SHORT FICTION

Thursday, 27 February 2014

SHORT STORY-FINDING YOU

The sun couldn't shine any brighter on a day that was so sad. It would have been so much better if it
had been raining with lightening and loud thunder for extra drama. It would have suited her.
My dark navy sweater had not been washed for some time but it was her favorite so I pulled it over my head smelling my old cologne that had seeped into the fibres. My body felt slow and heavy and soon the car would be here to pick me up. How was I going to make my legs move?
The vibration of my cell phone appeared to be the answer as my legs instantly went towards it. The voice at the other end was heavy and low but I knew it was my brother Sam. Are you ready he wanted to know as if I maybe couldn't do the task myself? Assurances that I did do the task finally satisfied him and he hung up. The cell phone dropped out of my hand onto the bed with a thud. Looking out the window at the bright sky made me shiver despite the heat that would burn us. The sweat on my hands was already there.
The sound of the espresso machine hissing drew me out of my hiding in the bedroom. The little brown cup that she gave me was sitting beside it waiting to be filled. She always did the filling. My fingers felt wrong sliding though the small handle that was smooth and cool to touch. Taking a deep breath I slid the cup into place and let the steaming liquid fill my little cup. I didn't do the frothy milk. The sound of her voice in my head saying I was so weird drinking it that way made me smile.
The hot coffee burned my tongue and I cursed under my breath. Why didn't I blow on it?  A loud knock made me almost drop the cup on the table. Let me in the voice demanded on the other side of the door. Rolling my eyes I walked over to the door and opened it. A rush of air hit me along with a body. The smell of cheap perfume and bare arms rubbing against my face and shoulders made my body stiffen.
Emotional hugs were not my thing but given the day it was okay. Black stained mascara eyes that had been crying stared back at me. Are you holding up she wanted to know or more like demanded to know. That's Des. She never asked you anything, she always demanded it from you.
Des marched straight to the espresso machine and took out a cup and plunked it down in place. She looked down at the machine with a sad face as if remembering whose machine it belonged to. Why did this have to happen she said out loud? Her face was facing the machine as if she was asking it.
Letting out a shaky breath I walked quietly over to her and gave her the milk for the froth. Tears slipped down her cheeks and for a moment I didn't think she was going to take the milk but she snapped out of it and grabbed the milk.
The car will be here soon to pick me up I told her. Des glanced over at me and quietly nodded. She sat down with me at the table. Awkward silence settled in between us. Neither one of had the strength to talk about her. We drank our coffee staring down at our cups avoiding each others eyes.
A gentle knock drew our attention to the door. He's here I said. Des got up slowly taking both our cups to the sink. She put a little water in each one. I knew she remembered her doing that so there wouldn't be any coffee rings in the bottom of the cup.
Sam came into the apartment looking as if someone had beaten him. Feelings of regret weighing him down by the way he carried his body was evident. Reaching out to him would do no good.
Des grabbed her purse and gave my brother a quick hug.  A small smile came my way before she disappeared out the door. That left the two of us. Sam was a good foot taller than me. He always carried himself  so much better than I ever did but then he did so much more with his life. He went to college and graduated with Honor's, and got a good job. The only thing that Sam couldn't do was commit..
He had gone through a lot of girlfriends, including her. She kicked him out of her life and for good reason-he cheated. Sam glanced around the room maybe seeing if this was all true and he would see her sitting in her favorite chair but we both knew that wasn't going to happen.
Sam wanted to know if I was ready. I said yes and told him I had to get my phone out of the bedroom. When I came out Sam had already left. The memories I knew were too much for him.
The heat of the day hit me when I stepped out onto the street. I shouldn't have wore the sweater but I would leave it on long enough until this whole thing was over. The car would have air at least.
The sun did it's best to shine  with a clear blue sky to show it off. How I would have given anything for some cloud to hide its perfection. The car stopped at the edge of the cemetery. Sam looked over at me. The tightness in his face told me he didn't want to go out there and face this. I told him we had to-for her.
Des was already there with a few of her friends. They were consoling each other. At least there was some shade. That is where I headed. It meant that I was a way from the crowd a bit but that was okay. It was a step away from sadness. She wouldn't mind, the ones that really needed to be up front where there.
A stone bench caught my eye and I went and sat down quietly looking down at the gravel and grass. A dandelion had started to grow in the gravel. Not sure how long time had passed but I felt this presence next to me.
The voice that spoke to me was quiet but still got my attention. A guy close to my age had sat down at the other end of the bench. I had never seen him before and yet there was something very comforting and familiar about him.
He told me his name was Jon. I told him my name was James and we smiled at each other for a moment. It felt like I was supposed to meet this person for some reason. Jon wanted to know how long I had known her. It was like forever I told him and then I looked at him and asked how he knew her.
Jon gave me a strange look and then moved closer to me. I didn't get uncomfortable with such a move. Jon smiled at me and said to me that they had known each other a long time. The way he said long felt like he was talking about a lifetime.
Then he came closer. Jon leaned in to me almost touching me and whispered to me that we knew each other for long time as well. Looking at Jon's face didn't remind me of our relationship.
When everything was over Jon asked if he could keep me company and for some reason I said yes. Everybody had gone to gather at the family's home but I didn't want to go. Sam was going so that was good enough I thought.
Jon and I went to a small outdoor café. There was something about Jon that held me. Jon bought over two regular coffees handing me one. At first our talk was nothing but small talk but then Job started to talk about her. When I looked into his face I noticed that the color of his eyes were the same as hers. That made me feel weird but I shook it off. Talking about her with Jon felt like an out of body experience. It was like watching two guys who knew each forever talk about everything and her.
Jon asked if I would like to go out sometime. He certainly didn't hold back. I shrugged my shoulders not knowing what to say. I hadn't been in any relationship for some time. Before I could come up with some excuse he set a date for us and told me he would pick me up.
There was no way of getting out of the date so I was about to tell him where I lived but he waved his hand. Jon smiled at me, he had a wonderful smile, the kind that made your heart stop. He reminded me that we had known each other for a long time and that he knew already where I lived.
We walked back to his car. Jon insisted that he take me back to my apartment. Finally I let him and sure enough he knew where I lived. Looking over at him I told him that I knew for sure we didn't know each other and that it was a bit creepy that he knew where I lived.
That statement made him laugh and I couldn't help but join in. Jon finally told me that he had taken her home on occasion so he knew the address. That was odd the way he said it. Something in the tone of his voice told me that there was a story that involved her.
We both came into the apartment where I instantly took off the sweater. The shirt underneath stuck to me. I told Jon to help himself to a beer in the fridge while I changed my clothes. What I really needed was a shower.
When I came back out he had a beer for both of us. The way Jon moved around the room convinced me that he had been here before. He flopped himself comfortably in her chair like it was always something he did. I stared at him and almost became angry but I shook it off. It was silly to feel that way. It was only a chair. It got the better of me and I asked him if he and she had dated?
Jon smiled. His voice carried over to me so carefully. In a way he said, I've been here with you the whole time. I've finally have caught up to and found you.
Now I was confused and asked him to explain what he meant.
He moved up in the chair to sitting on the edge. He looked at me and I knew he wanted me to sit down. When I did he gave me a warm smile. The story he proceeded to tell me was unbelievable and not meant to be believed but the more he talked the more I felt what he was talking about.
Jon told me it was 1918 and we both had arrived in the US from England. Out fathers had sent us here to find work and make a life for ourselves in a new world. Jobs did come to us but it was tough  Jon said and keeping our secret away from a harsh world was even tougher.
The night that he touched on left me shaken. Jon said that he loved music and wanted to take me to a show. We went but someone from work was there as well and they always suspected that there was something between us. A fight broke out ending with him being severely beaten. In the next breath he told me that he died.
Jon reached out and took my hand. In a very firm voice he said it was true. The next story was in 1942. We were back in England fighting in the war. It had been a day of heavy casualties. The men had brought me in and the nurses did what they could but nothing could be done. Jon said that he was there holding my hand when I died.
My eyes must have so wide with these wild tales that he took a good firm hold of my hands and made me look him in the eyes-the color of her eyes.
Jon said that time has separated us for far too long until the last ten years when he made a connection to me again. This was too surreal to believe I told him. I asked him if he if he wanted me to believe that he had been her.
His smile was warm. It doesn't matter what you believe he said. What was important was now that he had found me.
I couldn't even throw him out for some reason. There was something about Jon that made me keep him there because if I threw him out I would lose him and that was not a good thing my conscience  told me.
I asked him to tell more stories. He did just that. He told me more war stories and about our boat ride over here in 1918 and when the stories where done, I demanded like Des does, that he prove to me that these wild tales where true. Jon said he would.
The next weeks of my life were filled with stories and things that no one would know about me, not even Sam, Des or her. Each time he touched my hand it was like he was trying to connect the dots for me. Finally after one of our nights together I turned to him and asked why he had wanted to find me. Why not let me go I asked him.
Jon smiled and told me that some loves no matter what form they take over time are worth chasing and hanging onto. I laughed. So I was worth the chase I asked. Jon pulled me closer and whispered in my ear. Yeah he said because we have so many more stores to make and tell over time. And this story here will end one day but this time we will stay together, now that I found you.
I told him I didn't believe him and that he was making all this shit up to get me into bed with him. Jon smirked and said that I knew otherwise. I kissed him.
Time has a way of sneaking up. I soon forgot the stories and fell into a life with Jon. We were back at the same little café where we first had our first coffee together. Jon had been going through some rough stuff. I did my best to console him and it was working but there was something on his mind.
Jon told me about dreams that he was having and that they always meant something bad was going to happen. Dreams I said to him were not real and to forget about it. Jon sat next to me letting our thighs touch. Jon I said you need to go for a walk with me and talk this out and then you will see I told him that dreams mean nothing.
I took both our cups and took them back to the café. It had only been a few seconds or at least it felt that way. I shouted at him to get back but he was so engrossed in thought that he didn't see the oncoming truck. My feet leapt towards Jon.
I finally believed him when I saw the colors. Flashes of light lit up the night sky and the sounds of bombs going off deafened my ears. The smells of mud and soldiers blood mixed with fear filled my nose and lungs and almost pulled me down drowning  me in the swill that froze my feet. The sea smell took me out of there and on to a boat that rocked making my insides turn. Someone next to me held me tightly. I knew it was Jon.
Image after image played out in front of me and I could reach out and touch each and everyone one of them and remember them. Quietness finally settled around me and I looked for Jon but couldn't see him. My eyes tried to find him and then with relief there he was coming towards me. Jon smiled at me as he got closer and my heart melted.
He pulled me into his arms and whispered into my ear. I heard the words I found you.

ACCIDENT ON 3RD AND 5TH. TWO MEN WERE KILLED WHEN ONE OF THEM STEPPED OUT IN FRONT OF A TRUCK. WITNESSES SAY THE OTHER ONE TRIED TO PULL HIM OUT OF THE WAY BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.


Hi Everyone. I hope you enjoyed my strange little tale. I might do some more cat fiction next week in the form of a short story. We'll see what happens. Have a great weekend!

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