Friends of a Cat: Mark 5

Hello once again, this time to the last part of this series. I’m actually quite satisfied with the length of this one, I didn’t think that I could actually blow up this story to such amounts. At first, I thought maybe a few parts, but then I just really wanted to see this through and see how much I could get. The characters problems, the things they talk about, their ideas, and just the fact that, it’s sometimes okay to just let things through. That the best medicine is to just talk. There doesn’t need to be change, and that change is scary, but not always, and that you have to press on, regardless. A lot of things came out of this one, some I may even revisit. And of course, I left just had to tease a bit with the last paragraph of this final part (mark). The way I always tease and attempt to make the story seem more than what it looks on the surface (Hint: who is the lady? Or maybe, what?) But anyway, here it is, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 5”. 

In the end, we ended up exchanging contact information.  And this is he part where things start wrapping up, where loose ends meet beginnings, and where everything falls apart. I got a text from Tail saying he’d be sick. In other words, I didn’t need to worry about him meeting me at the intersection to talk. However, he mentioned if I could replace the flowers for him. I figured his being sick messed up his replacement schedule or whatever. He was always so diligent when it came to that flower-in-a-bottle.

On my way back from home that day; after buying the flower, I noticed that there was a strange person at the bottle. Chi-Chi was also surprisingly active this afternoon, running all the way to greet me as I came to the street.  She snuggled on my legs and decided to climb me until she sat on my shoulders. She wasn’t that heavy or anything, but for some reason, I felt weighted. When I saw the person who was there, I immediately recognized her. It was the lady from the fireworks event. She was… just staring at the bottle, and at the flower. There was a certain pity in her eyes, perhaps to the person who placed it there, or perhaps to the reason as to why it’s even there.

She heard my footsteps close in, and turned around. As she noticed the flower in my hand, and who I was, her eyes grew wide. But they soon settled down. She wanted to say something, but I just had to interrupt her first.

“If you’re wondering, I’m not the one who put that there.”  I went over to the bottle and kneeled in front of it. I grabbed the flower there, and placed the new ones I got, “A friend of mine put this here, and ever since he’s always kept good care of it.”

“A friend?”

“Yeah, he’s not here today because he’s sick. What about you, miss? Why are you here?” I honestly with all my heart wondered that.

“Why indeed.” No, miss, you’re supposed to tell me, not make my life harder.

“Perhaps…” I was going to drop Tail’s name, but… that’s not even his name. I mean, she might know him… or she might think I’m talking about Chi-Chi or something, after all, she was still here, “Anyway, you look good today miss. That fireworks festival last time was really great huh?” Perhaps I changed the subject.

“Yes, and you seem to be doing good as well. You too, little cat.”

“Her name’s Chi-Chi,” I said with a smile on my face. I grabbed Chi-Chi and placed her down onto the ground, “At least she hasn’t been up to anything lately.”

“I see, that’s good to hear.” Without warning, Chi-Chi leapt up to the lady, which she reacted in kind by holding her.

“I guess she likes you,” I remarked. Chi-Chi slipped out of her arms, and then began circling around her neck, like a cat finding a new perch. The lady seemed intrigued by this behavior, or perhaps amused. Either way, she had a gentle smile on today. If she wasn’t going to tell me why she was here…. perhaps she could tell me a little about herself, I thought.

“Hey! You like…. flowers?” Okay, I didn’t really know how to start a conversation, but I thought anything would do.

“Winter…. was it? Well, I guess they are nice.” She looked wistfully at the new set of flowers I placed in the glass bottle, with the old one still in my hand.

“How about you? I realize you were not the one to place this, but you seem diligent in helping your friend.”

“It would be a shame if his record was broken just because he was sick. And besides, I think he has his reasons.” Despite me not knowing anything at the time.

“You know, Winter. Today is a special day.” From the sounds of a special day, I had a feeling that I heard this before. That phrase, it was so nostalgic to me now…. no, it was cliché.

“Just where have I heard that before? What’s so special?”

“My mistake. I guess I wouldn’t call today a special day. It’s rather morbid, to be here.” Morbid… huh.

“Rather, me simply visiting, is special. In of itself, I guess. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t often come here.

“Right. ” She said visit.

”You live, far away?” I asked.

“No, I’m…. relatively close, I guess.” She said visit.

“Hmm, well if you are, then I guess we’ll be seeing each other more often.” Why would she say visit? Is there anything to see at this odd intersection? I would hope not. It’s rather modern. Rather bland, to the unknowing; such as myself. I wanted to ask, I really did.

“Say….” And I did, “Do you know, a guy named Tail?” She didn’t make an expression to show an emotion. She was stiff, like always, I thought. She was normal, maybe… I was wrong?

“Yes, I do.” Or maybe not.

“Really?” I began describing him, I mean, it could be anyone. But, a guy with a pony tail like his? Not likely. She really did seem to know him, however. She picked up Chi-Chi and placed her back on the ground, as she herself spoke up to me.

“I guess, you don’t know, about why this place is special. And about how Tail and I are related. And about those flowers, about the clovers, about…. everything.” I didn’t respond, which was enough of an answer to her. She was right, I didn’t know anything.

“Do you still have that necklace?” I took the silver necklace out of my bag. A four leaf clover. I handed it to the lady, which she then proceeded to place around the neck of the bottle.

“She would like it,” It wasn’t directed to me, or anyone for that matter. She spoke, to no one.

“She loved clovers. Because –”

“They would be forgotten, just like stars.” The lady nodded.

“But with clovers, at least, you can touch, and at least you can preserve. I’m sure she thought like that too. ”  That’s right. Clovers are tangible, more tangible than stars.

“You see, Winter. A lot of things happened here, in this town…. but more specifically, right here, on this spot.  Do you know why, this street…. no this part of town even exists?” It was an odd question, I thought. Why else? To house? Was that not the right answer? But if it was, then why didn’t I speak?

“It’s because, an accident happened here, on this spot.  Well, not just that accident, but this spot, this place was known for it. Accidents. A lot happened here in the past.” When she said that, I began to remember something about this area. My parents had told me about it when we were moving in. Apparently, before this area began being a… housing area, I guess, it used to just be a commercial street. Or something like that. In other words, there weren’t even any houses here, I thought as I looked around. This place used to just be a street and cars would pass by freely, now you don’t see that very often here. It was remodeled, and a lot went into making this a housing area. I think one of the reasons was because kids used to play on these streets a lot because of the park nearby. But even that was re done. I saw pictures of this place before, but they were far too old. Too old for it to match what it is now. But even if I did remember all those details, I knew that I had no business here. I wasn’t concerned with the past, so I didn’t give her a reply.

“You must be wondering then, why this all matters.  Why the remodeling plan was such a big deal. Or rather, why it’s such a big deal to us.” To us?

“Because to the people who have lost the ones they loved on here, it really was a big deal.” Oh.

“And to the people who still hate the ones who caused them grief. But, it doesn’t matter now. Because, we should move on. Some of us has, and maybe some of us haven’t. But that’s fine.” I… sort of understood what was going on. However I still had some questions, one of them, had to be, “You lost someone precious to you?”

“Yes. So did Tail.”

“I see. I’m sorry.” I was sorry for mentioning the past, and for getting her all worked up over it. It looks like someone precious to both this lady and Tail was lost. They were lost on this street of misfortune. But it looks like, it was rebuilt. And now, it is just another old street, a boring one, where people seldom tread. But to people like Tail and the lady, it is a street of mourning. I never knew, and once I realized this , once I realized the meaning behind those flowers, I began crying. Tears poured out of my eyes before I could even do anything about it, I was crying. For the first time, I was crying, not for myself, but for someone else. I was crying for them, I was crying because they lost a person dear to them. I was crying, because I didn’t know what to do. I’ve never felt like that before. I’m happy, that I could finally cry for another, I realize this now. Chi-Chi saw this, and went up to try and cheer me up, in whatever way a cat could. It made me happy, a cat’s warmth, a cat’s cradle, a cat’s affection is anything but sloven.

“Winter….” Even the lady wanted to comfort me, but I was the only one, who didn’t want that. No, I didn’t want to be comforted. I wanted to share in the pain. I wanted to be there with the people I care about, I wanted to know. I wanted to experience, and feel. I wanted to be in their world. I wanted so much to be a part of their world. No matter what, I would from that day on, always strive to be more than what I can be. I wanted to break out of the bounds of my world. There was so much going on, so much around me that I just couldn’t take it. I was a stranger. I still am. But at least, I’ve learned. Eventually, even the lady began tearing up. And, we spent a good amount of time just letting it all out. For those deceased, for those to come, and for those always having to bear the pain, we cried.

“She loved clovers, and flowers.” The lady said.

“But, even so. People like you and Tail, will never forget her. Even if she has become commonplace, is that right?”

“That’s right.” She smiled her usual tune.

“I guess, I have to tell Tail about myself then. It just wouldn’t be right if I knew about his grievances, and he didn’t know mines.”

“Thank you, for… being there. For being here.”Before I could respond, the lady had already begun walking off. For some reason, at that moment, I felt a tinge of nostalgia. But not only that, I felt… longing. I think that’s what I had felt back then. A sort of strange but mystic longing. It was the kind of longing, that will never come true. But you wish for it anyway. It was bitter. That’s what I felt from her. To this day, I still don’t know the name of the lady I saw that day. But whoever she was, she was precious to me, Tail, and her deceased friend. I’m sure, wherever she is now, she will find sanctum. Just like Tail, and just like me.

