Honestly, the few months after were tormenting. The memories, flashbacks, I didn’t know if I could handle it or not. I mean, there we were and then… we weren’t. It probably didn’t help that he stopped talking or that he chose when to talk to me, without me having much say in the matter. I never had much say in any matter. That isn’t forgiveness is it? To say you forgive something and then hold a grudge about it. It honestly could’ve been much worse. Though, I guess the whole issue was the truth. 

The truth was something I didn’t want to face. Not then, not ever. I would have rather been deluding myself in all honesty. I don’t know what I would call the truth. A lapse in judgement? Naivety? It was like all morality just evaporated. I really don’t know what caused it. The pushing for our relationship to be more serious? For me to be more grounded, less aloof? It scared me, the thought of being in a serious relationship… especially after what I had experienced earlier on with a relationship I thought would be The Relationship. How that ended, rather… disastrously.

I don’t know why you stayed. You should have been long gone, and yet you waited for me to say why, to give an answer to my behaviour. Of course, you responded with a lack of sound judgement, riding on despair, anguish. I didn’t know what to feel, other than empty. Like there was a void in my emotions, as if something or someone had just snatched a part of it and just whisked it away. All my relationships up till that point were disappointments. The two before only lasted one month each. I was just waiting for you to fly off and do the same, but after one month you stayed, two months you were still there, three months and I was feeling insecure. Why delay the inevitable?

I never said this to you because in my mind I couldn’t find an actual reason that didn’t sound ridiculously insecure or stupid. Instead I kept my trap shut and even till the end you asked why and I just couldn’t give you a straight answer because I didn’t want to admit that I was like that. Insecure, human, just waiting for exactly what happened in the end.

I know in the end it was better for me to have left, especially after all that had happened. I would’ve been caught between a rock and a hard place and I just couldn’t live with myself if I was placed in a situation like that. So I ran. I ran to a place where I knew I wouldn’t be caught in a situation like that. It was cowardly, I admit, but I just don’t want to face the uncomfortable reality of what happened. I don’t want to live looking over my shoulder, wanting to hide in my house because I’m afraid of being reprimanded. That is no way to live. 


It was chance really. I began going to movie club because at home there was nothing, no one waiting either. Just me, sitting on a more than slightly deflated air mattress, watching tv, using boxes as tables. Unfortunately at some point television gets boring and I had nothing to read other than my university material. I would begin to reflect on the past, cringe, cry, wonder. I dreaded the weekends most of all. Two days of no human contact, no one to talk to face to face, no one to confide in.

I disliked the drive home from university almost equally so. If I put the radio on, all the songs reminded me of a person who I didn’t want to remember. If I turned it off I would be surrounded by silence, consumed by my own thoughts. That’s why in the end I looked forward to the movie club nights which occurred twice per week and began to dread the weekend.

It was the one place I could find escape. Laughter. It was where I met him. The person who only picked me out from my voice when I once made a joke in a rambunctious audience and the next week managed to find out who I was. Just like that.

We were both early to the club one day and having a conversation with the president of the club when he realized who I was. We started talking more and I was tired of turning my head around to see him so I walked on top of the lecture chairs and gracefully plopped myself down two seats from him. I don’t recall what movie we watched at all. I just remember wanting to talk to him more, to connect at a mental level. I craved it. Talking.

I scoured the Internet looking for him, looking for him or his friend, just so I had someone to talk to everyday. I couldn’t find anything. I made a Facebook group for the club, that was how desperate I was. There was still nothing. I waited and waited until the next week and sat next to him again. I guess I began flirting, nudging him occasionally during the movie, him nudging me back. He helped me find him on Facebook.

I can’t remember being much more happier than that. It’s stupid really, it’s just being friends on facebook and yet… Here we are, together.


All I know is that in these arms of yours I feel safe. I don’t feel pressured to conform to any ideal because you never cared. I need not jump through any hoops, tell you what you need to hear or be worried about retribution because you know I am human, just like you. I tell you the truth, just like you tell me the truth. I tell you everything, just like you tell me everything. I can trust you and you, me. Since day one it was like this. We set out on a quest to learn more about each other than any other person did. I think we succeeded, for I am not afraid to tell the truth, not afraid to do the things I want, not afraid to be me. Much like how I push you, support you, gaze into your eyes when you’re unsure and give you the confidence you need. For that I am truly grateful.


