Thursday, 27 June 2013

Secrets by Anais Adila

Secrets by Anais Adilla

     She loved secrets and she had loads of them. I think it was just because she loved them so much, she became one. When Romeo called out to Juliet on that fateful night, I knew it would have taken a lot of courage. As I dropped onto my knees to scoop a handful of pebbles, I weighed my options again. What ever, I thought, as I sent a pebble soaring onto her window pane. A couple of throws more and then she appeared, her wavy hair messy and on her left cheek, a bruise. As she climbed down the tree to meet me, I grinned up sheepishly at her. She looked beautiful no matter what.
     I laced my fingers with hers as I turned on the engine of my old Chevy truck. She was silent, her eyes pained. But otherwise, she looked invisible that night. I pressed the accelerator and the truck whined in protest, she stifled a tiny giggle. Later on, when the wind had died down and as the woods thickened, I would ask her what was wrong.

     "She hit my sister, again." Her voice was low, monotonous. 
     We headed to the place. A place for kids like us to escape reality, get high to get away from this pathetic thing called life. The moon was high up in the sky and in the distance, a lone wolf howled. She shivered beside me, afraid and I thought of how we met. She was crying the first time I met her, her head in her hands. I walked up to her and sat beside her as the cicadas around us hummed their songs and the bonfire blazed to life.

     I remember that her eyes were intensely blue that they made me think of stars. I held up my cigarette as a sign of hello and she looked up at me, surprised. Introducing yourself was easy over here. Over exchange beers and cigarettes and weeds, you might even make a friend who was just a suicidal as you are. Her cheeks flushed as I looked at her and I swear, my heart had dropped on to the floor.

     "So," I took a drag of smoke. "What's your story?"

     "Secrets." She smiled a bit. "Are meant to be kept."

     I looked at her, mesmerised. As I tried to come up with a response, she pursed her lips and sighed and then she told me. Her story was her parents. Her parents were sick and abusive and drug addicts. They would get home high and beat the hell out of her and her autistic sister, Al. Everything was playing in my head as we walked into the clearing. Tonight, the bonfire reached up high, almost to my height.

     I took out my Zippo and before I knew it, she was pulling me to a place where the stars shone a little brighter, and where there was only her and me. I lay on my back and she put her head against my chest. We counted the infinite stars above us as I hummed a song that she loved. Then, she suddenly stood up, a determined look in her eyes, and she told me that she wanted to run away.

     I grinned up at her and then I touched her right cheek. Of course, we could. We could run away. When I sent her home that night, I could not sleep. Even after smoking and listening to music, I couldn't get even a wink of sleep. I kept thinking of her and her eyes and her voice that would weave through the open air with mine, lively and exquisite. Then, the phone rang. A knife through the heart could not have defined how I felt when I heard her hard, weaving sobs through the receiver. I told her to stay put and I was on my way.

     Her house was a mess, a shipwreck. Shards of glass were everywhere and there was blood. Pools of blood. The staircase creaked as I ran up to her bedroom. She was on the floor, wailing. Her lips blue and her eyes wide with fear. She was clutching a teddy bear that was Al's. I went up to her and hugged her tightly, whispering that it would be all right. Al, Al wasn't in sight. I searched for her sister as she tried to compose herself, but Al was gone and she said it was too late.

     I kissed her forehead and then she tried to smile. After a while, her cries stopped and she said she couldn't take it any more. She looked deep into my eyes and as if it was a mutual agreement, we both stood up and I helped her grab her clothes in her wardrobe and flung it all into a suitcase and we ran. We took a turn to my house to grab some of my stuff and my passport and we set off to the great unknown.

     The sun was slowly ascending up into the sky, the down of a new day upon us. She sat beside me, her face wet with tears. I knew she was thinking of her sister and that made me quiet. I knew she needed time for herself. The highway stretched before us, a never-ending road leading us to a place only God knew where. After a while of pitiful silence, she reached up and played with the mop of curls - my hair. She smiled her crooked smile and then turned the radio on. It was an oldies station, and Pink Floyd's song burst through the stereo.

     Her voice, as I remembered, lovely and light intertwined with mine in the open air, with the wind in our hair and in that moment, I swear we were infinite. It was just her and me, her dreams and mine, and finally we felt free. After a few years, we got into a college with the help of some friends and we studied as we had never before. I would always remember the time when a guy called Niall came up to us and asked us where we were from.

     I grinned cheekily at her as I waited for her response. As if we were back in the clearing, with a cigarette in my hand, and a beer in hers, she looked up at me and laughed. Niall looked at both of us, confused.

     "Secrets," she repeated, smiling. "Secrets, Niall. Secrets are meant to be kept."

    We were a secret that we would keep forever.

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