Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Wish You Were Here - Three Instalments Finished

Breaking Down

"Come on Danni! What are you just standing there for?" Cassy cried over her shoulder. 
Dragging her eyes back into focus, Danni watched the other girl run off along the asphalt. Knowing that her continued silence would only attract more attention, more questions, she began to run too, laughing breathlessly as she went. Breathless laughing was easy, casual, something that didn't sound as false as her normal laughter.
The bright colours and noises of the school fate streamed around them, but Danni hardly noticed. Cassy was probably running towards some kind of attraction, but nothing really stood out to Danni. It all looked the same so she just followed blindly and prepared to act excited wherever they arrived next.

The two girls skidded around people and clowns and corners into the cool air of a deserted classroom. Cassy stopped and turned to face Danni. Her mouth pulled into a thin line. Danni recognised determination in the set of Cassy's mouth, but it didn't reach all the way to her eyes. Her eyes were soft. Danni thought that the softness might be worry, but emotions seemed harder to understand at the moment. It was like she had forgotten how to read them as well as how to feel them.
Putting it all together, the secluded spot, the hard mouth, the soft eyes, the hands held out the same way people do when approaching a frightened animal, Danni finally realised what was going on. She turned away quickly and began to feign interest in the room they had just entered. Paintings surrounded her. Brilliant, an art room, lots of easy conversation there. 
The shapes in the pictures meant nothing to her. They might have been happy people or dead puppies for all she knew. Normally she wouldn't have taken such a risk, but desperate as she was to avoid the approaching conversation, she randomly gestured to one and said, "Wow, isn't that pretty? God I'd love to be that talented. Wouldn't y-"
"Shut up Danni," Cassy snapped, "You can't keep running from this. You can't keep running from me. We have to talk about it, whatever it is, so stop trying to distract me because it isn't going to work. Not this time.  "
With a mental sigh Danni turned to face her former best friend.
"What do you want Cassy?"
"I want you to talk to me"
"That's what we are doing. That's what we always do. I'm pretty sure we have used up all the words in the English language at this point," Danni spat 
"You know that's not what I mean," Cassy coaxed, "we need to talk about what happened. I can see what it's been doing to you. Do you think you fooled me with those weird smiles. They are like someone put fish hooks through each corner of your mouth and they just  pull up when it seems like you should be smiling. It's creepy. It's been like talking to a robot that has been programmed to act like you. It's like you aren't really there any more. I know you are doing your best, but maybe the fake-it-till-you-make-it approach isn't working. Maybe you need to talk about it. Maybe you need to get it all out and cry, so that then you can start to feel better and get back to your self."
"Wow. What a great little speech. How long have you been rehearsing that one Cass?" Danni sneered back. 
Contempt was easy. Cassy had once been her best friend and Danni would never have spoken to her so harshly, but who knew what she was now. Danni had recently realised that she didn't really care about Cassy any more. However, she didn't really know what to make of that because she didn't care about anyone else either. She didn't really care about anything at all. 
"So what if I rehearsed it? I have been worried about you!" Cassy cried.
"Save it for someone who cares."
Cassy's eyes tightened slightly as the words sunk in, but she spoke like Danni hadn't said anything, "What happened at the party Danni?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Danni, you need to talk about it. I was reading about how letting it out can help. You know, like sharing the burden."
"Of course  you read up about it, you little nerd." Danni laughed, "Typical Cassy. You think you can solve everything for everyone with your precious books. I'm not some project for you to fix up and get a pat on the back from some teacher."
As tears welled in Cassy's eyes, Danni knew she had hit below the belt but she was way past caring.
In a tiny whisper Cassy replied, "It's not like that and you know it. I'm just trying to help you. Why wont you let me?"
"Because it's none of  your damn business you nosy little idiot. Now get out of my way. I'm leaving," Danni yelled.
As she stormed out of the room, Danni thought she saw the tears spill down Cassy's cheek as her final words hit home, but she didn't look back to find out.


Walking home in the afternoon heat, Danni knew she should be thinking about her fight with Cassy. She should probably even be upset about it and coming up with ways to make it better. Instead she was concentrating on putting one dusty shoe in the front of the other and counting each step.
Ninety-seven. Ninety-eight.
It had taken two thousand and five steps to get home from school on Friday.
One hundred and nine. One hundred and ten.
As part of some stupid personal mission,she was concentrating on lengthening each step by the slightest margin in an attempt to make the walk from the school gate to her front door in exactly two thousand steps.
One hundred and twenty-four.
Though she was determined to achieve her goal, Danni was actually kind of worried about what she would do if she ever achieved it. What would she concentrate on when waking home the next day?
One hundred and thirty-three. One hundred and thirty-four.
She shuddered at the thought of having nothing but her own inner monologue for company. Nothing would be worse.
One hundred and fifty. One hundred and fifty-one. One hundred and fifty-two.

One thousand nine hundred and eighty-six. One thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven.
Pausing for a moment on the footpath outsider her house, Danni could already tell that she had done it. After weeks of trying, she had gotten the steps exactly right. Just thirteen more steps and she would be nose to nose with her front door. Then what would she do?

One thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight.
Her concentration started to slip.

One thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine.
Her fingers began to tremble.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety.
Sweat started to bead on her upper lip.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-one.
Somehow the air got thinner. Lungs working in overtime, Danni struggled to draw enough air to keep breathing.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-two.
The pressure in her head started building, throbbing with each accelerated heart beat.
"No, no, NO! Get a grip Danni!" she encouraged herself, "Come on, pull yourself together!"

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-three.
Trying to stay calm she attempted to swallow down her fear. Her parched and swollen tongue
stuck to the roof of her mouth and threatened to choke her instead.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-four.
She found the bottle in her bag just in time to slosh some water into her mouth and unstick her tongue. The cool water felt nice to her overheated body so she took another swig.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-five.
The water in her stomach churned. Nausea rushed back at her and twisted her stomach in knots. Thinking of how some people describe butterflies in their stomach she laughed. This felt more like a python rolling and twisting and knotting painfully as it tried to find some way of escaping.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-six.
As the snake rolled in the pit of her stomach the chill set in. Sweat froze into goosebumps, teeth chattered, and she began to shiver.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.
Her back started aching and she realised that she had been holding her body so tense that she was beginning to tremble as well as shiver. Her muscles and skin both twitching and shaking pulling away from each other. Tremors cracking her apart.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight.
Unable to hold the pieces of herself together she felt it creeping in.

One thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine.
Quietly through the cracks in her mind, the broken record of her inner monologue began to play.

Two thousand....

Quiet Storm 

The rest of this story has been moved to Wattpad because this post was getting insanely long.
You can read it here

This post is getting too long and annoying so I am going to continue writing it on my Wattpad account where you can see it one chapter at a time, rather than just one long stretch. 
I don't know if you might have to be a member of Wattpad in order to read it...that would be sad. If that's the case and you don't want to sign up, then just let me know and I will email the chapters to you or something. 

I will continue to update the title of this post though so that if you are on G+ you can see at a glance if there is a new chapter for you to read. 

No comments:

Post a Comment