SecretA Story by Hannah Paige
Another excerpt from the novel that i want to write.
“Should I tell you a story?” he said, and I nodded.
He closed his eyes. “There was once a little boy. He was only eight years old, and the world felt very large, and very empty to him. He lived in a house that was very small and very flat, and he lived with a mother who was much the same as the house " small and flat, that is. He lived there in that house and asked for nothing but to remain undisturbed. But his mother could not give that to him. She wore a forced grin every day, and each day she followed her son from room to room and begged him to do the same. But he refused, never forgetting that there was nothing to smile about.” Eli paused and looked at me. When he watched me like this, I always wondered what he was looking for, and why his finding it was so vital. He searched my face or my eyes or my mouth, and I tried desperately to put forth whatever it was that he craved to see in me.
Finally, he licked his lips with the tip of his tongue and bowed his head. “You want to hear this, don’t you, Jane?” The question seemed out of place; I’d never thought I had a choice. “Don’t you, Jane?” he said again, and then even more softly, “you need to hear this...” And then I shook my head, no; no, I realized, I did not want to hear this. But he understood what I meant; he knew that I needed to hear this. He knew that there was never a choice.
“The boy was quite a bit brighter than his mother was,” Eli continued, “and therefore refused to match her smile with one just as fake. So one day, the boy took a pencil into his mother’s bedroom, and he wrote her a message in large letters, on the wall across from her bed. But when his mother woke up and saw the message she was very angry and she erased the pencil marks immediately.
“So the next night, he wrote the same message in the same place, but this time he wrote in ink. When his mother woke up that morning, she seemed more horrified than angry, and as the day went on, she seemed more sad than anything else. That evening, the boy’s mother got some extra paint out of the back room, and she painted over the message which had been written in ink.
“So the next night, the boy snuck into his mother’s room again. This time, he had a very sharp knife, and luckily for him, his mother was a very sound sleeper, because the boy carved the message very deeply into the wall across from his mother’s bed. And when she woke up the next morning, the boy’s mother wailed horribly, and when the boy came into her room to see what was happening, his mother was sobbing on her bed, across from the wall.
“That night, when the boy snuck into his mother’s bedroom to rewrite the message, he discovered that it was still there, right as he had carved it. And when the boy looked over to his sleeping mother, she was still crying, just as he had left her.”
My head felt heavy as I lay trembling on the floor next to him. He didn’t seem to notice my shaken composure, or at least chose not to see. He moved closer, so close that I could nearly feel the even, resolute rhythm of his pulse on my own chest. His lips twitched with climactic anticipation. “It’s a story about perseverance, Jane,” he whispered, “The boy never saw his mother’s awful grin again.”
Dizzy and [sinking], I could choke out only a whisper. “What did the message say, Eli?”
He gave me a strange look, as if he was taken aback by my question. He leaned even closer, and with his lips brushing mine, he said very slowly, “‘He never wanted you. She never needed you. I will break you. And then I will leave too.’”
And then, finally, he kissed me. And for a miniscule moment, I considered his intentions. I wondered beyond his simplicities and his purities, and for just this moment, I recognized that I was becoming increasingly enclosed in a world where I was very distinctly an outsider. And maybe he was taking pity on me. Maybe I needed to hear this story because it was my last opening to choose someone or something else; I needed to hear it because we both needed to know whether I could hold my own next to him and everything about him that remained unsaid. Maybe I had not wanted to hear his story because I knew that this moment was coming, and I knew that when this moment ended, leaving his world would be an infinitely more difficult feat.
But then he pressed his body against mine, and the moment escaped. He was too much, and I did not have the will to leave him, nor did I have the power to doubt him. His lips closed around my own, and he kissed me until his story, his warning, became nothing more than casual conversation. If he had given me that short moment to decide whether I was in or out, he’d now made my choice for me, and I had just as simply forgotten that I’d had one. I forgot all of my alarm and uncertainty, and I kissed him back, because I had never known how not to.
© 2012 Hannah Paige
Added on April 28, 2012
Last Updated on June 3, 2012
AboutI'm in high school, and i write while i'm waiting to not be. But it's more than that; i write because i can, and because i should. I like to tell stories that make people think or smile or cry, and .. more..