Opia #atozchallenge

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Opia; the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

He was holding me tightly and I was staring into his brown eyes trying to decide what to do. I felt a weird mixture of emotions and too much was tumbling through my mind to focus. I knew I should say something, but the words wouldn’t form.

His eyes were so intense with the weight of the question that I felt vulnerable. What would he do if I said the wrong thing? I couldn’t think of that. However, I couldn’t think of an answer either.

I took a deep breath and tried to break eye contact with him. I just needed a moment without his gaze. Would he see that as a wrong move though? Catching myself just in time, I wondered what was really holding me back from answering him.

There were too many things….What did I want though? I bit my lip, juggling the words on my tongue. It could only be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that I squeezed out. My heart knew the right one to say, but my head said the opposite.

Whatever I picked, it would change both our lives.

‘Well?’ he said, finally crumbling at the long wait.

I took a deep breath and hoping I said the right thing, I replied, ‘I love you too.’

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The Mystery Of Love

Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With Hands

In the beginning there was a stranger who then became my friend who then became my boyfriend who then became my fiance who then became my husband and my soul mate forever.

Will She?

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When he saw the ring in the shop window he knew it would be perfect. Now all he had to hope was that she’d say yes.

Who is She?

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He didn’t believe in love at first sight until she walked into his life. He knew in that moment he could never let her go.

You Can Never Know

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I sit in my car on the other side of the street and I monitor your house. It’s a busy night were cars driving past, pulling up and leaving. For a few minutes, I think I’ve got the wrong address. Did you move? Or maybe you’ve never lived here? But then the door opens and you step out.

I see you turn to say something into the house then you shut the door and began walking. I know it’s you, even in the orange light from the streetlamps. You look so much like her and yet not. My mind begins thinking about how things could have been as it does so often. I always wanted a daughter and you could have so easily been mine.

I let your mum go though and you with her. It was better that way, better for us all, but who really says that would have been so?

I want to get out of the car and chase after you. I want to grab your hand in mine and say, ‘I’m your father! The man who brought you up wasn’t really him. Your mother had an affair before her wedding night but she still choice him. Her and I knew the truth though and now I want you to know that too.’

And what will you reply? That I’m joking? A liar? I’ve got the wrong person?

Perhaps.

In my head though, you look at me and see the similarities between us. You cry out, ‘father!’ We hug and our lives become more filled because we have each other.

I can’t do it though. As much as I want to, I know it’d ruin your life and the memory of you mum. So, I stay sat in the car.

Book Tunnel

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We hadn’t been walking in the forest for long when we came across it. In a small clearing, jutting out of the ground was a metal framed window.

‘You go look,’ my girlfriend whispered.

She had hooked her fingers in the straps of her hiking rucksack and was looking so cute in blue shorts and a cream vest top.

‘I don’t know…’ I trailed, casting my eyes over the strange structure.

‘It could be a secret hatch to an old war bunker or a nuclear shelter. There might be something interesting down there,’ she spoke.

‘Then you go look,’ I suggested.

She shook her head and turned away, looking at the trees that surrounded us. The forest was just awakening after being a sleep all winter. Leaves were budding on branches and flower shoots were coming up. Birds were singing and calling to each other in the distance.

Sighing, I walked forward to the edge of the metal frame and looked though the window. Straight down into a walled hole I stared. Then slowly, I saw that the walls were made of books! Books and books stacked in a spiral going down into the darkness.

‘What is it?’ my girlfriend called.

‘Come see,’ I answered, ‘it’s strange. Nothing scary.’

‘I’m not scared,’ she snapped back then came over.

She came to my side and looked through the window.

‘Oh! It’s books!’ she cried.

‘Yep. Must be some art project or something,’ I added.

‘Wondered where they go. Does this open?’ my girlfriend asked.

We both looked around the edge of the metal frame but found no way to open it.

‘Guess not,’ I said.

My girlfriend pouted, ‘but I want to see the books.’

I rolled my eyes hearing the childish tone of her words.

‘You can see them,’ I pointed out, ‘here I’ll take a few photos.’

I dug out my camera and began taking photos from different angles. Some images included my girlfriend and two of the photos I took with me next to her looking down the window hatch. Most though showed the books spiralling into the darkness.

