I wrote this about three and a half years ago, so the writing’s a little… rusty, I guess. I’m just a bit embarrassed of it, I think—should I be? (I thought it was one of my better pieces until my ex told me that it sucked very badly)

A short story

She had left him three days ago, and yet her presence, her soul, still lingered like a ghost on his memory. Oh god… Caroline. The very thought of her continued to mysteriously intoxicate him; a swimming vision of beauty, with her straight golden hair and lily-white skin. And, oh, the scent of lilacs… that sweet, lustful mist of hers enveloped him like a fever, curling through his brain, invading his senses. It was too much. He couldn’t sit here and torture himself like this. He couldn’t…

They met by accident. It was a soft May evening, and as the warm breezes of night settled in, he could only stare at the ceiling of his bedroom in a dream-like state of insomnia. Sleep usually came easily to him, but tonight… Tonight, something restless was growing inside of him; something uncontrollable, heart-pounding, desperate. It was as if the darkness was calling out, beckoning him to enter forth into its realm.

Rolling out of bed, he got dressed and stumbled, trance-like, out the door. Warm spring air hit him like a dream, and it was then that he saw it; realized what had been calling him. A pregnant full moon, silver and godly in its presence, shone calmly down, embracing the landscape in its pure white glow.

He ran back inside, grabbing his sketchbook and some charcoal. Then he headed out across the meadow, and out towards the bridge. Known as one of the most picturesque spots in the valley, the old bridge spanned a crystalline stream, which in turn, flattened out into a giant mirrored lake. Weeping willows sighed and dipped to meet the weathered arch, creating a curtain of leaves on each side. He pushed these aside with delicacy, and walked out onto the wooden planks, each footfall echoing dimly on the night air. That was when he realized he wasn’t alone. A girl stood in the middle of the bridge, leaning slightly over the edge, her arms resting on the side. Long pale blonde hair hung over her face, and her head was bent, almost as if she was in prayer. He stood there for a few seconds, just taking her in and thinking of what a good sketch this would make, when she turned and looked at him.

“Oh!” he exclaimed, almost guiltily. “I, uh, was just leaving… Don’t mind me.” Yet somehow, he seemed frozen, unable to move from her quiet gaze. An inquisitive smile played on her tiny heart-shaped mouth, and she continued to stare at him with wide blue eyes; electricity seemed to gather in the air, sparking between the two of them.

“No, please stay.” Her voice had a sparkling silver tone about it, as if the moon had rained down a piece of itself. “I’m a little lonely anyhow; I was hoping someone might walk by.” She stepped towards him and extended a perfect little white hand. “My name’s Caroline. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Nicolas,” he said, taking her hand in his.

They talked for hours beneath that beautiful moonlit sky. She told him of how much she hated her life at home, and how she snuck out every night to walk for hours beneath the comfort of the dark sky. And he told her of how after his parents died and left him a huge house in the country, his only peace came from standing on this bridge and sketching till the small hours of the morning. They talked of art and passion and beauty, of lustful dreams, and quiet moments.

Finally, she sighed and looked out over the water. “It’s getting kind of late…”

“Yeah,” he whispered. A moment hung still on the air between them, and on impulse, he reached out and touched her hair. Slowly, she turned, her eyes gazing soulfully into him. And then they were pressed together in a heated, feverish embrace; all of the fire that had been building up between them let loose in a wave of passion. “Please don’t leave me tonight,” he breathed in her ear. “I need you too much right now.”

“I know…” She smiled, took his hand, and hurriedly, they walked back to his house.

The sun fell warm on his face, and lazily, he opened his eyes, stretching luxuriously. Caroline was still asleep next to him, the sheets clinging desperately to her pale nude body. God, she was like an angel… Sleepily, she opened her eyes, and smiled up at him.

“Sleep well?” He tousled her hair playfully.

“Amazingly.” She yawned and stretched. “Mmm… this is so nice. But… I have to be getting home soon…”

After getting dressed, they went downstairs and made coffee, both sleepily staring at each other.

You’re wonderful.”

I know.”

He stood to start the dishes, and heard a little gasp of surprise behind him.

“You have a lilac bush!””

“Of course. It’s the best part of springtime.” He handed her some kitchen shears. “You can cut some if you want.”