In the end, nothing changed. Tail went about doing what he did, and so did I. However, I think we got closer, I told him about what happened to me, and I explained to him about the lady who told me about him. Except… oddly enough, Tail seemed confused whenever I mentioned her. Even when I described her. Strange…. maybe… they weren’t connected? Maybe just friends of a friend or something, I thought at the time. It’s been years since I’ve been there however. Right now, Tail’s off doing his own thing, chasing his dreams, and so am I. Chi-Chi’s doing great nowadays. Not up to as much mischievous as before. Oh shoot! Look at the time, I better catch some shut-eye. Don’t want to miss tomorrow’s lecture.

Hailey, Winter…. signing out.

Friends of a Cat: Mark 4

Hello once again on this rare Saturday. This is going to be the second last (If i did this right) update for this series, and then as usual I will wrap everything up in one neat post for any future goers. Funny story about this mini series, I actually wanted to incorporate the cat a lot more, considering I named it “Friends of a Cat” but I think somewhere in my mind, I just decided to let it be. I mean don’t get me wrong, the cat definitely has some important aspects in the story, but I think I wanted something more… maybe I’ll try again next time. But that’s not to say I didn’t like how this story turned out, I rather like it, to be honest. But anyway, here you go, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 4”.

“Hey! Running a bit late now are we?”

“As if!” I ran over to where Tail was standing. It was the last day of spring break, and there was a firework event going on, so we planned to go. It was the dead of night, and so…. well, no it wasn’t the dead of night. But it was night all right. It was pretty strange. Out of the blue, Tail just up and asked me to come, and of course I had nothing better to do. I brought Chi-Chi along as well, she had nothing better to do either.

“You sure love cats, don’t you.”

“Well, they’re nice, at least,” I almost forgot the reason I even got Chi-Chi in the first place. It was because I was lonely. Sure I love cats, but… to actually get one is something else entirely. That was, a rough time indeed. But now I love Chi-Chi with all my heart.

“Hey! Where do you think you’re going!” Chi-Chi suddenly ran out of my arms and started rummaging around some thrown out cardboard box. I sighed and then bent over to pick her up, “Jeez, don’t do that.”

“Looks like she found treasure.” I looked at her mouth, and there was something dangling from it. It was pretty dark, so I couldn’t exactly tell what it was until I picked it up.

“A necklace?” I said out loud.

“Really? Let me see.” It was a pretty plain necklace, with a silver four leaf clover as it’s center. I handed it to Tail, but when he got a good look, something odd happened. I couldn’t tell that much from the darkness, but I could almost swear he was trembling. His hand seemed shaky, but… maybe it was my imagination.

“Tail?” He didn’t answer, and just simply looked at the necklace, like he saw a ghost or something. I began shaking him, and that’s when he snapped out of it.

“Oh! Winter, sorry. It’s nothing.” I didn’t even get the chance to ask him if there was something wrong.

“Shall we go?” He handed me back the necklace, which I accepted with a questioning look from me. He didn’t want to say anything more, so I didn’t press him. But, maybe that would have been better. To let it all out then.

When we arrived at the festival, it was almost time for the fireworks.  But, if we were going to a festival, there was one thing I wanted to try. I looked around all I could, until I finally found it. A candy apple stand. I walked up with probably the happiest face I could ever make, only being interrupted when Tail grabbed my shoulder.

“Want one?”

“Yes!!” I said without hesitation.

“You really are honest.” At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant by that. I mean, all I could think was sinking my teeth into candy, even Chi-Chi was grumbling away in my arms. But now, I think I know what he wanted to imply.

“Here you go!” Tail handed me one, although, with Chi-Chi still in my arms, it was a bit hard to grasp. I put Chi-Chi down on the ground, and kept a good eye on her. I grabbed the candy apple dexterously and kept a stink eye on Chi-Chi. Who knows where she would go one of these days, I thought. I took a quick bite of the candy apple, and as soon as my teeth sunk into that delicious skin, I couldn’t help but  physically show my appreciation to it. My eyes widened and my mouth curled up, my cheeks grew red with satisfaction and it was simply bliss.

“Hey Winter! Winter!”

“Huh? Tail? What’s up? Can’t you tell I’m busy enjoying this.” Without a word, he simply pointed down to my feet, where Chi-Chi was nowhere to be seen. I looked around frantically until a shrill scream resounded in one of the stalls. I hoped for the worst and assumed it was Chi-Chi. If I knew her, then she was probably causing a ruckus, probably having to do with squid or something. Cat Instincts I assured myself.

I ran over to the stall, and to my expectations, Chi-Chi was standing on a table, with a fried squid in her mouth. She leapt from one ledge to another, causing a huge scene, until finally leaping over my head and running down the festival grounds. I chased after her while the stall managers began yelling down the lane where she ran. This couldn’t get any worse, I thought. But at least I still had the candy apple, I thought as I stuffed my face down while running.

As I was busy chasing Chi-Chi, I remembered that I left Tail behind, and wondered what he was doing, which completely synched with the fact that Tail appeared right in front of Chi-Chi. I yelled out to him, “Right there! Catch her!” Tail got into position and blocked Chi-Chi’s path, which, at the spur of the moment, looked like a triumphant victory, until Chi-Chi jumped up, dodged Tail’s two hands and bounced off his head. Tail fell to the floor looking dejected, but I couldn’t give up, and continued my goose chase. My candy apple was all but finished at this point, and I feared that continuing this run would only cause more troubles for my stomach.  Chi-Chi liked acting on her own sure, but, this was getting out of hand. I may just have to put her on a lease after all, I thought.

Just as my breath was finally waning, and the prospect of beating my cat in a wild chase was fading away, I saw a figure stand before me. She was tall, her eyes were like jewels shining in the night light, and her hair was kept flowing behind her, as if worries washed down. Her posture and her whole presence was just divine, a true dignified woman I thought, down to the tee. And in her arms, was Chi-Chi, Unmistakably. I was almost out of breath and this point, and before I could even mutter a response, she had handed me Chi-Chi. She had a gentle smile on her face, a smile that seemed like it could wash away all my worries, a smile that seemed like it could protect anyone. It was a used smile.

“Thank you…” I could barely say that.

“No problem.” But her voice was as clear as the morning sky.

“Really. This damn cat just causes too much problems,” I said while ruffling around Chi-Chi’s fur. While I was angrily playing with Chi-Chi, the necklace I picked up earlier dropped to the floor; the one with the four leaf clover. The lady picked it up and examined it in the lowlight. Her reaction was synonymous with Tail’s. The symbol of luck, the symbol of power, no, the symbol of memories was written on her face. There was something going on, and I had absolutely no idea what, but despite that, I realized that these two people, were connected, in one way or another. At that moment, I realized just how little and just how distant I actually was. I was so separated, so captivated by my own bubble, that I could hardly breathe. These people were in their own worlds, and I was in mine. I didn’t know anything about Tail’s past, or his personal life nor did I know what relations he has with this lady, but I knew. That was the fact, I knew. Somehow one way or another, my brain told me that they were one and the same. Their problems were not different, and…. one way or another, I had been placed right in the middle of it all.

“I’m sorry, here you go,” The lady said, while handing me back the necklace.

“You like clovers?” I said without even realizing it.

“Clovers?”

“I just…. thought you liked them, because you seemed so fixated on it,” I was referring to my necklace.

“Ah… did it seem that way?”

“I don’t know, that’s just what I saw, I’m sorry if I’m wrong.”

“Hmm. I see. I guess, I’m still like I was back then.” She was speaking from memories, speaking from the past, she wasn’t with me, no, I was an observer. She was in a world far from my own. She was a person that I didn’t even know the name of, but despite that, she seemed so warmly familiar. I just couldn’t help but be warmed by her presence.

“Don’t mind an old lady’s ramblings.” She smiled in jest.

“I think, clovers are awesome. ” And then I went ahead and ran my mouth, like usual, “You know, it’s kind of like, a charm. When you find a four leaf clover, you just can’t help but be happy, you know.”

“A charm huh? Just how much have I heard that?” She smiled at me, and once I realized just what I had said, I began growing embarrassed. I just stated the obvious, something everyone would know. But I was determined to keep going.

“But, it isn’t just that. A four leaf clover is kind of like… a star.” The moment I said that, the look in her eyes grew wide. Without warning, her whole focus shifted onto me, it was an unwavering focus. She was, captivated.

“You know how stars are so distant, and so brilliant? When I reach my arms out, I feel like I can almost reach into the sky. But I know that the sky wouldn’t be enough. I have to aim for the stars, I need to go into space, into a world beyond mine, and for that, I need strength.” I was on a tangent, but my mind was slowly arranging itself so that I could properly express my words to her.

