EIGHTA Chapter by clairvoyantmars
Things started out okay. They talked about different kinds of things. Then when they decided to head home, things went wrong. They both were standing by the door, then Steph looked at him, and suddenly she felt the urge to do something. To satisfy the feeling which was stirring inside her, a feeling she was just starting to realize was within her.
Her heart started beating fast, and she was breathing deeply. She didn’t know what kind of force was bringing their faces closer together. But obviously, it was only her who was moving. Tim was frozen stiff. She was about two inches away from his face. Then she stopped. No attachments. It was this which was now echoing in her head. Tim still wasn’t moving. She stepped back, and Tim looked at her with distant eyes. She also saw the tinge of confusion, but mostly anger. He sharply turned around and left her there, standing all alone. He could feel her eyes on his back, but he was too angry to care if he had hurt her feelings.
“No attachments.” Tim muttered, reminding himself of what he didn’t want.
If he did gain her affections, and he had grown attached to her, it would be harder for him to leave, to forget the memories of his brother that always haunted his dreams. This was the thing that pushed him on, the last straw, the good excuse to leave. But he needed time; time to get ready. I leave in two days.
Steph watched as Timothy walked away. What had she done? The phrase repeated over and over in her head, echoing into the depths of her mind. No attachments. Why? Why did she have to fall in love with the one person who did not want any relationship? She found herself countering the warning which he had warned her with.
She was tempted to cry. Let go and let everything out. But she knew he wouldn’t come back. He was already too far away to hear her cries. She knew he was angry. He would never speak to her again. She had ruined everything.
It was a wonderful Friday morning when Tim woke up. But the sunny skies and cheerful twitter of birds did nothing to lift up his spirits. Not that he wanted them to be lifted. He didn’t care anymore. In forty-eight hours he would be gone. He started to dress. His crisp blue polo shirt and straight black pants were already laid out. He ran his fingers through his hair. He turned and his brother was there. Anthony was wearing the same sweater he had worn when he died. But there were no blood-stains, and nothing was dribbling down his chin. He looked charming, which was made the female population fall for him. But the problem was Tim looked exactly like him too, which was a bad thing for Tim, for he did not like any of the girls back home. They had the same golden brown hair, sharp features, and smoky eyes. And Anthony was staring at him with those eyes, not angrily, but like he was in sorrow. He didn’t say anything this time, not like the other encounters. He just shook his head slowly. Whatever his brother was telling him, Tim did not understand, or he did not want to understand. Then he heard it. Anthony’s lips did not move, but he heard his voice whispering in his mind.
You can’t leave.
Tim blinked, and his brother was gone. He avoided the mirror and went downstairs.
Last night, when he arrived at home, his father did not shout, but called him to his study. He couldn’t remember what his father had said, because he had spent the whole discussion blocking out whatever came out his father’s mouth. He could already tell his father was getting annoyed, but he didn’t care. They had eaten dinner quietly, and though he had just eaten half of Stephanie’s sandwich for lunch, he didn’t feel hungry. Now, he felt the same way; tired, angry, alone, not hungry.
He heard his father reading the paper in the kitchen. And as he descended down the steps, he saw his mother at the foot of the stairs. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she froze when she saw him. She opened her mouth to say something, but whatever it was, came out in a weak croak from crying too much last night. He jogged down the last few steps and breezed past his mother. He felt no pity for her now. He knew that was a cruel thought, but she had failed to do what she had to do. And the times when he had thought that he didn’t want her to be near, when he didn’t want to talk about Anthony with her, he was unknowingly begging her to do just the opposite. His intentions for what he wanted her to do were vague, but she did no move to even give any comfort, for after his brother’s death. She had spent her days locked up in her room, and when she wasn’t there, she would be at work, distracting herself with errands.
He was already half a block away when the lump in Mrs. Adams throat subsided. And she knew she was too late, and there was nothing she could do now, but head to the kitchen and fix herself a cup of coffee.
Steph saw Tim walking towards the school gate. She walked over to him, her heart beating too fast. Their eyes met, and they both stood still a few feet away from each other. Tim planned to walk past her, but his feet were planted on the ground.
He was the first to say something. “You told me to give you a heads up.”
Steph’s eyes widened. He’s leaving… “When?”
He tried to brush past her, till he heard her whisper.
“You think it’s that easy?”
He turned. “What did you say?”
“Do you think it’s that easy,” she spat. “To forget?”
He kept his voice low, to keep his temper from flaring. “I told you I didn’t want any connections.”
“You think that’s easy too?” She said. Her voice was starting to rise from her anger. “You know that our friendship is already a connection.”
“And that stunt you did yesterday was a gesture of friendship?”
Steph turned quiet. So this is how it ends? She opened her mouth to say something. Something that would end this fight, make things back to normal. But her mind was blank, and he turned to walk away. He’s leaving…
They hadn’t spoken to each other the whole day. Steph stole occasional glances, but not once had he even turned to look at her. Even at lunch, she had seen him eating at an empty table, before she headed outside. She didn’t bother to sit on their bench, but instead resumed to sit under her tree. She took out her lunch, but she didn’t feel like eating. Everything, every thought: about her father, about her curse, about her studies, was slipping away. And the only thought she had left, was about him. Was he thinking about her? Of course he wasn’t. What she did was stupid. But at that time it seemed like a good idea. But what she did was right… right? Because to her, it seemed useless to hide what you feel about someone, especially if that someone was planning to go away.