Notes: A short story. Setting: random city that rains a lot in America. They’re in highschool so when I say junior year, I mean year 11. I wonder if I’m missing anything else. Ah yes, the time frame isn’t important and… I’m not an expert on diseases so I didn’t mention anything in detail. Have fun!

—————————————-

The sunlight burned. I wondered why it had to be today of all the days for it to be sunny in the rainiest city in the world. It is today that my… friend is to be locked away into the earth. Or rather, less melodramatically, buried.

Yes, there is a funeral procession and a whole bleak circus of relatives and friends. If only he could see us now. 

When I met him at age seventeen it was probably the sunniest day this city had seen in years. Of course, when you’re allergic to the sun that is probably one of the worst days to be seen. I doubt you’d want to be seen with a blistering rash all over your face as if you were born with some horrible deformity.

It’s not that I particularly looked horrid that day that really matters though. What matters is Daniel.

Since he was twelve when he first had leukemia. It wasn’t as though he was detrimentally weakened by it. He had a few bouts of it. Always fighting, miraculously getting cured and then falling ill again. Not that I personally knew that though, I had only known him for three months before… well we’ll get there soon enough.

 We first caught a glimpse at each other at the hospital. I had gotten a deliciously crispy rash that was killing me and Daniel was leaving the hospital. We were in the same room for about 30 seconds, we didn’t know the other existed and it was perhaps the most unmemorable experience. Yet when we met again at school he had this sense of déjà vu.

 I was sitting under the shade; the sun had decided to appear momentarily enough for the first lesson of P.E. of our junior year to be held outside. I thought I was the only one sitting on the damp grass under this massive oak tree, but I heard a sigh. I peeked my head from around the tree and there he was.

 “I know you.” He said.

“What?”

“We’ve met before somewhere… I can’t remember”

 If any girl had heard this line I think they would scurry away. Luckily I am not just any girl.

 “Ummmm…”

“Ah, just forget it.”

“…Well hopefully you don’t pick up girls with that line otherwise I think they would think you have the plague.”

He looked at me with a pained look and attempted to smile.

“Too close to home?” I asked.

“No no, it’s quite alright. I may as well have the plague, it’s pretty much the same anyways.”

“What’s pretty much the same?”

“Cancer.”

“Oh… well I don’t believe a person should be characterized by their bodies’ failures. I’m Nikki by the way.”

“Daniel.”

We sat there for a few minutes in silence.

“You’re not doing P.E. because…?” Daniel asked.

“I’m allergic to the sun.” I looked up towards the sky, cursing at it silently.

“How are you not dead?”

“How aren’t you?”

Again silence.

Finally admitting defeat he sighed out, “Touché”.

I smiled, he smiled and we sat back again in a more comfortable silence.

I guess as friends typically do we became closer and talked more. His friends, with their long lives, made him more aware of his early expiry date. He kept them pretty much at an arms length with his jokes and snide remarks. I, however, was an exception. How on earth did possessing a crackling rash caused by the sun become such a good thing? I have no idea.

 Sometimes after school we would meet up at an old record shop affectionately called Tim’s to take cover from the rain. Daniel always visited the shop after school since his girlfriend, Anna, worked there. I wasn’t quite sure why she had a job in the first place. Most teenagers our age don’t, but there she was working away.

 It was strange seeing them together. Anna was always bright and cheery whenever Daniel appeared and she reveled in his attention. Daniel on the other hand would look around, slightly bored, and would amuse her occasionally. It took me a while to ask Daniel why he put up such a charade, but when I finally did he sighed and asked me, “Is it really that obvious?”

 “Yes. It looks like you’re just leading her on.”

“So what if I am?”

I started to glare at him.

“Okay, okay”, he said, “I just can’t break up with her.”

“And why is that?”

“Because I saved her life.”

I stared at him quizzically.

“We were childhood friends and at the age of 7 she and I were being driven to the pool and…”

“And…?”

He mournfully looked at me and replied softly, “A drunk driver swerved into us and killed her parents. The car was about to explode and she wouldn’t get out of the car. I promised her that if she got out of the car that I would always be there for her. She got out and we ran as far away as we could. The car exploded, and ambulances and some police cars came soon afterword.”

 “Jesus.”

“Yea… she lives with relatives, but they’re not on the best of terms and she’s working so she can have enough money to enroll into college somewhere.”

