The Shimmer Project

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Summer love

Caleb

Eris was a wildcard. Every second with her was unexpected. She seemed to be exploring the world, everything, every tree, building, grain of sand seemed to hold some wild magic for her. And she looked at me like I was some wizard.

It was a flattering feeling. Eris and her sister were undeniably attractive and equally odd, but there was something about Eris that was different, not only her hair colour, she radiated strength, she radiated power and at the same time, she was incredibly weak. The fact that every time she looked at me, her eyes shone, her face flushed and she had such an expression of adoration, was incredible to me. When I would go up to her place in the morning, she'd rush into my arms to hug me. When we'd walk in town or go for coffee, she'd hold my hand and sit next to me so that she could press herself against me.

I couldn't really believe my luck. I couldn't get my hand off her either, I constantly wanted to hold her in my arms, I wanted to make out with her for hours, stroke her soft skin, kiss her lips until they bruised, watch her giggling when I tickled her sides. It was easy to fall for her. And though she was an utter mystery to me, she was also undeniably the only person I wanted to spend my time with.

The girls had been hurt, they'd been abused. I had no idea what had happened to them, though I tried to find out, Eric had a habit of shutting it down and moving quickly to another subject, usually one related to food.

I was torn, I did think that perhaps I needed to talk to the police, to talk to a psychologist, to get them some help. They were still underage, and they definitely didn't have any adults living with them. And yet, they seemed traumatised, Eris got spooked every time we saw the cops in the street, she would dive into my arms and hide from them. I didn't want them to be taken back wherever they had come from, and I didn't want them to get stuck in the system either. Though the decision wasn't mine to take and the best for them would probably be to get some real help and get into school.

I tried not to think of it, though I did mention it to Eris a few times to gauge her reaction. She'd quickly change the subject each time, so I decided to enjoy the summer, the time I had with her, and see when classes started if we could make a decision all together.

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 to the cinema, she’d scream and cry in front of the screen, 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, R&B, country, 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, few she put together sounded magical. I watched her playing, shaking with joy, and I felt warm inside.

She 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 didn't hide how she felt about me, she didn't see the point in acting shy or coy, she'd wrap her arms around me, she'd kiss me whenever she wanted and lean away grinning and giggling. There was something incredibly pure about her.

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 through her fingers. I spent hours watching her, the shadows the sun cast on her fair skin, her dark lashes, her body stretching out in the sunlight, her head thrown back to bask in the heat.

"Hey Eris," I breathed.

She opened her eyes and focused on me; a smile tugging at the ends of her lips.

"Yeah?"

"Come here," I slipped my fingers behind her neck and grabbing her waist, I flipped her on top of me, pulling her face up to mine in a crushing kiss. She let out a little gasp and a giggle as she wrapped her arms around my neck deepening our kiss. I couldn't get enough of her. The soft moans she let out, the way she plastered herself against me, the way she didn't ever want to stop or pull away.

When I had run out of breath and the strain in my jeans was getting too uncomfortable, I eased her off me gently. She pouted at me, her cheeks flushed, her lips plumped out.

"Why did we stop?" she complained.

"Because I need to take a break," I chuckled as she shimmied up next to me, resting her head against my chest. I stroked her silvery-white hair.

"I don't need to take a break," she breathed, then glanced around the crowded beach. "We can go back to my place you know? You never want to."

"Eris, we can't go to your place," I shook my head.

"Why not?"

"Because," I paused. "I really don't think I could be able to control myself."

She blinked at me. "Control yourself? Control yourself for what? Do you-" she stopped, her eyes widening. "Do you have the urges too? The burning inside?"

"Well, it doesn't burn," I narrowed my gaze. "Eris, of course, I have the urges. You are just so incredible, and so sexy. Of course, I want to," I whispered, my fingers playing with the hem of her shirt.

Her eyes were wide. "Really?" she almost squeaked.

"Yeah, really."

"Okay," she was blushing. "Maybe, if you want, you can stay over at my place, sometime soon? Yeah make it soon, my sisters want to move."

"What?" I almost barked. She didn't flinch, she just scowled at the sand.

"They want us to move again. But I don’t know what I’ll do without you.”

“Move where?” I asked, my heart had started racing like crazy, I realized I was almost panicking.

“Anywhere. I’m not sure. But Caleb, there’s no way I’m going anywhere without you,” she said sternly. I gazed down into her black eyes, in the sunlight, they were flecked with silver.

I could feel my heart thundering in my chest. 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 wondered what she was thinking of. A memory.

“I want to stay here with you, like this, forever," she said softly. "But, I know, that's not possible. You have to start classes, and I, my sisters and I, we have to figure stuff out," she turned to face me again. "I want to save lives. Not take lives."

"You can do that Eris."

"I'm not so sure," she gave me a sad smile. "Sometimes I feel like my time here is being counted. That I should enjoy it fully, while I can," she leaned towards me, her lips pressed against mine gently. "But I don't want to let this go."

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