Colder than your Sun
"Why do you persist in following me?"
A valid question, one that she could not easily answer. She looked away, fiddling nervously with her hands as she tried to formulate a suitable answer in her mind. An almost impossible task, as she knew no way of putting all of her feelings into the right words, and she felt increasingly stupid as the silence ebbed on, disturbed only by the soft sound of the rain as it fell from the dull, cloudy sky. Her eyes remained fixed on the rough, concrete pavement, unable to lift her head to stare look into the eyes of the man who stood before her. How could she explain it all to him? The hours spent searching for his name in directories under the cold light of the street lamp, building up the courage to go to the places where he might be, the feeling of hope when he was there and the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach when he wasn't. The final decision to talk to him, to say something, anything, yet, after following him in the shadows, it was he who was the first to speak.
She didn't know him.
Except one thing, one tiny detail that had captivated her in an instant. A seemingly insignificant detail, but to her it meant everything. A ring, blemished with smudged fingerprints and faint scratch marks. Attached to a pale hand, reflecting the light of the dull street lamps that lit the path away from the city center and towards the grottier side of the City, she could see the numbers 524 carved into it's side. Her gaze flickered towards the ring, lingering there, her focus suddenly pulled from her attempts to provide the man with an answer.
Only a few months ago now, she had awoken on a dusty, wooden floor, her head pounding with an indescribably pain and her vision blurred. Yet something, someone, had reached out their hand in kindness, a hand with a silver ring on, the numbers 524 etched upon it, and she had placed her own in that hand and felt herself pulled up onto her feet, her knees shaking as if she were a child who had just learned to stand upright. When her vision had finally managed to focus, whoever the hand belonged to had disappeared and she was left alone in what turned out to be an abandoned apartment in the same City which she stood in now.
She didn't know anything.
It would be foolish to think of all the questions that had gone through her mind, there were too many to list. Needless to say, she had no memory of anything before the blurry encounter with the helpful. No memory of who she was, what had happened to her, why she was there, nothing. But that, she figured, was how her story had to begin. Every person on this world would have a story, no matter how small or insignificant, it was a story that stood out among all the rest. This seemed to be the beginning to her story, a story to find some answers.
Her name was Girl.
Or, so it had been for the past few months. If she had ever had a name, she couldn't remember it, but a name seemed so unimportant to her when looking at the big picture, so, when people asked who was, she gave herself a simple name, a plain name, an ugly name. Girl. The next few months she had dedicated herself to finding some answers, but she had no idea where to begin. She had nothing to go by, no leads whatsoever, and even if she did she assumed that she wouldn't have known what to do with it anyway. All she had was a stranger, a ring and the numbers 524. She knew she had to find the owner of the ring, but how could she do something like that without some unlikely coincidence?
So she did nothing for weeks, going mad day by day at the thought of living a life without a true identity. It consumed her, her mind wandering, trying to pry open her memory. She wanted to know where she came from, who her family and friends were, what she did for a living. This person, this person with the ring, he knew, he had to know. She had to find him.
She needed him.
The human mind is a tricky thing, something that even after years of learning and studying one can never fully understand. In all those weeks, craving for something, anything to help her, her mind had been unable to prove itself useful, either through intelligence or simply the sudden reappearance of her lost memories. She couldn't take it anymore; she couldn't live knowing that she didn't really exist anymore, that she was no one. There was only one way out, death. So she found herself standing on the rooftop, almost peacefully, a feeling of serenity washing over her as she resigned herself to her fate. In this instant, it came to her, the lead she had so desperately searched for her. In only a few moments, she would be free from the torture that her life had become. Only a few more moments.
Then came that unlikely coincidence that she had never believed would come. She realized that if this sudden occurrence had come only second later, she would be dead and she saw now just how much death frightened her. The thought that she would die, unnoticed by anyone, scared her and she was given a new urge to discover her own existence. What Girl remembered was a name and, while this wasn't a big piece of information, it gave her a new sense of purpose and her search was renewed.