“When I reach out into the grass, into the fields, I feel like, I can get anything. Everything is within my grasp, I can control what I have, but that isn’t enough. I know that isn’t enough. To get a four leaf clover, I need to focus, I need to be more than myself, I need to be determined. Just like if I wanted to get a star, if I ever wanted to be up there with them, I need to be determined. ” As I finished my long and probably nonsensical soliloquy, I noticed the lady had stopped staring, and instead had looked up into the sky. The stars were out tonight, I thought. Just as I said, I felt like I could touch the sky as I stretched my arm out, however, that wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. The stars were so distant, just like a four leaf clover. It would forever be flowing in the wind, just out of arms length, until I finally get the push I need.

“You know, someone I knew… a long time ago said something similar.”

“Miss…”

“Except, she wasn’t that passionate.” She smiled at me, mockingly, but she smiled at me, with a warmth that I couldn’t explain.

“My friend… she told me that she liked four leaf clovers. She said, that they reminded her of stars, because, just like stars, the clovers would soon be forgotten.”

“Forgotten?”

“She told me that, legends will always remain. Myths will become rumors, and eventually, the commonplace, will be forgotten. ”

“Jeez, you said I wasn’t passionate. Whoever your friend was, she was clearly thinking about this way more than I did.”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Really? That stuff sounds so complicated.”

“I really don’t think so. She was just being, normal. What she meant was that, we take things for granted. Just like the stars in the sky, or the clovers hidden in the grass. We pass them by without really thinking. They are forgotten.” She smiled at me. You know, this lady was always smiling. Everything about her was so mysterious, so well hidden behind that smile.

“Hey Winter! Where are you!” I heard Tail call for me, which I reacted out of instinct. I guess the lady figured from my reaction and said her farewell. She’s still a haze to me.

“Hey! Chi-Chi’s alright,” Tail said.

“Yeah.”

“You alright Winter?” I guess I did seem a little out of it. After all that happened, and all of the stuff the lady said and whatnot, but I didn’t think at the time that I was that out of it.

“Winter?”

“It’s… nothing.” I never did ask him about that lady. I never did, I wonder why that was. Either way, that spring break, ended without any more problems. Chi-Chi was enjoying herself in my arms, and the fireworks went off. They were beautiful, but something in the back of my mind nagged me. I couldn’t push it away. A few words and thoughts popped across my mind, just like when I was gathering words to explain to the lady: Tail, four leaf clover, past, flowers, connection, lady. And, just somewhere in that jumbled mess, was…. Winter.

Friends of a Cat: Mark 3

Hello once again on this fine Friday, or maybe it’s not Friday, that’s cool. You know, I was thinking about this one morning (Or was it night?) about how I have a really bad fetish for winter(season) and stars. You know, when I say fetish I of course mean in the most…. normal way possible if that’s even possible. But it’s more like… a hobby? I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but I just have a really strong fixation towards winter and stars. I think It’s clear that I love winter from you know… “That Day In Winter” But I never really got a chance to fully deck out a series or story dedicated to stars. So, as I said, I was thinking about that one morning, and it dawned on me that this series that I’m working on, is quite an irrational one for me to actually conceive. You’d think that after making a winter story, I would go ahead and make a star story or something, but I guess my mind works in funny ways. It’s cats for now… or at least that’s what I wanted, but, the cat aspect is just there for an add-on I guess. I also happen to like cats. Anyway, enough mindless rambling (Damn, my intros have just been anything these days huh) here you go, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 3”.

From that day on, Tail and I would always talk. It was our little secret. No one else was there, and we would always talk after school. It was our own time. Our time to be ourselves. Sometimes we talked for a long time, and other times, it was really short. But, we talked, and I enjoyed it.  That was about a month from when I first met him. So, let’s fast forward to post-month.

It was now spring break. You know how it is, kids are out, students are free, and distance is made. You know, Tail and I kind of had a secret rule. Not so much a secret rule, but an unspoken one. Like how you always walk one way up the stairs, and one way down the stairs. I always had a bad tendency to break these unspoken rules. I mean, who can blame me? They were unspoken after all. For us, it was the weekends, and breaks. Whenever we had a break, it was common courtesy to stay home from school. We wanted to be away from it, and, the feeling was sure to be mutual. That meant that there was no after schools. I wouldn’t be able to innocently walk home and “bump” into him, nor would he be able to simply brush off the fact that he had taken this route home. No more of his special days, whatever that meant.  I mean, his special days were just so vague to me back then. Sometimes, he said that he was taking a breather because he just had a test. Other times, because of stress from work. And sometimes, he would bring me food. I love food. And if he equals food, then did that mean…. well, that’s a funny way to put it. But I was always bad at math.

So, spring break meant that we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while. And of course we obviously did not have each other’s mail addresses or anything. I mean, I could have asked him, but…. the thought never crossed me. He would always be within my grasp, but not anymore. It saddened me. I wanted to see him, I wanted to talk to him. I wanted, to be around him. This lasted for about a week. I finally got tired from being stuck up in my room and decided to just head out for a walk. I hoped to see him.

I felt a little lonely being on a walk all by myself however, so I brought Chi-Chi with me. She was so rowdy that day, always purring around me, and then running off to play with something. I just couldn’t keep up with her. Neither did he. Before my eyes, Chi-Chi had sprung up on Tail’s legs. He was racing up and I couldn’t help but laugh. So did Tail.

“Hey! Haven’t seen you in a while,” He started the conversation first.

“Yeah! It’s been about a week.” I continued.

“Chi-Chi.” And then I sunk into the dirt. He wasn’t even looking my way, did he even realize I was here? I must have been so mad that day, but, his gentle smile while holding Chi-Chi must have calmed me down. He was always good at taking care of animals. Chi-Chi absolutely loved him.

“Oh! Winter, what a funny coincidence!” I think he struck a nerve. Maybe three.

“Yeah! What a funny coincidence indeed!!” I ran over and placed him in a head lock for being an idiot, all to his detest of course. When I was done pouring out my rage for his poor vision, I asked him, “What are you doing out here anyway?”

” I could say the same to you. I’ve always taken walks.” I think at the time, I took it the wrong way. I used to over think things a lot. With Tail especially, he would always say something simple, and I was the one who blew it up. At the time, I thought he was implying that he always passed by our spot and since I was holed up in home, he thought I was ditching. But of course, it wasn’t like our after school outings were a club meeting or anything, nor did I have any real oblige. But I did feel really bad.

“Oh. I was just… taking Chi-Chi out, is all.” A lie through my teeth. I think I chipped them.

“Taking Chi-Chi out? ” He looked at me suspiciously, but he soon gave up.

“Say, why don’t we head into town today?” He was the fisherman, I was the fish.

“Town? Need to do something?”

“Yeah. It’s for….a friend.” He looked, so sad. Almost like he was reminiscing, Whatever the matter, even a person like me could figure out when to stop prying. And so I did. But, I couldn’t take him off my mind throughout the entire time we walked to town. Something about him being so sad when he mentioned a “friend” just made me want to ask. It made me want to be useful. I knew he had his problems. And I knew he was the only one who could fix his own problems, and that a person like me, an outsider, had no place in it. But, I just couldn’t stop myself. It was an unspoken rule to pry too far. Now I’m just making excuses.

“Hey… Tail.”

“What’s up?”

“Where are we going?”

“A love hotel.” My heart might have skipped a beat. Two, at most. My face grew beet red, and let’s be honest, I was a naive kid. I was half expecting him to scratch it off jokingly, and half expecting him to be serious. I think I was rooting for the latter half. After all, I enjoyed the time we spent together, and I don’t know, maybe I did have romantic feelings for him after all. If not for a certain part of my brain telling me that this isn’t the right order of things, I might have accepted. Well, I already accepted to go into town, but not this kind of development anyway. Just what was he thinking, I thought.

“Come on, stop kidding around Tail.”

“I’m serious.” Without warning, he suddenly grabbed onto my wrists and began dragging me.  At that moment, my brain must have flipped multiple switches. I Immediately pulled my hand back with as much force as I could. I held onto my wrists, and then looked straight at him. I think I might have begun tearing up, or at least, I felt something strange about my eyes. I was angry, of course. Who wouldn’t be. Even if I said how I may have wanted it, deep down, I knew that I didn’t want it to end up like this. That wasn’t how things went, that’s just not how I wanted things to go. I’m not that kind of a girl, I may be lonely, but I’m not desperate. At least, that’s what I told myself. He looked at me, with such kind eyes, that I thought he was another person. That I thought the Tail that wanted to drag me off was just… a stranger. He smiled pitifully, but I felt that the pity wasn’t aimed towards any one person.

“I’m sorry. I was just kidding. I shouldn’t have said that, or did that.” His words, were monotonous, his eyes were strained, and his body was shaking. I didn’t know why he did that, nor why he was so regretful. I didn’t know. But, I wanted to know. Is that enough reason?

“Tail, look….. next time you pull off a stupid stunt like that… just be ready for payback.” I lightly punched his shoulder, but…. I was too scared to look him in the eyes.

“Yeah, I’m sorry, Winter.”

“Jeez, you really had me worried too.”

“Worried? That I would do weird and indecent things to you?”

“Not just that. But, if that ever did happen, we wouldn’t be the same, you know?”

“You think so?”

“I know so. ”

“Maybe…. change isn’t so bad.”

“Yeah right, keep dreaming. Besides, we’re not even an item or anything.” But maybe if you want to be, of course I never said that. But I was scared of change, and that was the truth. I found a friend, it was so long since I had this feeling. And, I wanted to cherish it, for just a little bit longer. I didn’t want to lose this feeling. I didn’t want to lose a friend.

