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On the Bridge

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Author Topic: On the Bridge  (Read 192 times)
Spainops
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« on: June 18, 2008, 06:02:45 am »

"Aren't you excited?" Cinthy squealed, twirling quickly about her boyfriend Nathan. The only answer was a sarcastic grunt. Caught off guard, Cinthy stopped and stared at him , wondering what was bothering him now. They had known each other since 3rd grade and been the best of friends; three years ago, they had made the decision to be more than friends. "Aren't you excited?" She tried again.
Nathan simply looked away, off the bridge and into the strong current of the river beneath them. He had stopped walking, backpack slung over his right shoulder, holding the strap tightly with his right hand, while his left opened and closed at his side. She walked up beside him and looked into his eyes, which continued to look into the river.
"Nathan, what's wrong?" She asked. He had been strange for about a year now, but he came in and out of it, sometimes being his normal self and at other times being a complete stranger and idiot. Their biggest fights had only happened recently and in each one she could not, for the life of her, understand the reasoning behind his anger. It looked like he was about to do it again, too. With a smudge of anxiety, she prepared for the worst. "What's bugging you, Nathan?"
"Nothing." He snapped. He hadn't even turned to look at her.
"Uh uh." All the cheeriness of the bright, summer day had gone away, and in her soul, storm clouds bearing heavy rain were approaching. "Come on, Nathan, why can't you be happy like you used to be?"
"I was happy once?" This time he turned to look at her, his eyes icy cold.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Cinthy asked in a high pitch voice, not understanding who this man was. She couldn't grasp the fact that he was being so cruel to her.
Her eyebrows began to arch upwards, her lips curved and for a second Nathan thought he saw a tear beginning to swell in her right eye. He looked away, the pain inside him twisting like a jagged spike had been thrust straight into him. This was too much for him; the very situation had crushed his heart, though not so much as he would hers.
"T, listen..." He began, but was quickly cut off.
"No. You will not call me T or anything else except Cinthy until you tell me what's going on." She was adamant, resolute in every word. She had quieted him, though, and whenever he looked at her, she could see his features had softened. A slight ray of hope entered her soul through the dark clouds.

"Cinthy, listen. I-I-I'm not gonna go to college with you." He said, a certain pain edging into his voice.
"What?" She could hardly believe her ears. This was not an option; this wasn't what she wanted to hear. But she had already known that, hadn't she?
"I just can't do it."
"But you promised! We promised! We... we even..." She broke off, sobs wracking her body as tears began to flow.
"I-I-I know, but-but-but...." Nathan stammered, caught full blown by her feelings.
"We even wrote it down... and signed it... like a contract... just... just..." Cinthy couldn't seem to get more than several words out at a time, and didn't dare to look at Nathan. He, on the other hand, stared at her dark hair, so soft and fragrant that he only wanted to hug her, even if she didn't want to hug him back. It wasn't her willingness or lack thereof that kept him from doing so; the secret was torturing him more than he ever thought possible.
"Just like when were seven!" She finished, her rage temporarily dominating her sadness, allowing her to confront him eye to eye.
"That was just a kids game!" Nathan shouted back. He knew, though, that she had a point. They had never broken that little contract written up on a piece of homework when they were seven.
"I can't believe you..." Cinthy took two steps back, as if suddenly Nathan were some stranger with a gun. "Why?"
"I can't tell you." He said softly, looking away again. She was making this too difficult. He closed his eyes, cursing Fate and her pen.
"Yes you can! You've told me everything since the 6th grade! Why can't you tell me this?!" She was slowly growing more and more outraged, a slight red tint growing stronger on her cheeks. He wanted to wipe away the tears right now, to kiss them off like he had done when her seventeen year old dog had died. She had been best friends with that mutt, and he was lucky enough to have been there when he finally left this world.
"I simply can't." Nathan forced the words out, and it was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.
"But at least tell me why you can't tell me! Don't give me the reason for your silence, just the justification for it!" She shouted.
"I have no justification! I have no reason for being able to tell you!' He replied, shouting as loud as she was. He paused for a second, then finally, red faced and frustrated, finished his sentence. "I have no honor!!!"

