Him, I Love.

 

He walks beside me,

Just once,

Because no one was around,

It’s a lie,

This bond between us,

We lie,

All the time,

To them, not just each other,

But we can’t help it.

I am drawn to him,

To his face,

To his heart,

To his loves, and his hates.

He had just been a star to me,

The first time I saw him,

He was shrouded in sadness,

And in happiness,

Gently carving away the rot.

There was nothing I didn’t understand,

Except,

That expression.

I didn’t understand why, why

Did he look like that,

Doing what he was doing?

It wasn’t alive,

It wasn’t dead,

It wasn’t breathing at all.

It was just wood, or something.

I didn’t get it at all.

But I wanted to paint it.

I wanted to paint that expression,

That was my first lie.

My second, the one where I said,

“I won’t fall in love with you, I promise,”

And he smiled.

My heart broke,

And I mellowed in my self hate,

Hating myself for being a coward,

It was just a promise,

A cold hearted, mean promise,

So why had I fallen in love with him?

He walks beside me,

And my heart races in anticipation.

I will paint his picture,

Just like I saw it,

Unblemished,

Untainted,

Raw.

He sits patiently,

A light smile on his face,

A taint of sadness in his eyes,

Mournful,

Appeased,

Unsure.

Everyday it’s like this,

This secret love of mine,

Unrequited,

I can’t tell him,

That I fell in love the first moment I met him.

How can I?  I made a promise,

But still, I wonder,

He is not the kind of guy to accept a girl’s company,

To sit and walk with,

Much less paint him.

He walks beside me,

Once again, and perhaps,

For the last time.

The painting is almost done,

But I didn’t want to finish it.

I’ve dragged it out too long,

Nothing has changed,

Except he still carves that wood,

Cutting out the rot,

Turning it from rough to smooth.

I still watch him,

Still admire him,

Still want his everything.

I can’t lie anymore,

But I don’t want him to hate me.

Not me, not my painting,

I want to earn his love,

And so I paint the last stroke,

And title it “him, I love.”

It hung in a gallery,

All my love,

Unleashed,

A portrait to the world,

I wished I’d kept it to myself.

It was a secret love,

A one love,

This was my confession, even if,

I never said it in words.

But I think he knew,

That I lied, from the heart,

Because he asked.

I think he knew,

Because I got my answer,

A statue of wood,

Of a girl, and her easel,

Carved by a beautiful hand,

Titled, “She, I love.”

I never thought,

That it could happen.

This time it’s not a lie,

But the truth,

When he walks beside me,

I know how he feels.

He’s still a star,

A gem from another world,

But I can touch him now.

I can hold his hand.

The Love Affair.

Boy meets girl,

Boy falls in love,

Girl falls in love.

They date,

They kiss,

They share warm hugs.

He says, I love you,

She says, I love you too,

They’re so in love.

And yet, there is a bride-in-waiting,

A proposal to be made,

An arranged married that is not boy and girl.

Rings are exchange,

Hearts are broken,

Promises left hanging.

And still they love each other,

Still, they want each other,

They’re willing to break the rules.

And the love affair begins.

A moment of heated passion,

Of kisses and touches,

Too insane to describe.

There is nothing but them,

Nothing but two people in love,

In an affair that they don’t want,

But can’t give up, they are

Two people lost in a fairy land,

Surrounded in white magic,

Black magic, of their guilt,

And denied passions.

But passion is unbounded,

Roaring and raging.

This is not the past, this is the future,

They don’t need a gun,

A knife,

A murder plot,

To be in love.

They never said a word,

To their mothers,

Their fathers,

Their family,

Their affianced.

If they had, maybe,

This could have been a beautiful love,

And not an estranged love affair,

Born from the throes of passion,

Dying in the grimy cell of prison.

A Ghostly Valentine’s.

So this is my final Valentine’s Day Story.  It’s the biggest and the longest.  It’s also experimental (It’s a story told in 55 word chapters!) and I managed to finish it in the nick of time.  Right now, there are 40 minutes until the end of Valentine’s Day!  Hehe, I hope you enjoy it!  (Oh And I Also Think It’s A Bit Weird That My Main Girl Is Called Ann, To Me It Seems A Bit Old Fashioned Lol)

*

First, There Was Something Wrong…

There was something wrong with Ann.  Her body moved as she told it to.  It walked, touched, flicked hair, smirked.  But for some reason she felt strangely invisible.  No one talked to her on the street, no one even looked at her when clearly she was a bombshell.  This invisibility terrified her, then she saw him.

*

The Love of Her Life Looked Never Better…

She stood back, he was so beautiful, dashingly handsome with the cutest curls in his hair.  She always admired him from afar.  When he asked her out, she couldn’t believe it.  Slowly she walked to him, pushing through the crowd.  She could almost reach out and touch him.  Except he was holding another girl’s hand.

*

The Restless Spirit Medium Hates Valentine’s…

It was the biggest love celebration of the year.  Yet, James was telling teary eyed widows and abandoned girlfriends tales of their dead loves.  He worked for his uncle, that bastard, who did nothing but order him around, before going out to play.  James wondered if he could close up the store and call Ally.

*

James Makes A Date For Valentine’s…

Ally said yes.  James could have jumped for joy.  She even said, she didn’t care if it was only an hour, she was happy to spend it with him.  James looked in the mirror, glad that he was working, since he looked his best when he worked, and dragged his comb once through his hair.

*

Ann Can’t Believe What She Is Seeing…

Ann just stared.  Why was her Adam hand in hands with another girl?  Why?  She immediately ran in front of him and demanded him to stop.  He did, not to look at her, but to look at the scantily dressed girl beside him.  ‘I said Stop!’ She screamed.  And then they walked right through her.

*

Second, There Was Something Very Wrong…

No way.  She was not a ghost.  Ann didn’t believe she was a ghost.  Just yesterday, she was picking out her dress to wear for Valentine’s.  And today she was wearing that dress.  They were going on a date today.  More people passed through her, more and more, buffering her.  She was not a ghost!

