My Heart Will Melt

Sarah has been desperate to see Joe for a long time now. Now that she is at a party where he will be, she has the perfect opportunity to rekindle the flame between them.
But something happens, beforehand. Something opens her eyes and shows her a lifetime she could never imagine.
-Entry into the Girl Heart Boy competition.
(The song I have chosen for this has nothing to do with the story, but it really sets the mood).

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1. What the future holds...

This is not a story of vampires and werewolves, of murder and crime or even One Direction. But a story of how my life changed, how something impossible happened and how my eyes were opened to a jewel so rare and beautiful, that it was sometimes hard to find. We call this jewel, Love. And this is the story of how I found it.

The living room was full of teens with cups of alcohol in their hands, with music blasting and disco lights casting shapes and patterns across the ceiling and over the walls. 

Shakily, I grasped the door handle  which led into the dining room, and turned it. I stopped myself from entering the room and forced myself to calm the heck down. I had been incredibly excited all week, knowing that Joe would be here tonight. I had not seen him since summer, and such sweet memories we created together during those few months.

We had spent hours together, nearly everyday, basking in each others company. Laughing together. Sharing stories. Telling jokes. It had become routine after only a matter of days, and I became dependent on him. He, so easily, became the source of all my happiness. And we all knew it was never a good idea to rely on a guy to provide you with such an emotion. 

And then something happened at the end of summer. His parents divorced. He used to live across the street from me, and I frequently heard the arguments, the screaming and shouting, the doors slamming. Quite often, Joe would leave the house and chill with me. He would come across the road to my house to escape it all. My house became his sanctuary. When his parents finalised the divorce, his dad moved cross country, taking Joe with him. Joe never said goodbye. I found out the day after he moved away, from his mother, that he had moved. It left me heartbroken. It felt like my heart had been yanked out from my chest and thrown across the room. As if someone had picked up a hammer and crushed it against the cold wooden floorboards. It ripped me apart. 

How could I feel so strongly for a guy? Well, he had been my best friend for years, and over time, he came to mean so much to me. He had been there for me when my cat died last year, when I failed my maths test in May. When I dropped my laptop down the stairs and broke it. When I tripped up the stairs. When I fell down a hill and broke my wrist. He had been by my side through all the petty little screw ups in my life. He'd made my life worthwhile. 

I went through so much pain after that, it had felt like a break up, although we never actually got together. He had been my summer fling, and a part of me hoped that it would blossom into something more, something permanent. And then he left.

I began to hold on to something that left with him. His presence. And it still lingered within the walls of my house.

I forced myself to grip the door handle and shoved it open. 

As soon as I stood over the threshold, something came over me, like a colossal wave of darkness.  I was sucked deep into an abyss of oblivion, feeling as if I was falling through the sky. Numb and free.

Then a scene began to materialise in front of me. I appeared in a small cottage in a remote location. Confused, I walked down the small and narrow corridor towards a room at the back of the cottage. Small wooden frames held photos on the wall. Pictures of a couple through the ages. An engagement party. A wedding. The birth of their child. A golden anniversary. Sat on a porch in rocking chairs, surrounded by grandchildren. And many more.

I entered the living room, and on the couch sat the couple from the photos. Their skin sinking, eyes grey but still reflecting love for each other. Their yearn to live longer, to be together until the end of time. 

"Excuse me," I asked, as I approached them. "Could you tell me where I am?"

The couple carried on sipping tea from their china mugs, oblivious to my presence. I noticed the silver rings wrapped around their ring fingers. The woman had three. Possibly the engagement, wedding and eternity rings. His arm wrapped around her shoulder and he pulled her tight against him. A fire roared in the corner of the room, glorious reds and oranges crackling and burning the chunks of wood that sat in the fireplace. A great Christmas tree was situated in the opposite corner, covered in beautiful decorations of a thousand different colours, lights twinkled, illuminating the room alongside the fire. 

The man struggled to stand up, but nonetheless, he did, and after he placed his mug on the side, he rummaged in a cupboard for a small gift.

"Merry Christmas, Love," he said and handed her the gift. 

She tentatively unwrapped the gift and gasped as her eyes gazed at the photo frame in her hands. It clutched a picture of a young couple, laughing as he pushed her on a swing.

"Every Christmas we have spent together, you put one of our photos in a frame and give it to me. Oh, and how it never gets old."

With a beaming smile on her crooked little face, she stood, shuffled across the room, hand on her back, and placed the photo on the mantel above the fireplace. I followed her as she did this. I stared at the photo. The faces looked so familiar, his eyes a dark brown, deep and always there, providing a connection so deep and surreal. Everything about him seemed too familiar. Where had I seen him before?

I leaned forward.

I gasped.

His sweeping brown hair. His brown eyes. His gorgeous smile. There was only one person it could be. Joe.

How could that be?

That is impossible. 

Am I really in the future? 

Is this couple, in this very room, Joe and I?

As she slowly moved back to her seat, she gasped out with pain, her back arching. 

I spun around quickly, startled by her sudden cry for help. I watched as she fell to the ground, Older Joe, cried out and tried to catch her before she fell but his brittle arms were not as strong as they once were. I stood helplessly as I watched him, slowly kneel down and grasp her head. He placed it on his lap, stroking her hair. He leaned across and grabbed a phone off the side.

Hastily he dialled for the ambulance. 

No connection.

Fear flooded over him. He began to panic. Tears sprang to his eyes. 

Suddenly, he sputtered, choking on tears that he could no longer hold back. 

I realised that the woman from the photo had been me, she looked identical to me, but slightly older. And the Older Me, laid on the floor, head in his hands, gasping for air, shakily grasping for him. I could see the pain and the worry and the fear in her eyes as her entire life played back to her in a flash.

I begged for a way to help them. 

I could not watch myself die. 

Older Joe clasped her hands and pulled them to his face. He kissed them gently, tears pouring down his cheeks, silently hitting the floor. 

"Oh, Love," he gasped. "You cannot leave me desolate. You cannot die."

She choked and panted, trying to suck in all the oxygen she could. 

"I love you, Joe," she whispered. "And forever more."

Tears began to sting my eyes as I watched them, unable to help. Fear consumed me as I watched myself die so suddenly and unexpectedly.

"I am sorry, Sarah," he said, vision blurred from the tears. "For ever leaving you when we were younger. For all the pain I caused you. Forgive me."

In an instant, I appeared in the dining room, merely inches away from Joe. The younger Joe. 

"Sarah?" he asked, concerned. "Are you okay? You have been stood there staring at me for the last ten minutes. I have been calling your name over and over again but you just stood there, frozen."

"Joe..." I whispered.

I launched myself at him, kissing him tenderly. Surprised and taken aback, he pulled away slightly. 

"Sarah, what is this?" he stuttered as my arms looped around his neck.

"I am not letting you turn your back on me again, Joe," I said. "Not when we have so many memories between us, and so many to build."

He looked at me with confusion in his eyes.

I did not tell him about the old couple or my death. I simply kissed him again, sealing myself in a cocoon of passion with him. 

I had found the love that I thought I had lost.

 

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