“So, what’s the real reason you had me come with you?”

“Over there.” He pointed to a flower shop. At that moment, I began remembering how every few days he would bring flowers to that intersection. He would place it in the bottle. I always wondered why he wanted to replace those flowers so often. But I never got around asking, because he always seemed so sad around them. He always seemed so distant when he brought those flowers. For the rest of the time, we never spoke. He got what he needed, and then we began heading back. Another flower for that intersection even at a time like this. He was really dedicated, I thought. I was fixated, and I wanted to know more about that dedication, but…. I knew we never talked about personal matters before.

“Something on your mind?” Is what he said to me. I wasn’t surprised, nor did I give him an instant reply. I took my time, I thought about it. Whether I wanted to ask, or just feign ignorance.

“Perhaps, perhaps not.” Instead I gave him a vague statement.

“Change, isn’t scary. I’ll tell you that.” I didn’t even tell him what was on my mind, but he went with some invisible flow anyway, and so did I.

“I’ll tell you what’s scary. The present.” After all, he was touching on a topic that I could relate to.

“Every day is like a dream. The day before comes off as a haze, and you don’t even know if there is a future. But you stop and realize, that to be alive now, is something to be grateful for. And so you do. You move on, and that’s the scariest part. You move on. Change is inevitable,  I think.”

“But, it isn’t scary?”

“No, it’s not because–”

“You expect it to happen, so it’s not scary in that sense, right?”

“Right.”

“But even change, is unexpected at times, don’t you think?” I gave him a question.

“You may be right. There’s always an exception, there’s no hiding that fact.” He answered.

“Sometimes, however, change happens so quickly, that you can’t keep up. Your heart races, and your eyes shut closed, but your mind is open. You try and climb, but you always fall. You need to climb, but you find yourself so far behind.” And I chimed.

“And even then, somehow, one way or another, you’ll find your own footing. That’s change. Even if you’re swept up, there’s always a way, to make up for lost time.”

“Yeah.” I smiled at this notion. There’s always a way, to make up for lost time. That’s change. It moves on, it doesn’t care about repercussions. That’s your job. That was my job.

“By the way, Winter?”

“What’s up Tail?”

“Have you gained weight?”

“How cliché!” I knocked him over the head for that notion. But I can’t lie when I said I honestly began feeling around to see if I actually did. Perhaps I did gain weight. Or maybe, I gained a little bit of something else.

Friends of a Cat: Mark 2

Hello once again, to this mini series type thing. You know, I’m only realizing this now, as I’m writing on with this series and what not, but… it sure is strange for me to assume the position of a female narrator considering I’m a male. I’m not trying to insinuate anything, but for the first time, as I was writing and editing, I just had the most random thought occur to me since i was trying to get into a female mindset. But it is fun, I mean, it’s always fun assuming identities and creating these characters, but I just never gave it a second thought, is what I’m trying to say. I’m not going to 180 and start caring however, I’ve always loved characters for who they are, despite you know, how I feel about the matter. And, I’ve always had a soft spot for female characters (In the most platonic way ever), especially “Strong” female leads. You know what? This turned into a pretty strange intro, but anyway, here you go, “Friends of a Cat: Mark 2” (I should have called these things “paws” or something, that would have been cool).

Surprisingly, I didn’t need to wait long to see him again. It was on my way back from school, like any other day. Except, today was Friday. So it wasn’t like any other day. Today was special, because it was a Friday. Know why? Because what’s after a Friday? A SATURDAY! That means the weekend for us students. But anyway, my excitement aside, while I was walking home that day, I saw him again. My cat wasn’t out though.

I didn’t know what exactly he was doing when I saw him. He was….  holding a glass bottle. It was empty, however, but there was a flower sticking out of it. I thought it was strange, but, he placed it near the wall, where the roads crossed. It was…. something that I never could understand at the time, so I could never realize when or if I was being insensitive. But the way he looked that day, told me many things. His eyes, told me he was sad. But his mouth, told me he was angry. His hands, told me he was holding it in. I didn’t know what to do when I saw him like that. He looked so gentle, from the back, his hair was tied neatly in a ponytail, but I knew that he had a lot going on. Who didn’t?

“Hey? Tail?” I called out to him, unbeknownst to my own selfishness. After all, I was quite lonely.

“Oh! I didn’t notice you there, Winter.”

“What brings you here today? Just another special day?” I teased him a bit. But, that was the wrong move. Minus one point, past self.

“Yeah…. just another, special day.” Because he looked sad when he replied back to me. I didn’t like that, I never did.

“Oh….”

“Don’t worry about me. You seem plenty worked up, tired?” He pointed at my eyes, and even at the time, I never realized, just how much I cried sometimes. I cried, yeah. That’s right, I hate to admit it but I cried, because I don’t have many friends. I was crying because I knew everyone talked behind my back. Everyone puts on airs around me. They hated me. Because I was….. a person that could never fit among them all. I was an outsider. I came in, gathered attention, and then, they hated it all. I grabbed the attention of so many people, I was outstanding, having only moved here at the beginning of my high school life. People called me “pretty”, “cute” and “slutty” and “ugly” and “bitchy” and “trash”. Do you know why? Because when I first moved here, I tried my very best to wash up and look presentable. I didn’t want people to think of me as repulsive. But the more attention I attracted as the new transfer student, the more people flocked towards me. And, the more, the ones who didn’t, began to hate me. Those were the ones who were self conscious, and the ones who hated who I was, because of what? My looks? Those people, came at me in groups and groups, tormenting me every day, until one day, I had it all. The rumors began piling up one after another, and there was no stop to it. People began avoiding me, and…. I just wanted to hide. I wanted to hide from everyone. I wanted to hide, I wanted to hide and die. But most of all, I just wanted a friend. That’s all I wanted. A friend.

“Tired? Me? Can’t be!” I answered him in a cheery tone. I didn’t know what I was doing. I really didn’t know what I was doing. It was because of what he said that made me remember all of those things at the time. It made me go through them all like a photo album. Do you know why I used that analogy? Because photos will stick with you. They are eternal, just like those memories.

“Well, I won’t say anything.  It’s not my place. And anyway, I’m done with my business here, I’m heading home.” I met him for such a short time, and he left in such a short time. But I was curious. No matter what, I was curious. You know why? Why I was curious? Because I realized that he didn’t know me. And he didn’t know anything about me. How could he? He went to another school. We just met, and hey, it’s pretty crazy but, I wanted to be his friend.  I wanted to be his friend, because…. because I really wanted to run. I wanted to escape my feelings and assure myself that I was still…. me. That somewhere inside of me, I was still the same person as before. But who the hell am I kidding? Even as I am now, I still don’t know who I am. I’ll never remember who I am, because I never really figured it out in the first place. I’m just a lonely girl.

“Wait!” I called out to him.

“Winter?”

“How about… you stay, for a bit longer? And we can talk! Yeah, let’s talk!” I was pretty pushy, right? A bit pushy, and worried. I hope it didn’t show in my voice.

“Talk? If it’s only for a bit, then sure. What do you want to talk about?”He asked me what I wanted to talk about, but to be honest, I didn’t really know. I was just saying things in the spur of the moment, so I never thought that far into it. I didn’t even expected him to say yes. But I had to think of something quickly since he was giving me this weird questioning look.

“Uh… then… about… school?” I was really tripping on my words, and to top it off, I decided that school was a suitable topic. Really, how much of an idiot was I? Minus one, no… minus ten points.

“School? Okay. What about it?”

“Then… is it…. fun?” What was I even saying at this point? I was so flustered so bad with words, he must have thought I was just being weird. But even if he did, he still talked to me.

“Is it fun? That’s a funny question. Let me think…” He really did think. He placed his hand over his mouth and really thought about it. All I could do was look at him, and admire him, admire his gentle prose. His gentle nature that I was sure was his normal self. And all I could do was long for that. Long for a gentleness to wrap around me and embrace me.

“Yeah, I guess school is fine. Things happen but, things are fine. You get homework, you get tired, you get, troubled. Sometimes you even get sad. But, at the end of the day, isn’t that what youth is all about?” I looked at him, his words were chasing me, but I couldn’t help but notice a bitterness in his eyes. I didn’t give him a response, rather, he still had more on his mind.

“Despite what hardships may happen. You come through in the end. Because, you’re a kid. No matter what, we’re all still kids, huh? Because, even now, we have problems that we can’t say. Problems that are internal. But we strive to fix them. School is the same. We fix our own problems. And we work hard.” I thought about his words for a while before responding. He didn’t talk again, so I thought it was my turn to talk. After all, that’s how a conversation goes, right?

“Sounds tough. I mean, talking about being sad and the hardships of life, and everything. Things really are tough aren’t they? Even now, some kids might complain about life. But, really, that’s just how we are. Like you said, that’s youth. It’s all muddy, not something I like.” At least I could talk normally.

“It’s all muddy? That might be a nice way to put it actually.”

“Sometimes, it feels like that to me. I’m trying to move forward, but I never really gain any distance you know. I’m just stuck in the same place, while my legs are trying to move forward. Everything is hazy, and I can’t see much. I can’t hear anything, I can’t smell anything. It’s all muddy.” Those were my honest feelings. I was surprised that I was able to tell him that frankly. I’m still surprised that I had it in me. Plus one point.

