James DelaRose sat in the café taking short glances at his watch as the clouds outside twisted and turned in grey and dark blue hues. His feet tapped to the skip against his ribcage at the thought of her face. So, he closed his eyes and calmed himself with the dark void under his lids. The smell of the bitter coffee, light sweat, and syrupy sweetness hit him in the void. This mingled with the sound of air as it was cut in half at a steady beat by the petal arms of the ceiling fan, which strained at every odd beat. Absentmindedly, he traced the rim of the lukewarm cup of coffee with a gaunt forefinger which a year ago was a reasonably healthy hand attached to an average body with decent looks, and a harmless life. But now, James had a time limit on life and when he’d been told decided to travel. He’d been to all the different cities he’d wanted to as a teen, drank until he blacked out, smoked pot until he laughed so much his brain was drowned in bubbling goose bumps, and camped out in scenic places just to wake up to the sunrise slowly peeking from under the covers of the horizon.
Tap….Tap…Tap..Tap..TapTapTap. The taps unified into a chorus against the window instantaneously. James opened his eyes, and the calm he had last seen outside was now a dark mess of rain, and wind. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a black felt box. This moment…it was one of the first and last things he thought of in the whole year he had been away. Tenderly, he opened the box, smiled, and closed it as he took another glance at his watch. They were supposed to meet at nine and it was already going to be 9:30. Diane was thirty minutes late. James sighed, put the box back in its hiding place, grabbed his wallet and put some cash on the table. The small bell above the door chimed as it opened.
Diane walked in, her grey sweater pasted to the curves of her torso as droplets of water dripped from the sleeves to the ground or rolled down her jeans. Diane struggled in front of the door as she peeled off the sweater. She draped the sweater over her arm, and ran the fingers of her free hand through her short damp hair, scattering droplets of water the farther her fingers traveled.
Diane stood at the entrance. Her eyes darted from James to the other patrons, and then traveled back to him. She stood frozen in confusion and waited for someone to jump out and say this was all a joke. It looked like James, but it didn’t look like him. His full head of dark brown hair was now a closely shaven fuzz, his skin a light peach mixed with brown freckle specks was sickly pale, and his eyes which teemed and burned with life were now dull and cloudy like the sky before a rain storm. But despite the doubts of his changed physical appearance, Diane recognized his unique little quirks like his rapid foot tapping out of nervousness, and the boyish grin that crept up at the corner of his lips that revealed fine smiling wrinkles accented by his warm smile.
Diane walked to James’ table and sat across from him. Her face void of the nervous and giddy thoughts in her head, “Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it?”
James nodded, put his hand in his pocket, and slouched in his chair. Diane rolled her eyes as the waitress came over, and asked for her order. He stared at the way her lips moved to pronounce, “Decaf and a Pumpkin Scone.” Her bottom lip had a little indent from all the times she bit down on it from stress or nervousness. The way she was biting down on her lip now, even though she was trying to stare him down, looked so sexy. He wanted to bite down on her dark-red lips and…. She loudly placed her elbow on the table.
“Well…did you just bring me here to eat or to talk?”
Caught off guard, “Uh…I haven’t seen you in a year… So I guess both. I mean food for the birthday I missed, and talking for well talking sake.”
“Lucky me!” Diane replied coldly. The piercing silence followed by the clink of the plate and cup put down at their table seemed to cut right through the silent tension. Her nails tapped on the cup. His foot tapped on the floor.
“I’ve been traveling for the past year, and the day I come back this is what I get! You are complaining about me not keeping in touch. You never gave me the time of day to talk while I was around. So what if I’ve lived a little!”
Diane turned and looked out the window. She didn’t want him to see the anger bubbled and mixed with shock at his foreword statement that was unlike him. Then the words in her head slipped out of her mouth like water out an improperly shut off house, “I guess I don’t you.”
The rain was slowly dissipating.
Her words stung and sarcastically remarked. “Just like you knew Mr. Prince Charming Riley?”
Diane snapped her attention towards him. Her eyes were so wide he could see the white and small red veins from lack of sleep, as she said, “We broke up the day after you left...” The venom stung on both sides. James and Diane wished that the words which slipped out had just stayed hidden.
