Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rock the Casbah (Or, The Return pt. 4)

Standing in front of her house, he pauses.

A lot of things ran though his head in the past 2 weeks. It took him that long to muster up the courage to even say something related to her, not to mention to come see her. As the wind blows, he pulls his coat closed tighter. He can't figure out why it's taking him too long to go up to the Victorian-styled home. Her black Chevy is parked out front; he knows she's home, so that's not it.

He's scared.

Is it rejection? Maybe. What about some resentment still lingering inside of him? Possibly. Or is he just remorseful for what he's done? Oh yeah.

Taking a deep breath, he goes up front to ring the bell. As soon as he places his finger on the bell, the door pops open. And there she was. Standing 5 feet even, she was even more beautiful than he remembered. Not seeing her for six months would do it to any number of people, but her beauty rivaled even Aphrodite. Beautiful shoulder-length dark brown chestnut hair, small freckles around her nose and peppered on her cheeks, kittenish dark brown eyes, and a beautiful smile.

Of course, that smile quickly disappeared.

She sneered. "What are you doing here?"

Stammering, he spoke. "I-I need to talk to you."

"For what? I don't have anything to say to someone who lies. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go-"

He cuts her off. "Will you just hear me out? Please? I'm begging you."

She looks at her watch. "You've got 3 minutes. Go."

He sighs. He can't even look her in the face, much less her eyes. Staring at the ground, he didn't know really where to begin. 2 weeks of practicing what he was going to say, and now, in the moment of truth, it gets thrown out the window. So he starts from the only logical place he could. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for lying to you. I didn't know that my... I didn't mean...
I just wanted to be everything you were looking for in a man, you know? And I wanted to be what you wanted, so I tried my hardest to be that. And along the way, I made some mistakes, did things I shouldn't have to, and then tried to cover them up. But I've always been there for you, no matter what it was. I even tried to help you get with someone else knowing that it was breaking my heart-"

She twists her face into disgust. "Breaking your heart? Is that what this is all about, how I broke YOUR heart? What about my heart? What about what I was feeling about you? You LEFT me. Gone, vanished without a trace for 6 months, and now, all of a sudden you show back up on my doorstep like I'm supposed to say 'You're forgiven'? Hell no. I won't subject myself to that kind of pain anymore. I gotta go."

His eyes widen, he gets nervous. "Wait! Wait. Yes, I left. I left, not only you, but everybody! My family, my friends, EVERYBODY. I cared about you enough to leave, remember? I secluded myself from everybody, it wasn't just you."

"Seclusion? Is that what this was?"

He shakes his head. "No, but you can call it that."

"I call it being irresponsible. Unappreciative. And most of all, selfish."

"How could you call ME selfish? I lied to try to please YOU. I made myself a new person for YOU. I did everything possible to spend the rest of my life with YOU. I loved you! I-"

"Loved?" She scoffs. "So, you don't love me anymore?"

He replies, "About as much as you love me. Tel me something, do you love me? Did you ever?"

She shakes her head and starts to walk towards her car. "Ant, I don't have-" She stops in mid-sentence and looks at him. She whispers, "Oh, no."

He craned his head towards her. He walks with his ear leading the way to her. "Wait. What did you say?"

"I didn't say-"

"No, have I been away that long that you don't even know my name? It certainly isn't Ant." He laughs quietly. "Is that what this was all about? I reminded you so much of him, you started thinking I was him! And then, when I made myself into a image that you wanted, I made myself into him, am I right? Then all of a sudden, I'm just like him, a liar, a cheat, argumentative, violent, hmm? Am I getting warm? Is THIS why you never wanted a relationship with me? Did you ever consider what you were doing to me, day in and day out? One day you love me, the next day Ant is making you consider staying married, Bobby wants back in, you call Joesph and tell him you miss him, and these guys treated you a LOT worse than I did. But you'll call me for all the advice in the world. When your best friend suggested that you forget them and get with me, what did you tell her? You didn't love me. But you ran to me every day. My family saw the toll it was taking on me, and when I finally snapped and burned down every bridge leading to my island, you stood back and said 'Oh well' instead of coming to rescue me! You could've-"

She stops me. "Rescue you? It wasn't my JOB to rescue you! I thought that I had a better chance at a relationship with those guys than you, can you understand that?"

