THREEA Chapter by clairvoyantmars
Timothy woke up the next morning, miserable and frustrated. Another day in hell. He thought. If he could, he would just move out. He was eighteen after all. He could just run away and find a job. He could leave, abandon his unsatisfying life, and start a new one all on his own. But he couldn’t. He didn’t know he couldn’t, he felt like he couldn’t. No. He thought. I can’t leave now. Something’s coming. I just have to wait. It was tempting, knowing that he could, but he held firm. He didn’t know what was coming. He just knew it would change his life. The house was quiet, so he knew his parents were gone. He didn’t bother to look in the mirror to fix his hair. He didn’t want to see his face. Not ever. Not unless he really had to. But he didn’t most of the time. My face, he thought, is a ghost.
Stephanie was quietly seated in her assigned seat. It was already the middle of the day, after their lunch break, and it was their art period, her favorite subject out of all. Timothy was seated beside her, his hands clutching his shiny gold and brown hair. Their art teacher came in. Her clothes were tie-dyed, making her look like a hippie.
“Class.” Mrs. Aylmer said.
The class stood noisily and greeted her. “Good morning Mrs. Aylmer.”
“Today,” she said as the whole class sat down. “I will leave you with a project.”
The class groaned. And Mrs. Aylmer laughed.
“This is a piece of cake.” She said. “I want you to portray…” she made a dramatic pause. “Love.”
The room filled with groans, and “ohh’s” and “ahh’s”.
“Okay.” She said, clapping her hands to get everyone’s attention. “Everyone go to your partners. Stephanie Cross and Timothy Adams please step outside.”
Great. She thought. What now?
Timothy followed close behind Stephanie out the classroom. What is it now?
“Okay.” Mrs. Aylmer said. “I want you two to become partners. There were thirty-one of you. Now that Timothy is here the class is evened up.”
“What?” Stephanie said. “But… I thought you permitted me not to have one.”
“That was because the class was an odd. You said it was okay for you to be the only one with no partner. But now that the class is an even I’m afraid to say you have to be partners with him.”
Timothy stood quietly aside.
“Okay.” Stephanie said, giving up the fight.
They all went in, and their ears filled with the excited chatter of the students. But as they both sat down, he knew she wasn’t filled with the same enthusiasm as the others. But then, neither was he.
“What are your talents?” Stephanie asked.
“Sculpting.” He said.
“I paint. So what can we do?”
They were quiet, thinking.
“What… what if I sculpt something. And you paint it and a base for it.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
School was over and Timothy invited Stephanie over to his house. His house was big and grand. White walls, hanging chandeliers, big staircase, the whole package. They were in his room. Stephanie glanced uneasily around. It was the first time she had been in someone’s room; especially in another person’s house. His room was almost as similar as hers. It was cluttered with art materials; plaster and c l a y, wooden blocks. His sculptures were in one corner. Dozens were on the table and more under it. She saw one she really liked. It was made of wood, and a lily was carved on it. The crevices of the petals cast shadows; the petals were thin. It looked difficult to do, but he really was an expert. Then she saw his bookshelves. There were three of them, already full. She looked at the spines and saw the titles of different classics: Phantom of the Opera, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Much Ado about Nothing, and almost everything. The third bookshelf was full of the recent published books, but she went back to the first two. Then she spotted one that got her attention.
“May I?” she said.
“Help yourself.” Timothy said, getting some materials.
She took the book by the spine and slid it out. TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. It said in golden embossed calligraphy. She opened it and it was filled with different paintings of the story and explaining the happenings.
“What’s this one about?” she asked.
Timothy looked over and saw what she was holding. “You should read it. A summary doesn’t quite put it right.”
“Okay.” She said, putting it back. “I’ll borrow one from the library.”
“How do you know?”
“I spend some time in the classics section. I scanned every bookshelf looking for something new to read. I didn’t see that on the shelf.”
“Oh. Maybe I’ll buy it someday.”
“Do you want to borrow mine?” he said. “I think you treat books okay.”
“Okay, I got everything we need. We still have to decide what to do.”
They were both quiet, standing awkwardly in front of each other.
“What is the image of love?” she said.
“I don’t know. Have you ever been in love?” he said.
“No. But what do you think is the strongest portrayal of love?”
“I don’t know. Lot’s of things: loyalty, truth, etcetera, etcetera.”
