A Soul to Keep

A Soul to Keep

A Story by PyroKitty24
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Wracked with regrets, Odysseus can't bring himself to sleep until he fixed the problem he had caused over a week ago.

"


Odysseus believed it to be well past midnight, but he just couldn’t sleep. He felt like there was a tornado going through his stomach and slowly making its way up toward his heart. He growled and flipped himself over on his bed, hoping to be more comfortable that way. He was still for a few moments and thought he might be able to finally get some rest, but his eyes shot open when he heard a noise. He realized it was Soren in the next room over, snoring. Odysseus sighed when Soren snored again. He wondered how Tyki could manage to sleep in the same room as his little brother, but then again, Tyki also wasn’t trying to sleep with the same misery Odysseus was.


Alishie had only been gone for a week, and yet Odysseus was absolutely miserable. He couldn’t last a whole year without his boyfriend! He didn’t know how he could survive without the younger man to keep him company. He loved his family, but it just wasn’t the same.


Odysseus sighed as he flipped over on the bed once again. Soren had stopped snoring, but he still couldn’t get to sleep. He felt like someone had ripped out his innards, leaving him a soulless monster that was destined to suffer for the rest of eternity. He crossed his hands over his face in regret as he thought about the days leading up to Alishie’s departure.


~

               

Odysseus sat in the kitchen, idly tapping his hands on the counter as he waited for the rest of his family to get ready for the day. Odysseus had been blinded in an accident years ago, which made his everyday life rather difficult. He probably would have died if it hadn’t been for his son-in-law taking him in and nursing him back to health. The only part of him that had never recovered was his eyesight, and unfortunately Lance could do nothing about that. Odysseus had accepted it though. He thought it was his fate to be blind. He was being punished by karma for living a rotten life up until that point, and he had tried his best afterward to be a good person.


                He heard someone walk in the front door, and guessed it was his son-in-law, Lance. He discovered he was right when he heard Xin, Lance’s youngest child, ask, “How was work Daddy?”


                “Eh,” Lance’s soft yet firm voice replied, “It was work, Xin. Not fun, but something I have to do. At least nothing went wrong.”


                Odysseus heard Xin giggle and inferred that Lance had patted her on the head as he walked by on his way to the kitchen. The kitchen was always the first place Lance went to when he got off of his third shift factory job every morning.


                Odysseus listened as he heard Lance pour himself a cup of coffee, and Xin wheel herself into the kitchen after her father. Something had gone wrong during Xin’s development in the womb, and although she could feel and move her legs, they didn’t support her well and she couldn’t stand on one leg long enough to walk. She was confined to a wheelchair for life, but the nine year old girl was always so happy that it was hard to tell she wanted to be able to walk.


                “Lance!” came a shrill cry from the boys’ bedroom, “Soren won’t get ready for school! Tell him to get up!”


                Odysseus recognized this voice to be his daughter’s, Anju. Soren was the middle child at eleven, and Odysseus had been there at his birth, as well as Xin’s. He remembered that Soren had looked just like his father, even at a young age. He wondered If the eleven year old still looked like his Dad.


                “Soren!” Lance called angrily, “Get ready for school! If you don’t, I guess we’ll have to ship you off to military school so you can learn to respect your mother!”


                A few seconds later Odysseus heard footsteps coming down the hallway and Anju sigh, “Thanks Lance. He’s getting ready now. Tyki is ready and monitoring Soren. Xin? Are you ready for school?”


                Xin didn’t reply, but Odysseus was certain she had nodded her head. She wouldn’t just ignore her mother like that. He was proven right when a few seconds later Anju answered, “Good! How about you, Od?”


                Odysseus was called Od by people he was close to, including his own children. He nodded his head in response. He hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, but he would deal. He wasn’t really that hungry.


                “Do you need my help for anything, Anju?” Lance asked his wife after taking a sip of his drink.


                “No, I think I’m fine,” Anju replied, “I’ll take Od to the Day Care, drop Soren and Xin off at their schools, then go to the High School with Tyki.”


                Anju was a history teacher at the local high school, where Lance’s youngest child with his ex-wife, Tyki, also went to school. He wasn’t too happy about it, but Odysseus knew that Lance was. Tyki tended to be picked on quite a bit.


                “I can take myself to the Day Care,” Odysseus complained, “I’ve been there enough. I can find it!”