"So why didn't you come tell me that, instead of going to dinner with me, sitting in my lap, going with me to the riverbank and making out all night, having me parade you in front of my mother like you were somebody special, when all you wanted was free advice?!? I could've given you that without you playing with my heart!"

"I couldn't come tell you that..." Tears was flowing down her face. "... because I didn't... I mean, I did... but I..."

A voice spoke to her, seeming out of nowhere. "Tell him. Tell him you love him, or you'll lose him. We'll all lose him." She recognized the voice as the caller from 2 weeks ago. She looked around wildly, twisting her head this way and that, trying to find out where it came from. He looked at her as if she was watching a fly buzz around her head, or that she finally lost it. She spoke out loud, "Where are you? Show yourself! You can't make me tell him that I love him! You can't make me forgive him. I have a choice to be happy, to not get stares from people because of who he is! I have a choice to not tell anybody about him! Why should I? He's mine! What if I don't want to share him with anyone else, did you ever think of that?!?"

"Oh yes, I did. And believe me, I want to do the same thing."

His mouth fell open. The first thing that hit him, even before the voice was heard and recognized by his brain was the smell of jasmine. He turned around and saw the same woman from the library. She was wearing all white, her D├ęcolletage dress showing off some skin. She was the prettiest caramel color he had ever witnessed, and her eyes was as green as an emerald. Her long, dark auburn hair fell over her shoulders, she had a beautiful face, and those eyes... it was like she was staring right into him.

They spoke at the same time.

"You. You were the person that called me the other night!" "You're the woman from the library!"

Serendipity turned and answered her first. "Yes, yes I was the woman on the phone. And you've just made a mistake. What did I tell you? I told you to be honest with him, tell him you love him, tell him you forgive him, because in reality it was stupid anyway, the reason for you being mad. And you couldn't do it." Serendipity glared at her, she glowered right back.

He interrupted the stare down between the two ladies. "Ma'am, who are you? More importantly, where did you come from?"

Serendipity looked at him, and for the first time in his life, he saw the personification of Love staring at him. She smiled sweetly and said, "My name is Serendipity. And to answer your second question, if I told you, you wouldn't believe me."

A male voice shouted out, "Why don't you try him, you've come this far, haven't you?"

Serendipity's smile faded quickly. She looked behind the other woman and saw Alan. "Alan, what are you doing here?"

Alan smiled faintly but morbidly. "Watching an angel return to Earth to become human. That is what you're about to do, aren't you?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paging Ms. White (Or, The Return pt. 3)

"You know, you could get yourself in SO much trouble."

I jumped like I was Mario on a springboard. Alan was standing in my kitchen, standing about 5'11", wearing a white suit with a black tie. With dark brown hair, hazel eyes and broad shoulders, he looked every bit like a model stepping out of a GQ magazine. Perfectly sculpted, his body looked to be made of the same marble that Michaelangelo used to make David.

Surprised, I ask, "Alan? What are you doing here?"

Alan smiles. "You know, Serendipity, I know all about what you're doing."

I stutter. "Y-you do?" I scoff jokingly. "And what am I doing?"

Alan shakes his head. Walking past me to my fridge, he opens the door and takes out a bottle of 1800. He walks over to my cabinet and gets 4 glasses. Popping open the bottle, he pours out 2 shots of the tequila, and slides me one and a empty glass. He takes a mouthful of tequila, and then he spits it out in the empty glass. Staring at the bottle of tequila, he sighs. Finally, he speaks. "Living up to your name sake, that's what."

"How so?"

"You were looking for one thing, and found something else entirely, something that pleases you wholeheartedly, and you're glowing. But you better be careful, because you know what happens-"

I cut him off. "I know. But, to be honest, I can't help it. I'm supposed to, anyway."

He raises an eyebrow. "Are you really?"

I smile slightly. "I think so."

He pauses. Looking at his glass, he takes another mouthful, swishes it around, and spits it into the other glass. "What makes you think you're different from everybody else? You think that because you love him, because you care so much for him, that you can step outside of your boundaries, and do what you want? And calling his ex? That's a big no-no. You know that."