“Then, how about we be muddy… together?” He stuck his hand out towards me. I was… flabbergasted. Actually no, I don’t like that word. It’s not cute. Minus one point to current self. I was surprised. Honestly, I was so surprised that butterflies were in my stomach. My heart was fluttering, and if it had wings, it would fly out of my chest. No, I didn’t fall in love at first sight, I don’t think that was it. Why was I so flustered? Why did I look so surprised? Because I could finally make a friend. That’s what I thought. That I finally had a chance to do something about myself. That fact alone, no… that thought alone, could make me fly.

“Yeah.” I accepted his hand, with a gentle smile on my face. The most gentle smile that I could ever remember making throughout that ordeal. Everything was pouring out, I was finally, at ease. I finally, made a friend. And so, from that day on, Tail and I would always meet up at that spot, that intersection. And we would talk. We talked about many things, but we talked. That was the point. Catch my drift? I’m skipping ahead now, because that was that. We talked, about many things. That’s all you really need to know. That’s all I need to know, that’s how I want to keep it, so…. please, let’s leave it at that… okay?

Friends of a Cat: Mark 1

Hello once again, it’s been a while, but I have been up and getting at it with a lot of things actually. But anyway, today’s main topic is yet another mini short series story thing. At this point, I’ve been really reeling it in with mini series, but it’s just that I can’t help myself. I don’t really want to cram all of this into one full fledged story since I feel like that would be like trying to force it down a person’s throat, so instead I decided to do a part’s mentality and just broke it up. This one is a work in progress, but I’m still working on it bit by bit and it’s almost finished. I was still conflicted with whether I wanted to do a full release, but for now I’m going to do a part by part since it is almost finished anyway. But enough with that, here is a new mini-series, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 1″(Yes I’m not calling it a”part” or a “chapter”).

It was a humid day, just like any other. Well, not like any other. It was actually one of the rare days when the humidity was that high. I remember it, like any other day. I was coming back from school, when my cat, “Chi-Chi” came to greet me a few blocks away from home. I had no idea how she got out of the house, but there she was on the streets, waiting for me. Except she wasn’t alone. On the streets with Chi-Chi, was a boy. I had never really seen him before. He looked, so sad at the time. Or at least, that’s how my eyes saw him. He was the same age as me, but, went to another school. He had long black hair, but, it wasn’t that long, since he tied it up behind him. He didn’t really have anything to hide it either. He wore his ponytail like it was a part of him. And he looked really skinny too. Perhaps, that’s why he seemed so fragile.

He was playing with my cat when I first saw them. He seemed so happy, but there was a glint of sadness in his eyes, that I just couldn’t ignore. I called out to him first, well to be more precise, I called out to my cat.

“Hey! Chi-Chi! What are you doing out here?” Upon calling her name, she sprung out from his arms and ran towards me. She curled up near my legs, and that was when our eyes met. He was leaning down, and chased the cat, until he noticed me. His eyes followed up, while mines went down. His eyes, were brown, but at the time, they looked so red. We looked at each other like this, for about ten seconds until both of us realized that we were staring, and looked away on instinct.

“Um…. hello?” I spoke first. It was… weak, but something. At least, it was something.

“Oh, hi. Sorry, was that your cat?” And he spoke back. With more confidence than I ever could muster. His voice was clear, like reaching out to snow. I could feel it. There was a certain gentleness to him, at the time, I couldn’t place my hand on it.

“Yeah, her name is Chi-Chi. Though, I don’t know how she got out of the house. Is that right, Chi-Chi?” I gave my cat a mean death stare, while I pouted at her. He began laughing. And so did I. It felt a little weird for him to be crouching, so I walked over and gave him my hand. He looked at me all weird like, and I guess it was weird. I mean, shouldn’t it be the other way around? But he accepted it anyway, and I pulled him up. He was a bit taller than I was, probably still is. Once he realized that, even I began laughing. In the meantime, it looked like my cat had ran back to my home.

“So, why are you here? I’ve never seen you around,” I asked him.  He looked at me strange again. But I guess it was strange for a stranger to just say that.

“I could say the same to you. You’re from around here, but, I’ve never seen you either.” At the time, I realized he was from another school from his uniform, and I’m sure he did as well.

“Well, I can see that you’re not from my school.” I pointed at my uniform prudently.

“Oh! Right.” I couldn’t tell at the time if he was being serious. I mean, isn’t it quite obvious with a single look? But that’s why I admired him. What most people would see, he wouldn’t. Instead, he always saw, what I never could. He always looked past me, past what I could see, and even at times, what I wanted to see.

“So why are you here then? Your school shouldn’t have anything to do with this part of town,” I asked him, knowing full well that our schools were streets apart. Even if they wanted to take the long way home, they wouldn’t need to take this street. I didn’t know any students from around the area that went to his school. And trust me, I’ve been watching these streets ever since I started high school.

“It’s just…. today is, special, yeah.” He didn’t seem so confident in the supposed specialness of that day however. It all came off as, just lonely bantering to me. I couldn’t figure him out, so I gave him a questioning look.

“Really…. that’s all there is to it. Nothing more, nothing less. Just… another day.” He looked more down when he said this. More down than usual at least. There was a hint of sadness in his voice, and even his face was scrounging up. I didn’t know what to do at the time, other then try and console him.

“Just another day? Doesn’t look like it at all.” Actually, I think I gave him a pretty snide remark.

“Ha ha. Well I’ll be on my way then.”

“Hold on!” I reached out for him, without even realizing it. My hand was outstretched, but I slowly retracted, and placed it behind me, as if I was hiding it. He stared at me, wondering what I wanted, and even I was wondering that as well.

“Your name! I still don’t know your name! If we ever see each other, it’ll be rude if I just say ‘you’.” And then I said it. I asked for his name. It was out of the blue yeah, but I did it anyway. If not then, then when?

“My name?” He chuckled to himself, “It’s….. Tail.”

“Tail?” I hope you can guess how surprised I was when I heard his name was, “Tail”.

“Ha ha, that’s what my friends call me anyway.”

“Oh, so it’s just a nickname huh?” I thought about why he gave me just his nickname, but at the time, I guess I didn’t really mind. So I thought hard and decided to give him a nickname as well.

“Well, in that case, you can call me…. Winter?”

“Winter?”

“Well…” I didn’t want to tell him my name was Hailey, and the first thing that popped up in my mind when I heard “Hail-ey”, was snow, so… winter.

“Let’s leave it at that. You gave me a nickname, so I gave you one. We can just call each other by them, like a secret code or something.” And so I covered up my immaturity with that. It’s funny really, we still don’t know each other’s real names. But it’s fun, playing like this. I guess. It was fun sharing secrets. No matter how small or insignificant; It was something we shared, and that’s all that matters.

Our Musings End

Hello, once again. This time, a little bit on the fence with this one off short story. Well, I mean I really liked the idea I had for this one, but I mean’t more for the release time of this short story. I usually try to keep a consistent rate of writing juice flowing at any given time, but that river has slowed. The draft is getting lighter, but the water is still there. It’s still rushing and roaring through, waves are crashing onto each other. But enough about silly analogies. Basically, I’ll probably (Unless I’m doing a short series, or restarting any series or doing anything related to the word series) stick to a few writing pieces a week. But I do have some cool ideas that I want to push through, and of course there is also the question of contest pieces which I will have to do on my own and keep to my self which will also cut into the time I get for pieces I write for fun, like this one. But anyway, enough about life-like things, here you go, “Our Musings End”.

Have you ever wondered what falling felt like?”

The man looked over to his companion. Perhaps it was the heat of summer, or even the misty look that he was given, that made him feel at ease. The woman beside the man turned her head over. Her white dress fluttered with the grass as she laid on her back. The woman used her eyes as a mean of communication, locking hers with his. She focused, and tried to read his iris, she tried to read into his mind, she tried to understand him. The man looked dumbfounded, staring at her green irises, unable to say a single word. It was as if he had found an emerald for the first time. His hands wanted to grasp onto that jewel, but he was afraid of it breaking. He was afraid of the fragility of such an object. He was unaware of how powerful such an object was however. He continued to look into her green eyes until his eyes began to wander.  He noticed that the red on her lips was more accentuated. Like the blood of the sky, he wanted to peer into unwavering territory, and discover all its secrets.

The frugality of the situation was that they were two lovers, staring into each other, searching for something, searching for an answer. A wave of heat slipped past them, but they remained unfazed. The soft touch of the grass lingered on their skin, but they took no heed. The man finally gave, and turned his attention to the sky, leaving his partner to do the same. He used one hand to point to a peculiar cloud floating above their heads. It was drifting off in a slow but steady pace. His fingers traced the clouds movements, until he finally spoke.

“I have. I’ve always wondered what falling felt like. After all, it’s not every day that you fall.” The woman turned her head over, her gaze fell to the side of the man’s head. But she could still see his face’s features. She didn’t speak, rather, she admired him.

