Chapter 1: The Beginning Of The End
Not every story begins with the end, but this one does.
The stars hung like tiny lanterns in the sky, illuminating the midnight black.
He breathed. I blinked.
The breeze blew ever so gently, tickling the leaves on the trees until they fell like dew drops to the ground. Our feet dangled just above this said ground, legs swaying in the everlasting night. The wall we sat on was made up of bricks, an array of shapes and sizes and colours. But it was unsteady like a Lego tower, the tip of a finger could knock it to the ground.
If the wall fell, he would fall down with it, and if he went down then so did I.
Treacherous simplicity hung heavy in the air and I smiled, letting the smell of an eternal summer fill my nostrils. Warmth radiated from him, making me feel as if I was sitting beside a burning fire that sparked every so often. His gruff voice rumbled the earth as he spoke, plump lips slightly parted, breathing on edge. I sighed as my heart sung and I let his words sink into me, slowly but then all at once.
“I think it’s time I told you the truth.”
And in that split second of a moment, I embraced everything. The journey we’d been on, the words we’d exchanged, the sound of our laughter chiming together and blessing my ears like birdsong.
And the lies. The flowing river of lies.
The words he was about to speak would clarify everything and become the truth of a lie, the absolution of a promise. That was, until we were interrupted. We were interrupted by the reason for the end.
The flashing blue and red lights seemed to blind me, accompanied by the piercing sound of sirens that turned my skin to goosebumps, and the sinking feeling that plummeted throughout my entire body. Tears pricked my eyes and panic took a hold on me, my mind was set and focused on one thing and one thing only. This was the end of our story.
Like reading the final chapter of a book, like tracing your finger over the very last word before slamming the pages shut...it happened so slowly yet so quickly.
And here we are left with broken characters, some lessons learned, some forgotten tears and some forever words. Here we are left with an untold story. Another world.
I would tell my story. Our story. That was a promise I made to myself as I watched them approach him. The boy I had only met two weeks ago, those 2 weeks where I felt like my life had just begun even though it had started 18 long years ago.
If he had liked books I would have told our story to him, under a duvet in the back of a car in a field in the middle of nowhere. But he hated books, and that made me smile. ‘The Boy That Hates Books’ was my nickname for him. And I didn’t budge from it.
I’d fallen in love with my polar opposite, but heck was he an adventure.
We shared falling tears as they grasped hold of him and pulled him backwards. We locked eyes as a pair of silver handcuffs were pulled out and locked into place around his frail wrists. Twigs snapped and the wind began to howl as the night grew noisy, above the sound of the wailing sirens.
The trees stood, lonely beside the wall we were just sat upon. “On top of the world” as he’d said to me the day he asked me to run away with him.
“Look at it, isn’t it the most beautiful, broken place you’ve ever seen? Like an artist has just taken his paintbrush and splattered the colour everywhere without a second thought?”
His anger had shone through like it always did, as if he was screaming at our fractured society with his mouth shut.
“Don’t you just hate it, Kris? How humans have to be so selfish, so thoughtless to ruin such a place like earth. We breathe Kris, but have you ever felt the air rushing into your lungs like it’s really supposed to? Have you ever felt like a bird on a flight, weightless and free?”
“No.” I had replied. And I’d meant it, truly.
“I really hope one day you do. It’s the best feeling ever.” His smile warmed my heart.
“You have? How?”
“I feel it every time I look at you. I feel alive.”
Oh, such a cliché love story ours was. Such a tragic ′Romeo and Juliet’ mess. But at the same time it wasn’t, it isn’t. Because no story feels special any more, not now that I’ve lived my own. It’s been a roller-coaster ride whilst holding my breath. It’s been real, it’s been true.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from reading books, it’s to expect the unexpected and to believe in the unbelievable.
“KIRSTEN,” he shouted, trying to free himself from their grip and make his way back to me. “Please,” he sobbed, “let me ask her one last thing.”
I felt firm hands on me, as I too got seized under their hold. The handcuffs were cold against my skin and I shivered.
Never did I think that one day I would be taken as a criminal. And if that day ever did come I’d expected to feel guilt as deep as the ocean. But I felt nothing. Nothing but sadness that this whole adventure had to come to an end.
I’d lost everything. My entire life had been a lie. But maybe it had all been worth it. Because through it all, I found him.
I’d been blinded by him and his lopsided smile. Him and his hate for the one thing I loved. Those blue eyes and that beyond annoying urge he had to answer back to everything I said.
I met those blue eyes as he got pushed towards me, blonde hair ruffled and falling over one eye. Beads of sweat adorned his forehead and he sighed, as if to say ‘I told you so.’ Because he knew that I would end up like this, like him. Polar opposites, yet exactly the same.
“Go on then.” One man’s voice urged him.
“Kirsten,” moments before he was breathless and crying, but now the tears had dried and his voice was steady. The calm after the storm.“What’s your favourite story to tell?” his Pacific blue eyes searched mine expectantly.