She frowns. "So, you were told to come see me and reprimand me?"

"Not reprimand, Dip, but just talk to you. You're taking your job a bit too seriously."

I laughed ruefully. "Too seriously? I think most time, people don't take their jobs seriously enough! So, I'm putting in extra work, big deal. How many times have YOU put in extra work?"

"That's different, Dip, and you kno-"

I interrupt him. "Different how? You did it. And look where it got you."

He places the glass back on the table. "Yes, look where it got me. Do you think that for one second I regret what I did? No, I don't. But it doesn't mean that I don't think about what would have happened if I didn't do any extra work, but just the work assigned. Sometimes, it's ok to be normal."

I almost choke on my tequila. I spit it out into the empty glass. "When have you ever know me to be normal, Alan?"

He laughs. "I've known you for YEARS, and you've been everything but normal, that's true. But try being normal for once, you might like it."

"Alan, I can't stop. I've already gone too far. He knows what I said to him is the truth, and he's a bright man, he'll figure it out soon. Besides, she's on her way to see him," Alan stands up to interrupt me, but I continue, "and I'm not going to interfere in what's about to happen."

He smiles slightly. "Good. Let it happen. Let's see if he is as strong as you think he is."

I shake my head. "Alan, that's the point, I don't think he's that strong right now. If she says something wrong to him, we're gonna lose him, all of us. I don't want to-"

"STOP THINKING IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU, DIP," he screams. Straightening his tie, he clears his throat. "I'm sorry for yelling. But it's not about you. It's about his mother, his family, his friends. You just met him, what makes you think he's gonna be as worried about you as you are about him?"

I shake my head. "I don't know, but then again, I DO know. Confusing, I know, but it's how I feel. He's mine, Alan. All the way. And if she hurts him..."

Taking the last of his tequila into his mouth and spitting it out, he sighs. "Just who do you think you are, Dip? Brad Pitt? You're a Grigori. A watcher. That's what you're supposed to do, watch, not interfere, not fall in love with the human you're assigned, but to watch over them, make sure that they don't get an early exit from here. Get it? Besides, even if he were to fall in love with you as well, don't forget, you're ill equipped to handle a human relationship. I don't know where you get this idea of 'Love', but you weren't built with that emotion."

I stare at him. "And you were?"

"I... I can't answer that."

I smirk. "Exactly. I don't know, but I feel like I was built differently from everybody else, just like you were. I'm nowhere near a Seraph, like you," Alan frowns, "but I AM different. He made me that way. And I'm not going to stop now. I love him, Alan."

He shrugged his shoulders. "Serendipity, are you prepared for the fallout that's going to happen?"

I think for a moment. "If it means that he knows how I feel, then, yes, yes I am."

Alan walks to my front door and opens it. Without turning around, he says "At least if this shot at love doesn't work, you'll be able to get a shot of tequila."

As the door closes, I spit out the drink. "Tequila. Yeah, right."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I used to love him... (Or, The Return pt. 2)

She looks at the receiver in her hand in disgust. She hangs up the phone.

Sighing, she turns and walks to her bathroom. Looking in the mirror, she wonders what happened. What made him leave her all alone for all this time, and then think that he could just drop back in her life like he's so... so... special. Just who do he think he is?

She feels the hot tears fall down her face. She missed him, and she was so worried about him. He didn't have to lie, she would've loved him anyway. Of course, she thought, I would've never told him. Maybe that was the problem. He knew she knew about him, but at the same time, she knew that he knew about her. She knew he covered up about a couple of mistakes he made in his life, but was that as bad as her covering up the fact that she was madly and deeply in love with him?

That was my mistake, she thought. Wiping away the tears, she shook her head. She could've told him, actually she could've saved him, had she just been honest with herself. Sure, everything isn't her fault, he takes most of the blame, but she asked herself if you see someone drowning and you've got the lifeline, do you throw it to them or watch them fade away?

Walking back into the bedroom, she gets dressed. If he was returning, there was only one of two places he could be. She figured she'd better find him first, before he finds her. He's gonna be sad, she can feel it. She left him hanging, on purpose.

