page0rz would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Birds

By page0rz All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Drama

Chapter 1

I used to tell people that Steph could see into the future. It’s how she lived. She knew we’d get married before I asked her. Vivid memories of learning that lesson. The ridiculous and elaborate dinner where I invited her parents over, after spending half the week trying to figure out how to roast a chicken without turning it into a lump of stringy charcoal. The minor panic attack I had after pulling her father aside to ask his permission. Seems silly in retrospect. I thought so at the time, too. But I figured that’s how people did things.

At least her father turned his head to spit beer on the floor instead of my shirt.

“Why are you telling me?” he asked.

“Isn’t that how people do it?” I was feeling the evening heat keenly out there on our apartment’s small balcony.

Her father leaned against the railing. “I didn’t even do that when I asked Hellen, and that was before you were born.”

I shrugged, rubbed at the itchy sweat running down the back of my neck. “I don’t have much experience with this sort of thing,” I said. Which came out of my mouth faster than I realized how obvious a statement it was.

This time he spat the beer out into the empty air. “You need to stop getting life advice from old Life of Riley reruns,” he said, putting the beer down. “And besides, she already knows.”

“What?” I asked. “How?”

“Beats me,” he said, looking at the remnants of the sunset over the narrow grey rooftops. “She said it would be this year, and so it looks like it is. But, hey, that’s Steph, right?” He turned and clapped me hard on the shoulder.

So I asked her, and we got married. And things were good.

Steph was the type of person who knows who she is and what she likes. A decisive personality that drew me in from the day we met. It was her insistence that helped me quit the job I hated and retrain for something else, after years of miserable indecision. She knew I could do it, and I believed in her future. I think that’s what it really was, now that I look back. Obviously, nobody can see the actual future, but Steph had a way of convincing me that her vision was the truth. That it was truer than my doubts, my insecurities.

When she pushed me to reconnect with my brother, whom I hadn’t seen in years, I barely hesitated. The relief I felt after our first phone call in a decade, hearing his voice and realizing that I couldn’t muster a single ounce of the anger I once had, was so intense I felt giddy and lightheaded for the rest of the week.

“That girl,” I’d say to people, adding a bit of knowing elbow, maybe a nod in her direction, “she knows how to scry. I swear I’ve seen the crystal ball and everything.” And they’d look at me funny as they thought of the quickest way to escape without being too rude.

I called my brother a month after Steph’s funeral. I’d thought about her parents, but couldn’t do it. He and Steph met at the wedding, and a few times after, when I started going to family gatherings again. I called him, and I heard him answer, but that’s as far as I got the first time. I let the phone ring after hanging up. I left it on the counter and went for a walk.

I tried again the next day. “You can talk to me,” he said before I had a chance to end the call again. “Whatever you want to say.”

So I said it. I said, “Why didn’t she see that coming? I believed in her, and she didn’t tell me . . . ” The words tasted like bile, I felt like I was betraying her, her memory.

And he didn’t judge me.

It was the first time I cried after she died.

The second came a year later, on my birthday. It was an email from Steph’s personal account, sent through some sort of time-delay system. Opening it was an automatic action, as natural and immediate as the first deep breath after waking from a long sleep. The subject was my name, the body read:

“I’m going to tell you tomorrow that I won’t be around much longer. I know it will crush you, and I don’t want to do it. But I have to. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry it had to end the way it did.

When you read this, I know you’ll be alone, lonely. I understand. You should talk to someone. Call your brother if you haven’t already. He’s a good guy. He’ll understand, too.

You’re going to get better.”

At the bottom was a link to one of her favourite songs--Electrelane's "Birds"--the one she would play on repeat, sitting by herself with her headphones on after breaking the news. She would tell me that, “Music is catharsis,” if she were here. And I decided if she thought that, if she believed that I could get better, then I could believe it, too.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, page0rz
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

heavyonbooks: I admire your creativity. You have written a great piece. I want to promote your Inkitt book for free to my list of newsletter subscribers. If that is alright by you then please email me at exzordersplrwso AT gmail.com to book your spot, thanks.

zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...

jaihov: I love the book, and I know that you didn't mean to offend, and you didn't, but my best friends name is Ireland. She was actually named after the castle called the Luttrell in Ireland. Her full name is Ireland Luttrell. Just thought it was funny because the main character thought that it was such...

William Elliott Kern: Whew. one telling his story, in the Bar, to his friend, who questions some circumstances that need clarity, The Confusion comes from a man, carrying his dead friend Chappies, while conversing with himself, and Chappies, and his alter ego......a broken mind, not yet forgotten..........The Author ...

Ashley Kimler: I love the drama and the darkness of this story. Sadly, I was distracted my editorial errors and couldn't delve into it. The grammar mistakes kept me from being able to forget where I was and immerse in the story. If not for that, I think I would have given this chapter 5 stars. My advice to the ...

_Dusks_kiss: I never knew that one of my favourite childhood cartoons could turn into such a beautiful story. Tho there are many grammatical errors and writing errors, this story warmed my heart to 100%. I would definitely want this book to get published and I would also buy it. It’s amazing character develop...

Dessie Williams: I read the first book and now this one, they both are really good stories. love the characters,. loved painting the story in my head, the ending was awesome. Hope the series continue . Great job .... You Rock!!!

More Recommendations

Isha Chaudhari: Amazing book ...the most beautiful part is the kind of relationship Carla has with Peter. However, the epilogue was the one that surprised me the Most....Carla getting married to Peter....when in the book her relationship is mostly discussed with Ridian.Was a bit confusing thus.Lovable book that ...

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., ,,.,,,,,

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters.What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gre...

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.