“Let’s keep it simple. Something we can portray.”
“How about marriage?”
“Okay. That’s good. How can we make a sculpture of that?”
“How about hands?”
“Well, marriage is mostly about bonding, unity. What about two hands holding each other?”
He nodded. “Okay, but I don’t have a mould that looks like that. It seems we have to make one.”
He took a bag and poured something in a big container bucket. Then he mixed it with water till it became a thick mixture.
“Give me your hand.” He said holding his out.
“Why?” she said nervously.
“If we’re going to make a mould, we need a model.”
She gave him her hand and he inspected it.
“You have nice hands.” He said, and then slipped a gold ring on both of their ring fingers. “Okay.” Then he weaved his fingers around hers and dipped their hands in the mixture. “This will take about half an hour to harden.” He explained.
“Okay.” She whispered.
“Uh, about yesterday…”he said. “I just wanted to say… I’m sorry for taking out my frustration on you.”
She nodded. “And I want… to thank you. For that… thing you did yesterday.”
They stood there, about a foot away from each other. They both went quiet, a thick, uncomfortable atmosphere hanging over their heads. They hardly looked at each other. They just stared down at their hands in the mixture, all thirty minutes. When it passed, Timothy wriggled his hand a bit, to test if it was hard enough. It took a few minutes for them to take their hands out.
“The bathroom’s down the hall.” He said, pointing to the door.
“Okay.” She whispered, and then she headed out the door. She went in the restroom and washed off her hand which was covered with a fine powder. She took the gold ring off and headed back to the room. “Here.” She said, handing him back the ring.
“Oh.” He said and took it. “Thanks. It’s going to take a while for the sculpture to dry.”
“I can wait.” She said. She saw that he had already poured something in the mould.
“Here,” he said, handing her the book of Tristan and Isolde. “You can read it while you’re waiting.”
She smiled slightly, took it, and shook her head. “Why are you so nice to me?” she asked. It wasn’t easy to ask it; it took all her guts to do it. But he treated her better that all of the people she had ever met, even if she pushed him away. “You didn’t get angry when I didn’t want to be your partner. I tried to avoid you, but it seems like you won’t go away.”
“I don’t judge people.”
“Don’t you? I heard about what you did to Sophie the other day.”
“She was flirting. And I don’t like people like that.”
“But why did you talk to me of all people? During class you were silent.”
“I like only your type.”
“What type am I?”
“You’re quiet. I know you think about the world. I think people like us don’t worry about what others think. We think deeply about things before doing it.”
“You’re right.” She said. They were quiet for a bit. “Can I look at your sculptures again?”
She stood up and walked to the table. She scanned the tabletop and spotted one that was at the far corner. It was a bust that looked like Timothy.
“You made that?” she asked.
He stood up from the bed and looked at what she was pointing at. He froze.
“It looks like you, but it’s different.”
“How?” he whispered.
“That’s my twin brother.” He said. “He died a few months ago. The very reason why we moved here.” Timothy stepped back, and with shaking hands, took out a small bottle and opened it. He shook it, and a small pill fell on his hand. He popped it in his mouth and thrust his head back, swallowing the pill.
“Are you okay?” Stephanie asked.
“Yeah.” He said, breathing heavily. “My heart’s just acting up again. I need this medication to calm me down.”
“Oh. Do you need me to get you something?”
“No. I’m okay.”
. . .
Stephanie waved goodbye at Timothy who had politely walked her home. It was late, and she heard her father in the kitchen. She was holding the plaster sculpture in her hands. It was white and smooth. Timothy lightly sanded it a while back.
“Dad?” she said.
“In the kitchen.” He called.
She ran up the stairs and carefully set the sculpture on her painting table. She tossed her bag on her bed and ran back down. Her father was there, and the moment she set her eyes on his face, she felt a strong impact on her whole body, like she slammed herself on the wall. She fell down and she heard her father yell her name. She didn’t want to move because when she did, she felt like her whole body was bruised, but worse. Her bones were aching and she gasped in pain. Soon enough, she blacked out.
© 2011 clairvoyantmars
Added on May 12, 2011
Last Updated on May 12, 2011
AboutI've been seriously starting to write my own novels since 2008. So far, I've finished three novels and have a lot of unfinished ones piled up. I also write short stories and poems and the occasional s.. more..