PAROXYSMS (What is on my mind?)

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Chapter 13

PEEL

“Where were we?”

“You left him in the hallway” he answered.

I take in a long breath and continue.

*****

After lunch break I start heading off to the history class. I hear a voice over my shoulder “come with me” Owen walked behind me. His voice set chills over my nape. His pace overtook mine and I was now following him. We missed our lecture period and I could not care any less.

Minutes later we were seated on the schools rugby ground. “You never made anything difficult Peel and you should never be sorry.” I looked at him in awe as he continued “If anyone is supposed to apologize, it’s me and I am sorry”. His words made me startle.

*****

“Why was he sorry now?”

“Every story has two sides Logan and he had his one.”

“And what was that?”

*****

The day they stood in front of my father Owen’s presence vexed my dad. He thought it was very unprofessional and corny of Mr. Gray and then my catastrophic fall allowed him to rethink the matter and he agreed to shelter Mr. Gray along with his son. He thought he was privileged to be studying at an elite school despite being an outcast. The fact that I never looked down upon him or referred to him as my bodyguard, earned me his gratitude. For him we never spoke because I never spoke. He tried being the best at school, to fit in and to make most of the opportunity he was bestowed with. He was guilty that in all this he had digressed from the real plan and that was to be my shadow.

*****

“What about those paintings? “His voice jumped in curiosity.

*****

That was something about Owen I had discovered that day. His sketches were so vibrant and impeccable. When I had asked him why he never drew my face he said he wanted to capture my feistiness and that was always missing in his sketches. It frustrated him so he found it easier to draw me from the back. When we were seated on the ground Owen’s divulgence made my heart beat shift its rhythm. My beats skipped when he said he adored me and it accelerated when he said he wanted to paint me with colors of different shades. I sat down quietly listening to him, sometimes looking at his blue ocean eyes. He was gorgeous.

That was the beginning of our friendship. We mostly exchanged smiles and glances when we met. He would drop by the library before his warm ups and matches. No one at school knew he could draw and that made me think I was the only one who actually saw through him. He still hung with his friends during lunch and at breaks but he would always greet me when our paths crossed. I knew he adored me platonically but I had strong intensified feelings for him from the very beginning and I contemplated if it would ever be anything similar for Owen. His friend circle thought I was queer for not having friends and I do not know how he coped with that.

One day at lunch I was seated on my seat when suddenly a hand from behind groped on my breasts. I was mortified. When I looked back Paul stood behind with his atrocious grin, snarling out, “I know you want actions Peel.” His words set waves of repulsion across my body. I bashed my food tray on his chest. The entire cafeteria screeched with my shriek. “What freak? You want to create a scene again?” He yelled. I stood their as my breathing exacerbated. “What’s wrong Peel?” a familiar voice called out from my back, it was Alice. “That was so abusive Peel!” “Is this to get back at him for the party thing?” there were hollow mutters from the discrete mass of people that stared at me. I did not know what to say. I could see the disappointed stares. The triumphant grin on Paul’s face and then I felt his soft touch on my shoulders. I pressed on Owen’s hand over my shoulder as I shouted at the top of my lungs, “You call the girl freak who gets molested by a misogynist?” Then I look straight into Paul’s eyes “You are nothing but a thick headed chauvinist Paul and the only action you can provide is, blurting out shit from your mouth.” Owen slid his hand from my shoulders holding my hand firmly and I interlock our fingers. “You are a disgrace Paul!” he whispers with his voice cold. We walked out together towards the hallway. I complained to the school principal and Paul received his detention. His parents were called. Owen was there with me the entire time. As school ended we headed home. Neither I nor he said a word. At night he texted me to know whether I was okay. We chatted for a while before I went off to bed. Things afterwards changed for me at school. I was perceived as a strong independent wallflower and Owen was beside me all the time. Soon we were two inseparable souls. I would lie about going at a friend’s house to sneak out with him. He would take me out to his favorite places, specially the Greenwood Lake. This is where he did his sketches. He said he found it soothing and that is where he first sketched the water lilies in front of me and where we first got drenched together in the July rain and where he first told me he wanted to paint me. We got home that evening completely soaked up by the rain. I went up the elevator first to my room on the third floor, Owen said he would come back later to avoid anyone seeing us together. Around eight thirty when my parents went out for a meeting I received a text from him to come upstairs to his room. My heart raced, I quickly went up the elevator. When I knocked on the door he opened it. He told me to sit down on the floor beside him and I obliged. He brought out a big paper bag from underneath his bed and pushed it towards me. I opened up the bag bringing out the things inside. There was a big canvas, some paint brushes and oil paints. “I will paint you, I bought all these today.” Owen blushed looking down. I bit my lower lips hard, sucking on it as I asked “Do you want me to sit down and pose?” I stuttered. “No you can leave, I just wanted to show all these to you.” His gaze still lowered. I nodded my head beginning to rise up when he whispered “I just do not know which color to put on you” I halted bending down over him “let’s find it out then”. We were seated across each other. I removed a lid from the purple oil paint putting it on my cheeks. He giggled “what are you doing?” I looked up saying “Putting on colors so you would know how to paint me.” He stared at me in awe before opening up the cap of the maroon paint, smearing it across my nose as we both chortled. Within minutes my face, neck and hair were covered with different shades of paint smear in disarray. Owen took a picture of me on his phone teasing me. I got up to the bathroom sink washing out the colors. Owen handed me a towel helping me clean up. The front half of my hair and t-shirt were soaked by the water splashes. I was biting my lips when Owen patted me dry with the towel. “You do it when you are nervous don’t you?” he asked, I looked up bewildered. We were standing so close and before I could anticipate he brushed his lips with mine. His touch set shivers down my spine giving me goosebumps. I kept my eyes shut and stood their frozen. He pulled back slowly and I gently opened my eyes. Our breathing heavy. He looked down slightly tilting his face taking his steps back when I held his hand. My gaze was on the floor, I saw him take his steps towards me. He rested his head on mine as I moved my hands across his shoulders. His embrace felt warm. He caressed my hair gently kissing on top of my head. My grip around him tightened and we stood their holding each other for what seemed like to me as an eternity in solace.

We sat down together in class, went to the lake on the weekends and when our parents were not home I sneaked into his room talking for hours as I lay in his arms. One cold starry night he wrapped me in his arms. His kiss were like light feathers on my skin. He cupped my breasts staring at my face as I brushed my fingers across his cheeks. He nibbled on my neck as I dug my nails on the bed sheet. His touch was electrifying setting waves of exciting impulses. We made love and I was in love with Owen.

*****

There was a long silence. My voice trembled as my eyes teared up when I said my last sentence,” I was in love with Owen.”

It was a hollow from the other end and I continued with a shrug, in a deep sigh,

“It all ended, he left and he had to leave.”

After a long pause Logan replied.

“Why?”

“My love could not comfort him.”

My body trembled as I wept, shriveling up I fell on the ground. I felt a piercing force ripping through my flanks. When I opened my eyes I saw my hands covered in red paint. I smiled before everything dissociated in a blur.

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