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We were just saving our breath

We were just saving our breath

A Story by Heyns
"

I've been using a book by the San Francisco Writers Grotto to spur my writing. This is one of the many exercises

"

Joey was an introvert and he liked it that way. He was comfortable, even when it made other people uncomfortable. Throughout his life it had always made people feel uneasy, to the point that if they weren't he felt that he was betraying his nature. He didn't mind if he came off rude, he didn't like people all that much. He didn't hate them, its just that he preferred being alone. He liked to watch people, too. This was extremely fun to Joey. He would walk around ear buds in with a dead iPod only to keep people at bay. They never bothered him and he mostly communicated in hand signals and smiles. he got by and that was more than enough. He was ok with the "status quo".

Though at times he would sit on his balcony and watch lovers pass by and he wondered what that would feel like. How would it feel to have someone breech his castle and know him? A knowledge of such intimacy and ease that it was like slipping on a second skin that fit almost as good as the first. A reverse molting that brought comfort and security. Together he could easy navigate the world in a protected silence locked between their lips. When they held hands nothing could penetrate their barrier, nothing would invade their love.

This was hard for Joey, as the closest he got to anyone was roughly 18 inches. Anything closer was rude and quickly protested. Even Joey's family kept a respectable distance. They would ask questions and he would ever so earnestly reply in terse clips that amounted to grunts and empty syllables. They loved him despite this and, as they were a large family, had many an excuse to break off the awkward transmissions. His mother would eagerly smother him with berating intrusions into his life. He would silently shrug or shake his head. She would ruffle his hair, declare him a silent little-snob, and move onto her more boisterous children. His father would silently smooth his hair back in place, smile, pat him on the back, and energetically join in with whatever round of revelry was being performed. Joey would take his place in the peripheries and watch, occasionally smiling to show that he was ok as long as the current state remained exactly how it was.

Life was all even-kheeled as Joey liked, when, as cliche as you can, some worm began to crawl into Joey's heart of hearts and slowly degrade his icy walls. It was a chilly fall morning. Joey decided to bring his coffee onto the balcony so that he could watch the array of colors. He loved the way the wind danced with the leaves around and around in a never ending cycle of ups and downs. He felt like it was the natural latin love affair. They meet, they dance, they rise, then suddenly out of nowhere the wind changes and it moves. Oh no! The leaves fall, they are left on the wayside. They are destitute and stay where they left, but then, oh what rapture! When a nudge, a slight lift, and then with a flash the dance is back in fervor. Reaching new heights, but all things that rise must fall, and the drama continues. It was while enraptured by a rather elegant turn of the wind, that Joey saw her. The wind encircled her with leaves, the dramatic love seemingly transferred into her. The love dance of nature embraced her and anointed her. Joey knew that fate had spoken to her.

"Mm-mmm," Joey just felt that he had to utter something. Such beauty compelled him to make sound. He had never felt so overcome by desire. A desire that wanted him to crawl under the bed in fear of he unknown while commanding him to leap off the ledge and fly along the city following her bus and landing by her side.

She boarded the bus and was lost to his vision. "Urrrr," she had gotten on the downtown bus. He hated that epicenter of humanity that forced you to commune with your fellow man. Joey would have done well on a farm or some forgotten ranch, if he didn't like being the fly on the wall. Plus a farm was hard work that would require teaching, and talking. No, Joey had slipped perfectly into place in the cracks of society. Living a no-nonense, solitude existence that suited him.

Then again, she was the one. She was his second skin. She was the queen of his castle. She was the side of his heart he had always been missing but hadn't known till his heart skipped a beat that it had been ripped from him at birth and implanting in her chest. Without her he would die. He would be a slave for her, he would rule her if he needed to. He would bend to her will, or master her if she asked him to.

Why not? People were always pestering him to step out, to break out of his 'rut', to take a chance; well this time he would. If it killed him at least he would die for love. He grabbed his bicycle and coat to head downtown. With the bicycle he didn't have to endure elbowing people on the bus. It would also make him mobile so that he could more easily look for her  without actually having to walk in and out of stores, cafes, or wherever the search took him. He knew a couple shortcuts so that he would beat the bus there. He didn't stop to think she could get off early, he knew she was heading downtown.