                Anju’s mother’s family owned the local Day Care where Odysseus worked every day. Originally he hadn’t wanted to work there, but Lance had made him when the job was offered because he believed it would give him something to do and help him get used to his new lack of eyesight. Odysseus was now glad he worked there, though, because it had helped him get used to being blind. He also liked working with the children, and he had slowly fallen in love with the other man who worked there, a very feminine boy named Alishie Belmont.


Anju responded, “No, Od, I don’t think you can! Even if you could, I’d feel bad about letting you go there all alone! After all, you are our little baby.”


                She laughed and patted him on the head, and he just knew that Lance was smirking at him. The two of them had babied Odysseus since he had become blind, and he was quite used to comments like this, even though he didn’t like them. He didn’t bring the subject up again, though, because he was fairly certain he really would get lost and hurt on his way there.


                Suddenly Odysseus was pulled up out of his chair by the hand and led toward the front of the house. He could tell it was Anju by the feel of her soft hand. He also heard her wheeling Xin in front of her.


                “I’ll get her, Anju. You can take Od,” Said a small voice that Odysseus recognized as Tyki’s. He heard them exchange the wheelchair and get it out the door before he was dragged along as well. It wasn’t a long trip to the Day Care, but it seemed like ages for Odysseus. He wasn’t sure if that was because he was blind and couldn’t enjoy the sights as they walked, or if it was because he couldn’t wait to see Alishie. Unfortunately, when they got to the Day Care he was in for quite a surprise.


                “I’ve come to drop off my kid!” Anju announced as she stepped into the daycare, dragging Odysseus behind her. He heard a familiar laugh and knew right away it was Alishie.


                The other man came up to them and wrapped his arms around Odysseus, kissing him on the cheek. He let go of him just as suddenly though.


                “Anju,” Alishie said slowly and sadly, “I’m sorry, but I have to put in my two weeks’ notice today.”


                Odysseus’ eyes widened in surprise and he heard Anju gasp. “Why?” she asked.


                “I’m sorry. I want to work here, but my parents are going back home to Africa to visit our family, and they asked me if I want to go with them. I was born here, even though my parents are both from South Africa. I want to go meet my family! I’ll only be gone for a year, though, and I’d love to try for my position again once I get back.”


                Anju laughed and Odysseus heard her hug Alishie. She replied, “It’s alright, Alishie, I understand! Your job will be here when you come back, I promise!”


                He heard Alishie laughed happily at the news. Unfortunately, Odysseus couldn’t bring himself to be happy like his boyfriend was.


                “You’re leaving me?” Odysseus asked in a small voice, “For a whole year?”


                “Of course not silly!” Alishie replied happily, “You’re coming with me! I talk about you to my parents so much that they said they want to meet you! And they’ll even pay for your ticket to come with us, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!”


                Once again Odysseus was surprised. He didn’t really want to travel far away into unknown places with people he knew would judge him.


                “Don’t you want to go, Od?” Alishie asked, sounding a bit hurt.


                “Well, uh…” Odysseus stammered, not sure what to say to him.


                “Hey! It will be a lot of fun for you!” Anju butted in, giving Odysseus a playful shove.


                “I don’t know…” Odysseus said quietly.


                “Well, you can think about it, Od, and give me your answer later, O.K.?” Alishie said.


                “Alright,” Odysseus replied meekly.


~

                

Odysseus balled his hand into a fist and punched the mattress he was laying on. He regretted not telling Alishie about his fears when he first heard about the trip to Africa, but it was too late now. Alishie was gone already, and he had stayed behind. He knew Alishie could have helped him through his doubts like he always did, but he had waited until last minute to tell his boyfriend why he didn’t want to go.


~

               

Odysseus knew Alishie was coming up to the door before he even knocked. He could tell it was Alishie by his footsteps, which could even be heard from inside the house. He waited for someone else to get the door when the knock came, though.


                A few seconds after the knock at the door, Odysseus heard Soren get up from the couch next to him to answer it.


                “Oh, hi Alishie!” Soren greeted the man before walking into his room, giving the two men some privacy. Odysseus heard Alishie shut the door and walk over to stand in front of him.


                “Well,” Alishie said slowly, “I’m leaving tomorrow. Are you sure you don’t want to go?”


                Odysseus winced at Alishie’s tone of voice. He sounded almost desperate.


                He replied, “I’m sure.”


                “Why?” Alishie cried suddenly, “Why won’t you come with me? Don’t you love me anymore, Odysseus?”


                Odysseus had to fight down the sickening feeling rising in his stomach. He knew Alishie must be really hurt because he had just referred to Odysseus using his full name.