Her life was going fine. She had just started back dating again, and she met this guy. He was what she thought she needed in her life, and she dropped everything to get this guy. Then, as soon as the sex went down, so did he. Left, without a trace. Changed number, changed apartment, changed everything. She shook her head. He told her that she makes herself too available too soon, and guys prey on that.

She knew he was right.

And she hated that about him. She hated everything about him, how he looked, how he dressed, how he went though life as if everything was going to be ok one day, no matter what the odds were that he was facing, how he was so chipper all the time, how he always gave the best advice, how he never fussed when she didn't follow the advice and came back for more. She hated that he just had to be right, even when he told her...

She shook that thought off. She doesn't love him. And he doesn't love her. If he did, he would've never lied to her, he would've never had her so worried. He would've never left so abruptly, he would've called, he would've said SOMETHING, anything, just.... She'll never forgive him, never. Once bitten, twice shy. She's not going back to him, even though she needs him, she loves him, she loves his smile, his smarts, his nicknames, his kiss... She told him that he was the most passionate man she's ever kissed. She could feel the love come from him in every kiss, every time he looked at her. He didn't keep secrets, not damaging secrets to her; no, he told her everything, always. He trusted her, more than he trusted some of his family. She sighed. She broke his heart, and in turn, Karma came along and broke her heart for him.

She broke down in heaving sobs.

She loves him and hates him at the same time. She don't know how that's possible, but she doesn't want to face him until she can figure that out.

The phone rings again. She looks at it, scared to pick it up. She calms down and wipes her face. She walks over to the handset and picks it up.


"You don't hate him, you know. Stop acting as if what he did was any worse than what Bobby did. Or Joesph for that matter. And what about Ant? Oh, he was one of the worse. He loved you, you know that, right?"

She almost dropped the phone. Who was this woman, and how did she know so much about her? "Wh- Who are you? How did you get this number? How do you know me?"

"I know more than you think I know. I know you love him. You love him dearly. Stop acting all mad, stop pretending that you can stay mad at him and hate him forever. If you don't, you'll lose him forever."

She quizzed, "Lose him?"

"Yes, girl," the voice answered. "You'll lose him, to someone who'll treat him better, who'll tell him from jump that he don't have to lie to kick it. Who'll tell him the minute she knows that she loves him and won't drag him through heaven and hell every single day. What was the meaning of telling him you love him, and then taking your love away from him? Things like that, it sticks with him for a long time. 2 others have already done it to him, and now, you, the person who told him that you trust him with your life, did it to him, too. Hmmph, if I was him, I wouldn't talk about you ever again. But I'm not him. He's a special guy, and you know it."

She screamed, "Who are you? Who are you to tell me how I feel about him? I hate him, yes, I do! I hate him for lying and then leaving, especially when I needed him the most! I hate the fact that... that..."

"That what?"

She cried out. She sobbed. "That I love him so much!"

The voice was eerily cold and flat, but she could hear the emotion in every syllable she spoke.

"Then tell him. Before we all lose him."

And the line went dead.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Return... (No 'or' this time... or is it?)

The first thing that hits him is the crisp, cold November-in-VA air. His lungs scream in excitement, haven't had air like this in a long time. He greets a group of people standing outside, happy for human contact that's pleasant. He starts walking down the road, listening to the leaves crunch underfoot, smelling the last of the fresh cut grass, feeling the sun on his skin. He smiles, waving at the cars passing him by.

His thoughts go to some of the last conversations he had with the people he cared about the most. He wondered if those words would be the last words he would ever say to them. How surprised would they be if he showed up right now? Maybe surprised isn't the right word. Angry. Mad. Upset. Disappointed. Furious. He did something stupid, although, it's been a stupid ride so far. Stupid in the sense that he actually thought he could make plans and have them work. He shakes it off as he reaches the end of the road. There's 2 directions he could go in, either left or right. He smells the air, catches a scent of jasmine in the air coming from the left, so he turns left and starts walking. About a quarter mile down, he sees a library, and starts to keep walking past it, until he realizes that the faint smell of jasmine leads down to the library. He shrugs his shoulders and heads to the library.

