Ardent Flux

Kate never expected Mason to break her heart. He was never supposed to be able to touch it anyway. But after he did, she discovered she had a special gift... one that would allow her to cause him to feel everything she did. But little did she know how the consequences of her actions would ripple through the delicate balance of life.


1. Chapter One

I knew from the start he was going to break my heart, but I jumped in with both feet anyway.  His character denoted hints of deceit and manipulation but his tongue spoke poetry sweeter than the purest honey and his dark eyes entrapped anyone who dared to hold his gaze.  I told myself I knew I was going to be used by him. But then if I used him right back, maybe no one would get hurt, right?


“Tell me a secret,” I said.


“I cheated on my girlfriend once,” he replied. “She made me do it.”


Hmm, I thought to myself, that one night stand held you at knifepoint and made you sleep with her. Interesting…


“She wouldn’t let me touch her,” he continued. “I just went crazy.”


He is a dick, I thought. But I justified it with him anyway. I thought it’d make it easier if I gave him as little emotional resistance as possible.


I cannot remember meeting Mason. We just sort of fell into each other. Everything clicked from the start and it wasn’t long before the “Hey Babe” and “Miss you so much right now” texts were flowing. And soon, many of my mornings began with a message resembling the following:


I cannot sleep tonight. My mind is filled with thoughts of your sweet face. I long to hear your voice right now and I dream of touching your delicate skin. I need you by my side. You are the breath that fills my lungs.


He was an addiction. I found my thoughts filled with him every moment of the day. Hastily, we had become a torrid affair, my greatest secret. And all the while, somewhere deep inside was warning me. Keep you guard up, Girl. You can’t play this game.


Mason had an amazing way of noticing things about me that I didn’t share with him.


“You want to be a mother, don’t you?” He questioned one night during dinner at my apartment.


“Excuse me?” I was caught off guard.


He nodded his face towards the bookshelf in the corner, which held a handcrafted popsicle stick picture frame containing a photo of me and a small boy.


“You hold that boy in your arms like a mother would and your eyes say it all.”


I had never brought up the subject of children with him. I didn’t expect things to progress that far. To be honest, I didn’t even think we’d make it to a committed relationship.


“Oh. That’s Grayson. My neighbor’s son.” I said and tried to redirect the conversation. “I babysit him often on weekends when his mother picks up extra shifts at work. He’s my best buddy.”


Lately, though, with Mason in the picture, I hadn’t had much time for Grayson and I missed him something fierce. I’d have to make time to take him out soon. Our favorite thing was to walk two blocks to Franklin Street where there was an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. We’d play a game called You Pick where we’d choose each other’s flavor of ice cream and then have to pretend that it was our absolute most favorite thing in the world. Grayson loved it because he said the game “expands my horizons.” That kid said the most profound things.


Before long though, the lines began to blur for Mason and me.  He was clandestinely destroying my emotional barriers with the effectiveness of an urban demolition. I found myself dependent on his affection, on his words and his time. All the while, the inconsistency of his stories surfaced. Pieces of the puzzle that was Mason were not matching up. The internal struggle I faced between needing him in my life and knowing the version I saw was not the whole picture culminated to the point where it was inevitable to face this beast that was the truth.


“You don’t trust me,” he countered. “How can two people be together if one does not trust the other? You think all the things I said to you were lies, don’t you? You think I’m insincere.”


“That’s not what I’m saying, Mason,” I said, trying to unscramble my thoughts.


“I mean, really, you’re insulting me. I don’t think I can stay with you if you think like this.”


“Mason, please,” I pleaded, “that’s not what I meant.”


“Of course it’s what you meant. Or you wouldn’t have said anything. You’ve obviously been thinking about this for some time.”


This seemed too easy for him. He was giving up everything too quickly. Had he been waiting for this moment, for me to find a crack in us and him to slam a sledgehammer into it instead of getting the mortar to repair it?


And now my insides were exposed, damaged and raw. And he was walking away.


“Mason! Please, don’t leave!”