*

There Was An Explosion With No Apparent Source…

Adam flinched when the world exploded behind him.  It was like a volcanic eruption with no volcano; a nuclear bomb with no actual bomb.  The crowd scattered, and for a moment, he let go of Natasha’s hand.  He scrambled for her hand, frantically, but found himself looking at someone who was supposed to be dead.

*

There’s Nothing Like A Dead Girlfriend Come Back To Life…

Adam stared.  Then he blanched.  And when she didn’t disappear, he screamed.  That was a normal reaction.  What was not normal, more like incomprehensible, was Ann screaming back at him.  There was something about Natasha and Valentine’s and the expensive dress she was wearing.  But he just couldn’t believe there was a ghost.  He fainted.

*

A Date Is When A Man And Woman Do Lots Of Things Together…

Ally apparently did not see him as anything more than a friend.  James was a little annoyed at that.  For the hour, they drank coffee.  James had no idea if dates were like that, since it was his first.  But she looked uncomfortable.  James would have to thank the crazy ghost girl later for interrupting.

*

Saved By The Bell, What A Way To Look Cool…

 Immediately James sprinted onto the street.  Around him ghosts were pretty calm, not really vengeful.  But this one was really angry.  Beautiful in that green dress, with long dark hair, she was surrounded in negative energy.  James seriously asked himself why he threw himself in front of the man the ghost was attacking without thinking.

*

Who Do You Think You Are, You Great Big Brute? …

Ann was furious.  It was a falling avalanche.  Everything she remembered about dating him the last six months returned.  Suddenly she was empowered, fire roared around her and she was in control.  That big fat brute; that pretty faced, two faced liar! And then he ran in front of her, essentially taking all her anger.

*

He Fell With A Mighty Big Crash…

And Ann was repentant.  The girl holding Adam’s hand was screaming hysterically, tugging at Adam.  Adam was staring in shock horror at the guy Ann had just attacked.  From the coffee shop, there was a loud female shriek, ‘James!’  The girl ran over slapping his cheeks all the while Ann tried to catch her attention.

*

Natasha’s Hand Felt Way Too Small In His…

It was a shock, to say the least, when Adam and Natasha became, Adam, Natasha, Adam’s dead girlfriend, one unconscious spirit medium and the spirit medium’s date.  It seemed only Adam could see Ann, and according to Ally, the girl who took control, so could the spirit medium.  Adam felt a tingle in his heart.

*

Adam Thinks That The Roof Is Leaking…

The bucket of water came from nowhere.  But when Adam looked up, it was hovering without any assistance, tipping and sloshing all over him.  Natasha screamed, but Adam didn’t move.  Natasha whimpered, but for some reason, Adam just got angry.  It didn’t make any sense that she was angry.  She wasn’t covered in stinky water.

*

It Was Just Too Funny…

Ann couldn’t stop laughing.  In just a few moments, she’d managed to redirect her anger into physical force, and upturned the bucket on his head.  She’d wanted to catch the girl too, but she dodged.  Adam was glaring at Ann, so she stuck out her tongue.

‘Who the hell are you?’ Said the spiritual medium.

*

The Spiritual Medium Has Anger Management Problems…

James looked ridiculous.  He was blotchy red and he looked increasingly more and more harassed.  Ally looked  flustered and Natasha (Ann finally caught her name) burst out hysterically again.  When Adam and Ann started talking it turned into an argument; Natasha cried and Ally told them to shut up.  It was James who yelled though.

*

James Does not Have Anger Management Problems…

One ghost whose ex-boyfriend was still alive.  One hysterical girlfriend who couldn’t help making noise.  And Ally, who despite looking bored before, was relatively composed.

‘Now, one of you explain.  Who are you people?’

Natasha stared at James in disbelief when Ann answered.  This was going to be a long day.  Ann didn’t know anything.

*

How Do You Tell A Ghost It’s Been A Year? …

‘Ann, you’ve been dead a year.’  James couldn’t touch her, so he couldn’t stop her from avoiding his eyes.  ‘It’s normal for Adam to have another girlfriend.’

For his good deed, she shouted ‘Asshole!’ in his face and dunked a bucket of water on his head too.  Why were there so many buckets of water?

*

Adam Can’t Believe My Ex-Girlfriend Was Such A Psycho…

It’s a lie, Adam thinks.  This girl couldn’t be his sweet clingy Ann.  ‘Where did she go?’

James contemplated it for a moment, like he was seriously curious.  ‘How the hell do I know?’  He exclaimed.  ‘Who told your psycho girlfriend to die exactly one year ago?’

‘She’s not a psycho!’

‘Then why am I wet?’

*

When The Phone Rings, Pick It Up…

Adam just glared at the so-called spiritual medium.  He hadn’t thought about Ann for a long time.  It hurt too much to.

His phone rings.  ‘What?’

There’s crashing noises in the background, the voice barely comes clear.  Somehow Adam knew this was not good news.  ‘Adam, there’s something wrong with your room.  Come home now.’

*

Don’t Mess With Ann, Or She’ll Hit You With Her Shoe…

Adam’s room looked exactly the same.  The same floor.  The same bed.  The same blanket.  The same clothes in the wardrobe with an additional new season trend.  Even the photos on the wall were the same.  If Ann hadn’t seen those, Ann might not have gone crazy.

‘Ann!  What are you doing to my room?’

*

Screaming Your Ex-Girlfriend’s Name Might Make You Look Crazy Instead…

Daniel just stared at Adam.  Adam had never felt more humiliated than right then, but Ann was going crazy, he considered his brother second priority.

‘Ann, calm the fuck down!’

‘Calm down?’  She snarled.  ‘How can I?’

‘Dude!  There’s so much negative energy…’ It was really the worst moment for the other brother to appear.

*

One Brother Can See, The Other Can’t, What a Surprise….

Adam groaned, he couldn’t believe Ben could see Ann and Daniel couldn’t.  At least only half his family thought he was crazy.

‘Ann, looking good!’  Ben said cheerily at Ann.

‘Who are you talking to Ben?’  Said Daniel.

Why can you see her?’  Adam groaned.  Now he had to figure out what was her problem.

*

James Likes To Play A Fast Game Of Goose Chase…

James had forgotten about his uncle.  Yet, he still dragged Ally along with him.  Strangely, she didn’t mind.  She was smiling a hell of a lot more than before, that’s for sure.  When Adam had left, he’d chased them, losing them halfway.  Lost in the middle of town, unsure if they’d gone left or right.