                “Of course I love you!” Odysseus replied, almost angrily, “But I don’t want to leave, alright? I don’t want to meet your family and be stuck with them for a whole year, because I know they’ll judge me for being blind. I don’t want to get used to a whole new place where I’ll probably end up hurting myself because I can’t see! It would be better for both of us if I just stayed here.”


                Odysseus’ words were met with silence, and he had a sickening feeling that he had just made Alishie cry. It was a few minutes before Alishie finally spoke again.


                “You think I would let you get hurt, Od? You think my family won’t like you? How would you know! I’ve never let anything hurt you before, and I even helped you get used to your eyesight, remember? And you’re obviously the one judging my family, not the other way around, if you don’t even want to meet them! They’ll love you, Od, just like I do! I would never let them say one unkind thing about you! Who do you think I am? You act like you don’t know me at all!”


                Odysseus was too stunned at Alishie’s speech to think of anything to say. He knew he probably looked stupid, just sitting there and gaping up at Alishie.


                “So,” Alishie said, a little more relaxed, “Do you want to go, or don’t you? This is your last chance.”


                Odysseus knew that Alishie would never let anyone hurt him, and that his family was probably just as nice as he was. But he couldn’t help but feel his pride well up in him. He hated that he wasn’t in complete control of his relationship with Alishie, like he had been in all other relationships he’d ever had. He felt like Alishie treated him as a child just because he was blind.


                Odysseus growled, “Like hell I’d go anywhere with you.”


                The second the words were out of his mouth, he regretted them. He was about to apologize, but he heard rapid footsteps and the sound of the door opening and closing. Odysseus could still hear Alishie crying as the boy ran away from the house.


~


Odysseus picked up the pillow and shoved it down over his face, as if he was trying to smother himself. He couldn’t believe he had ever said that. He knew Alishie just tried to do the best he could for him, and he had paid him back by being a b*****d at the last moment.  


He just wished that there was some way that he could talk to Alishie and apologize for what he had said. This had only happened a week ago, and yet Odysseus was torn up over it. He couldn’t imagine living like this for the next year.


Suddenly Odysseus jolted into a sitting position. After sitting here for hours, agonizing over the situation, he realized that he could call Alishie. Phones worked in Africa, right? But then again, he didn’t know Alishie’s cell phone number. He sighed and lay back down in his bed, wondering what kind of boyfriend he was for not having his lover’s number. But then again, he couldn’t even see to dial it, so he didn’t know what the point was. Alishie had their house number though, in case anything went wrong at the Day Care. It took Odysseus a moment to figure out that this should also work in reverse. Once he realized that meant Anju should have Alishie’s cell phone number, to check in on the Day Care, he jumped out of bed and raced out of his room and down the hall, into Anju’s room.


He didn’t even have time to be proud of himself for not running into anything on his way. He quickly shook Anju awake. She groaned before growling, “What?”


“Anju, I need to call Alishie!” Odysseus exclaimed.


“Ugh, his number is on the fridge,” Anju moaned before turning her back to him, trying to get some sleep.


“No, Anju! I can’t dial it! I can’t read it! You have to do it for me! Come on!” Odysseus said, pulling the girl into a sitting position.


Anju yawned before getting up and slowly making her way into the kitchen. Odysseus heard her take the phone and walk over to the fridge. The phone beeped with every entry, and once she had put the full number in she handed the phone over to Odysseus before going back to bed.


“Thanks Anju!” he called before putting the phone up to his ear. He heard it ring a few times before a familiar voice said, “Anju?”


“Alishie!” Odysseus cried, and the voice at the other end sighed and said, “Od. What do you want?”


Odysseus hadn’t thought about what he would say to his lover before waking Anju up. He decided to start from the beginning. He blurted, “Alishie I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to say that to you, and I didn’t want to go to Africa because I was scared! I know you would have protected me, but I feel like a kid when I’m being protected by you. I hate that feeling, and I didn’t want to deal with it for a whole year! I didn’t mean to say that to you, though, or hurt your feelings. I should have just told you, and maybe we could have worked something out!”


His words were met by silence. Odysseus was about to beg for forgiveness once again before he heard Alishie start to laugh.


“I know,” Alishie’s soothing voice said over the line, “you didn’t mean any of that. But it didn’t stop it from hurting. I’m glad you called me though, Od. I missed you, and I still love you. I forgive you.”


Odysseus was speechless he was so happy. It took him a moment to recover, but once he did he sobbed, “I love you too, Alishie, and I’ll never do it again! I swear! Please come home!”


