Untitled Reunion

Untitled Reunion

A Story by Queen Azazel
"

Theo returns home. Ruth is waiting.

"

Seeing the apartment, he grew up in always filled him with a sense of anger. It was irrational and overwhelming, but really, he should have been a little more grateful. Nothing quite says look at how far I’ve come, like an old one-bedroom apartment in the slums. He remembers that time the circus came into town when he was 10 and the accident that occurred there. He and a few of the neighborhood kids, snuck in passed the ticket booth and into the main booth. The show had already begun. A girl, only a year older than him, was juggling knives while a plump old woman with a clown nose, urged her to throw higher and catch faster. He remembered struggling to follow the blurs of sharp metal with his eyes when commotion broke out closer to the ring. The girl in the center of the ring stuttered in her movements, and the twin knives she had so expertly controlled only moments before had rebelled against her. When he discussed the story with his friends, they could only say that they blinked and missed it. However, he saw it vividly. The blood, the steel and the screaming frame by frame. Hannibal would have called it a masterful display of knife work and Chef Ramsey, green in the face, would have agreed.


He would later meet that same girl in the tenth grade. Ruth Hiram had a smile that was disarmingly bright but it never seemed to meet her eyes. Even when surrounded by nosey peers who poked and prodded her to gain access to the wealthy world beyond the gate, who called her Six when they thought she couldn’t hear, Ruth smiled. Theo envied how she seemed to take it all in stride. Back then, all he had was to make it to the eleventh grade and maybe get a kiss from Ashley, the prettiest girl in school.

They met in the girl’s bathroom on the second floor. For Theo, it was blessing and a curse. On one hand, it forced him to confront the current nature of his body. The thinness of his shoulders, the swell of his chest and hips, and the length of dark hair that spilled down his black like ink. He didn’t belong here in this space, no matter what his birth certificate said. On the other hand, this bathroom was rarely used. It too far from classes to be practical to use in a hurry and when two students were caught having “relations” there, the officials locked it up. Or rather, they tried. Theo ducked inside to adjust the tight bindings around his chest and was just about the lift the tattered sweatshirt when he heard a broken, muffled sob and the click of a lock from the last come from the last stall.

Ruth emerged red faced and blotchy, trying to scrub tear tracks off her cheeks with the edge of her cashmere sleeve.  She started when she saw him there, mouth opened into a small “o” of surprise, revealing a flash of color and metal. She stared at him with his fist balled into the bottom of his shirt drawn up just beneath his breasts.


“S**t,” they said in unison.


Theo was drawn from his daydream by a firm, steady grip on his shoulder. If not for the uneven pressure, the feeling that something in that touch was missing, he might have whirled around with teeth bared and fist at the ready, prepared yet again, to fight his way out of danger. Instead, he threw a look over his shoulder.


“What are you doing here,” he asked. “This ain’t really your part of town, Ruthie.”


Ruth only smiled and shrugged, waving a gloved hand in greeting.


“It isn’t really yours either. Not anymore.” She replied. “Why did you come all the way out here? I thought after what happened with Ashley, you would have never come back.” She flicked her gaze up to the apartment building, taking in the cracked brick and heavy layer of moss before returning the gaze to him.


“I was thinkin’ ‘bout the circus. When you lost your fingers…” Theo changed the subject with no trouble. If Ruthie didn’t know why he was here, then he wouldn’t be the one to tell her.


“Oh what are you thinking of that old story for? You know I hate it. Gives me phantom pains…” She crowded into his space whining, jabbing his chest with her right index finger and wiggling what remained of her left hand in front of his face. She smiled. These days, it reached her eyes and not for the first time, he fell in love.


“I was thinkin’ ‘bout the first time we met... But sappiness also gives you phantom pains.” He stuck his tongue out at her and she returned the gestured.


“Let’s catch up inside, kay?”

© 2016 Queen Azazel


Author's Note

Queen Azazel
Grammar, Dialogue, whatever you think is worth mentioning.

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Added on December 7, 2016
Last Updated on December 7, 2016
Tags: Fiction, Assignment, Practice

Author

Queen Azazel
Queen Azazel

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Untitled Untitled

A Story by Queen Azazel





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