*

When A Chair Comes Flying Over Your Head, You Know You’ve Found An Errant Ghost…

‘Omg James, duck!’  James fell as Ally bulldozed into him.  Flying over them, was one of those wheelie chairs you had at your desk.  They’d finally found the house by following James’ spiritual sense.  Ann’s aura was immense.  No surprise when the inhabitants run out of the house.  But why did she throw the chair?

The Infuriating Moment When She Just Had To Say That…

If I’ve been dead a year, why is my photo still here?’  She screeched, pointing at the wall.  Seeing her beautiful self there, had been as shocking as it had been touching.  It was proof that she couldn’t be dead.

‘Ann…’ His brows were wrinkled.

‘Don’t even think about it!’  Screeched Natasha, finally pulling pluck.

*

When Natasha Finally Fights What She Can’t See…

‘Horrible, witchy, ugly girl!  Adam is mine!’  Ann wondered how old this girl was.  For Adam to jump from Ann to Natasha, it was a big leap.

‘Keep him,’ she snarled.  ‘This was my big day, not yours!  Adam…Adam…’ Ann lost her words.  There was something that was supposed to happen.  But what was it?

The Regrets Of The Past Come To Light…Though Not Quite Yet…

 Adam watched as Ann struggled for words.  Natasha couldn’t see Ann, nor could she hear her, so she was flailing about, screaming, ‘Adam is mine, Adam is mine!’  He slapped his forehead.  He knew what Ann was searching for.

‘Natasha, shut up.’  He turned face Ann.  ‘Ann, look at me, I’m not the same anymore.’

*

Ann Remembers Something, Ann Goes Into Meditation…

‘No,’ she says.  ‘No.’ Her head spins, an image of the Adam she loved flashes into her mind.  His hair was shorter, eyes brighter.  It was the family barbeque, so Daniel and Ben were there.  She stumbles back, at least as much as a ghost could stumble back, and put a hand to her forehead.

*

Third, Ann is looking for what’s wrong…

Ann felt faint, she was sure she was turning pale.  One moment, her world had been complete, easy, if a little translucent.  The next, she was being bombarded by something surprisingly painful.  She clutched her head, her whole body was in agony.  It wasn’t long before she faded completely.  She wasn’t even aware of it.

*

There’s Nothing Like A Stupid Ghost…

‘Damn it, Ann!’  Adam screamed.  But she had already faded.  Ben was in shock, but Daniel was still annoyed.

‘Did she leave?’  Said Natasha, her face lighting up.

‘Yes.’

‘That’s great!’

‘No it’s not.’  Adam rubbed his face.  ‘That damn girl.  Even dead, she’s still the same.’

‘Aren’t you a bit harsh?’  Said James, surprised.

*

Now Where Is That Stupid Ghost? …

From Adam, James learned the story of Ann’s death.  And from there, he’d said, without thinking, again, ‘I’ll fix your problem.’  It was a first for him, to delve into his spiritual heritage like this voluntarily.  But judging from Adam’s pained expression and Ann’s terrified one, James knew he had to help.  But where’s Ann?

In Time And Past, And Past To Future, Adam Remembers Past Feelings…

She had the prettiest face he’d ever seen; bright, daring, expressive, snobby and righteous, but she was nice.  He’d fallen in love with her enthusiasm and her ridiculously nagging personality.  She never really annoyed him, it was cute, the way she was.  That day, if he hadn’t giving into her, maybe she’d still be here.

*

Natasha Is Suffering From Boyfriend Withdrawal…

Daniel and Ben watched the scene in front of them, unsure what to do.  Daniel, annoyed, begged off early.  But Ben stayed.  He poked Adam in the forehead.

‘Go away Ben.’

‘Why?’

‘You’re a pain.’

‘Natasha.’

‘And?’

‘You can’t just ditch her because Ann’s back.’

‘Why not?’  He said.  ‘What if that’s what she wants?’

*

Fourth, The Morning Of The Very Last Day Ann Lived…

Was perfect for Valentine’s.  They’d already made plans the week before and Ann had already picked the perfect outfit.  They went to the beach for the day, but, as Ann remembers, they’d suffered several setbacks.  But they got there in the end and it was wonderful.  Then…Ann clutches her head, what happened then?  What did she do?

*

The Rose On The Door, In the Bag, On the Floor…

Had Adam known she would want to go back home to change even though they were an hour or so behind on their plans?  Ann knew he’d known.  For six months, he’d put up with her scheduled lifestyle, and even complaining, he’d smiled and said, ‘hurry up.’  He’d even prepared roses in a romantic fashion.

*

And James Learns How To Blush…

James, Adam, Natasha and Ally head to Ann’s house.  This was the place Ann most likely would have come.

‘Ally, I’m really sorry.’

‘About what?’ She said startled.

‘About today.  Our one hour was ruined.’

She laughed then.  ‘That sucked, but this is so much better.’

‘Is it?’  He felt a fire in his cheeks.

*

Omg, It’s The Famed Accidental Kiss…

‘Yep!  This is much funner, I get to see your life.’

‘This is not my life, and since when were you fascinated by ghosts and all things spiritual?’

She smiled.  ‘I liked you, but this stuff, well, I guess I like it now!’

James smiled.  Then he tripped and got pushed by Adam, by accident.

*

Whoa, get a room! …

Adam kind of froze when he realised what he’d done.  His opinion on James and Ally were that James and Ally were together.  Yet but the way they were blushing, Adam figured, what he’d done, was perhaps not the best thing.  Even if it was an accident.  Then again, they were staring at each other.

*

The Old Song, Do You Remember It? …

On the bus, Ally and James were still blushing furiously, looking in the other direction.  Natasha was remarkably quiet, and Ben, was being annoying.  Adam didn’t know why he’d come along, except that he was constantly being poked in the arm by him.  Just as he was telling Ben to stop, a song began playing.

*

Ann’s Mother Is Crying, And She Knows Why…

There’s nothing like wallowing in self-pity.  Especially since Ann knew her personality was a problem most of the time.  She was used to getting her way.  And seeing her room, still the same, but the rest of the house completely changed, reality settled in.  What other reason was there for her mother to cry today?