Again, Odysseus’ words were met with laughter. Alishie explained, “I’m not coming home yet, Od, but I will soon. A year really isn’t that long, and I’ll call you every day, alright? And if you ever start missing me too much, just call, no matter what time it is.”


Odysseus was depressed to hear that Alishie wouldn’t come home, but he understood. He was just glad that he was forgiven. “Alright,” Odysseus replied sadly.


Alishie added, “Now I can’t imagine what time it is there, so go get some sleep, alright? I love you, and I’ll be sure to talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight.”


“Goodnight Alishie,” Odysseus responded before hanging the phone back on the hook. He went back to his room at a normal pace this time and crawled back into his bed.


No, Alishie wasn’t coming home. But Odysseus could wait a year for him, especially if he wasn’t mad anymore and could talk to him whenever he wanted. Yes, Odysseus would make it through, and one day he would see his beloved again. He only had a year, after all.


‘No,’ Odysseus corrected himself inwardly, ‘358 days.’


That was the last thought Odysseus had before he fell into a deep, comforted, and peaceful sleep. 


 Third place

Aug 29, 2011



 1st Place

Aug 27, 2011



© 2011 PyroKitty24



Author's Note

PyroKitty24
I wrote this story for one of my best friends, Tiny, because she has been so sick recently. I didn't give her a choice on what I wrote, though. I love AlishiexOd, and I hope she loves it too.

Picture is Odysseus, my friend Tiny drew it. I'll probably color it sooner or later.

Well Tiny owns Od, Anju, Tyki, and Xin. I'll take Alishie and Soren...oh and Lance.

And yes, this is a gay relationship. You're over it.

My Review

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Featured Review

This is a really sweet story. The plot and characters don't make too much of themselves and you don't try to over-emphasise themes which makes it flow really well.

I think it was a little slow at the start - the first while was mainly introductions and the actual idea took a while to kick in. So perhaps that could be shortened. Also, at the very end you've put 'once day' instead of 'one day'.

I think the description you've used really reflects the blind character's perspective (as the main character) which is done quite well, even though it seems to treat it lightly as not the important characteristic of Odysseus.

I think you have quite a unique writing style, which prevents me from suggesting much to change in this piece. Apart from the little cut away part is a little confusing - where i think you mentioned about him regretting not going swiftly, and then cut away to explain what happened. I think this doesn't really need to be this way round, or unsure if it changes anything. Personally i'd stick to chronology - but it's more a personal prefrence :)

But overall, It seems to do it's job. So thanks for sharing.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I'm impressed by your story plot and subject. you have a good writing style and very interesting characters. this is good work and my only suggestion is to recheck the part where odysseus reflects on alishie leaving because its confusing when you mention the bit about him regretting not telling his fears and the jump back to him with alishie again( hope u get my point) . over all this is pretty good so keep it up. wish you luck on your writing and hopefull you might find time to check my work sometime, cheers

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh my goodness this is an excellant story... Fantastic Job!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it! This is so SUPER-EXCELLENT!!! ㋡

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a really sweet story. The plot and characters don't make too much of themselves and you don't try to over-emphasise themes which makes it flow really well.

I think it was a little slow at the start - the first while was mainly introductions and the actual idea took a while to kick in. So perhaps that could be shortened. Also, at the very end you've put 'once day' instead of 'one day'.

I think the description you've used really reflects the blind character's perspective (as the main character) which is done quite well, even though it seems to treat it lightly as not the important characteristic of Odysseus.

I think you have quite a unique writing style, which prevents me from suggesting much to change in this piece. Apart from the little cut away part is a little confusing - where i think you mentioned about him regretting not going swiftly, and then cut away to explain what happened. I think this doesn't really need to be this way round, or unsure if it changes anything. Personally i'd stick to chronology - but it's more a personal prefrence :)

But overall, It seems to do it's job. So thanks for sharing.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Not only did the story speak so beautifully to life, but i loved your note as well... the precious dedication..

Posted 6 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Wonderful!

Posted 6 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

no worries i feel bad for od though but it was a nice story !:)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 30, 2011
Last Updated on August 29, 2011
Tags: If Everyone Cared, Immortality, Africa, love, long distance relationship, forgiveness

Author

PyroKitty24
PyroKitty24

Toledo, OH



About
Hey, I'm Crystal. Writing was something I've always done in my freetime, and once I discovered this site and used it for a while I decided I want to focus more on my writing skills. Please review my w.. more..

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