“I’m sorry.”

He smiled sadly, “That’s just how the world works sometimes.”

“What’ll happen though…”

“When I die? Ah, hopefully she’ll be fine. Find someone else.”

“What about you though?”

“What about me?”

“Don’t you ever wish that…”

“I wasn’t dating her?”

I nodded.

“Sometimes, but hey, it doesn’t matter really. I’ll die way before I have a chance of having a serious relationship.”

I stared at him.

“What?”

“What about living life to the fullest and everything?”

“For her, I’ll sacrifice anything.”

The days went by pretty quickly after that. Hours turned into days and days turned into a few months. Daniel and I would hang out more and more with his friends. As a result I eventually noticed that he had stopped visiting the music store. We were walking past it in the rain, just the two of us one day and I decided to bring it up.

 “Why don’t you visit Anna anymore?”

He glanced at me and paused. “I took into consideration what you said the other day. I thought about it for the longest time, and you’re right, I’m going to die. I should be living by my motto. Anyways, it’s more convenient this way, it’ll be less hard on Anna if I do this instead of just dying.”

“Makes sense, but you said you would sacrifice anything for her. Your upcoming death has never changed anything. You still go to school; you’re not at university like most people in your situation. So what really changed your mind?”

“Maybe it has something to do with –“ Daniel stopped suddenly. Anna was looking at us. Her face looked all puffed up as if she had been crying for hours. Her eyes were red.

“So this is why!” The whole street was staring at her. Daniel went up to her and they conversed for a few seconds and she ran off.

 “Anna!” He yelled as chased after her, his feet pattering on the soaked concrete. I followed in hot pursuit, sloshing through puddles to gain lost ground.

She had run all the way to the open platform metro station by the time we caught up with her. The train was quickly approaching and I could clearly see what she was to attempt. Suicide.

 The train was whistling in warning, the rain was roaring, the people were chattering and suddenly all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears. What I could see though was crystalline. Daniel had managed to grab Anna’s arm, but she was moving to quickly. He took upon him her momentum and pulled her backwards, slipping on the slick pavement in the process. He had managed to turn to face our direction and I swear I heard him say, “I love you” underneath the sound of rushing blood.

 There were dozens of people surrounding, they could have stopped him or helped him. Instead they stood around as bystanders, shocked. I didn’t know what to do. I stood there, not being able to mentally comprehend what I just witnessed. Anna was on the floor, sobbing. By the time the paramedics came they were redundant. He was dead. There was nothing to do. Anna was a mess and I was still not processing the scene in front of me. Of course denial is the first step of the five steps to grief, but I never really made it past that step. Then again, from the beginning I knew that he was going to die.


Continuance (2) of a short story

Justin and I were old friends. We knew each other since the beginning of high school along with another friend, Toby. We were miscreants to put it lightly, we’d get into brawls, get drunk and high in the summer.

We were just generally bad news. Not that our parents knew of course. Our grades were a bit above par (natural talent to be honest and a lot of luck) and the teachers never knew better because we never brawled near school.

Sooner rather than later we stumbled upon the gangs and mobsters. They found us… A bit pesky to say the least.

"Hey, Luke, look at’im" Toby said

I slowly glanced at a man walking towards us.

"He looks like he’s packin."

"What a runt like him?" Said Justin.

"Nah, I think he’s a runner." Stated Toby.

"Shall we?" Asked Justin.

"I dunno guys… He doesn’t look like the loner type. He’s too runty to be out here if he was." I said.

"Pffft, Luke, you’re too worried about this kinda thing."

"You think?"

"Yea, come on."


Continuance of a Short Story

You attempt to follow me and shout out my name, but I am already lost in the crowd. I know my way in and out of this part of the city, where each street ends, where the underground walkways are, where the nearest ATM is. I was shown these places by a friend long gone, and I was taught how important it was to know them. He was a notorious for being promiscuous and being careless. He didn’t remember the streets as well as I could, he would aimlessly wander the city. Discovering a new place as quickly as he would forget the place before it.