‘It looks like the hole to Wonderland,’ my girlfriend announced afterwards.

‘Huh?’

‘You know, the book; Alice In Wonderland. Alice fell down a hole lined with all kinds of things. This reminds me of that story,’ she explained.

‘Oh. I guess so,’ I replied.

We give the book tunnel one last look then left to carry on our hike, both of us wondering about the window.

Special Snowflake

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Holding her close, he whispered in her ear, ‘you’re my special snowflake.’

She giggled then kissed him under the mistletoe.

Walking Away

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She walked away from him and it was as simple as that to leave it all behind. She felt better, like a wild bird that been trapped in a cage but was now free. The control was all her own again and she could live as she wanted, not as he had made her believe she should. She told her friends it was better to be alone then in a relationship where you couldn’t be yourself and you fell into being a lie.

So what if her road was now lonely? Wasn’t it better to be like that then to find that you had no life at all? Her purpose shouldn’t have to be to please others or to be the perfect girlfriend. The purpose should be what she wanted and why should she care if other people judged her? She was living how she wanted to now and was a lot more happier.

Jump

Person Standing on a Brown Wood Log Floating on a Body of Water

Looking into the clear water, I avoided her eyes as her announcement hung in the air. A group of small fish passed by, battling the strong river current. I faked interested in them to give me time to think hard, which I then couldn’t do. Her words were totally unexpected and heavily weighted.

I wanted to ask her so many questions; why? How? Who?

But nothing would form. It was if the English language had left me completely and I was a dumb foreigner in a new country. The fish passed by, going wherever they were heading to up river. Gentle waves lapped at the soil banks and around the posts of the old wooden bridge. I saw a clump of grass and a long twisted stick pass by. It all seemed so normal.

‘Rory,’ she whispered my name like a ghost on the wind.

I didn’t turn to her, I couldn’t.

‘I’m sorry,’ she added as if that would make it any better.

A breeze shook the just turning autumn leaves of the surrounding forest trees. A few leaves came loose and fluttered down into the water. They landed lightly, causing only a few small ripples, then the river carried them away.

And still, I couldn’t face her or the truth of her words. It felt like this was happening to someone else. A different version of me that was here at another time. I hope that Rory acted better.

I heard her stand up. The rustle of clothes, the jiggling of her backpack. All I could think about was this was why she had brought me here, to tell me that. She knew it would be easier out here whilst I was captivated by the magic of the forest instead of inside a cafe or a house. She could slip away perfectly now, vanish into the pines and the hollows without worrying I’d chase after her.

She sighed and lingered for a few moments. I just knew she was waiting for me to say something. What did she want? For me to beg like a dog? Plead that if she took the words back I’d promise my eternal love like some Greek hero? Perhaps, she had known all the long that this would happen. That the weight of her words would sink me like the stones we had sometimes thrown into the river.

My silence stretched. I heard her light footsteps moving away then she paused again and I think she almost wanted to say something to me. Even if I’d wanted to look at her, I couldn’t move my head and perhaps if I had it might have changed things. Or maybe, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

She left me watching the flowing water and thinking about jumping in.

Faulty

Telling myself that I wasn’t stuck, I carefully lowered the screwdriver and balanced it on my chest before trailing my hands down to my heavily pregnant belly. The little voice at the back of my head once again questioned why I was under the spaceship’s main engine changing the last of the faulty power crystals.

‘Because no one can be trusted,’ I spoke.

‘You okay?’ a very distant voice answered me back.

‘Next time, husband, when you meet barbarian traders offering you a too good a deal, walk away!’ I yelled.

Taking the purple, pulsing crystal out, I slotted a new one in it’s place. The red warning light and ringing alarm cut off. I sighed then slowly backed away, dragging my tools with me. Coming out the hatch, I fixed a scowl on my face.

The whole crew were stood in the room, looking worried.

‘I fixed it. Everything should be fine now. Don’t ever mess with my ship again,’ I added to my husband as he helped me up.

 

 

Story prompt from: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/fffaw-challenge-week-of-september-13-2016/#comments

Photo prompt provided by Jade M. Wong with thanks.