Runic: Caoimhe's Tales and Poems

A collection of original poems and stories

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11. Shattered

The air was cool, and a misty rain made Kali’s tanned skin moist and fresh. The sun was hidden away behind layers of grey clouds. Birds twittered and squirrels rustled through the branches high above her. The smell of fishy lake water drifted through the air. Everything felt bright and vibrant. Kali was visiting her cousin, Evron; he didn’t live very far away, so she would often come to see him whenever she couldn’t handle her life at home. They would sometimes fish or hunt together depending on the season. This particular day, Kali had gathered her fishing gear and asked Evron to meet her at a little clearing by the lake that they called “The Hole” because it was such a good place to fish. When she got there, she sat down and baited her hook so she would be ready when Evron came. The minutes ticked by slowly as she waited. Then finally she saw him tromping through the forest. He was rather tall for his age, but his face looked younger. He had blue eyes and short blond hair.

“Well, look who finally decided to come!” Kali joked while her emerald eyes twinkled. Evron rolled his eyes and tried to appear annoyed, but as he turned away towards his gear he cracked a smile. The fishing that day wasn’t particularly good, but they both had a good time, though to any passersby they would appear to not enjoy one another’s company at all, the way they would tease and talk sarcastically to each other. To Kali, days like this made life worth living.

The next day Kali awoke to the sound of her parents fighting in the kitchen beneath her about who would get what after the divorce. She looked around her room, the only place in the house that she felt at home. It was small, but it made her feel safe and tucked away from her parents’ bickering. Still only half-awake, she pulled on the clothes she had set out the last night: a purple cat tee-shirt, a mid-length jean skirt, and her favorite worn-in pair of black Levis. After she was up and dressed, she hurried downstairs, grabbed a banana, and rushed out of the house as quickly as she could, so wouldn’t get caught in the middle of the ever-growing argument inside.

That day at school seemed to inch by minute by minute. Brianna Tanis would smile at Kali smugly and, flipping her short blond hair, whisper into Ammon Vaak’s ear. He would laugh and watch her walk down the hall. Kali could feel his eyes on her back, and it made her walk faster. Other people, when she walked into the room, would murmur amongst themselves. Some snickered, and no one would look her in the eyes . She wondered, “Why me lord? Why have you chosen me to be so broken?’

The one thing that kept her going, when she was at school was her boyfriend of two years, Devin Caron, Ammon’s stepbrother.

“Hey, Sweetie,” she said to Devin, her eyes twinkling.

“Hey, Baby,” he replied as he turned to face her.

He was sitting at a table in the cafeteria with some of his friends. When they saw her approach they glanced at each other and whispered amongst themselves. One leaned over and whispered to Devin. Devin nodded grimly, mumbled, then looked at Kali and smiled. She was beginning to become suspicious about what everyone was talking about. Some new rumor about her and Devin, no doubt, she thought unhappily. People often would gossip about them, saying she had done some horrible thing or that Devin was cheating on her.

She loved him with her whole heart and, though she was nearly certain that the rumors about him were true, she wouldn’t admit, even to herself. She was hoping that her suspicions were wrong. He was her whole world, even if to him she was only an option. Trust came far too easily for her, and she knew that if she wanted to be safe, she had to be more careful. But after so many years of being tossed out whenever she became an inconvenience, feelings had become something she could turn off as easily as she could a light-switch. Sometimes she wished it would all end, but as long as she had Devin and Evron, she would be ok.

It was the end of the school day, and Kali was wandering the school yard because she really had nowhere else to go. As she turned the corner, she gasped. Then tears sprang up at what she saw. Brianna was leaning up against the brick wall of the school, and Devin had one arm above her, her hand entwined in his.

When they saw her, Devin jumped back and started, “Kali! I’m so sorry… I never meant for you to find out! I was going to tell you--honest!”

Kali began to back away, shaking her head, salty tears flowing into her mouth and down her chin. “I loved you! I loved you, and this is what you give me? How could you? I loved you….” She spun around and raced towards the wood. She was so lost and angry, and she secretly wished he would chase her, but she knew all too well that he had never really cared for her.

Kali’s heart still pounding in her ears, she gasped for breath between sobs. Blinded by her tears, she stumbled towards her last refuge. When she reached the Hole she collapsed onto to the small shore and lay staring up through the trees. She lay there and remembered the pain of the past several years for what felt like hours; slowly she pulled herself into a sitting position. She picked up a piece of broken glass that was sitting in the dirt and began to lightly pull the jagged edge down her wrist. With each stroke she pressed harder till the blood began to flow as freely as her tears.

All she could think was, “I really am as stupid and unlovable as everyone says.”

Within minutes both arms were covered in deep gashes. She hid her face in her hands and wept. The blood and tears mixed and ran down her arms onto the ground, and whenever she wiped her eyes, the blood would smear across her face. By that time the sun was setting above the lake, the sky was filled with deep oranges and reds, and the reflection of the sun danced across the ripples of the water, but for Kali it held no comfort. She slowly and shakily stood with a grim and empty look on her face, then she stumbled towards the water. It was cool and felt welcoming to her weary soul. She continued to wade deeper and deeper into the crystal waters. When she was in to her shoulder, she sunk beneath the surface and opened her eyes; her long black hair floated around her, and the world above her twisted about on the surface of the water as if in a dance. Soon her lungs began to scream for air. She gasped for breath, but all that came in was water. The world around her began to black out when two strong arms wrapped around her and lifted her out of the water. She felt herself being carried to the shore while a warm and familiar yet desperate voice begged her to wake up. “Kali! Come on, Kal, wake up! Please don’t go. I’m so sorry I wasn’t here for you. Come on please don’t leave me. I still need you around!” 

When she opened her eyes, she was lying on the shore again, and Evron was over her, holding her hand as tears glistened in his eyes. “Evron?” she muttered. “Is that you?”

When he saw she was all right, his eyes lit up, and he smiled like he was about to start dancing. “Yeah, Kal, it’s me! I’m here. Don’t you ever do that to me again, you hear? I love you, cous’.” He pulled her into a bear hug and wouldn’t let go.

 Kali’s heart felt like it was going to burst; for once she felt truly wanted and loved and she realized she really had been all along. She choked, trying to fight back tears of pure joy and thankfulness. “I love you, too.”

 

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