It had been whispered and, if Girl had known better, she may have read deeper into the ounce of fear that was detectable in the whisperers' voice. The voice itself was one that she did not recognize and it did not awaken any further memories that remained hidden in her mind. All she'd had was a stranger, a ring and the numbers 524, but now she had a name as well. She wasn't entirely sure on the connection that the name and the stranger had, but she reasoned that, even if they were two separate people, there was a chance that they would both be able to help her. If this Dante Calin was the man who wore the ring, then she could also thank him, for it seemed that he had shown great kindness on the day of forgotten events.
The name had led her to the man before her. He was young; she would even say that he was a similar age to her own if she knew her own. He was slightly taller than her and, now that was standing a little closer to him, she felt small, shy and embarrassed, any courage that she had mustered previously having simply slipped away before his presence. He stood with his back to her, so she was unable to see his face and she wondered how he had noticed her there without looking behind him, for she had done her best to keep as quiet as possible in her pursuit. She figured that the man was a business man and fairly wealthy as well, due to the expensive looking suit he wore. His hair, however, was far from the well groomed look that she had seen other business men wear, and was instead scruffy, a dark brown in colour. His hair destroyed the sophisticated look his clothing gave him and Girl couldn’t quite work him out.
It suddenly occurred to her that it had been a while since the man had questioned her and her nervousness kicked back in. She tried to form words with her mouth, but soon discovered that she was unable to speak. Now that she here, so close to finding out the answers that she craved for, so close to this man, this Dante Calin, she was speechless. Could it be that he would simply walk on and her chance would be taken away? This was her only chance; she couldn't simply remain silent, allowing her nerves to get the better of her. She stuttered, trying to come up with something to say, something to end this increasingly uncomfortable silence.
"I..." she managed to say, her voice slightly croaky from a lack of use.
The man's head turned and she was given a glimpse of his face. There was no denying that he was an attractive young man, dark brown eyes to match his hair, a light complexion and well defined features. He was frowning slightly, but in no way did it detract from his good looks. His eyes, however, were cold and calculating, fixated upon her. She felt as she was tiny, and she blushed, looking back to the floor again, unable to bear looking into those eyes. She was a little scared now, a little scared that, all alone in this deserted street, she may get hurt, or he may simply walk away from her and she would loose everything.
She heard footsteps, slowly approaching where she stood and then she saw a shadow appear on the ground which she stared at. Then she felt warm hands grip gently onto her shoulders, as if the man feared that she may fall over any moment and had to support her. His hands were so warm and that warmth spread throughout all her body. Timidly, she lifted her gaze again. He had moved closer to her, and she felt slightly awkward and embarrassed at their closeness. She was blushing again, but there was no way that she could hide her face when they were this close and she simply prayed that it was too dark for him to notice. His face no longer held the frown that it had before, and his eyes had grown softer, warmer.
She trusted him.
"It's okay," he spoke softly, smiling a little.
She attempted a smile back, but she wasn't sure that it was noticeable. So many feelings were rushing through her right now that she was afraid that, if she allowed herself to smile, they would all come pouring out at once. He was going to help her, he was going to support her, she knew it. Finally, she was going to find out who she was. Finally, things were going to become clear. This man was her savior, he was her hero, for her was going to help her free herself from the darkness that had consumed her. She could feel tears now, threatening show her up in this moment. Maybe the man saw, maybe he understood what she was going through, for he pulled her closer towards him and she felt his arms wrap around her.
"It's okay," he repeated, and she knew that it was, she knew that everything was gonig to be okay now.
Because of him.
She let herself cry while he couldn't see her face that was now buried into his shirt, but silently, so that he couldn't hear. She didn't want him to see how vulnerable she had become, how lost she was, how afraid. She allowed him to hold her, because she felt so safe in his embrace, she didn't want to let go. For the past few months she had been no one, but this man was going to change that, he was going to give her an identity. He was going to give her a life.
She loved him.
The man smiled.
Last edited by WorkThoseStripes; 09-30-2008 at 02:00 PM.