A Hallway of Leaves

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Ada Weston sees life differently: to be exact, she sees the world on its grayest side. But her childhood friend, Sam Beltrami, will shatter her own gray world to see it as black and white instead.

Drama / Romance
Sydney Flaire
4.5 2 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Every person is always counting—the seconds, the minutes, the hours, the days, and then weeks, months and years. It is already in the nature of the human brain not to stop and be aware of how much time had passed already. It is like an instinct that the human brain instilled to do. It is already natural for a person to count the tick in the clock.

Currently, I’ve done so for nineteen years, three weeks and six days. And every day, if you’re lucky enough, you got another day to count—another day to live life to the fullest.

I envy people who can live life to the fullest as if there’s nothing to lose, as if everything is all right even if it isn’t, as if tomorrow will never come. I always hope that I’ll be able to feel such even for just a moment despite every single wrong thing that is happening with my life, and I know that I’ll only be able to fulfill such dream if I don’t need to worry about what will happen to me tomorrow.

After all, for people such as us, today could be the last.

“And I hope it won’t be the last for you,” the boy murmured to the girl’s ear, wiping down the tears that trickled down the girl’s cheeks with his fingertips. “That you got to live another day after this.”

I almost snort at how boring the scene is and how it lacks real emotions, and I stop myself right away when I remember that Airin had been crying already since the moment that the guy told the girl that he was willing to give up his principles for her. Even if I hate watching the cliché in movies, Airin insisted me to come along with her to watch the movie.

So, the story of the movie is the usual historic drama one where the guy and girl were torn apart by a civil war going on a fictional country. Like the Romeo-and-Juliet theme movie, they are from different sides of war—the boy was a soldier, and the girl was a rebel. Anyway, as the movie suggested, their love story evolved when the boy got hostage while in the middle of his military operation, and the girl was asked to do the guarding. Until it came to this that the girl secretly freed him, and the fact that the girl forced him to return to his life and all. And you might want to guess what happened after such encounter. Hell, this guy has fallen in love with his captor; seems like he was the one in distress. You may never thought when you would fall with the charms of the Stockholm syndrome after all even if you were a boy.

I didn’t comment about anything then, and I let Airin cries softly. She encouraged me to come along with her even if I don’t want to watch the movie. I hate the story, not the actors, except for one from them.

“Even if we run away, there’s no place in the world that will accept us,” the girl replied. Damn, I hate her character.

I didn’t realize that I’ve already crossed my arms across my chest until Airin swats a hand at my shoulder, causing me to look at her, raising a curious brow. I didn’t wait for her to say anything that I instantly tell her, “You look like a mess.”

Well, she really does. Her makeup is already smudged because of tears, and her hair is clearly loose that her blonde curls tumble passed its bun. She stifles a cry at me, murmuring, “Why aren’t you crying when it ended? Everyone seems to go along with me. And you…”

I roll my eyes, turning back to look at the mirror with a scowl, answering her then softly, “I don’t get the reason why I should cry.”

“Aren’t you going to cry if you know that you are walking a line to death?” she inquires. She diverts her attention back to the mirror as well as she fixes her makeup, sparing me from answering her question. “You should feel sad on how M’fhíorghrá should be.”

I eye her with a curious frown. “M’fhíorghrá?”

“Look! He is such a cutie,” she chimes with a sweet smile despite the tears that completely ruined her once wonderful makeup. Though I’ll admit that she is a beautiful and charming girl even without any, I consider that she is one of the many Irish women that have been influenced by American culture who never leave a house without having such. She continues on with her blabbering about being a fangirl, “You didn’t even cry at that movie of his where he was hit by a car and lose all his memories about the girl. I sometimes wonder if you are still a human to at least spare a feeling.”

“You’re talking about I saol céanna mar atá tú?” I arch an eyebrow at her through our reflection as she nods at me, agreeing. “That movie among others? You cry about that scene?”

She turns to me as she places a hand by the counter and her other hand flickering her eyeliner pencil at my direction. From her expression, I can see that she is completely not impress about my judgement about that certain movie. “That movie earned him two awards—the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer!”

“Well, I don’t care whatever award he received for such a movie whose title literally means ‘In the same world as you’.”

“Darn it!” She glances back at the mirror to continue polishing again her makeup. “Why can’t you pretend that you love him just like me and the rest of the female Irish population about the age of seventeen to twenty-four?”

“He is just twenty and you’re pairing him to a woman who could be twenty-four?”

“And why do you need to be so prude about it? Why should you shatter a twenty-four year old’s woman’s dream to just have a picture with him? Let me tell you that he is not only an Irish actor and model. Man, he has an offer to have a Hollywood movie.”

“But he turned it down.”

“Because he don’t want to live in the States.”

Níl. Because his father is an Irish Air Force General.”

Then Airin looks at me with wide-eyes as if I’ve just spilled the most amazing thing. And then I shudder, remembering then what I’ve just said.