Inside, there is a sprawling selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction. He remembers reading a book a while ago called Choke, so he goes to look it up. The smell of jasmine is unbelievably strong now in the Fiction section. He doesn't see anyone down the isle where the book is located, so he goes and picks out the book. Flipping though the book, laughing at some of his favorite lines, he is oblivious to the female standing behind him. Finally she taps him on the shoulder.

"Hmm? I'm sorry, ma'am, am I in your way?"

She has a straight face. "No." There is a long pause. Even longer silence. Finally-

"Um, is there something I can do for you, ma'am?"

"No." She stares in his eyes, looking for something, something that he has no intent of sharing, for he just got it back.

"Okay. Wow. If you don't mind me saying so, it's really creepy to be in my personal space like this, on this cramped isle of a large library no less, and you don't want anything in particular but to stare and leer at me as if I stole your lunch money 15 years ago." No response. "That was a joke, by the way."

No smile. No facial tick. Slow blinking. Finally, she speaks. "You're not who you used to be. What you tried to get people to imagine you to be, huh? Actually, you thought no one really knew the real you, didn't you? You were scared to admit your shortcomings, so you hid them, camouflaged them, distorted them, until even you were fooled by your actions."

His mouth falls open. Stunned, he stammers "W- Well, to be honest, tha- that's none of your business. And where do you get off-"

"What bothers you the most is not the fact that you tried to cover up your mistakes, not the fact that you carried the world on your back, not the fact that you were torn between angel and demon but the fact that everyone knew who you really were but you. And they didn't care. They still loved you, and they still love you, you know that? You can't expect to be alone for the rest of your life, it's time to let go and keep it moving. You have an attractive personality, people will always be drawn to you, no matter what you do to try and push them away. Keep being yourself, just stop covering up your mistakes and take them on head on, ok?"

He looks at her, almost as if she fell from heaven above to spit his life story. The sweet smell of jasmine is coming from her. He starts to speak, but she places her finger on his lips.

"Go back. Don't run. Ever again. Stand up, stand tall. They'll forgive you, I promise. Everyone you love, and everyone that loves you will forgive you. After while, it'll just be jokes about what happened. You really are sweet, you know that? I love you, too. Didn't think that was possible, huh?" He shakes his head, her finger still on his lips. "I didn't neither, and I just met you 2 minutes ago. But I think I always knew I would meet you. I dream about you, all the time. And now, I meet you and tell you that I love you. I must be crazy, huh?" He nods his head quickly. She finally breaks a smile, then she laughs quietly. "You weren't supposed to answer like that. You see what I mean? Even when I'm being serious you have a way of making me laugh. Not many people have the gift that you have."

He gently moves her finger from his lips. "And what gift is that?"

She smiles again. "Compassion. From the heart. Even though the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, you'll gladly go there if it meant making someone extremely happy. That's what we love about you. We don't care about the half-truths and the lies, because, in the grand scheme of things, they are insignificant. We care about YOU. Me, most of all."

He shakes his head. "And there's the million dollar question. Who-"

She puts her finger to his lips again. "Never you mind. Just know that one day, you'll look back and realize that I've always been there, and will continue to be there for you, as long as there is a breath in my body." She smiles sweetly, kisses him on the lips, no tongue. She stops. And just like that, she turns around and walks away.

Halfway down the isle, she turns around and says "You're receiving the ball now. Return it for a touchdown. Don't be scared. Go all the way, for me, ok?" She walks away, turns left at the end of the row. He runs down the isle and look-

She's gone.

He doesn't see her, so he runs up and down the library, looking in all the isles, seeing if she darted down a row of books somewhere, but alas, there's no sign of her. He shakes his head and goes to return the book to the isle. He asks himself who was that woman and how did she know so much about him. When he gets to the spot to return the book, there's a piece of paper there. Sliding the book back into it's spot, he opens the paper. It reads-

"To answer your million dollar question... Love, actually."

Immediately, he smiles, folds the paper, places it into his wallet and goes to the pay phones. He dials a number, a voice picks up.

"Hello?" says the voice.

"I'm returning." He hangs up the phone.

It begins.


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