Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chapter 1 - Ryan

Ryan was sitting at his usual table in the plaza.  Enjoying the summer sun as it beat down on his neck.  From the warmth he knew that his neck was probably going to be sore tomorrow, but he wasn't worried about that right now.  He was concentrating on the movements that his hand was making.  Helping the pencil in his hand touch the paper, the sketch that appeared was coming out perfectly.  Sure there was an eraser mark or two, but he could always touch those up once he scanned this piece of work into the computer.  No one would know the difference.  As he finished with the shoe he was drawing, he couldn't help but smile.

"Looking good." A friendly stranger said as they walked passed.  Ryan looked up and smiled at the man walking by.

"Thanks" he said, but the man was already out of earshot.

Ryan looked back down at the drawing in front of him.  He could definitely feel his artwork was coming along. As he was about to put his pencil back to the paper her felt the vibration in his pocket.  He placed the pencil down on top of the tablet and leaned forward so he could put his hand into his pocket.  He fished for a moment and pulled out his phone. After unlocking the phone he saw he had a text message.  Opening the message he noticed it was from Heather, his girlfriend.  He hadn't heard from her since Monday.  It's been 2 days since they last conversed.  He had sent her a few texts hoping for replies each time, but has been kept waiting.  Finally she responded. 

He opened the message and read the following:

I'm sorry, but i can't do this anymore

Nothing more, nothing less.  That was the entire message.  As his heart sank in his chest it beat like a time bomb. It was obvious what the message meant.  There was no mistaking it.  His relationship with Heather was over, but why?  With his mind on autopilot, he closed out of the message and opened it again.

I'm sorry, but i can't do this anymore

It was still the same.  Why?  He stared at the message for a few more minutes hoping the letters would rearrange themselves and be a happier message.  But the letters didn't budge.  He closed the message out again. Dialed her number by heart and listened to the ringing through the receiver.  One.  Two.  Then he was listening to her voicemail.  Dismissing the call, he placed his phone on the table in front of him covering the picture he was drawing.  He looked up from his phone and watched fountain in the middle of the plaza.  The water spewing upwards from the ground suddenly stopped and splashed back down.  The thud that came with the splashing water made Ryan jump.  With that, he noticed that tears had begun to build up in his eyes and push their way forward.

He picked his phone off of his tablet and saw the picture he was drawing.  It was Heather.  He was drawing her.  Thinking about her as always. Why the sudden change?  Did he do something wrong?  A tear fell onto the tablet.  He quickly wiped his eyes and looked back at the phone in his hand.

I'm sorry, but i can't do this anymore

He hit the reply button.  His heart, now in his stomach, ached.  How does one convey all the pain into a response? Should he even respond?  He had to know why. He canceled the message that he hadn't started and put his phone down again, closing his eyes.

***

"You can't put that there!" Heather laughed as Ryan was putting his glass down on the coffee table.  "You need to put a coaster under it!"

He looked at her and laughed.  "There aren't any more coasters."  He looked around the room. 

"Guess you'll have to just hold on to your glass, then." She grinned at him.  The sparkle in her eyes made his heart flutter with happiness as they joked around with each other.

"Guess so." He sat back against the couch with her at his side.  He slowly moved his hand with the glass in it towards her leg.  "This looks like a good place to rest it." The glass now resting in his hand, but on top of her knee. He leaned his shoulder against hers and moved his head closer to hers.  She was still grinning and her eyes slowly began to close.  His lips pressed against hers.  The feeling of peace and calm fell over him, except his heart.  It skipped a beat.  This was what love feels like.  There was no reason to worry about anything else at the moment.  He was with the girl he loved, lips touching, passion happening, nothing could ruin this moment. 

He felt the glass slip, water spilling down her legs. She gasped as the water soaked through her pants immediately.  Though it wasn't the waters fault she was wearing those soft fuzzy pajama bottoms at the time.  She jumped up trying to pull away from Ryan but he had her pinned to the couch.  He smiled at her and she glared at him.  "Too bad there weren't any coasters left.  We might not have been in this predicament."  He kissed her again before leaning away from her so she could get up.

She laughed at him again as she stood up and pulled her pants down to free herself from the wetness.  She shook her head, he figured she didn't know what to say to him.  "Yeah right! You wanted me out of my pants!"

He couldn't help the grin that crept across his face. "Nah, that wasn't my plan at all," he said slyly as he stood up from the couch and making his way towards her.  "But, now that you are..."  His smile was mirrored on her face as she did a little dance before he embraced her.  Both laughing as they fell against the wall with a thud.  He had her pinned against the wall, her hands held within his own.  Their lips pressed together in a never-ending kiss.

Their hands unraveled from each other and found their way across one another's back.  Their lips parted so Heather could say, "It's only fair that you take.."  His lips pressed against hers again and the rest of her words were lost in a kiss.  The passion that these two held for each other had never been greater.  As they pulled each other closer, Ryan opened his eyes.  He watched as Heather's eye remained close. He felt the warmth in his chest and knew that they were in love. His heart was beating quickly in his chest.  He closed his eyes again and continued the kiss for a few more moments.

Without a word between them, their kissing stopped.  He stepped back and made to grab her hand.  She glanced down and grabbed his hand and she looked back up, their eyes meeting.  A smile spread across her face as she led the way towards her bedroom.  He knew her roommate wasn't home, this was a prime opportunity to show her how much he loved her. He closed the door behind him as she laid down on the bed.

***

He opened his eyes.  His heart felt crushed after the memory faded away.  He felt hollow inside.  Sliding his finger across his phone to unlock.

I'm sorry, but I can't do this anymore

He locked his phone and leaned forward once again, placing the phone back into his pocket.  It wasn't going to get better by staring at his phone.

He looked down at the table in front of him.  Another reminder.  The picture he was drawing seemed to be staring back at him.  Can't do this anymore? He was still looking at the picture in front of him, but his eyes were no longer seeing anything in front of him.  He was seeing with his heart now.  The world-ending news he just received made everything freeze around him. There was no more time or space.  Nothing existed anymore.  Without Heather in his life, life just had no meaning.  Why?  Why now?  They spent the last year of their lives together, spending more time together than they did apart.

The world came back into focus.  He closed the cover to the tablet in front of him.  There was a shout at the fountain in front of him and he quickly looked up.  There was a little girl standing beside one of the tall geysers.  She was soaked.  Holding her head down, hands up to her face, she was crying.  He wanted nothing more than to do the same.  There was just one problem.  He had to get to class.

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