All the hurt that was inside, all the memories of the past months welled inside me, pitting like giant knot in the innermost of my being. He wasn’t supposed to be able to hurt me. I was supposed to be an impenetrable barricade against his schemes. But he was good. Oh, he was too good. I felt manipulated. I felt ashamed and alone.  And I felt abandoned. Finally, I couldn’t contain it. With increasing intensity the pain grew inside me, multiplying into a darkness of suffering that was unbearable. I had never felt something within me as intense as this in all my life. It was as if all the emotions contained within were combining into a tangible force. A force I could control. And all I wanted was for Mason to feel what he was doing to me.


Mason stopped in his tracks. The righteous indignation he carried in his posture slowly changed. His head with his dark curly locks of hair, once held high, now slowly lowered toward the earth. His shoulders began to round forward and he slowly turned to face me. There was unfathomable hopelessness and unspeakable agony in his eyes. And as he began to understand what was occurring in the space in between us, this changed to pure and unadulterated fear.


What was I doing? I couldn’t quite understand it myself. But I was beginning to feel lightness within. A transfer was occurring and it didn’t take long to complete.


Before he could exhale his last breathe, Mason Alexander Thomas ceased to exist. No trace that he had even been standing in that place, just feet away from me, was left. No clothes, no body, no shadow. All that was Mason was now gone.


The next few hours were lost to time and space. Whatever I did, wherever I went, I will never be able to recall. My mind was emotionless. Was I still hurting from Mason’s words? Did I miss his presence? Could I even wrap my brain around what I had just done to him? Was I even really sure that it was my doing? I could not answer any of these questions. I just wandered through the city as the monotony of daily life moved all about me. Eventually, somehow I ended up outside my apartment building on a city bench beside the 5th Avenue and West Leonard bus stop completely numb inside.


After an indefinite amount of time, I realized a woman had come to be sitting beside me and I also had an eerie feeling she might have been there for some time. I had seen her a few times before but couldn’t quite place her at first. I was afraid to look at her too long just in case she happened to recognize me first and try to initiate conversation. Maybe she’d see the internal struggle I was having on my face and start asking too many questions.


“Do you know anything about science,” she said to me but without any other acknowledgement of my existence on the bench beside her.


She did not wait for my answer to continue.


“There was a man, a great mind, who discovered a law about motion. He said for every action, there is and equal an opposite reaction.” And she paused.


I was having difficultly understanding where she was going with this. I remember Newton. I did a presentation on his Law’s in the seventh grade. But it sure seemed like a strange conversation to be having with a stranger. Although, the more she spoke, the more I felt that I should recognize who she was to me. Wait a minute; I think I could place her. She is the woman from my apartment building. She lives on the first floor and has a cat for every day of the week. I guess it was difficult for me to place her because I have never actually seen her outside the building. Well, actually, even outside her doorway. I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen her face in the last five years I have lived here.


“Life is like that, always in motion. Moving forward through time. One cannot make a decision without it having an effect on something further down the line. Or someone.” She paused again.


Now I had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Could she know? Could she know what I had done? No one was around when Mason and I were last together, let alone the fact that she never went anywhere ever. What could she know about what happened that I could not quite understand?


“There is a delicate balance to life, you know,” she continued, “You cannot upset the balance without expecting an equal and opposite consequence to happen to someone else.” Now she was staring me dead in the face. Her eyes looked right through me and I knew then she saw the truth. Without a further hesitance, though, she was gone.


What was I supposed to do with that? Was she saying that whatever I had done to Mason was going to affect someone else as well? At least I understood one thing better; it was me that did it to him.


At that moment, the Route 52 bus arrived and opened its door. Without purpose, I entered the bus, if only to buy myself more time to work this whole thing out.


It was me who had control of what happened. I felt it inside, the building up of emotions, almost as if I had the ability to intensify them. Strengthen them into something that was tangible and caustic. And then there was the transfer to Mason; I didn’t quite realize it was happening in the moment. All I knew inside was that I wanted him to feel what he had done to me. I had no idea what would have happened next. I surely never intended for what did happen. Ironically, with all the pain he caused me, I still deeply missed him.


I was resolute now to figure out what was going on inside me and to ensure that what happened with Mason wouldn’t happen again.