Diane finally found the box hidden between the thin material, and the outer covering of the purse. As she stepped out of the elevator, her heels confidently made contact with the shining tile floor, and clicked an even beat down a spacious hallway that enveloped her nose with the mixed smell of bleach and antiseptic. Every couple of steps she’d repeat his room number in her head. 521….521…521…
Clicking heels echoed down the hall, and James smiled weakly as his heart began to rush and pang painfully with anticipation. As he closed his eyes, imagining the moment to come the void of calm under his lids was overrun by sudden bursts of sight-blinding light mixed with sharp-stabbing pain which grew more severe by the second. It perplexed him. It felt like his brain was slowly being broken in two pieces. The room swirled and spun out of focus, like when he rode the teacup spinner on the carousel as a kid. He remembered his small arms turning hard on the large metal wheel, and turning it until all the lights, animals, and people became a streaked blur. He’d be dizzy with joy as the ride came to a close, and his legs would struggle for balance as he laughed. But the sensation was much more intense now, and the joys of youthful were gone. Instead, it was replaced with a presence that left him shivering with fear as the swirl of his surroundings caused nausea to slither up his throat, and coat his saliva, and nose with the essence of bitter blood. He felt tears burn a path down his cold cheeks, and in his head he screamed, “Make it STOP!” But, all that crossed his lips was soft mumbling gibberish.
Diane took another sip of her coffee and replied softly, “Mr. Prince Charming turned out to be a dud. I mean it was great at first, but right around the time you left we started arguing about…stuff. So without boring you with the girly details, let’s just say me and Riley weren’t the right fit.” She took another sip of coffee.
James was perplexed by her short and ambiguous response, “You spent a whole two years with him, and the year I leave he turns from the guy you couldn’t see yourself without to not ‘the right fit.’ How does that pan out? ”
“Don’t be a smartass. If you don’t have to work hard for something, you take advantage of it. Riley loved the sex, and adored how I didn’t give him a hard time about drinking and partying with his friends. But anything outside of that was unimportant, and so I got left with a nice gash in my emotional box. “, Diane released a heavy sigh and changed the subject. “What the heck do my relationship problems have to do with why I’m here? If I’m correct you left without anyone knowing if you’d ever come back or if you were even alive…”
Diane’s lips were tightly pressed together and her eyes stared into the cup. After a couple of silent seconds she whispered, “I was hoping you were missing….I didn’t want you to be dead. You were my best friend, and living without you around would be too hard to bear.”
James was wide-eyed at her response, and it dawned on him that even if what he was about to give her didn’t get the response he wanted; at least he could live knowing she did care for him. He reached into his pant pocket and pulled out the little black box, and a folded up note. He laid the note in between them, and put the box on top of it gently.
Diane looked up from the cup towards the two items on the table. No, she thought, it can’t be a…
James got up from the table, “I’m glad we got to catch up a little. By the way I think that...” he pointed at the items on the table, “is a proper gift/apology for being gone so long.” He waved goodbye to the waitress, and turned as he got to the door. “Just think about the answer. You don’t have to decide right away. Take your time.” With those last words he walked out the door.
Diane’s hands shook as she moved the little black box aside and read the letter. Her bottom lip quivered as tears slowly trickled down her face. Diane’s eyes scanned the letter another three times before she finally put it down, and reached out for the box. She gently opened the lid.
Her heart was aflutter as she entered James’ room. But, instead of James being in the room by himself a doctor and nurse where on each side of the bed. Diane’s heart jumped to her throat and her pace quickening. “Doctor, what’s ...”
“Time of Death: 9:30 a.m.”
She couldn’t think as the frightening realization set in. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as she began to draw nearer to James. Someone tried to touch her, but her hand slapped the touch away.
Diane gently touched his face, “Wake up. James, wake up. I made my decision. Come on you don’t want the story of how I said Yes to be told by me. I get all the facts messed up….James…” Diane began to laugh. Soft at first, and then it grew louder and more rapid until her whole body felt faint from the laughter. Then just as quickly as it started, the laughter stopped.
“James, you can’t do this to me! If you do this I’ll hate you. I’ll hate you forever. I’ll… I’ll...” Diane couldn’t make her vocal cords produce a sound other than a moaning wail. She slid off the hospital bed and lay crumpled like a piece of paper as the sobs of anguish shook her body like a brittle fall leaf holding on weakly to a strong tree. The box slipped from her hands and lay open revealing a star shaped diamond engagement ring. She didn’t care about the box, about how crazy she looked or about living. All she could do was cry and yell, “Come back!” over and over again.
James couldn’t remember when the pain had stopped, but it was gone and as he opened his eyes, he was no longer in the hospital. Instead he was sitting on a stone bench overlooking a deep-blue lake surrounded by a plethora of wildflowers. What is going on? Where the heck am I? He searched his mind for an answer when a faint sound grabbed his attention. He turned to see a woman with bright cherry-red hair, tan skin, and eyes the color of honey sitting beside silently beside him. “What the…who are you?!?” The woman didn’t answer, but turned, and pointed at the lake. A ripple was traveling towards the edge and brought along a voice that grew in volume as it neared them. “Wake up! James, wake up! I made my decision… James, you can’t do this to me! If you do this I’ll hate you …I’ll hate you forever… Come Back!” He ran to the edge of the lake and saw reflected in its depth, Diane lying on the ground in her white summer dress, tears staining her face as a nurse came to help her up off of the floor.
