Chapter 1: Something Important
I found myself playing with my old golden necklace again, looking out of the window to the sea I despised so very much. it was reflecting the lights from the busy street next to it quite beautifully so, and I’ve always had an eye for aesthetically pleasing things.
She’s supposed to arrive this time of year. For the last two months I’ve had this inexplicable pain in my stomach- more painful than any I’ve had due to working too much or eating too little as I tend to do- and I know, as per usual, that it has something to do with her. When thoughts of her start becoming uncontrollable, my heart starts fluttering, and all I can seem to think of is her golden hair, burned to a crisp by the hot, insufferable sun she has to endure out there, in the deep endless blue.
Endless. Perhaps that’s why she stays there for most of the year. The sea, it has so much to offer; and who am I, compared to that infinite source of adventure, of horror, of wonder?
Surely, nothing short of a nobody.
Nevertheless, she continues to show up every year, in the winter-spring months; a very peculiar thing to do considering how dull the climate is in this usually hot-weathered place those months. She was very late, this year. More so then usual. It was almost spring now.
I turned away from the window to my home office. Being an interior designer, I believe everyone deserves having a space that makes them happy. If hers is the sea, so be it. Mine concluded with this room and the one in front of it, my bedroom. I suppose the rest of the house looks just as fantastic: a rustic and warm place, where the darker colors I liked so much ruled: greens and woods, textures familiar and comfortable. Very homely, albeit… bigger, than I’d like.
I sat down at the desk, staring at a blank board I had to fill for a new client. Her sister will be paying and has been the only one of the two of them to talk to me, which is strange. She explained the other was building her forever-home and doesn’t care much for aesthetics, and she couldn’t let her make the mistake of getting a house she’s unhappy with. They always interest me, those types. It means I had to find out what she hides within, what she finds soothing. Hopefully she won’t be too embarrassed to tell. God knows I’m going to be, having to force it out of her.
I get up again, too uneasy and clueless to work, and head to the kitchen. She always says I should eat more, and although I couldn’t agree more, I can’t seem to make myself do so. She told me to try for her, and that one day, it’ll be for myself. So I try.
I sat on the couch, coffee and a couple of biscuits in my hand. My eyes focusing, even if just for a while, on the TV, before turning to the door.
She really was taking her time, huh?
In the first week or two, I waited for her near the shore- gazing at the sea, moving as little as possible. But it got tiring, and I have my own job and my own life; a woman my age shouldn’t be waiting like a teenage girl for anyone, let alone that weirdo.
And yet. that pain, that hurt, it doesn’t seem to be fading; only getting stronger and stronger each day, sickening like an awful stench on a favorite clothing article. I missed her dearly; I really did.
Again and again, I find that this time of year my thoughts tend to all be very similar. They mostly consist of me replaying old, torturous memories of us, and if not that then contemplating on why I keep staying here, waiting patiently for her next visit. I could be exploring right now, I could be living far, far away from this awful sea, and yet, I stay. If it’s because I’m in love, I must get over it as soon as possible.
Oh, but how can one forget such a smile- such pretty words? I’m in way too deep, head over heels, drowning both in soft silky clouds and the salty water of which she had fallen in love with, of which makes her forget all about me with every summer.
I stayed there, lying on the sofa, for quite a while; stuck in my own mind, overthinking. What if the reason she’s late isn’t her forgetting about me, or finding someone else, or simply not wanting to spend time with me anymore?
The sea is dangerous, very much so. What if she-
No, I couldn’t bear the thought. She is experienced, surely, she would not let herself die just like that. I’m overreacting. She’d have a nice, interesting death. One the news would be all over by now. Assuming they’d find out about it, I suppose.
Oh; I was to kill her when she gets here for making me worry so much.
A knock on the door startled me. Followed by another, and then another- oh my, it was her. Only she would knock like that. Slow, unsure. The opposite of her personality. I was in the bathroom, taking off my make-up and getting ready to get some much-needed sleep, but of course, she had to come at just the right time.
I got closer to the door slowly, the knocks getting quieter and quieter. Perhaps going to bed was a good idea. She thinks I’m asleep- good call, since it’s about two a.m., and I might as well take advantage of the fact. I was about to turn my back, but a sorrowful sigh sounded through the door.
I’ve never opened a door as fast as I did.
“Talia!” she jumped through the open door and straight into my arms, hugging me warmly. My Calla.
She always was shorter than me, although that says nothing because of how tall I was. it felt as though she fitted perfectly in my arms. Her hair, long and straw-like and messy as ever, never failed to charm me- so goes for her bright brown eyes, now closed, resting on my chest. She looks so much younger than she is- living drama-free is probably the cause, and her body, due to living at sea being hard work, was toned and well carried.
She was breathtaking.
“Oh, how I missed your beautiful face, Talia.” She whispered tiredly, making me cough uncomfortably before letting go of the hug.
“I did yours, too,” I said, trying my best not to flirt too much, fearing it would make her uncomfortable.
She smiled contently, looking straight into my eyes- making me quickly turn away as I make a move towards the kitchen. “Mind for a glass of water?”
I watched as she drank the big glass. She must’ve been extremely thirsty, judging by how fast she was drinking.
“I really did miss you so much- and I’m sorry for not being here on time, I had some... malfunctions.”
“It’s quite alright,” no it is not. “Don’t even worry about it.” Please, do.
She glanced at me for a second, holding up her empty glass. I refilled it, and she proceeded to drink the whole thing, then sigh.
“And I hoped to be here early this time.”
Calla began to look a bit uneasy. Her eyes half-opened and her lips parted, as if she wasn’t sure what to say. “Well, you see- “
She fought to find the right words, I imagine. “I was thinking of, well, staying a bit longer, this year.”
“Any specific reason?”
After a while of her staring at me, I gulp.
“Mind… stating it?”
“Oh, right. I, uh…” she struggled again. This was beginning to seem strange. She always knew what to say, what to do- what could be making her this nervous?
“Well, you see…”
She sighed once more. “No, this isn’t right at all! Argh. I should tell you over dinner, or a picnic; a movie, perhaps? Hm. Say, where most would you like to hear something important?”
Something… Important. I heard that right. Something that, for some reason, was too important for my kitchen. Where would I like to hear something important? Now that I think of it, I don’t seem to have much of a preference. What an odd question.
“Dinner sounds nice, but can you really not just tell me here? It seems unnecessary.”
“Oh no, it’s incredibly necessary!” she exclaimed. “Do you still like that restaurant down by the beach?”
“Wonderful! It’s set then. Tomorrow, eight p.m., we’ll meet there.” She set the glass on the counter, and tucking her coat, was on her way out; wherever she plans to spend the night. Usually I would offer her the guest room, but I was dumbfounded. Something important. Trying to remember a time when Calla told me anything truly meaningful after her first couple of stays knowing me seemed impossible.
And by the time she was out, I knew sleep would be nothing but fantasy tonight.