“But, it’s not like we’re talking about falling from stairs or anything. No, that’s something we all experience at some point in our lives. But, it’s not every day that we get to feel what it is to fall from up there.” The man looked wistfully up into the sky. His hands could not touch the sky, nor could he jump and reach the sky, but a sensation of longing still presided within his fingers. The man’s eyes narrowed, and his lips pursed. His hand, now to his side, longed for that which it cannot reach. It is but a simple dream, to reach for the skies.

“The feeling of the wind on your face, the feeling of your body free falling. The feeling of freedom… is that it? Is that what falling felt like? Freedom?” The man stretched his arms and legs out on the grass, as if making a snow angel. The woman looked at him without usurping a single word.  She laid with him on the grass, her hands out stretched, almost touching his.

“You know, wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we could all touch the sky? It would be like, connecting our hearts. Under a single sky, under a single blue sky, we would all be there. United. But that’s not life is it? That’s fantasy.” The man turned his palms into a fist. He clutched his fists hard, almost hard enough to show bone.

“If we could all touch the sky, I wonder what we would think. Would it be mystical? Or would it be mundane? I kind of think it would be a little bit of both. It’s right there in your hands, but… so what? You have it now… it’s not that exciting anymore.” The man gave a small chuckle. The wind blew in his face again, but it was a summer wind, filled with nothing but scorch. He scoffed at the dry air that caressed his face. To his side, the woman grasped his hands with her own. Her hand felt cold, despite the dry winds. The man looked over, his hand still linked to hers.  The woman’s green eyes tore a hole in his. The woman didn’t speak a single word, but gave him a small smile.

“But, I don’t think falling is that easy. Falling might be freedom, but it’s hard to obtain freedom.” The woman brought her body forward, which, with her linked hand, also brought the man up. She leaned forward on her knees, her head resting on them. Her hair was still behind her, like a fragile glass, it looked like it would break if touched.  With her free hand, she picked up a strand of grass, like a straight petal, like a blade of green, and handed it to the man. The man accepted, and twirled the grass in his fingers.  The woman looked around her again, she found another strand of grass, picked it off, and pointed it at the man. The man smiled, knowing full well what she wanted, and wrapped his strand to hers. The pieces of grass began intertwining as the two had hoped. With their two hands still locked, and now their grass, in a knot of their own, the man spoke once again.

“I see. I never thought about it like that. Falling, is like making everything in you, become one. ” The man and woman played around with the knotted grass in their hands, until the woman jerked her hand back, breaking the knot. The shards of grass fell to the fields, and in their hands were now two halves of a whole.

“And before you know it, everything crumbles, the high ends, and you’re left falling into nothingness, right?” The man spoke to the woman, who was nodding her head to his explanation.

“I guess that works hand in hand with how I classify falling. I said it might be like freedom, and, freedom might be exactly that. It makes you whole, but soon, you crumble. We all do. It’s how it is. No matter how much we are given, we can’t help but choke in our own self-praise. ” The man looked into the woman’s green eyes, there was a hint of sadness within hers. As if what the man said, was like what she had in mind, but twisted with his own thoughts. It was something that frightened her. But she did not say a word, and only looked back at him.

“No, I guess I shouldn’t take freedom so lightly. After all, it’s nice to be free, isn’t it?” The man chuckled to himself, which led the woman to look at him with a confirming gaze. She let go of the man’s hands, and scurried the grass around them. After finding what she needed, she began using both of her hands, and, once her creation was complete, she handed it to the man. The man accepted it. In his hands were now a makeshift clover. It was strung together by pieces of grass, and finely knotted so that it would stay in place. It had four petals, the symbol of luck.

“Hah, okay, I see now.” The man started chuckling to himself. The woman gave him a warming smile. The man thought about it to himself, and then leaned back on his hands, so that he could stare up into the clouds again. The man did not wait for a verbal response, but instead continued his thought.

“Yeah, I guess this is also how you think, isn’t it? I should know. Falling isn’t just about being free. It isn’t about being one and crumbling either. Falling is a mix of all of them, yes, but really, it’s an embodiment of luck, right?” The woman nodded to his explanation.

“It’s about knowing when to stop, but not really being able to control it. It’s about experiencing something for the first time, and being lost in ecstasy, only to be driven by an uncontrollable force. You have no say in what happens, the only thing you can do is enjoy the ride.  That’s the nature of falling. You can engage in it, yes, but can you really do anything past that? You’re swept up before you can do anything.”  The woman got up from her position and began dusting off the dirt and grass from her dress. The man sat with the clover in his hands, twirling it and examining it. Finally, he gave a small smile, and placed it back onto the grass. He looked over to his partner, who was now standing with her hands behind her back, staring up into the sky. The wind blew, and it fluttered her hair.

“But, it’s quite hard to pin exactly how you feel on the subject. Freedom, luck, all these feelings are about falling. It’s hard, and it’s complicated. Don’t you wish there was an easier way to explain this?” The woman turned towards the man. She was looking down on him, but as she realized this, looked away. Her eyes turned to the ground, and the man could read them despite the aversion. He knew all too well. The woman then reached out to give the man her hand, while looking straight at him; the wind blew, and her hair was blowing into her face. She used her free hand to keep her hair from bothering her, and as the man accepted her hand, he realized something. Now on his feet, and staring into his partners eyes, he realized something. He gave himself a small grin as he saw what she wanted to tell him. Even if she wanted to, her words alone probably couldn’t have given him the same sense of understanding. It was all up to something more internal. Something that only they could establish.

“Yeah, you got that right. The easiest way to explain this. The easiest way to explain falling, would be to simply call it, a dream.” The man traced his hands over to the woman’s, finding common ground and linking together.

“Even this, is all like a dream; being out here.” The woman smiled at him, and so did he. He looked up into the sky, and wondered what it would be like to experience a dream. Perhaps, it would be vivid chalk.

 

That Day In Winter

The entire, “That Day In Winter” short story collected into a single post for convenience sake.

“Hey, have I ever told you why I loved winter?”

The man’s voice resounded within the room, as his breath dampened the clear window. Outside, he could see blankets of white, while tiny droplets of snow were falling from the sky. The trees were covered in snow, and the weight of it made some branches droop low. As he sat at the window, with his arms outstretched to his knees, he took a deep breath and let it out, watching as his breath hit the window and disappear. Watching, as the outside white, remained a still image.

“Why you love winter?” The woman beside him spoke up in a curious manner. Her dark silky hair hung low behind her, well kept. Her eyes were wide and green, like emeralds in the sun, they drew him in. Her lips were a velvet red, and her expression was solemn as she slumped her head over her knees. She was wearing bed attire, as per the norm when waking up. In fact, the man had only just woken up a few minutes ago himself, and asked the question when noticing her entry.

The man looked up, with his hand touching the cold window, like he wanted to reach out towards the outside.

“Yeah. There are a couple of reasons.”

“Oh?” The woman perked up. Her mouth was small, and curled up when she was interested.

“Well, first of all, I like it better than summer.”

“What does that tell me?” The man laughed.

“I mean, If I had the choice to be hot or cold, I would choose cold.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Don’t you ever get that feeling in summer when you’re sweating because of the heat, and all that sweat makes your shirt stick to you? That’s the worst feeling.”

“You sound just like a kid.” The woman giggled and looked closely at the man, her eyes were fixated.

“But it’s the truth. I would rather be bundled up and stay warm then let loose and stay cool. I mean, staying warm is just….. there’s a certain feeling to it you know. It makes you…. fuzzy.”

“You really are a kid.” The woman laughed.

“Hey!”

“But I agree.”

“As for my second reason,” The woman looked up, as if she just remembered that the point of the conversation were to list off the reasons why the man preferred winter.

“The fact that everything sparkles.” The man looked outside wistfully as he finished, while the woman agreed with no qualms.

“It really is pretty.” The man cleared his throat, and brought his hands up to the window, but his expression was one of remorse. His hands slid down the window, and curled up into a fist, as if he were staving something off.  The woman looked worriedly at him, but soon enough, the man brought his arms back to his knees and kicked back so that he were now facing the ceiling. With his arms reaching towards the ceiling, he finished off his list, “The last reason why I love winter, is because of that day.”

“That day?” The woman asked.

“Yeah. I’ve never told you before, in fact. I’ve never told anyone before,” The man’s eyes narrowed, it was as if he could peer into those days he lost, those days that he would never forget. His hand, that was outstretched to the ceiling, were now weak and limp to his side, stretched out like he was making a snow angel. The woman turned, and brought her back to the window, and faced the man.

“I’ve never told anyone that story, about how I met her on that day in winter.” The woman stayed silent.

“I think I was about ten. Do you remember when we visited my hometown during the summer?”  The woman nodded.

“It was there that I met her. That was the first time I ever met a person that I was so absorbed in. She was also the only person I had on my mind when I had to leave for my father’s work. I left her there, along with the rest of my memories of that place.  I wasn’t sad at first, I didn’t have much friends there to begin with. I was actually happy. But when I met her, I don’t think I could ever say the same thing again. I wanted her to know. To know that she was my first real friend. I wanted her to know just how much she saved me on that day in winter.”

“Can you tell me more about that girl?” The woman perked her head up at the man, with a small smile on her face. The man got up, and faced the woman, before he could open his mouth, he couldn’t help but smile himself as well. He looked around the room, and began scratching his head before crossing his legs and sighing.