Cinthy was taken aback by his last comment, unable to comprehend why he had said those words. So she asked him. His only reply was silence and the aversion of his eyes.
"What's going on, Nathan? Why can't you tell me anything anymore? You've never been like this... So what's eating you inside? You know you can tell me, right?" She coaxed, soothingly.
"No, I can't!" Nathan exploded, swinging his arm at the same time. By the evil writings of fate and destiny, he misjudged the distance between him and her and as he swung his arm, slapped her hard across the cheek. To her, it felt like a solid binder had hit her cheek. To him, it was as if he had just smashed her with a hammer. Tears began to show and to travel across her reddened cheek, her hands tenderly touching the place where he had hit her.
"Why did you change?! What made you this way?! Where is the Nathan that I've known since the we were seven?!" She began to scream, waving her own arms wildly, throwing a tantrum of the likes Nathan had never known. She continued on screaming, throwing out dozens of reasons as to why he was being such a jerk to her, and why he couldn't be his old self. Finally, she cut the rope of his patience.
"OK, fine! I'll tell you why I have no honor! I'll tell you why I carry a load of shame and guilt that not even Atlas himself could have supported! You really wanna know why?! Because I bedded Alice!" He raged, emphasizing the final sentence with blinding cruelty.
She stepped back, her eyes as wide as saucers and her soul crushed under the weight of treason. She felt the claws scratching the inside of her skin, the demons of pain and fury hacking away mercilessly. She then hung her head and began to sob.
"You..... with..... my.... sister?" She managed between sobs.
"Yes, I did! Know can you see why I've been like this?!" He continued.

She looked him in the eye, for seven straight seconds, then ran away, crying as hard as she could. Her tears slithered down her face leaving shiny trails that created small rainbows inside themselves, beautiful and sad to behold. But Nathan could not see them, nor  would he ever, he decided. Dropping his backpack, he climbed up onto the side of the bridge, and atoned for his sin.

Cinthy did not cry at his funeral, but the constant sobbing of her sister only fueled a quiet flame that burned brightly, fed by the strongest animosity and the most heartbreaking agony.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 05:18:56 pm by Spainops » Report Spam   Logged

True power does not reside in the weapon, it resides in the wielder. - Narion Anarte, Phoenix of Narde.

Vengeance is served on a plate of knives. - Neforas, Chosen of Duriel.

I may look human, but that's just because you're blind. - Narion Aarach.

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Syphon
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 12:49:02 pm »

Ooooh, guilt trip. Down to the earth. Ow. Nicely written. But maybe a bit too compacted. Must be my taste, though.
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2008, 10:09:30 pm »

Not my usual choice, but I enjoyed it. It's obviously a character piece, so I overlooked the lack of concrete description of the setting. Because it's really not neccessary. Though if you really wanted to, you could do some nice metaphors linking the characters' feelings to pieces of the environment.
Okay, don't do that. That was just a wierd thought I had.

Critiques-wise, there's not much to say. Just a note when you use '.....' in that one sentrnce (several times Tongue). Before that, you always used the three-dot ellipsis, as it should be. If you add more ots, it just appears sort of... unprofessional? It's like when you use a bunch of exclamation marks, when you only ever need to use one.

The characters are strong, I guess as strong as they can be for a short story. I just have trouble seeing them as anything other than flat characters - Nathan obviously has a lot of emotional depth, but I can't really picture him at all. Whenever I try to, I see my friend Nathan, which is just wierd Tongue. Mabe a little description of the characters' appearance would help readers see the story better.
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Quote
He who keepeth a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep.
-Sir Humphrey

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Only a fool fights fire with fire.
-Me

Quote
The bakerman is laughing 'cause he's rolling in the gold...
-Midnight Oil, Bakerman
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