The Shimmer Project

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Caleb

Every day Eris and I would meet in front of her door and we’d go out. Eris would always be eccentric about every little thing we did. We’d go the cinema, she’s scream and cry in front of the scream, sit on the edge of her seat and after, shower me with kisses for bringing her to such a magical place. I introduced her to music, she’d never heard music before. I showed her rock, pop, punk, throat gargling, every sort of music I could think of. Even though I liked loud rock music she felt much better listening to something calm and soothing that she could hum along to. She didn’t exactly like classic music but she loved the piano. I took her to a music shop and she fawned over the pianos for hours. She was trembling as she pressed her slight fingers against the ivory keys and tried playing. I almost couldn’t believe she’d never played before, the little amount of notes she put together sounded magical. I watched her playing, shaking with joy, and I felt warm inside.

Eris was the most honest person I’d ever met. She didn’t hide her feelings, she said exactly what was going through her head. She was also the kindest person, she helped old ladies across the street and picked up and returned objects to their owners. She gave almost everything that she had on her to associations for poor countries and children. Especially to badly treated children. She was always happy around me, when she was out, and people were happy when she was around. I’d never met someone so innocent and pure.

Often we’d go to the beach. I noticed she like to spend time on the beach, sitting in the sun letting the white sand filter though her fingers. I watched her smiling.

“ Have you ever been to Japan?” she asked quietly leaning against me. I wrapped one arm around her shoulders and smiled.

“ Yeah. Once. When I was fifteen. Actually my Dad and me we lived there for a few months. Almost a whole year.”

“ So you speak Japanese,” I chuckled.

“ A little. I understand more than speak. Dad always spoke to me in Japanese.”

“ So, do you think you’ll ever go back?”

“ I hope so. My whole family’s there, well except for Pam and Victoria,” she nodded slowly and smiled facing me. She tucked her long legs under her body. Her long white hair was braided into two long braids hanging down in front of her chest. Her black eyes sparkled.

“ I’ve never been further east then Miami,” She admitted shrugging. “ I’d like to go further,” I laughed lightly and kissed the top of her head.

“ Come with me then,” I suggested. She nodded vigorously.

“ My sisters want to move,” she admitted. “ But I don’t know what I’ll do without you.”

“ Move where?” she shrugged.

“ Anywhere. I’m not sure. But Caleb, there’s no way I’m going anywhere without you,” I gazed down into her black eyes, in the sunlight they were flecked with silver. I had never seen beauty like her. I could feel my heart thundering in my chest. I had never felt like that before. I felt that I was living just for her, I had no one else in the world, she was everything. No one counted more than her. She was gazing out at the sea, her eyes wide, her expression sad. It was often that she looked sad, or distant. I always wondered what she was thinking of. A memory. I’d guessed she’d had a hard time growing up. But her expressions showed hatred that I’d never seen before. I couldn’t imagine what had happened to her, I wasn’t sure of her reaction if I asked her either. Eris was a mystery to me, so different from everyone I’d ever understood, she could act so young, like a small child discovering a bunch of news things, and other times she was wiser than me. It wasn’t hard to guess she wasn’t raised in civilization, with the fact that she could barely read and that she asked me what school was. But she was wonderful in math. She said she didn’t even need to be taught, it came to her naturally. I was good at math as well, but it took me years. I could only assume her father had abused her, molested her and her sister, yet she loved it when I touch and held her. In fact, she seem to crave the human contact.

Eris’ mysterious side was one of my favorite things about her. I felt there was a whole other half of her that I didn’t know about. I wanted to find out, but slowly, not all of a sudden. One thing that I couldn’t understand was what she saw in me. I was a normal guy, with a normal life. Well normal until she got there. Eris was far from normal, she could become a star if she wanted, with her body, hair and eyes she could easily be Miss Universe. When we walked in the streets so many people followed her every move. She never seemed to notice. She had no idea what she wanted to do in the future. No studies, no job ideas. Just hang out with me was what she’d said. So I told her about my dream to become a doctor, to save lives. She eyed me silently her eyes wide, almost with fear.

“ Save lives,” she echoed then looked away again. “ Not take lives, abuse lives,” I was confused. I wrapped my arms tightly around her chest and held her against me.

“ Yeah, I wanna save lives,” she nodded slowly then leaned her head back against my chest.

“ Do you watch hospital movies?” I smiled.

“ Sometimes. Have you ever been in a hospital before?” her gaze hardened, I realized I had scratched a memory.

“ Many times,” She answered. “ When I was little, I was always getting hurt, I’ve had so many stitches,” she smiled slightly, it didn’t reach her eyes. I held her closer. “ No scars though. They were professionals,” he continued slowly. “ You know I’ve had all sorts of blood transfusions, and such.”

“ You weren’t tested on, were you? Tested for new medicine?” she paused then shook her head slowly.

“ Not for medicine,” she answered dryly. I tried to get more out of her but she stayed silent watching the ocean and holding herself against me. Definitely abused.

We went to a bar that night, the music was turned up to full blast, people were dancing and eating chips. Everyone was drunk. I held Eris’ hand and led her towards the bar. We sat down, Eris was looking around with a wide grin. I guessed she’d never been to a bar before. I got us two beers, the bar tender took one look at Eris and didn’t both with our ages, it was just as I had hoped. Eris was curious about smoking, she tried a cigarette and hated it immediately. I laughed and finished it off for her.

“ This place is amazing,” she breathed leaning towards me sipping her beer.

“ Dad used to take me to bars every Friday night with his mates after work. Wanna dance?” she paused.

“ I’ve never danced before,” she admitted. I smiled and led her out onto the dance floor. She was wearing and thin dark blue dress that hugged against her. Her hair was out, her eyes sparkling black. She didn’t wear any make-up, she never did, she didn’t need to anyway. I held her against me running my hands down her waist. She laughed standing in front of me stretching her arms behind and around my back. I had always been a pathetic dancer, so had no idea how to dance at all, we just swayed and brushed against each other during the song. Eris was laughing the whole time.

We had a few more drinks then we walked home holding hands. I noticed her casting nervous glances at the rare passer-bys. I didn’t ask. When we got to her house she invited me in, her sisters were out apparently, she seemed nervous about it. We sat on her bed chatting for a long while, then kissed then I left. It was early morning by the time I got home. Victoria and Pam were both fast asleep. I couldn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t help thinking back to Eris.

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