The bus was surprisingly empty for midmorning and a route that included several major commercial districts in this part of the city. There were three roguish teenage boys towards the back who were obviously bored with life as they were spitting bits of paper waded into balls at various targets. One of which happen to be two elderly women about midway down the bus. One woman seemed particularly distressed and the other appeared to be consoling her.


“You have to keep fighting, Eleanor,” one said to the other, “there are still good things to live for, you know. Ed was a good man, I know. But it’s been six months now. You have to think of the kids… think of the grandchildren, Eleanor.”


As I eavesdropped on their conversation, my heart welled with compassion and kindheartedness for Eleanor. I did not know her story, but I had heard enough and could read the despair in her eyes. The moment was broken suddenly, by a distraction from the boys in the back. The light haired one had shot a bull’s-eye, right into the back of the head of Eleanor’s companion.


Something about those boys left a sour taste in my mouth. It reminded me of a summer I spent as a child. It was a particularly hot and humid August day and my mother had made my older brother take me along as he and his friends went for a swim in the lake. He always hated dragging me along and today he made it perfectly clear that I was not welcome.


Arriving to the crystal waters of Potter’s Lake, the boys raced off the dock and dove into the cool blue water. I shouted for them to wait for me, but I knew it would not help. Hesitating for only a moment at the edge of the dock, I decided to jump in and attempt to recover the distance they had put between us.


The water was astonishingly cold for the sweltering weather the day had brought. It caught the breath in my lungs and seized the muscles in my body. I struggled to keep above the surface and for a brief moment I saw my brother turn to me, our eyes meeting. But without hesitation, he turned away and continued to swim further out. Even as I eventually made my way, dejected and alone, to the shore and sat with my legs cradled in my arms, they continued to cramp. To this day, when I recall the memory, I can feel the resonating recollection of my tensing calves.


I intensely focused in on the light haired boy. An all too familiar feeling of emotions and memories changing into something material formed inside me. And then I proceeded to project it towards the boy. He was mid sentence of some obscenely vulgar joke when he caught my eye and abruptly stopped.


“Dude, what?” his friend prodded, “what did the two chicks do then?”


But the boy could not longer concentrate on his story. His face began to pale and perspiration appeared on his forehead. I didn’t want to push things too far so I pulled back. I turned my attention towards the front of the bus as we were nearing Garden Circle Park, though I could still hear the boys in the back.


“You alright, man?


“Ugh, yeah. Yeah, I think so,” he stammered, “I just need to get off for a second and walk around. I think I need some fresh air.”


And the group quickly progressed to the front of the bus and out the door to the entrance of the park just before we pulled off again.


“Maybelle? What have you got there? Are you alright?” Eleanor inquired.  And she shouted forward, “Driver! Hold up! We need to exit immediately; my friend is having a nose bleed.”


“Oh dear,” she said, grabbing a handkerchief from her purse and rising with her acquaintance to exit, “it must be these new meds Dr. Kovak had put me on. I believe I read that could be a side affect.”


And with that, I was alone on the bus. It took another 55 minutes for the bus to complete its route and bring me back to my apartment. As I finally made it into the building and turned the corner to enter the hallway on the fourth floor, I nearly tumbled over the petit little boy wearing a space helmet and blocking my path.


“Excuse me, Commander.”


Grayson insisted we had code names as we carried out our missions. “Why haven’t you shown up to the mandatory flight drills? How are we supposed to leave for Mars in September if we haven’t simulated a hyperbaric pressure emergency?”


“Ah man, Grayson. I’m so sorry,” I said exhaustedly as I skirted around him. “I’ve been so busy lately. Wait a minute, why are you home from school? Shouldn’t you be there filling your brain with infinite knowledge?”


“I got to go home sick,” he said, pointing to a tuft of white tissue plugged in his nose. “Nose bleed. Doesn’t matter anyway, I already know everything they would teach me.”


“Well I promise to take you to the pool on Sunday and we can practice our moon walking then, ok?” I said as I ducked into my apartment, leaving Grayson in the hallway.


Sometime later that evening, an unnerving commotion awoke me and I stuck my head out into the hallway just as the last of some emergency personnel were exiting our floor.