Family Life, No Matter How Fulfilling, Is Still Empty, Even With The Brother Around…

Luke was in his room.  Ann wondered if he remembered her.  A year ago, they’d been on good terms, but there wasn’t a single photo of them both anywhere in his room. There used to be at least three.  His phone rang.

‘No I can’t.  Mum’s crying.  Dad’s not talking.  I can’t leave them alone.’

 *

It’s Surprisingly Awkward, The Question: To Hold Hand Or To Not? …

James still felt like a raging fire.  His hand had begun sweating.  Since, it was sitting on the chair, just millimetres from Ally’s hand.  Ally didn’t mind the kiss.  James, didn’t really.  He was nervous about what that kiss meant.  It was slowly dawning on him that he might not know Ally as he thought.

 *

Ally Is More Than A Friend…

James contemplated this question with every inch of his brain.  He so exhausted his mind thinking about the years he’d known Ally.  As childhood friends, some thought it was natural to break that barrier between and become a couple, but he liked being friends.  But he wanted to be her boyfriend.  He took her hand.

*

The First Kiss…

Ann stood by her bedroom window and remembered her first kiss.  Even at their age, they had been like teens, hovering, unsure, secretly sneaking a kiss.  They were eighteen, but still, Adam was crouching on the branch outside her room and gently kissing her.  It had been smoulderingly romantic; the most wonderful memory she had.

The Shouting That Came From The Lounge; The Roses That Wilted…

Mum and Dad screamed at each other.  Ann ran downstairs to find out what was going on.  But Luke was barely mediating.  He was at the edge of his thread, unable to stop his mum crying, unable to stop his dad from loving his mother.  It became a huddle pile.  They missed Ann so much.

 *

Natasha Questions Adam…

‘Why did you ask me out?’  Natasha said quietly looking out the window.  Adam had seen James pluck up his courage, and couldn’t help but smile.

‘Why not?’

‘You’re still in love with your ex, that’s why.’

James was very aware he was hurting her.  ‘I’m not.’

‘She’s dead.’  She was looking at him now.

*

Adam Still Loves Ann, But He Also Likes Natasha…

He gives a small smile.  ‘You know I like you.  You also knew about Ann.’

‘I did.  I thought you’d forgotten.  I didn’t think you’d think she’d come back alive!’

‘Who was the one who was screaming “Adam is mine” at thin air?’  Natasha looked like she’d been slapped.

Pissed she said coolly, ‘Goodbye Adam.’

*

This Was An Awful Valentine’s…

‘Natasha!  Natasha!’  James turned to watch as Natasha stormed off the bus at the next stop.  Adam called after her, but the door closed behind her almost immediately.  He looked pale and James felt sorry for him.  Then again it was Adam’s fault.

‘Don’t blame him.’

James looked at Ally in surprise.  ‘How come Als?’

*

This Was The Best Valentine’s…

‘Because James, one year after her death, Ann just wants to resolve issues.  And Adam needs to resolve his.’  She still hadn’t let go of his hand.  This, James took as a good sign.

Hearing her answer, he smiled.  Ally was good.  Better than he was.  She should have been the spiritual medium, not him.

*

Fifth, The Evening Of The Very Last Day Ann Lived…

Ann combed her long hair back, brushed a light gloss over her lips and adjusted the silky dress.  Looking at herself in the mirror, she’d never looked better.  Gazing at the long hair that draped down her back, she tried to remind herself she wasn’t completely up herself.   She just happened to be in love.

*

The Stiletto Shoes Had Been Surprisingly Comfortable…

She’d kissed her parents goodbye and told them to have a fun Valentine’s together.  She noogied her brother’s head and told him not to make his girlfriend wait.  She showed off her look once more.  Then she stepped out.  She could see Adam’s silhouette in the park.  She should have been more careful crossing the road.

*

When The Past And The Future Conflict, One Must Decide Which Is Better…

Adam walked up to the house with the others in tow.  He was incredibly frustrated, but he was also anxious.  Since Natasha left, he’d begun questioning himself.  He did still love Ann but he’d also begun loving Natasha.  Natasha who was whiny and clingy, consciously beautiful, yet naïve and sweet.  Natasha:  Someone Ann would hate.

*

Why Is It Irritating When The Ghost You’re Looking For Isn’t Where You Were Looking? …

‘Ann?  Adam, honey, Ann’s…’ Ann’s mum burst into tears, and Adam ended up comforting her.  He was the parents’ favourite Boyfriend.  He knew if Ann’s dad was home, he would be given a severe scolding.  Albeit familial-like.  They still considered him family.  But he couldn’t tell them about Ann.  Not even if she was there.

*

James And Ally Comfort The Fam…

James, being a practiced Spiritual Medium should’ve known the best way to handle a grieving family, but he was at a loss.  Ally took control.  She did the work, got the tea, sat the mother down.  But she didn’t talk about ghosts.  She talked instead about preserving Ann’s memory while James looked for ghostly residue.

*

It Was Ben The Tag-A-Long Who Guessed Where Ann Went…

James had a general direction but it was the brother who’d guessed correctly.  Adam agreed and Ally shrugged.  All Ben said was, ‘the graveyard.’

‘What about Ann’s grave?’

‘Nothing, it’s nothing kiddo,’ Adam said, gently ruffling the brother’s hair.

‘Yeah right, whatever, heard you were dating again.’

Adam just smiled, it was a sad smile.

*

Sixth, She Never Saw It coming…

The car had come from nowhere.  Or it seemed like that.  Ann had been too excited to spend her first Valentine’s with Adam, she completely forgot to look left and right.  But still, that car probably shouldn’t have been speeding.  And yet, she’d looked left too late.  In her eyes, she only saw bright headlights.

*

She Remembers Exactly What She’d Been So Excited About…

A ring.  Ann had found it a week before in Adam’s drawer.  He’d probably thought he was being smart, hiding it there in the “secret drawer” but Ann wasn’t scared of that.  To be sure, she’d hassled Ben, the brother closest to Adam, and he’d told her Adam’s plan.  Then, she’d picked the perfect dress.