“It all started with me.”

Part 2

When I was a kid, I was pretty lonely. You know, now that I’m older, I think most kids are like that. They were lonely. Even if they may have a lot of friends, it doesn’t matter. Most kids, are lonely. And it may seem weird for me to give that kind of assumption without anything backing me, but I’ll just say that I’m a living example.

I wasn’t that outlandish either, you know. I was just a regular kid I guess. I liked playing sports with my friends, I talked about action figures and heroes and I did what I was asked to by the teachers. The only problem was that I was just that much more aggressive when it came to bullies. I said I wasn’t outlandish, but I only hid that part of me. Most people just saw me as a regular guy that anyone could get along with. And it wasn’t until later that I soon started scaring others.

I think it all started one day when I was playing in the sandbox. I was alone making a sand castle, it was a school day, the sun was shining brightly, and the sky was cloudless. I was minding my own business, but of course, that didn’t mean that if something happened that I wouldn’t notice. There was one other kid with me in the sandbox, I didn’t really know him or anything, but he was there doing his own thing. He had glasses. I don’t know if I should call him a nerd or a geek or something, but I think he was reading a book as well.

“Ah!” Those were the words that caught my attention. They were loud, and stung the air. I turned my little head towards the direction of the voice, and noticed that same kid with glasses being surrounded by five older guys. They were probably a year older than us, and although not all of them looked that scary, five of them together definitely were. The kid with glasses just sat there, looking up in terror as the five kids shadowed over him. The only thing that was running through my mind when I saw that scene was that something needed to be done. Remember how I was making my sandcastle? I had a shovel, and a bucket. I think I threw the bucket first. It hit his head pretty hard I think since he jerked back and gave me this nasty look. I then got a scoop of sand from my shovel and shoved it in his direction, hoping that I would get the rest as well. I was a dumb kid weren’t I? The bucket would have been way more effective. At this point, the kids started yelling at me.

Before I knew it, I was in a rumble with five older kids. I lost, and I got pretty beaten up because of it, but at least the kid with the glasses was fine, right? Well, he left that day, after I got roughed up by those bullies. But it was the next day that really made me become who I was. The kid with the glasses showed up again, and there I was with all my bandages and what not. The bullies weren’t here today, so I went up to the kid.

“Hey!” The kid ignored me.

“Hey you listening?” The kid looked up at what he was doing, his eyes were piercing. I think at that point I got a bit agitated.

“What’s your problem? I helped you!”

“Don’t get involved.”

“What?”

“I said, don’t get involved!” My kid self was honestly surprised. But at the same time, I think I was more angry than anything. I grabbed the kid by his shoulders.

“What do you mean!?”

“Don’t you get it?”

“Huh?”

“They thought that you were protecting me.”

“So what?”

“Now they’re just going to try harder on me!”

“What?” I didn’t believe it. It sounded like complete lies to me, it made no sense at the time. But I began witnessing it. Over time, as I lived out those silent days, I began noticing it. Those five bullies, they attacked the kid with glasses even more than before. I even overheard them one time.

“Not so tough without your friend are you?” At that moment, I realized just how much my actions meant. Just how useless a person can be. And just how hopeless I was. I began hearing rumors as well, people were avoiding me, they thought I was scary, that if they hung out with me, that they would only be hurt. I couldn’t understand why, I didn’t want to. I think at that time, I began losing some of my friends as well, and the people that remained my friends, were just doing it out of pity.

I was a lonely person back then, you see. All I wanted to do was help him out, but all I did was make things worse. And I never bothered to fix any of the misunderstandings either, I just remained quiet. I remained quiet and let it all come at me. I wonder what kind of a person I had to be, to let all those things be said to me, and not do anything. I really was pathetic weren’t I?

But since I was a kid, I didn’t really have any deep feelings about anything that was going on. The only thing I understood, was that people were isolating me, and that I couldn’t do anything about it. I was being treated like an outcast, and soon enough, I got used to it. You know, that’s the scariest part. Once you get used to it. It’s like you’ve given up, like you’re saying to the world to do away with you. At that time, that was probably what was going on in my head. I wanted the world to just whisk me away.

I wanted to be alone.

Part 3

Eventually, time moved on. But I didn’t. I was still the same old pathetic lonely kid. Time had moved on so much, that it felt like I was being swept away. You know what? I used to hate winter. You know, my mother was so protective of me. During the summer, I was smeared in sunscreen. And during the winter, I was so tuckered up I couldn’t even move.

I woke up on that faithful day and stared out the window to be amazed nonetheless. Whether it was when I was ten, or now, I’m still speechless whenever I see that field of white. My eyes and mouth must have been so wide when I saw that field, it really was beautiful back there. Sometimes, I wish I could go back, just go back in the winter, and wait.

On that day, I was probably geared up to go mountain climbing, I really could barely move, but luckily my father chimed in and noted that it wasn’t that cold. Well, it was still cold, but not cold enough for me to be a walking fur coat. So, with my mother’s consent, I was finally able to go outside and play. I wore a normal jacket, some mittens, and this really bright red scarf that my mother knitted for me.

At the time, I didn’t really expect anyone to play with me. They were probably all at home anyway. I went out near the school to a spot I knew that had this huge grass field that was usual off limits during school time. This was my own domain, I was the only person here, and the only thing for as far as my kid eyes could see were blankets of snow. I think the first thing I did when I ran down that hill was jump out and  land in the snow face first. I was making a snow angel while my face got buried in snow, and once I got up and wiped myself off, I remember laughing. I was truly happy at that moment. But then, as I looked around, and noticed that I was the only one on the field, I started feeling a little lonely again. Sure I was laughing pretty happily in one moment. But I think I realized that it wasn’t that fun without someone to share that laughter with. I began getting sad again, and I simply looked up and watched the snow fall. I don’t know how long I must have stared at the sky, but I remember that it hardly moved under my breath.

Sooner or later, I would get back into action. I started off with a small snowball. I grabbed it tight, and made sure that it didn’t break. Then, slowly but surely, I started rolling it. Before I knew it, it was huge.  Just as I almost had the body of the snowman ready, I began hearing crunching behind me. There was a lot of crunching. I turned, to see five boys creep up on me. Before I could do anything, one of them had already circled around and kicked down my snowman.  Although the snowball itself was already badly crushed, he just kept stomping on it. He kept stomping, and stomping, until even the pieces of the snowball were no longer present; until only a mound of random snow was present. During that whole experience, the only thing I could do was watch in terror as the kid crushed my hard work under his feet, and listen to the laughter of the other boys. After they were done ruining my snowman, one of the kids pushed me into the snow and stood towering over me.

“You’re just a little kid.” I think I found that funny at the time.

“Not going to fight back?” I swallowed my pride and just sat there in the snow. They didn’t do anything else after that, they just sneered at me and went about their little way. I picked myself up and looked at the pile of snow that used to be my snowman. I felt like starting again, but something about that thought made me shutter, so I ended up leaving it.

I remember breathing into my cupped hands, watching as my breath hit my hands. It was lonely again. I probably didn’t feel like doing anything more at that point. Those five kids kind of just ruined it for me for the rest of the day, so I turned and decided to make my way back.  I decided that it wasn’t worth the trouble to just walk alone in the snow all the way back to my house, so I decided to take a shortcut. Except, it wasn’t much a shortcut than another route that I never really took and didn’t know my way around; and so I got lost.

And eventually, while I was making my way around this new route, with no idea of how to get back or where to go, my mind went crazy. The feelings of loneliness surrounded me.

“There was no one here. No one was going to come find me. I’m all alone.” I couldn’t stand it anymore, and so I simply went on my knees. I felt like crying, I felt like screaming, but even then, I knew, that no one was going to be there for me. At that moment, I just wanted to disappear, I just wanted to be left alone.

But then, she came.  She came before I even realized it. Before I could even imagine what was going on, it was already happening. I didn’t believe what I was seeing before my eyes. It was a girl, I later found out that she was the same age as me. She had golden hair, to my eyes, they were shining brightly in the snow, almost blindingly.  It was flowing behind her, long but dignified. Her eyes were staring right at me, but…. for some reason I just can’t remember them that well.  All I remember were her eyes were wide with surprise, and happiness for some reason. She smiled at me, with her head to the side, almost as if not knowing what to do with who she found. I thought she was a foreigner or something, but surprisingly, she wasn’t.

“Hello?” Her accent was clear, and her voice was soothing. It was a person’s voice, a girl no less. I think my little heart couldn’t stop beating, I didn’t know what was going on. I still don’t. I tried to answer her back, but the only thing that I could muster, was a sad excuse of a word. I ended up not talking, but she continued.

“What are you doing out here? It’s cold you know, if you stay like that, you’ll definitely catch a cold.” She wasn’t that bundled up herself. Her winter wear was actually quite light in fact, so I was quite surprised when she told me that. The only thing that brought me back to reality, was when she bent over to give me her hand, “Come on.” I accepted and once I got pulled up, confirming it was an actual person and not my imagination, I felt my voice coming back to me.

“What’s your name?” I gave her my name, but I couldn’t remember hers, despite her giving it to me. I asked her, “Hey, why are you here?” She looked up to me, almost confusingly at my question. But she answered anyway.