I know very well that Airin is one die-hard fan, but the media enclosed the actor’s family, especially his parentage. It is true that he was offered by Hollywood directors to ask him if it is possible for him to take a leading role for them, and he turned them down every single time that the showbiz industry starts believing that he much wanted to stick being on Ireland than to travel abroad to heighten his legacy as an actor. But only a few knows the truth that this young actor that every girl in the world seems to fantasize about actually turns down every Hollywood project because of his father, which as I’ve said, is an Irish Air Force General.

“Oh. My. Goodness!” she gapes at me. “Where did you hear that news?! You’re lying do you? At what site have you read that article? Is that even true?”

You’re in a complete trouble now! I warn myself. I am completely in the cornerstone of whether to answer her or not, but I can’t just simply tell her everything, do I? He had disclose every trace that will lead for his father getting involved with his career, and I am here spilling the reasons out in the open. How dare am I?

Just as I am beginning to think of a way out, to completely weave a lie just to escape this one, my phone rings and vibrates just by being buried deep in my faded jeans pocket. When I look at Airin as I reach out for my phone, I can see in her eyes that she’ll certainly keep pestering me about it after I take this call, not that she is looking at me with that glare as she has her arms cross across her chest.

I smile sheepishly at her first before looking down at the screen of my phone just to see the name of the caller written to be: “Amadán”.

Wow… perfect timing. What does this Idiot want with me now?

Anyway, the Idiot certainly knows when I really need some saving. Right now is the perfect timing for him to be that valiant knight in some shining armor.

I finally take the call, and how annoying his greeting always is every time that I answer his call. His usual jubilant voice almost radiates out, as if telling me to be upbeat with him calling right now, especially when he starts, “Óinseach! I heard from your Mom that you’re out to see a movie with a friend.”

“Yeah, yeah. I am,” I impatiently answer timidly as I casually steal glances at Airin who seems to watch me still. “What do you—”

“According to her you’ve watched Whirlwind.” He chuckles before adding, “How about I pick you up there?”

“Hell no! Why would I—”

“Sorry, but I can’t. After all the efforts I’ve done to pick you up, do you really think you can escape from me?”

“Where. The. Hell. Are. You?”

“Leave the restroom, and you’ll see.”

I narrow my eyes as I watch the restroom door opens up almost widely upon a woman’s entry, and I could swear that even with all those disguises he sets up for him, I’ll certainly applaud him for it. Not to mention that though he wears a wig and sunglasses, for some reasons, he is completely out of place. Maybe that’s the usual aura that everyone like him does have.

“I’ll just wait here until you finally decide to walk out with Mademoiselle Connmhaigh,” he remarks.

“Hey, wait!” But before he could actually hear me, the call abruptly ends, completely leaving me with no other choice at all.

I cast a glance at Airin and see her raising an eyebrow at me as I tell her, “I’ll answer that question of yours maybe by call?”

She waves a hand at me as she checks her eyeliner before dropping it back to her kit, recovering then her lipstick the next. “That’s completely new, but I could bet you’ve heard it from someone. Anyway, at least I am part of that small population who has another reason of why he won’t act for a Hollywood director.”

I just wait her to finish, all throughout thinking that it is already too close that I am to be revealed of why I know such thing. It is a wonder as well that someone like Dáiríne Connmhaigh didn’t pester me any longer about the topic. With me being the usual girl who just continuously tries to forget everything that I heard as long as I know that it is not the truth.

Afterwards, she loops her arm through mine and mutters close to my ear, “Why do you consider Sammy an Amadán? If he isn’t just your boyfriend, I’ll certainly flirt with him. Let me tell you that in some angle, he looks like Brión Siadhail.” She sighs heavily like she always does every time she thinks of that actor. “M’fhíorghrá…”

“He is not my boyfriend.”


“He’s just a friend. A childhood friend.”

“And most of the time childhood friends are soulmates since the start. But…” she sighs heavily. “I just wish that the childhood friend to whom Brión is being linked to is not true.”

I gulp hard, wishing then that Airin didn’t realize it. I remember what a huge gossip that is. Brión’s everyday life because of that had always been noted by the media as if he is the King of Great Britain. Let me tell you, he is the young heir if we’re talking about the movie industry. Anyway, even for a sense, I feel sorry for the guy. Even his trip for six months abroad had been cancelled, and the movie release of his movie If they did not met had to suffer when it had staggered because of the issue. And any girl that just got in contact with him for that duration had been linked to him, until he finally end all rumors stating to the media that he has no girlfriend and that the girl being first linked to him is a childhood friend.

At the moment that we leave the restroom, Airin instantly pulls away from me as a young man’s arm drops on my shoulders. Being way much taller than me, I had no advantage of letting go at all. I can’t even remove his arm from me. Damn him.

Bonjour, mademoiselle,” Sam greets at the sight of Airin with his casual smile.

Airin blushes. “Is it French day for you today, monsieur?”

“I lack practice already,” he replies with a chuckle.

Practice in French, or practice with something much bigger, monsieur?