*

James Watched Adam Fiddle With A Ring Box…

‘Was that for Ann?’  Asked Ally.  At first, James considered elbowing her.

‘Yeah.’  He’d developed water in his eyes.

‘Is that why?’

‘Why Ann might be around?  Yes.’

Ally felt silent.  Even James understood what was happening.  Ben clamped a hand on Adam’s shoulder.

‘James, I don’t think it’s Ann’s problem.  James, I think it’s Adam’s.’

*

James Was Beginning To Feel Useless, Maybe Ally Was His Perfect Ally…

Ally reached over to Adam and gently took the ring.  It was dazzling.  James could imagine that he’d worked hard to find such a ring.  Even if it was simple.  After seeing the ghost Ann, James could already see how much this ring suited her.

‘When you Ann next, you have to tell her everything.’

*

The Gravestone Was Exactly What She Had Expected…

The ghostly tears wouldn’t stop flowing.  Knowing that she’d caused her own death, did not ease her pain.  Since this day had started, nothing had gone right.  Nothing, yet everything made sense.  From confusion to denial to grief to acceptance, only tears fell.  Sitting on her gravestone, she wondered who hurt more at this moment.

*

Ann Will Always Love Adam, Always…

It was Adam who’d appeared before her.  Just like the way she’d first appeared before him.  It was Adam who’d held out his hand, just like the first time she spoke to him.  It was Adam who said, ‘Nice to meet you, I’m Adam’ just as she had, the first time she spoke to him.

*

James Never Once Let Go Of Ally’s Hand…

Ally’s hand was warm; the only comfort to James.  This was a touching scene, but it made him worry about him and Ally, if there was a Them in the future.  Ben said nothing, though James could tell, he was also feeling slightly responsible.  If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be able to see her now.

*

Guilt Can Disappear With Just A Smile, Even A Ghostly One…

James narrated what Ann was doing to Ally, who was patiently nodding along.  He smiled, and to his surprise caught Ann’s gaze.  He wondered how long she’d been looking.  And when she smiled again, it was for Ben.  Next to him, James felt Ben’s spiritual tension fade.  That must have meant something more to him.

*

Even Death Cannot Prevent Great Love…

Adam remembered the way Ann had left the house.  As she strode towards him, all confidence, her hair pulled back in the wave of her walk.  She was beautiful.  Her dress wrapped around her, pulled away, puffed ever so slightly.  She was always beautiful, but then, she was magnificent.  He would always love Ann, always.

*

Ann Was Known To Be Merciful, Every Once In A While…

‘I’m so sorry Ann.  I’m So Sorry.’  He didn’t know what to do.  He tried to meet her eyes, but he couldn’t.  He didn’t want to fidget, but he couldn’t stop.

‘Where’s Natasha?’  He flinched at the way she enounced her name.

‘She left.’

Ann sniffed.

‘Ann…’

‘No, I get it.  Don’t get me wrong.’

*

Separating The Divide, This Is My Side, That Is Yours…

‘I always wanted to be romantic with you.  I always wanted you to love me like I loved you.  I guess I’m still stuck there, you’re moving on.  There is a saying, don’t fall in love with the dead, you can only get hurt!’

Adam chuckled, ‘There’s no such saying.’

‘Whatever.’  They shared a smile.

*

Why Is The Space Still The Same Size? …

Ann watched as Adam took out a box.  She recognised it and a new flood of tears flowed.  ‘Ann, I love you.  I will always love you.  You were the one, the only one I felt that uncontrollable need to be with.  You’re beautiful, you’re weird.  But I loved you.’

Ann cried a little harder.

*

Adam Says The Words He Wanted To Say One Year Ago…

‘I loved you too Adam.’  She leaned forward and kissed his forehead.  ‘And I would have said yes.’

Adam sighed.  He never realised that he’d had this anxiety.  The same kind that had made him hesitant to date Natasha.

‘But…I’m dead Adam.  We can’t get married anymore.’

He looked up at Ann, tears forming again.

*

Seventh, The Final Act…

She stood and took Adam’s hands with her ghostly ones, though she nagged him to move his hands with hers, since she clearly couldn’t touch him.  They were face to face once again, just like the second date when he’d asked her out again.

‘I remember everything now.’  She smiled.  ‘Don’t stop living Adam.  Live.’

And They Watch In Tears…

Ally couldn’t see, but she could hear James.  And she cried.  She felt for these two people, who she didn’t know, whose lives were the kind that should have and would have been wonderful.

James watched as Ann leaned forward, lightly pressing her lips to Adam’s.  Then she faded, her light swirling to the sky.

*

Goodbye Adam, Don’t Forget To Live For Me…

Ann knew he couldn’t feel her.  But she guessed she was okay with that.  She was a ghost after all.  She was nothing but translucent unexplainable invisible substance, probably not even a substance.  Even so, she leaned forward and kissed him.  All her love for him flowed forward in that kiss, even her final wish.

*

Adam says goodbye…

 Her lips, he could feel her lips.  Warm and tender on his, he could feel everything she ever felt about him.  Adam really did love her.  Opening his eyes, he watched her smiling face look upward as she faded into little balls of light.  He’d heard her last words, ‘The ring deserves a new owner.’

*

Eighth, The Curtain Closes…

Adam returned to the others, and Ben slaps him on his back.  There were more tears in his eyes, Ann’s tears.

‘Ann was the best, bro.’

‘Yeah, she was.’

‘But Natasha’s not bad.  She seems to like you.’

‘Yeah.’

Ben shoved him.  ‘Go get her Adam.’

Adam nodded, partly dejected, yet serious.  Ann’s final wish.

*

James Finishes His Date With Ally, And Remembers His Uncle…

When the brothers left, James felt surprisingly satisfied.  Squeezing Ally’s hand, they too left the graveyard.  As they walked along the river, Ally said, ‘Are we forgetting something?’

‘Oh crap, Uncle!’  He groaned remembering his uncle’s anger, then he remembered his Uncle’s favourite habits, he couldn’t care less.

‘So what?’  The he kissed her, properly.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Dear people of the world!