“I was just taking a walk. But you still haven’t answered me you know.” She gave me a cute little pout that caught me off guard.

“I was….. I got lost.” She looked at me with wide eyes.

“Lost?”

“Yeah, I was trying to get home.”

“You don’t know how to get home?” She was honestly confused, an innocence that I just couldn’t do anything about.

“No, I know how to get home, it was just….” I didn’t want to say that I was just using this path because I thought it was a shortcut but ended up not knowing my way around. But I ended up going with that anyway, and she laughed.

“You’re so silly!” Her smile gave me a little warmth, despite the harsh winter day. I couldn’t help but smile back.

“Hey, want to go somewhere?” I didn’t know how to respond to her question, but I thought that I wouldn’t mind, since I wasn’t alone anymore, so I accepted. If not for her, I definitely wouldn’t have found my way home that day. I really had no idea where I was going, or where I was. Eventually, where that girl would take me, was somewhere that I never expected.  Before my eyes, as we looked on top of a hill, was a blanket of snow that stretched all the way to the ocean. I could hear the low tides sweeping in and saw the beautiful reflection in the water. It was some kind of beach shore, I thought. But that wasn’t all she wanted to show me. She grabbed my hand, “Come on!” It was different from when she was just picking me up, her hand this time felt more human for some reason. Like she was accepting me. Despite my mittens, her hands still exuded a permanence of warmth. I didn’t know where she was dragging me, but eventually, I began putting everything in my head. She grabbed something from a nearby bush. It was a tiny little sled that she had hidden.

“My sister would never let me do this,” She said with a smile.

“So don’t tell her, okay?” I just couldn’t brisk away that innocent smile. Without further need of words, we both got on the sled, she took the lead, but even then I was still wary.

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” She looked at me with another one of her signature smiles, this time, with a little bit more smug.

“Are you scared?”

“Me?” I didn’t want to admit it, but the hill looked pretty steep to me. Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and just shook my head.

“Good, then, let’s go!” With that, we began sliding down the hill. I felt scared out of my mind at first, the wind blew into my face, cold waves were sent through my body. But as we kept going, I eventually stopped caring. I was having fun. It was actually fun. The girl in front of me kept laughing the whole way, with her arms up into the sky. And I couldn’t blame her. I eventually joined in. As we hit the bottom of the hill, my head was still spinning from the exhilaration. I had so much fun that I almost forgot that I was with her. But when I looked at her face, the only thing I could see was sadness.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” She looked like she was about to cry. I didn’t know why, and so I went into a panic, thinking of anything I could do to calm her. And the only thing I could do, was take off my bright red scarf, and wrap it around her. She looked up at me, surprised once again.

“I just….. didn’t want to see you cry.” She looked down at my scarf, and placed her hands over it. She smiled, a smile filled with sadness, but, it was a beautiful smile. She smiled with her eyes and her mouth, and I think the thing that made me fall for her, was the fact that her smile, was so contagious.

“Thank you. But, it’s okay.” She took off my scarf and handed it back to me.

“It’s a really nice scarf.”

“Yeah, my mom made it.” I took it back, and after gathering the sled and hiding it back in that bush, we decided to head back. For the duration of the time we spent during that walk, we never talked. I was just too nervous to say anything and she….. didn’t seem like she wanted to. But, I mustered up the courage, just as we finally came back to that field that I was so familiar with.

“Will you be here tomorrow?” That was the only thing I could say. Nothing more came from my mouth. Nothing could. That was the last chance I had to say anything else. And, she never answered me. Instead, she gave me a weak smile, and simply ran off, before I had the chance. I really didn’t know what was going on through her head. Why she was there, why she decided to help me up and play with me. I didn’t know. But I think at that moment, as she ran off, with her eyes on the verge of tears, with her sweet smile trailing off behind her, I think at that moment, I was in love.

Part 4:

It wasn’t until the next day, that I really figured out what was going on. No matter how much I didn’t want to accept reality,  I knew it wasn’t going to change because of me. I knew it, but I screamed anyway. I screamed, I cried, and I regretted. I regret not being able to tell her. I still don’t know where she is, or if she even is. But if I meet her again one day, I’ll tell her. I’ll tell her properly this time.

The next day, when I went back to that shortcut, instead of her, I met another person. She was dragging a sled with her, the sled we used. She was really tall, her hair was cut short, and I remember her as being an adult. Her hair was the same color, so was her eyes. I wasn’t scared, rather, I was confused. When she noticed me, she had a look of worry, and pity. I wanted to ask her something, about the girl I met. Whether she knew about it or not. And so I did.

“Oh…. so you were the one she was talking about.” It looks like she knew about me.

“Unfortunately…” She crouched, to get to the same eye height as me. It was a move that a lot of kind adults did, so that I wouldn’t have to look up, and so that they wouldn’t have to look down on me. They made it clear that we were talking on the same length, that we were both equal on the matter. Except, I don’t think I wanted to be.

“You won’t be able to see her anymore.”

“What do you mean, miss?”

“Well,” I could see in her eyes that she was trying to pick out the right words. She was trying to make sure I could understand the situation.  Even if I did at the time, I really didn’t.

“You see, she’s at the hospital right now.”

“Hospital?” Her sister explained to me how the girl I met was ill. She was almost terminally ill, and the doctors were working really hard to see what they could do. Day in and day out, they were working to save her life. Yesterday, however, was the one day where her condition actually saw some progress. She actually wasn’t allowed out, but she snuck out anyway. She snuck out because she wanted to take the sled down the hill. Her sister had hid the sled for them to use when she got better, but she couldn’t wait. Thinking back, I’m still amazed at how she snuck out, but, maybe I should have noticed.  I was the only one there, I could have stopped her, but I didn’t. She seemed so happy, like nothing could make her sad, until the realization that she wouldn’t be able to come here anymore because of her condition.  I don’t know how she thought of me. Maybe I was just an add-on, someone who was just there where she was. But to me, she was everything. At the height of my loneliness, where I had previously given up, I saw light. I saw her, and she called out to me. Maybe, she could have just left me, watched as I sat there in the snow, watched as I fell to my lonely temptations. But she didn’t. And I’m glad she didn’t. I’m glad she stuck her hand out to me. I’m glad, for that day in winter.

Ever since that day, I’ve realized just how stupid I was, and just how weak I was being. Ever since then, I’ve tried being stronger, I tried to make friends, I apologized, and I sought on. Because, ever since that day, I couldn’t help but think about how much that girl did for me, despite everything happening to her. I couldn’t let her kindness waste away. No, I didn’t let it waste away.

Her sister told me that they were going to move away soon because of her condition. Whether she was going to be okay or not, was all up to luck. The excursion she had took more out of her than she realized, but thankfully it didn’t worsen her condition that much. Her sister really was worried, but she didn’t scold me. Instead, she thanked me, for playing with her that day. Despite me not being able to see her, I’ve always wished that she would come back to that town, even if it was only for a day, even if we would only sled down that one hill, I’ve always hoped for it. But I moved, and I would never know if she returned; If she returned to that hill, to see the ocean, to go down that hill once more.

I told her sister to tell her one thing, and I still regret  not being able to tell her in person, but I thought at that time that I couldn’t do anything about it. That was my only way. I told her sister to tell her, “Thank you for saving me. I had a lot of fun. ” I took off my scarf, and handed it to the sister, and told her to give it to her as a gift, and to tell her one more thing, “My mom was happy when you said her scarf was nice.” I smiled at her, then ran back to my house, without looking back. Only looking now, forward, towards the future, kicking away my past, shoving it into the snow.

Part 5:

“And that’s why I love winter. ” As the man finished his story, he got up and stretched his body. He walked up towards the window and placed his hand over it, a feeling of longing stretched out to his fingers. The woman got up as well, and leaned over him, her warm body stuck onto his shoulder. For a moment, they didn’t speak, but soon the woman broke the silence.

“Well, to be honest, I love winter as well.”

“Oh?”

“Believe it or not.”

“So, what are your reasons?”

“I have three of them.” The woman stepped back from the man and gave him a mischievous smile. She took three fingers out.

“One: I also like winter better than summer.” She took one finger down.

“Two:  I also like winter because everything sparkles.” She was down to her last finger, and her smile grew wider and wider with each reason. The man almost thought of it as teasing as all her reasons so far were identical to his. But surely, the last reason couldn’t be the same as his, he thought. There was no way, just no way that was possible. But the woman simply smiled her brightest, her smile warming the room, and her smile didn’t falter.

“Three: the last reason why I love winter, is because, it brings people back together.” She brought both of her arms behind her and gave him another big smile. The man was confused, and so he asked.

“What do you mean?” The woman thought of her response. She was feeling a little mean, and wanted to tease the man for not knowing. She stood straight up and turned her body around, only leaning her head over slightly, so that the man would barely see her face.

“That’s a secret!”

“Hey! That’s not fair, I told you about my story.” The woman made a small pout on her face, and then giggled.

“Winter brings people together, it brings back memories, and it brings back feelings of warmth. Despite being so cold, winter brings the most warmth to us. Winter is a special season. It’s a season  of love, of youth, and of nostalgia. I love winter because I’ll always remember that day in that town, where I met a boy,” The woman turned fully before finishing her sentence.

“Who was shivering in the snow.”