He always told me, “Never bring someone you don’t truly know about to a place you visit regularly, it’s asking for trouble”, but I guess he just never heeded his own words. Justin was so naive, so foolish to think that he could survive in this world, behaving the way he did. He’d take out a different girl every night, to the same place. Always leaving a bad taste in other people’s mouths as he just flaunted about recklessly, not caring whom he hurt or what gangs he just crossed. It wasn’t enough that half the women in the town were cross with him, he just had to bed the girl of a mobster. I guess it was just inevitable. It wasn’t as though I knew it was going to happen that particular night, we had a smoke and said good night, just like almost every other night. Though, he never showed the next morning for breakfast down at the diner, or the next morning, or the morning after that. It wasn’t unusual for him to not show for periods of time, he was probably hiding out, waiting for the cops to lose hope on a case now cold. But after months, he never showed. I heard some drunken gang member say that they hired someone to dispose of him. To erase him from existence completely, literally and figuratively. After that it was just me, sitting in that diner in the mornings. Letting my coffee go cold as I waited till noon.


Beginnings of a Short Story

One day I’ll tell you what it was all for. But not now, it’s too soon. I can see it in your amber eyes, your confusion. You knit your eyebrows, trying to figure out what is it I see that you don’t.

I simply tell you, “Don’t try so hard, you’ll figure it out eventually.” More creases appear on your forehead, perhaps you think that if you ponder about it more the answer will appear, but it will not. It merely makes you look older, grumpier.

You open your mouth to speak and close it again, unsure of what to ask.

I merely smile at your puzzled look and walk away, leaving you to stand there amongst the bustling crowd of people. I can feel you staring at the small of my back, as if attempting to find the answer by peering into the depths of my soul.

—————————

Part 1

 


I’m now traveling around Europe!!! It feels more like home than any other place ever had… despite the fact that I’ve never lived here. I’m in love with the cities that I’ve visited, not because of the tourist traps. (Don’t get me wrong, tourist traps are fun and all, but I’m not going to wait 2 hours in the heat just to GET to go into some tourist attraction) The things I love most of all are the small shops that sell scrumptious food, the small streets and lesser known sights that are just as beautiful.

The most exciting part of our trip (yes I traveled with the family xP ) was visiting Normandy, getting to see the destroyed Nazi bunkers, wandering around in them, being able to poke my head up from the ground from a man hole and running around in small craters made from bombs thrown ages ago. After all this fun we went to visit the American WWII burial site. Of course we were all quite somber and we put stones on the graves of Jewish soldiers. (if you’re going to ask me why stones, just google “stones jewish graves” and you’ll see why)

After Paris and Normandy we went to visit some friends in Dresden. I’ve never seen so much space in a city. I walked for AGES with the sons of my dad’s friend and their dog too, we even swam in a lake. All in all it was a pretty fun trip, pretty informative as well, seeing as one of the sons is now attending the university I’m going to eventually. His gf was also visiting and she’s Hungarian, so we got a list of places to visit before we went to Budapest. We probably didn’t cover them all, but I think we did ok.

And then there is, of course, Budapest, the city of new and old all mixed together. It’s actually quite a beautiful place to visit and the Pest side is just as good as the Buda side. I got to visit the university I’ll attend at one point or another and it’s just beautiful. This is one of the things that makes me think, that all my choices, good and bad, were worth it. Just for this opportunity. 

I really can’t wait to study there. It will probably be the most difficult two years of my life, but hey, no one ever said it was going to be easy! Unfortunately, it seems my father wants to cast a huge shadow by forming some sort of program with the university (sigh) and just when I thought I was about to bring about my own identity he goes like a giant, and I end up being my father’s daughter. I don’t know when or how I’ll prove myself. It will probably take a while and I can’t go into my father’s field that’s for sure. But I’m happy with the thought of not completely following my parents’ footsteps. I want to show people what I’m passionate about and if that means impressing professors and examiners to the point where I gain respect for being my own person then that is what I’ll do. I don’t care if it means working in the labs of three different professors in the same period of time or studying in the library until 2 am every single day, if that’s what it takes, I will do it. Even if it kills me.

I hope you gaze at the stars tonight :)

With much love,

The Wanderer.


Excited

The day before traveling is always… well exciting and tormenting all at once.


Decided

I have decided… to Hungary I shall go! Now to figure out how to get there and how not to fail miserably :P

A year from now I shall go adventuring where (no man has gone before! jks) I have never roamed before!

I don’t know if I should be extremely excited or scared out of my wits…

All I know is that if I somehow managed to (miraculously) pass the entrance exams for the international med school there I must be capable of doing much much more… right?

I look towards my future with much hope and much trepidation.

Much love,

The Wanderer