 

I hope you’re having a lovely Valentine’s day today.  For those who are celebrating it with loved ones, hope it turns out well.  For those who are missing their loved ones because they’re overseas or whatnot, smile and be happy!  And for those, who are not celebrating it with a girlfriend or boyfriend, who are celebrating Single’s Day say hooray to another reminder that we’re single and free and happy.  Even though I’m posting about Valentine’s Day, I feel like I’m a hypocrite because I’m technically not celebrating it today.  I’m rather celebrating Single’s Day (lol) and really, I’m not caring much at all.  It’s a beautiful day, and I’m filled with inspiration.  I’m working hard on my final Valentine’s Day story (Which hopefully will be posted later on) and I have my friends to celebrate with.  So if you’re single out there, you’re not alone! 🙂 Revel in your single status, because the best thing about it, is you aren’t tied by any strings (not that I’m saying being in a relationship sucks.  Being in a relationship can be really wonderful if it’s with the right person).

And for those who feel like a little romantic, sappy story about love, then here are, again, a re-cap of my past week’s worth of lead up stories to Valentine’s Day!

The Summer Days.

A Bright New Summer Love.

Waiting For You. 

A Rose Persuasion.

The First Time We Met…

Love Letter.

The Rain That Refused to Stop…

At The End Of The Day…

 

At The End of The Day…

Sequel to The Rain That Refused To Stop…

He ran after me.  I was storming mad for some reason.  Some reason you broke my heart.  All you said was, ‘I can’t just like you.’  On the beach I wanted to scream at him to stop following me.  But he caught me, held me and said quietly, ‘Not like, I think I love you.’

The Rain That Refused to Stop…

Sequel to The First Time We Met…

Drenched the ice-cream you were offering to me.  It was so sweet, I laughed.  You looked sheepish too and you tried to cheer me up.  So I ate it.  We talked for hours and I couldn’t help but like you.  Then you broke my heart, stuttering.  How could it have become the worst Valentine’s ever?

There’s a final sequel coming! 

Quotes for Valentine’s: Quote #26; Quote #27; Quote #28

In the spirit of Valentine’s day, here are some quotes about love!

 

From Sarah Dessen in The Truth About Forever

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

From William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream …

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

From Nicholas Sparks in The Notebook…

“My daddy said, that the first time you fall in love, it changes you forever and no matter how hard you try, that feeling just never goes away.”

Love Letter.

When the summer is hot – so much that the ends of my hair frizz up – I think of you.  Fight hard, fight brave, but don’t be stupid.  I’ll stay out of the sun and avoid tanning.  I’m waiting, spending Valentine’s alone.  But you wanted to fight.  So be safe.  Don’t die! Come back to me.

The First Time We Met…

It was the worst summer day.  The rain was storming down around me.  I was dressed for summer, not the rain; I was supposed to meet my friend for a single’s party, but she cancelled.  If you didn’t come up to me with that ridiculous ice-cream in hand, I might’ve cried.  Best Valentine’s ever.

Followed by the first sequel: The Rain That Refused to Stop…

A Rose Persuasion.

 

It began with a rose on my desk.  Scattering red, I knew who left it there.

It continued with a rose tied to my bag.  Just a bud, I smiled in surprise.

It ended with a rose and red card.  At the height of its bloom, he really was serious.

The card said, ‘date me.’

Waiting For You.

I waited, people came and left.  Planes landed, planes departed.  The sun set slowly, and my heart raced, anticipating.  And then I see you.  I said I couldn’t do it but I couldn’t let you go.  I want you to know how anxious I am.  How I missed you.  I would wait forever for you.

A Bright New Summer Love.

Hard to believe.  But my only dollar is in the drain.  The relief of a maccas soft serve, a dream away.  I sighed, sitting back on the curb. What to do? A guy sits next to me, in his hand, a gold coin.  He’s cute, and I think, what a beautiful summer this will be.

The Summer Days.

One day passes after the other, hot and sweltering, yet the sparkling highlight.  Summer, drowsy, hot and humid, the beach, the waves.  They crash against me.   I wrap my arms around my boyfriend.  ‘I love you.’  I remember why we’re together.  He’s the only one who makes me smile and laugh in the summer heat.

Is it love?

 

I see you across the street.   You are so beautiful even though you are plain.  You come here every day, and you smile your beautiful smile.  When you leave it feels as if the suns gone down, and we wait for you to return.  We wonder why your smile is so beautiful.  Is it love?

 

Party! Water. Fruit Juice.

It was hot.  Den lay back on the banana chair, the sun beating down on her exposed skin.  When she opened her eyes, the air shimmered around her.  She could hear her friend laughing in the pool, splashing water over Den’s bikini covered body.  She breathed and felt pale as she lay there.  The heat wasn’t going to let up anytime soon, and yet she didn’t feel the kind of suffocating feeling she normally felt when she was in the heat.

“Den!”  Emily squealed from the water.  “Get in here you sexy beast!”

Den groaned but ignored her.  Emily liked the water.  Den didn’t.  She could stand the heat, but she couldn’t stand the water.  Water was the one thing she was so damn afraid of and Emily still couldn’t understand that.  Okay, that was probably an exaggeration.  Emily understood, and believed Den, when she says, she has tried to stop Emily from trying as hard as she does to help Den get over her fear.  But Den’s fear came from her childhood.  It came from the time when the little kid who had it in for Den squashed Den in the water in a game of water polo.

Den at ten was a decent player.  Den at ten was not afraid of the water.  Den at ten was well, shy.  Den at sixteen though had not played water polo since.  Den at sixteen was very aware of her unreasonable fear of water.  Den at sixteen was not shy.

“Den!”  Squealed Emily again louder this time.  Den would have sworn the whole was alert to her voice.

“Yeah Den, get in the water!”  Roared the guys with Emily.

“Like hell,” she said in reply sitting up shoving her sunnies up her nose.  “You know I’m scared shitless Em, so don’t make me.”

Emily rolled her eyes.  Her ash brown hair was dyed black with water.  Like Den she sported a bikini, but unlike Den, Em wore bikini bottoms over short board shorts.  And oh right, Em was curvy.  Den was not.

