A Stranger's Perspective

This is a short story of him and her but it is not a love story. Not in the traditional sense, it is when you count the feeling that stands hand in hand with love - Loneliness. The consequences of miscommunication and the unpredictability of life.

For the "Inspired by a song" competition, inspired by "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon.

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1. Her

 

 

Serendipity. A word that has swirled corruption in my mind ever since I learnt its meaning.  The five syllables that slip through my lips, whispering the most romantic word ever known. “A happy accident” Do accidents really happen? Or is it possible that every single step we take is predetermined? If you had asked me three seconds before I may have answered differently. There was a beautiful accident, a singular instantaneous one. His inability to hold a yogurt without spilling it on the girl next to him. But there was a second accident I did not count on. That for once I did not prepare in case of; the enviable devastation of falling for each other.


It starts when I’m standing in line. I’m waiting. Like I’m always waiting, for the end of the day, the weekend, summer, graduation and finally death. I’m not usually so morbid. But that day was yet another worst day of my life, the stereotypical Monday. The atomic bomb primed, polished and just waiting to trigger off any bad moods. I’m in line because I have to pick up tickets for a gig I’m not going to but I owe a friend a favour. The shop itself was depressing.  Bleak walls, the decay of once shining posters and records that symbolically shone as beacons of hope.  Post-graduates with grave faces staring straight ahead to out-dated cashiers when they would rather see the interiors of successful companies. A chill crawls up my back and goose pimpled arms as the result of overestimating the weather. I curse my lack of layers as I remove my hair from captivity to act as scarf. Black frizz cascades down my face and I regret unleashing the beast immediately. As I pondered my own trivial thoughts I heard the girl in front squeal. There was very slow moving plague of strawberry yogurt contaminating her hair.
 

That was the first time I spied the culprit. Desperately trying to hold back his suppressed laughter. His eyes gleamed mischief, as I imagine mischief gleams a very dark green with flakes of brown. Tousled blonde hair standing on edge as he looked for something to clean his mess. “Need this?” I asked holding out a tissue. I am always one step ahead, prepared for everything. Scouts honour. Frantically grabbing it with force, his strength did not go unnoticed. Neither did the tiny patch of relieved pale skin I saw as his shirt rode up. Gingerly attempting to dab the girls hair. A cloud of angry smoke arose from the yogurt ridden place she once stood. “Thanks anyway, I could use somebody like you.” His wry tone evaporated into the air as he grinned.  Then as cruel fate had it, the queue that seemed to last a lifetime only a few moments ago disappeared. I was left with a salute as he walked out of both store and my newly pictured ideal life. 
 

Colour, was my first thought that night. I pictured vibrance when I thought of him, bright, electric palettes of neon shades merging together. Exploding like fireworks as I traced every fraction of a second he looked at me. The way his lip rose at the end of “you” and the way he walked away, slowly as though he didn't know where he was headed. I could picture him at the gig now. Moving with the music. In the crowd you’re not just a member of a crowd. You are the music and so is everyone else. Everyone is jumping, together creating  a deep synchronised pulse that surges the venue. Nothing else matters. It’s completely instantaneous. That’s what I felt when he looked at me. As though I didn't need to prepare for anything. I just had to be there. I knew I needed to feel that again. That’s what love is finding someone that makes you feel the way you need to.
 

It was a nights like many others, 3am when you’re the only soul alive. The most underrated prey strikes; loneliness. You have two options. Be the victim or be the victor. That night I chose victor. My pencil began burning through the sheets of paper. Numerous attempts fed the hungry bin as my inspiration faded. Everything was empty. No combination of words could begin even to scratch the surface.  I prayed and hoped for something that would make him notice someone like me. A blurry haze of deep music blaring through my headphones. The rhythm, the bass and harmony coming together. Perfect stitching together that left no scar, that’s what I felt. Musical talents limited, I wrote without a guitar or a beat but simply with a feeling. 
 

“It is nights like these 
For no specific reason
I want the world 
To take back its treason 
Nothing less than complete eternity
Of every set of eyes and ears 
Will fill the ache inside me 
Give me passion
Set me on fire
Erupt the church
Tell the friar
 Tonight I will leave a mark
Even if in the earthly blaze 
It burns a fragile, unseen spark.”
    
Sealed in an envelope containing eleven digits and a daisy chain. Blemished by the nervous hands that refused to calm. I waited for him. I knew he would return to that store once more. The city was awaking; the summery haze cast a wake-up call to the office workers to leave their beds and kids to savour their precious winks of sleep.  Surely enough he appeared at around the corner. His face gazing aimlessly at the floor, walking precisely with powerful stride. I forgot how striking he was. I was unprepared. Humbled even. As he  came towards me I couldn’t even look at him so I stole one last glance at that beautiful boy. That boy deserved a beautiful, fulfilling life that I knew I would never be good enough to give him. As I walked home I threw the letter into the river across the bridge and watched it float away.I knew that happy dream of a future that lasted a night belonged where no one could touch it.

 

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