“All right, Frenchie. You know I can’t argue with you.” She turns to me and winks.

“Anyway, do you need a ride back home?” Sam offers, and before I could even cut in with their conversation, he suddenly places a hand over my mouth, causing my voice to be muffled.

“Oh, I’d love to! Unfortunately, Peter said that he’s coming to pick me up,” she remarks.

I know that she is lying. Being her best friend for about a decade already, I know almost every single thing in her life. I know her favorite things, what she hates the most, what cheers her up or what makes her sad, a list of all her previous boyfriends and her fantasy boyfriends, and I know too well that she had been in a fight with Peter since two days ago. Even though I love seeing them together, telling myself that they are perfect, I find the reason of their argument completely so simple. I am the one who came with her to watch the movie because I and Peter had the same thought on how the movie will be.

“Are you sure about that?” I ask against Sam’s hand, causing my question to end up hearing as: “R yuh shrue boot dhad?”

“Of course, Críona.” At the time that we’re already out of the cinema, she raises a hand at us to wave before she heads off on her own. “Gura míle, Mi Adá.”

We watch Airin as she heads to the opposite direction to where the exit is, skipping jubilantly like a little child full of life. For some reasons, I am glad that Sam had already removed his hand from my mouth that when I turn to him, he is gaping at Airin’s fleeing form. He finally snaps to his senses that he asks, “Did she just mixed Gaelic with Italian?”

I frown at him and finally use this chance of him being completely defenseless to slip from his grasp. He almost tumbles with my sudden disappearance next to him as if to support his weight, and he looks at me expectantly as I stand right in front of him with my hands by my waist, “It is an Italian endearing. Remember that Airin has Italian blood through her maternal grandmother.”

“That only makes her one-fourth Italian,” he concludes.

“Excellent, Sherlock. Still, you can’t deny that customs die hard.”

“But you need to fit in if you want to be accepted in a foreign society.”

I cross my arms across my chest throwing an unsatisfied frown at him. “What’s that supposed to mean, Amadán?”

His once happy and energetic face somehow slack for a second despite the fact that his eyes are covered by dark tinted aviator’s glasses. He opens his mouth but slowly closes it again, deciding not to say what he has in mind, and he shakes his head to drop the subject. He buries his hands on his jeans pocket and with a heavy sigh, he turns away from me and starts walking off.

I slowly place my hands behind me and start matching his pace as well as I walk beside him on our way to his car parked just by the lot. I look at him, thinking of what could be going on his mind, but I certainly failed to deduce so. Well, the reports are true; there are people like Sam who are very good liars when it comes with whatever emotions they have.

I try to ask him to snap him out from whatever thought he is thinking of, “Hey, you’re not going to ask me about what’s my reaction with the movie?”

“What do I care about it?” he inquires, lacking emotions at all. He suddenly becomes so detached and distracted.

“Well, you should care though! Anyway, Lieutenant Garner should just have followed the girl’s advice.”

“What do you think will happen if he did?”

“In my point of view, Diana would have survived if Garner just escaped much faster. At that, Diana wouldn’t be caught letting a prisoner away.”

“But he did.”

“Because he is one sick captured soldier who’ve fallen in love with his captor.”

He stops in front of his bloody red luxury car, he opens his car and the door at where he stands by the driver’s side and I just by the passenger. He turns to me, and I know that his eyes are looking at me directly when he answers, “That’s the art of drama, Óinseach. They find a way to squeeze your heart at where it hurts.”

I open up the passenger’s door and answer, “The problem is that not all people could relate with it.”

“Well, you can’t even tell me if there’s one movie that you’ve watched throughout your life that got you to cry.”

“There’s one,” I reply as I climb in and settle myself to the seat, closing then the door before fumbling with the seat belt. “Well, Star Wars does.”

He scrunches his nose as he enters in, close the door and fastens his seat belt. “I won’t criticize why. Believe me, I know that Star Wars is indeed a hit. I know how much you loved it, and I also does. But seriously, I am expecting that you’ve got a soft heart to even cry for one movie that is really under the genre of romance and drama.”

“Let me think.” I fake my thinking and after few seconds, I answer, “True. There’s none.”

“Bingo! Aside from Star Wars…”

“Especially that one in The Revenge of the Sith.”

“You haven’t even shed a single tear in other movies.” He shakes his head, muttering to himself, “Unbelievable.”

“At least I cry when Anakin falls to the dark side, Obi-wan leaving him to die, and Padmé dies… I am such a crybaby when I watch that scene.”

He laughs as he lowers the headboard mirror across him. He removes his glasses, showing his brilliant grayish-green eyes, and his wig as well, causing his messy brown hair to replace his disguise. He turns to me with a smile again, “I know you do. And I’ll never forget that time that you did. Don’t you remember that we had a Star Wars marathon when we were kids?”

“Yeah. How could I forget that! That’s also the time that you received a call from your agent that you got the role for I saol céanna mar atá tú, Monsieur Siadhail.”

He grins, starts up his car, and we speed away from the lot.

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