Kelf’s Arcanum – The Seaside
For more information on what the “Arcanum” is all about, visit the main category page.
Style: Short Story
Time to write: –
Subject: Revisiting the Past and Changing it
Inspirations: Past experiences, fiction out of the real
His phone rang and he immediately checked it. He knew that not many people would call him, as they would all rather message him. He had no acquaintances that bugged him to hang out. He did not have that many people and he was honest with himself about it. So when the phone would ring, it was almost always something bad.
He saw who was calling and so did his friend. His friend said “don’t pick it up.” They both knew all too well that picking it up would be a mistake. He did though, ignoring the very promises that he had made to himself. “Hey, what’s up?” he said with the most normal voice he could muster at that point. “Are you still downtown, because I was thinking that we could meet up” she said in a surprisingly normal tone. He agreed. They would meet in less than ten minutes at the very spot he very much hated the most in that city.
His friend lectured him about how he does not deserve any of this and how this could all bring just more pain, yet all he could think about was the fact that he would be able to see her eyes again. He listened, but not really. He told his friend he would meet her later and that he will try his best to, “be careful.” Then she appeared.
Dressed from top to bottom in the most winter seasoned clothes her wardrobe carried, in such a way that you could not discern her sleek and elegant figure. There was an awkward moment of introductions and then as soon as the friend walked away in the fuss of the city, the dramatic duo started walking towards the seaside.
They started talking about all sorts of things, just not “the things.” He tried to look as collected as possible. He was actually somewhat surprised that he was as calm as he was. He started wondering if all the past happenings in their past meet-ups had left him numb and he just could not find any more strength to show excitement. Maybe it was just the fact that he could no longer allow himself to expose any part of his being to her, as every other time he did, he felt as if he had fallen into a trap filled with spikes left there just to impale his heart. His heart was healing, but the scars were still very much open.
“Are we really not going to talk about anything that has happened? Are we pretending it never really happened?” he said and she smiled in the most awkward way she had ever smiled before. He knew that she was very much aware of what was going on but he was curious as to where her troubled mind was at this time. What is it that she wanted from him? What is it that she felt this time? If anything, he was sure he could not trust anything she said anymore, because even if those were true and honest at that moment in time, they could be null and void the very next hour.
They walked for a good quarter of an hour before sitting down somewhere. He was still distant, or at least as distant as he could manage to be. Her eyes were drawing him closer, her smile was doing a pretty good job at helping with that too. At some point, she just told him a few things that just turned his insides out. “Not a new feeling” he thought to himself. “I can handle this” he kept thinking while listening to what she was saying. “Just act cool” he continued. He was not cool. He had found the strength to trust in what she knew her to be and what he trusted she was, but that feeling was fading more and more every time he heard her talk.
She had said something very troubling this time and although he wanted to give an ultimatum to the whole thing, he knew he could not. He does not believe in ultimatums. He did not want to force it. He wanted to feel that this was real and the only way to do that was if she did something about it too. “I have not stopped thinking about you since we last spoke and everything reminds me of you, it’s driving me crazy” she said in a frustrated manner. A loving, but frustrated nonetheless, manner. A very familiar “poison” was slowly going back into his system. Hope.
He knew not to trust anything she said, but as soon as he leaned in to kiss her, all the feelings that made him feel alive jumped back into his very being. He could not think of anything else in that moment. Her smell, the feel of her skin on his fingers while he caressed her face. Her soft lips running on his. It was all still there and if anything, very much stronger in presence. All the hurtful things she had said just disappeared every time he touched her.
He leaned back a little bit just to notice her and she was standing there, breathing heavily with her eyes closed. “She is probably thinking that this was a mistake” he thought. “Or maybe she is realizing how weak she is to have come back here.” He turned to her and said “you do realize we are pretty deep in this shit now right?” She just nodded in an agreeing manner and just fell into his arms. She loved his smell.
“Is she worth it?” he started thinking to himself again. His gaze drifted into the darkness of the sea in front of him as he tried to focus and think clearly. Her smell would not let him though. Her constant heavy breathing into his chest was not helping either. He had promised himself that he would never change for anyone but this time it was different. His feelings were real and it therefore did not matter if his choice meant going against his own beliefs. He wanted to give an ultimatum.
She kept going back and forth. She kept saying “I love you” and then falling back to “I am not sure what I want.” She kept holding hands and then saying she felt like he was a stranger to her. She kept trying to balance feelings the way she knew best, a way that she also admittedly knew was pretty bad. She kept using all that she was being given but never knew how to react and respond to them. She was weak and she was realizing that the more the days went past. She was lost and she did not know how to find herself. “But then again, who is not lost?” he thought and he made a decision.
“I need to ask you one and only one thing” he whispered in her ear. “Am I the only one you think of? Are you sure of it?” She looked up, stared into his eyes and said “yes.”
“Then be with me.”
Notes on writing this piece:
I honestly just wanted to write anything today, with no time limit. I took a story from the past and altered it in ways that I thought would be somewhat interesting to build up the empathy the reader has for the characters.
Every day that passes by, I build up my main character and story for the longer story that I want to write so I might get around to doing that pretty soon. These shorter stories have all been a great lesson in what works for me and what doesn’t since I end up revisiting some of my past write-ups days later in order to see how I feel about them. I learn a lot from that because I get to have a more clear view on what works and what doesn’t.
I am thinking that I if do end up writing the longer story, I will either publish it here chapter by chapter (and then put it all together in one big post when it’s done) or I will focus on creating one of the “choose your own adventure” style adventure games on Quest for people to download and try out. I am not quite set on what I’d rather focus on for now honestly. I have been thinking about the Quest adventure game a lot since a lot of people are wondering about what I write for a living and how my narrative writing looks and feels like.
I do want to say a huge thank you to all the people that have been following these and even sending me feedback. You are all really helping me with even the tiniest bits of feedback that you are giving me. I appreciate all the love and the following has been much bigger than I initially anticipated (which was basically non-existent in my mind) so I will try my best to produce these more often. Cheers!
~Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis