little sad. She’s not very good at hiding it. So I went out of the class since I didn’t really want to sit through an hour and a half of an old man lecturing us about how the future of the country is in our hands.

When I walk through the bus door soaked in rain and breathing heavily from running, I feel like this is a tad over dramatic. As if I did this grand romantic gesture of running in the rain just to see her. It’s not really like that. I just wanted to see if she’s alright and to have an excuse to skip class.

I go back to the back of the bus and sit next to her. “Hi” I say with half a smile and she looks back at me with a puzzled expression.

“Yeah hi. Aren’t you supposed to be in class right now?” she asks. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class right now? Or at home sick and not on a bus that’s going out of town?” I ask back. “Good point” she says and looks out the window staring at people passing by as the bus moves. I want to ask her a million different questions. Where are you going? Why? Did something happen? Are you okay?

We met on the first day of school and hit it off immediately. Even though we didn’t have that many similar interests we would always have something to talk about. Whether it’s running into each other on the way to school and walking together while laughing about what happened in class the previous day. Or “studying” together in the library until it closed, well not really studying but talking about our future. What we wanted to do after we graduate and our hopes and dreams. Talking to her never felt like work. It happened so naturally that we would lose track of time.

But that all changed soon enough. Our conversations became shorter and shorter as time went on and she felt more distant than before. More and more time passed and she continued to avoid me. My friends told me that she was giving me “hints” that she wasn’t interested anymore. But we were different than that. It was way more than flirtation, we were actually friends. But sometimes it felt more than that too.

“Okay tell me why you’re on this bus” she asks. There’s not that many people on the bus. There’s 3 people, a school girl towards the back and a couple sitting in the front. “I’ll tell you my reason if you tell me yours” I answer. “Okay change of topic” she says like she finally gave up. “How have you been lately?” I say for the first time in months. “Yeah can’t answer that question either.” she says with a hint of a smile. “So tell me, what can we talk about?” I say sounding a little angry without meaning to. I just really wanted to have a conversation with her like we used to. “Let’s talk about the financial crisis in Greece” she says. “Okay, Greece is broke as fuck and can’t pay back it’s depts. Next topic” I say and she finally laughs. Not an in hysterics laugh but a small one. But it’s still something. It feels good to hear her laugh again.

“I got it. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would you choose?” she asks. She used to do this all the time. Ask completely random question that you wouldn’t otherwise talk about on a normal day. “Bonanno Pisano” I answer after a pause. “Bonanno? That sounds familiar” she says. “We learned about him last week in class. Remember?” I ask. “Oooh it’s blurry but it’s coming back to me. But just to make sure can you please explain to me who he is?” she says smiling unable to hide her embarrassment. “He was considered to be the architect of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Still kinda is, but they’re not sure”. I remember this because it was taught during a class with my favorite teacher. He has so much charisma and genuinely cares about teaching and what he’s teaching. “What would you ask him?” she asks. “If he built it or not. If he did then how did he come up with the concept? How does he feel about it leaning? If he didn’t then how does he feel about being wrongfully assumed of building it?” I say. “If he was accused of building something that iconic must feel very conflicting. I mean, if he didn’t build it so he can’t feel good about it. But getting credit for that must not be a negative type of feeling. So conflicting.” She becomes quiet as if she’s considering his feelings for real. “What about you?” I ask. “Richard Linklater” she says. “The director? What would you talk about?” I ask. “Yup. I’d ask him about his movies and how he comes up with the concepts for it. What it’s like to work on such long projects” she says. “Or if he doesn’t want to talk about them we’d talk about life and what it’s all about.” she adds. “Okay I change my answer.” I say not knowing how she’d react. “If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be you” I say looking at her my heart beating fast. Being avoided by her for weeks and now we finally have some time together. Did I just ruin everything? “I’m free tonight?” she says in the form of a question. Is she actually giving me something? Is she starting to let me in again? Are we going back to us? “Well I’m free too.” I say trying to say nonchalantly but it comes out with the biggest smile on my face.

We continue talking about people we want to have dinner with, her with famous authors, photographers and artists and me with scientists and inventors. The conversation feels like it has gone on for hours. Eventually we fall into a comfortable silence. She’s looking out the window again, looking up at the sky, the clouds and the rain drops. The constant bump and hum of the bus makes me sleepy and I’m about to fall asleep when I feel her head on my shoulder. I feel her breathing and her falling asleep.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Short Fiction

 
 
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