“What’s going on?” I managed to ask of Mrs. Finley from apartment 4A.


“The boy,” she said solemnly, “he’s had a seizure. It sounded like it was a bad one. They’re taking him to St. Luke’s.”


She hardly had time to finish before I was rushing through the hallway and down the stairs. I barely touched the steps with my feet as I descended the four flights to the first floor. There were only three apartments on the main floor and I knew the first was where the maintenance guy, Gary, lived. I had a fifty-fifty chance between the other too. But I wouldn’t need to guess. The only door on the left side of the hallway had a welcome mat that said “meow”. This was the door I needed. I pounded on it with an unguarded desperation.


“So now you understand,” she said empathetically as she opened the door.


“Please,” I pleaded and gasped for breath, “tell me this has nothing to do with what I did!”


“Child,” she had a remarkable comfort to her voice, “you were given a gift, a very special gift. But regardless, we all must live by the same rules. You cannot take back what has already been done.”


She needn’t say any more. I doubled over in the hallway and sobbed. Echos of my cries were amplified in the barren space giving a haunting atmosphere. It didn’t matter if what she said to me was true; I had try everything to make this right again. St. Luke Children’s hospital was seventeen blocks east of here and I would run the whole way.


Inside the sterile hallways of the Children’s Hospital I frantically searched for the unit that contained Grayson. The trick about hospitals is to act like you know what you’re doing and where you are going. That way no one will question you. Carry the confidence of a physician and you can get in just about anywhere without a lock, lose that conviction and you are instantly accused as a visitor.


Sixth floor, Pediatric Oncology Unit, Room number 6048. That’s where I found him.


The medical staff made me wait just outside his room as they prepped his precious body with wires and devices and cuffs, all telling us news we couldn’t bear hear. I took comfort in waiting with his mother. We clung to each other as if we were the only stable pieces in a swiftly disintegrating world. It would only be a few minutes before the nurses would finally let us in to see Grayson, who was beginning to stabilize, if only for a brief moment. It would be a few hours more, though, before we got the official news. He had a fatal brain tumor. Even the physicians were stumped that it could be this progressed and he had not experienced any prior symptoms. There were no possible interventions. They suggested we make the most of our time together. How does one even begin to comprehend what that means?


Grayson awoke for a brief moment sometime in the early hours of the morning. He spent a long while with his mother before finally requesting a moment with me. I was touched that even in a time such as this, he would think of me.


“You are going to have to take over the mission, you know. Mars is exploding with potential for the people of earth and we must…” he trailed off, “You must be the first to find it. Always for good, remember? What ever you find you must see that mankind uses it for good.”


Tears were streaming down my face now and my stomach caught in my throat.


“For real, though, Kate,” he became somber, “Watch over my mother. I know she’s going to be very sad. Promise me, you will. She’ll miss me too much.”


“Don’t say those things. Don’t think that way. You don’t know…” I said with desperation.


But Grayson simply smiled. He smiled like he knew a secret greater and more complete and full of peace.


Cradled in his mother’s arms, Grayson closed his eyes and all we could hear were the decelerating beeps of the vitals machines. With the release of his last breath, I made a promise to that little boy who stole my heart and taught me something about loving people with the purest kind of love. And as the seconds turned to minutes I could feel Grayson’s presence getting further and further away. I knew what I must do. With silent tears flowing down my face and unwieldy sobs coming from his mother as she enveloped all she had left of her precious son, his lifeless body, I walked over to her and gently touched her shoulder.


I could not reverse what was done. My actions had caused an unfathomable reaction. But I would do everything in my power to make it as right as I possibly could. I tried to imagine what she must have been feeling. But all I could conjure was the emptiness and sorrow I felt. I amplified that emotion, extracted it from his mother and consumed it within myself.


Not a day would go by that she would not miss her son, but all she would have left would be the good feelings, the happy memories and the love she had for her inimitable boy. And I would carry her pain and suffering all the days my feet would walk this dusty earth. It was the very best I could do to make it right and the only way I knew to keep my promise to that irreplaceable little boy.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...