Tim could see Steph through the window beside his table. He started to feel guilty, because, one: she wasn’t eating, two: because he could seed her eyes were slightly swollen from, he guessed, crying, and three: because he had no right to be angry. He had no right because yesterday, he wanted to kiss her too. But she was ruining everything. He wanted to escape, but she was tying him down, and a part of him wanted to stay…
The school day had ended, and Steph was at the library. She was at the librarian’s desk, borrowing some books. And while the librarian was checking them, Steph’s head turned to the wooden doors of the entrance. And through the glass panes on the door, she saw Tim pass by, and instantly she felt a sharp stab on her stomach. She gasped, and clutched her stomach. The librarian looked up and said something, but she didn’t hear it, for there was a shrill ringing in her ears, and a deep sense of dread in her gut. Half a minute later the pain ceased, and she stood up. She took her books and walked out, sensing the librarians confused glare boring on her back.
It was a Saturday, and Tim’s bags were packed. His parents were out, and though he didn’t get much rest last night, he had enough determination to push him on with his journey. He had everything he needed, all the essentials: clothes, money. He would have to leave everything though, every creation he made, everything that really counted. He wore his backpack and had his gym bag in one hand. His other hand held his jacket slung over his shoulder.
His parents were out to work. Soon, they would come home and find their son missing. They would think he would just be out with friends. But when he didn’t come back, they would call the police and there would be missing reports on the news. He would have to lie low then, but after that, he would disappear forever.
He got out of his room, taking one last glance of it. Not because he would miss his small private place, but because it was where all he had ever created was in there. And to give him peace of mind he would have to leave them. He went down the stairs and out the door, locking it as he stepped outside. He got on the sidewalk and walked down the road, not even glancing back at what he was leaving behind him. Don’t think about the memories. He reminded himself. Don’t relive it. Just leave it behind and forget them. And Stephanie… Steph… She would think of him cruel, leaving her behind without saying goodbye. But if he did, it would make things more difficult for both of them. He knew she was strong. Soon enough she would go on and act like he didn’t even exist in her life. And the very reason why he had to go was his growing affection for her, which was convincing him to stay. And if he did stay for her, whatever was stirring inside him would prevent him from ever leaving.
“Stop!” a voice shouted.
He heard running footsteps and someone embraced him from behind, arms wrapped around him. His arms were at his sides, so he couldn’t move. He froze.
“Don’t leave.” A weak teary voice said. Steph’s voice. “Don’t leave, Tim.”
The arms around him squeezed him tighter. He swallowed hard and his eyes stung. He clenched his jaw. He wanted to. He wanted to stay. All because of her. All for her. Different kinds of feelings mixed inside of him. His stony attitude wasn’t with him. She had broken through. He didn’t say anything, because if he did he knew he would break down.
“I’m sorry, Tim.” She said. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry.” Stephanie said again. “Please stay. Please?” she pleaded.
You can’t go. She thought. You can’t. Something bad is gonna happen to you and only I can stop it.
“I have to be with you.” She said. Something weird started stirring inside again. “I… I love you.” She whispered. “I love you. I do. Please.”
His tense body relaxed in her arms. He wriggled and she let him go. He didn’t say anything. He just stood there, looking at her. Then, gently, he took her hand and led her back to the house. He led her up the stairs and back to his room. Her hand tensed and he felt it. He let go and took out his pill bottle and swallowed one of his medications. He dropped his bags and his jacket then dropped on the bed. She neared the side and kneeled beside it. He took her hand and held it to his heart. It was beating too fast.
“I love you too.” She whispered.
His eyes closed and his breathing slowed.
“Sleep.” She said.
When Tim woke up, it was dusk. Steph was still beside the bed. She was seated on a chair and she was leaning forward, her head resting on her arms which were crossed and lay on the bed. She was breathing deeply and her eyes were closed. He stood up beside her then leaned down. He slipped his arm under her knees and pushed her torso backwards to rest on his other arm. He gently lifted her up and carefully lay her down on the bed. He couldn’t help but brush his fingers on her cheek. You’ve tied me down, Steph, but I guess all I really need right now... is you.
“I love you, Steph.” He whispered. “I’ll never leave you again. You’re all that matters to me now.” He leaned down and lightly kissed her on the forehead. “I don’t know how I’ve been able to endure my life without you.” He sighed, thankful she couldn’t hear him, for he wouldn’t have the guts to say that to her face to face. “I love you. More than you could ever know” he whispered and quietly slipped out of the room.
Steph heard the click of the closing door. She opened her eyes; there was no one in the room. Her heart was beating fast, his words were echoing in her ears. He had roused her sleep when he lifted her up, and she thought it embarrassing to wake up in his arms. And those things he said… Did this mean he was staying? Did she really tie him down, ball and chain and all that? Did he really mean that much to her?
Then the door suddenly opened, and Tim casually strode inside sipping a glass of water. He saw her awake, and he froze. Steph didn’t know how long they were staring at each other, but she knew it was a long time. She could feel the blush creeping up her cheeks. He casually sat down at the side of the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, anything to lift the heavy blanket of awkwardness in the atmosphere, but her mouth was dry and her mind was blank. She cleared her throat and Tim handed over the glass of water. She sat up and sipped it delicately. What now? She thought. They were both silent, uneasiness surrounding them. Then he slowly reached for her hand and kissed it gently. I’m sorry I thought of leaving you…
© 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..