He waited on a corner for the bus to catch up, someone in a cab mouthed, 'good food' shrugged their shoulders, mimed stuffing their faces and shrugged. Joey couldn't believe it. People usually left him alone, these people had to be tourists.

"Umm," Joey couldn't believe he was actually thinking about answering the jerk. He thought better of it and shook his head. The guy waved his hand dismissively, as if Joey hadn't really been worth his time anyway. The cab sped off in time for the bus to pull up. She stepped off. Looked at him and smile. He was in heaven, it was better than he imagined. He didn't care that she was another person. He didn't care that he was introvert, he wanted to talk to her. He was going, he pulled out his ear buds, and opened his mouth, "Umm..."

The bus driver honked his horn and interrupted the best moment of Joey's life. He impatiently motioned Joey to go ahead and cross, and honked again. "Urrrr..." grumbled Joey as he pedaled away. He watched the girl walk across the street, he took a right and sped up an alleyway that turned right back into the main road. As he sped down the alley, he took his bike lock and chain off and held it ready to get it disengaged and around his bike quickly. He fishtailed out of the alley onto the side walk and hopped off the bike as it was slowing down. He whipped the chain around, undid the lock and clamped down his bike to the lamppost.

He ran across the street and jumped in front of the girl with a 'ta-da' expression.

She looked shocked, he thought it had all gone wrong and fear crossed his face. Oh no! He did it again, he messed up. This time it was going to cost him big, he was going to lose the most important thing in his life, his one true love. She swallowed hard, and looked at his face smiling. She doubled over laughing. Then struck a feisty pose and with her hands on her hips said, "uh-huh!" But there was something odd about her voice.

Joey cocked his head to the side and looked at her. Her shoulders dropped. She looked so disappointed. Joey didn't understand, he furrowed his brow and lifted her chin. He gave her a quizzical look. She pointed at her ears and waved her arms in a negative crossing motion. Showing Joey that her ears didn't work. Then she touch her lips and did the same thing. She was deaf and therefore mute. Joey laughed and smiled. Truly, this was the best moment of his life. It was her turn to give a quizzical look. Then Joey, with what little he remembered of the signing classes that his parents dragged him to when they thought he was deaf, signed 'Hi, my name is Joey. What's your name?'

A tear trickled down her face. He brushed it off her cheek. She took his hand. Then slowly, curiously, enticingly Joey lowered his lips to hers and they kissed. Then he took her hand and ear buds in, they walked down the street, hand in hand and no-one in the world bothered them, ever.

Written Entries by Gert Cornelius Heyns Vanderbijl


© 2012 Heyns



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Featured Review

Hi there,

This shows great potential. I know that sounds cliched but I am being honest. There are some grammar and typos but that is only spring cleaning. The last four lines create the pathos which get the reader. Your problem is that sometimes the sentences are a little too short implying haste, when in fact you should spend time setting up a character who is isolated, standoffish and an observer, which requires a varied pace in the structure. You have the ending but the interest level needs to be maintained throughout, so the end is not uplifting but heart breaking as well.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Hi there,

This shows great potential. I know that sounds cliched but I am being honest. There are some grammar and typos but that is only spring cleaning. The last four lines create the pathos which get the reader. Your problem is that sometimes the sentences are a little too short implying haste, when in fact you should spend time setting up a character who is isolated, standoffish and an observer, which requires a varied pace in the structure. You have the ending but the interest level needs to be maintained throughout, so the end is not uplifting but heart breaking as well.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 30, 2012
Last Updated on October 30, 2012
Tags: love, true love, introverts, bicycles, buses, cities, bus, bicycle, fall, nature, life crisis, life changing, silence, solitude

Author

Heyns
Heyns

Portland, OR



About
Trying to figure out if writing is just a hobby or a love that can take care of me and my little family (wife, cat and me). Otherwise I crunch numbers, lame. Any constructive criticism would be gre.. more..

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