Her eyes were wide with delight, and when she returned, she had a sprig tucked behind her ear, and a large bundle in her arms. She kissed him long and sweet, and handed him a lilac stem. “That’s so you won’t forget about me tonight…” With that, she turned and disappeared like a ghost out the door.

Every night after that, they met at the bridge. Sometimes they just talked, sometimes they walked through the meadow and forests, and other times, they could barely keep off each other long enough to even make it back to his house. Occasionally, he would ask to sketch her. Always, she would keeps lilacs in her hair. They had something beautiful and timeless; it was as if nothing could touch them or drag them down. Everything was perfect—or so Nick thought.

One evening in late August, they were lying in the meadow, watching the stars drift silently by. Caroline had a peculiar quietness about her, which was unusual, considering her naturally bubbly attitude. Finally, after about an hour of silence eating away at the two of them, Caroline turned her head and spoke.

“Nick, I’m pregnant.” There were tears in her eyes, and she looked expectantly at him, waiting for him to respond.

“You’re WHAT? Are you sure?” They had been so careful. How could this happen? A terrible rage seemed to consume him, something he just couldn’t control. “I can’t believe this! How could you?”

“But…” Caroline looked like a scared little animal. “It wasn’t my fault…”

“Shut up. Just shut up and get rid of it!”

A flicker of shock took residence in her features. “Oh god, Nick… I could never—Oh, no, I—NO.”

Without thinking, Nick’s hand lashed out, hitting Caroline hard in the jaw. She fell backwards, screaming in shock. Nick froze suddenly, as the full essence of what he had done dawned on him. “Oh, Caroline! Oh god, I’m sorry.” She was sobbing now, and he bent to put his arms around her.

“No! Get away from me!” Wild-eyed, she scurried out of his grasp. “I don’t care if you don’t want this baby! It’s my body, my choice. And if you’re going to hurt me because of it, just don’t ever come near me again!” With that, she turned and ran, her white dress flapping ghost-like in the wind.

And now he sat here, alone, the madness seeping in through the cracks in his psyche. Her voice, her scent, her touch… everything about her swooped in on him with feverish descent. “Caroline…” Just saying her name brought tears to his eyes. How could he have treated her the way he did? He never meant to hurt her…

Now his mind was made up. He would go to her house and ask her to marry him. She would see how wrong he had been, see how much he really loved her. They would raise that baby together with everything they had, and it would all be alright.

He ran upstairs to his parent’s old room. If he remembered correctly, his mother’s engagement ring was in the top drawer of their dresser… considering he never touched anything in their room after they died, it should still be there. He reached in and fished around for a few seconds. Finally, his hand touched metal, and he drew out the silver diamond antique ring. “Perfect!”

Two minutes later, he had the ring safely tucked in a box and a huge bouquet of lilacs. He set off along the path, and as he was walking, ten thousand thoughts rolled through his mind. What if she wasn’t home? No, she had to be. What if her parents were there? No… he remembered her saying something about Friday night being their date night. What if she said no? She couldn’t… it would crush him.

Finally, her house loomed in front of him, the harbinger of all the fears manifested inside him. He almost turned around and left, but he made himself walk up the stairs to the wide porch. Her light was on in her bedroom—should he just walk in? Well, if no one else was home, she probably wouldn’t mind too much. He twisted the handle, and pushed the door slowly open. “Caroline?” The faint sad echoes of Billie Holiday drifted eerily down the stairs like a frozen dream. “Caroline?” he called again. “Caroline, it’s me. Nick. I need to talk to you!” He inched up the stairs, suddenly gripped in an iron fist of fear. Was there something wrong with her? He had reached the hallway now, stepping cautiously, carefully. “Caroline.” Why wasn’t she answering? A sliver of pure golden energy radiated from underneath her door. Ever so slowly, he pushed it open.

She turned towards him in slow motion. The light diffused her hair; a halo spread out around her. Their eyes locked, and wide blue pools stared at him in confusion. Her mouth opened in a perfect little O, and he held out the ring and the flowers. She smiled, tears trickling down her cheeks. Slowly, she crumbled to the ground, her arms beyond help, a puddle of blood ebbing its way across the floor, the razor still clasped feebly in her hand.

He stood there in shock. The ring fell from his hands, bouncing in slow motion under the bed. “I love you…” he whispered. Oh god. She still smelled like lilacs.

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