After lying in the sun for at least half-an-hour, Den knew she was browner than brown.  She didn’t care.  She looked at the two guys in the pool.  Yeah, one was Jakson, Emily’s latest obsession and the other was Robbie.  Apparently Den’s obsession.

Emily sighed and looked at Den.  It was her pool, her house, her banana chair after all.  Den was just her security.  Em’s parents didn’t know Jakson and Robbie were coming over.   They only knew that Den was.

“Ugh, whatever Emily.  You have juice in the fridge right?”  Emily didn’t even have to say yes because Den knew there was.  There always was.  Den and Emily were not just friends because they covered each other’s asses, but because they knew each other inside out.

And Emily knew why Den was so afraid of the water.

Den got up off the chair and stretched showing off her flat stomach.  There was no point not wasting this perfect opportunity.  But, then again, as Den pretended not to be interested in Robbie or Jakson or Emily floating there in the water, she turned to head inside the house.

Emily had the kind of sweet house that shouted, ‘I’m rich!’  Which Emily was even though Den was not; it was probably another reason why their friendship was so perfect.  Emily had learnt a long time ago just how smart Den was.  They became friends in year seven when Emily was getting total shit from her parents about her lack of attention to her schoolwork.  And well, Den was getting absolute praise.

Den of course felt sorry for little old Emily suffering under the pressure of too-much-work-syndrome and offered to help out.  Emily though languid and fluid, such a hippie, and definitely not planning to change anytime soon agreed.  She soon learnt though that Den was not an easy tutor.

Over the years they worked out a suitable schedule of tutoring and partying.  Emily handled the parties and Den made sure they passed with outstanding grades.  Well Den was outstanding, Emily was decent, decent being the state of her results were high enough to approve of Den being her friend, and yet lower than Den and not quite genius-level.  So think C to B to A (a grade Emily received on occasion).

Emily proved to be a quick learner, but only when she applied herself, which made Den’s job quite easy, except when Emily was distracted.  Such as when Jakson came up to their study table, and then slowly the others filtered in and well, the study table was no longer a study table, but a social table.  That’s when Den would organise an after class tute and they  would study at Emily’s house.  The best part for Den, who needed the good grades, was that helping Emily meant she was also helping herself.

Unfortunately though this was the first year Emily had one class different to Den, which meant Emily had to study on her own.  The fortunate part of the unfortunate-fortunate equation was that Emily was excellent at her design subject.

“Oh Den, you’re such a downer…” Den heard Emily call after her as she laughed.

“That’s why we’re friends babe!”  Den called back.

Inside her skin felt overheated in the cool air-conditioning.  She was willing to swear that her skin was retracting into itself.  She swore internally and told herself that she shouldn’t have stayed in the sun for so long.

Her feet padded against the cool tiled hallway.  Den always envied Emily for having as much money as she did.  But always afterwards, she was kind of grateful that she was poor.  It meant she could appreciate things more.  She sighed touching the fridge panel.  It opened with perfectly oiled ease.  She sighed again and pulled out the juice.

She knew this house as well as she knew Emily.  Outside she knew Emily was still flirting her ass off with Robbie and Jakson.  It was the kind of person Emily was.  Emily would make Jakson jealous by flirting like the fire in hell with Robbie, and poor Robbie, unless he figured it out early would be entranced.

These guys, well, they’re kind of special to Emily and Den.  Three weeks ago Emily for once was having a hard time dealing with her parents’ very loud and very public divorce.  Den was there by her side, but she felt useless, since, well, Den was hopeless at such thing as comforting.

As for why this has anything to do with Jakson, or even Robbie, it’s because when Emily finally cracked under the pressure of her parents hate for each other, she had told Den to get dressed.  They were going to a party.

It wasn’t their usual kind of upper-class party, but a more normal person party.  It was rowdy, beer aplenty, and practically an orgy.  The only person either of them knew was Robbie.  And they only knew Robbie because he made it a fact that even though he was slumming his way through highschool, he was practically Den’s only rival.  Not that Den minded.  She liked the fact that she had a rival.

Like Den, Robbie was Asian.  Unlike Den though, he was only half.  So he was kind of perfect in every way.  Half the time, Den was jealous of his well, clear skin, and nicely done, slacker hair, and the perfect, shining white teeth.

Jakson was kind of the same, only non-Asian, tanned Caucasian with shorter, kind of curly dark brown hair and the sexiest, bluest eyes Den had ever seen.

In the event of the party, Emily was drunk before she took more than ten steps into the door and Den was desperately telling Emily this was a super bad idea.  Den often frequented such parties, they were her crowd after all, and normally she didn’t tow Emily along because she knew Emily would be waylaid by some jerk or other from school.  Unfortunately though, several of her sport buddies swamped her and Den lost sight of her drunk friend.

Annoyed she had pushed her way through the crowd of convulsing bodies.  She even parted a pair of suckling pigs, probably too drunk to kiss properly.  It wasn’t a big house so Den shouldn’t have had such a hard time finding Emily, but that night it was as though she had completely disappeared.  Den began freaking out, but not before she ran into Robbie, looking as good as ever in jeans and a white shirt.  He was a bit taller than her, tall enough that if she ever decided to don those killer-worthy heels she had in her wardrobe at home, he would still be taller than her.

He’d looked so concerned, she was touched.  But she wouldn’t have him thinking she was a dope for losing Emily, and he didn’t.  It was perhaps the one moment Den had actually she was actually in love him.  Always he had been her crush, but always she was afraid to push the boundaries of their friendship, especially when it was so fragile.

All friendships were.  Den only had a few friends she called her own.  The rest she kind of borrowed from Emily, or were mere acquaintances she rarely bothered to catch up with.  So she cherished the few she had.

But Robbie hadn’t called her a dope.  Instead he offered to help, only concern in his eyes not ‘you lost a friend, and she was drunk?  Are you crazy?!’ kind of look, to which she was thankful.

He looked with her.  And she didn’t mind that she spent the night looking for Emily.  Most of the times when she graced these parties with her presence it was because she wanted to see Robbie.  She rarely drank and she rarely randomly made out with the first person she met.  So looking with Robbie for Emily was perhaps the best night of her life.

They eventually found Emily though.  She was vomiting in the bathroom with Jakson at her side looking just as concerned as Robbie.  It was kind of sweet.