James screamed at the water, “I’m sorry, Diane. Don’t cry, please!” James tried to touch the water hoping it would make him wake up from this horrible nightmare, but when he tried to get close Diane faded away. He turned and angrily said to the lady on the bench, “Get me out of here! Wake me up! ”
The woman didn’t budge, but just sat there watching him.
“Why won’t you help me? I just want to know how to wake up. Why can’t I…”
Then it dawned on him. The emotions of love, heartache, missed opportunities and his short lived life swirled in a dark tempest that burst forth with the sound of his bloodthirsty scream. The woman’s face was troubled. She wanted to comfort him, but she had to let him transition on his own. As James stood with his back faced toward her, she placed a book on the bench, and walked away. Her first task complete, and awaiting his acceptance.
James after what seemed like hours turned to the woman at the bench only to see a book with a soft-worn black cover. He was perplexed by the woman’s disappearance, but attributed to his rage. He walked over to the bench, read the silver script on the cover with disbelief, and lifted it gently with the premonition of what was to come. The first line of the book read:
On this day of your death, you were unable to reach judgment for your place in the afterlife. So as reparations, you will be the keeper of the Life Book for Diane Flores until she is to die. Then you will be judged on your worthiness for the afterlife.”
- Current Mood: artistic
- In February, my poem Internal Killer was published in the online literary journal With Painted Words.
- Website for both my writing, and singing endeavors is up and running with a little bit of merchandise, videos, and links.
- Currently working on a poem for Amanda Norman to go together with a photo of hers that is mysterious/religious
- Plus, I am currently working for Nerdbastards as their feature writer on the weekly "This Week in Comics..." column.
- Finally, make sure to keep tabs on my work via Twitter & Facebook updates.
By the way some sneak peek info..."Diane the Dead" is back and ready to rumble in the prologue to all the happenings before her death. Back story, drama, and more!?! It'll be released for all my wonderful LJ fans of "Diane the Dead" in 3 days!
- Current Mood: cheerful
It is two o'clock in the damn morning, and I wish to relay to the reader (whoever you may be) that the highlight of my day was splitting a rather tough piñata egg with a wooden egg! The pent up frustration from having my parents as passenger and backseat drivers was growing to be a thorn in my bum, which was immediately relieved upon destruction of the paper and wire concoction of a recreational party activity.
Once the family party was over, I came home and worked on my project for an upcoming jobish project that will have me "hopefully" writing a column for this online project every week, but we'll see what happens with that Tuesday evening. I'll be hearing from my editor around then I'm sure.
I have a big paper on my plate this week...ugh!?! This week hasn't started and it already feels long...
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
Well, if you want to be technical it would be roughly around 7,300 days. Somehow in that plethora of days I have managed to get myself into so many situations and problems that are no longer problems along with lives and loves lost that it seems to be a cycle of unending ups and downs. One thing I am glad for though is that my life is no way as up and down as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle or John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. ( A little secret to impart is just that I find it kind of creepy how our way of life may be slowly spinning into the John Steinbeck realm every damn day with the inflating price in gas and food.)
Another thought that is meandering in my brain like a drunk is how the heck people find a reason to live or be in this society. Ok, I am no better. I mean this whole sensationalized idea of becoming famous and rich off our wares or skills has infected the populous that people do things half ass and act like complete morons just to become another reality TV idiot who has no common sense and gives people role models that only solidify our idiocy and our uncouth nature to the world. I mean what person gets drunk every day, fights, fucks, and has no job but still manages to have food on the table and a reasonable amount of friends at the end of the day.
But, stating these obvious flaws and issues in our society won't make us any better. It won't build a feeling of community with other individuals. Glued to computer screens,TV's, or couches we just hide behind another mind numbing product.
But, hey you don't have to listen to me...shit I've only been alive for about 7,300 days. My words don't mean as much as someone who has lived longer....one thing I really want to know is not why life is worth living because I have a sense of that, but why the reasons we are given to live seem more and more materialistic everyday. I want to go back to the 80's and 90's when things weren't so fucked up. I want to capture the past, and bring it back so that we can have men who really love women and keep their word, education can become something challenging and stimulating to the mind, and that being outside was way more important than being indoors.
Don't get me wrong....I am not perfect, but I do want those things back and I'm trying everyday to do something new.
But am I the only one
- Current Mood: pensive