Emily though, woke up with a massive hang over.  Den had stayed over to make sure her parents didn’t know about her binge, and that they didn’t accidentally walk in on her looking like she did.

Den remembered the way her face when all pink when she walked into the school on Monday and Jakson asked her if she was okay.  Den had never actually ever seen Emily look so embarrassed.  In fact Emily rarely felt embarrassed.

And she asked her.

Emily admitted to her in the confines of an empty bathroom that she wished that she hadn’t gotten so drunk.  She was embarrassed because for most of their schooling years she’d ignored Jakson, and on that Saturday, she was pretty sure she had spilled the details of her parents’ divorce and her own misery to him.  She’d only done so because, as she deemed to justify her actions, because after she lost Den, she got waylaid but one of the stoners and she couldn’t get away.

It was then Den realised her best friend had a crush on Jakson.  The problem with Jakson was this.  He wasn’t a golden boy.  He wasn’t what her parents would agree on.  And yet he walked the same circles as Robbie and the nerds as well as the slackers.  He was also a worker than the ‘can’t shut up’ guy he presents.

Emily kept to the golden boys.  She always had.  But she’d dumped her last boyfriend months ago.  Den didn’t date because of well, you know.  But Den was always supportive of Emily.

Since that fateful night, Emily had tried to get her game back.  Only problem was that Jakson didn’t take the bait.  Jakson did not like to be messed with.  And up until today, he hadn’t wanted to be messed with the golden crew, one of which Den was hesitantly stepping in and out of.  If Den and Emily were to ever have a fight, then Den would be officially kicked out.

Not that she cared.  She only cared about Emily.

And because she cared about Emily, she had sucked up her courage and recruited Robbie’s help.  Even if said person was now swimming in a pool with Emily, flirting with Emily, all to make Jakson jealous.  Maybe Den should have just kissed Jakson so that Robbie knew just what she was willing to do.  But no, Emily wouldn’t like that.  At least, Den comforted herself with this minor thought, it’s only flirting.

Den had thought that Robbie would sit with her and talk with her today rather than go along with Emily’s plan.  But she wasn’t surprised, they weren’t at school and they were by a pool she refused to get in.

“Hey.”  Den spun around, nearly knocking the glass she’d just put on the table to the ground.

“Robbie.”  She cleared her throat.  Her voice had jumped an octave unexpectedly.  “What are you doing here?”

He shrugged first, then said, as though he’d changed his mind at the last minute, “Juice?”

Den had the urge to laugh.  “Sure.”

She poured him a glass and gave it to him.  “It’s fruit.”

“Duh.”

She put the bottle back and back against the bench.   Robbie just stood where he was, his towel tossed over his shoulders and sipped meekly at his juice.

Den had the silence.  Actually when she realised the silence she looked towards the door.

“What happened with—?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe they’re talking.”

More silence.  In class, they were never this silent, so why was it awkward now?

Feeling suddenly self-conscious, Den wrapped an arm around her stomach.  They sipped their juice meekly while Den looked elsewhere.  The clink of a glass on the bench broke the silence.

“So did you do your assignments?”

“Why are you so afraid of the water?”

More silence.  Den gestured for him to continue.  Although why he would ask now, when he could have asked before was beyond her.

He cleared his throat.  “So, why are you so afraid of the water?”

No condescension, just curiosity.  She sighed and sucked in her breath looking at him.

She told him.

Outside the squeals began again.  When she told him why he just nodded his head and seeing the fear in her eyes (which was so chicken, honestly, pathetic), he walked over and gave her a surprise hug.

For Den being trapped under the water had terrified her.  She remembered the suffocating feeling of the weight above her straining her lungs to work harder.  She remembered the horrid feeling of not being able to breathe, knowing full well if she did, she would breathe only water.  And that was a gift only a mermaid or fish possessed.

For weeks though, Robbie and Den had worked together to bring Jakson and Emily together.  But never in those weeks since had den ever felt that Robbie could ever like her back like she felt now.

“Den?”

“Yeah?”  She said from her place next his heart.  She was having a really girly moment now.  She couldn’t believe she was hugging Robbie in a heart-to-heart kind of way, and not a ‘we’re friends, quick hug’ kind of way.

She looked up and saw the huge red blush across his cheeks.  He didn’t look incredibly perfect at the point.  In fact he looked liked the kind of guy she would date.

“What are you doing this weekend?”

Den couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Nothing.”

“W-Well, um, do you want to go out with me?”

He could not look her in the eye.  And she could not hide the pleasure/ embarrassment either.  “Robbie.”  She touched his chin.

“Yeah?”

“Look at me.”

He did, but she could feel he was trying to avoid looking right at her.  She understood his hesitation.  What if she said no?

“Are you asking me to go out with you as a girl you want to date or as a friend?”

He looked blatantly shocked for a moment as though he couldn’t comprehend how Den could misunderstand his intentions.

“Den!”  His eyes were wide and he looked freaked.

“What?”  She asked as though her question was undignified.

“How could you think—?  Den!”  He did something completely unexpected then.  He kissed her.  Catching her offguard.  At first she was shocked, her mind still putting together logic and action before she let herself be swallowed by the pleasantness of the kiss.

“Oh. My.  God.  Finally!”  Emily’s squeal pushed Robbie and Den apart.  Though it didn’t stop the blushes creeping up their cheeks.

Emily and Jakson were standing in the kitchen both dripping wet.

“So, about Saturday?”  Robbie said not looking at the interrupters, and only looking at Den.

“Yes.  My answer is yes.”  And for once Den was blushing like no tomorrow.

“Yay!  Now for the pool!”  Emily said grabbing Jakson by the arm and heading back out.

“No way!”  Den yelled back.  “There is no way in hell I’m getting in that pool!”

Outside she took her seat as before, only this time Robbie sat next to her.  She smiled and let his hand take hers.

“I felt bad about not sitting here before.”

“It was for Emily,” Den said in return.  They watched and laughed together as Emily continuously flirted with Jakson who was at last getting into a reasonably comfortable zone with her.

At the way they wrestled in the water, Den wondered exactly what had gone on when she’d been drinking fruit juice.