Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Writings #19 - Evan (part 1)

My "Wednesday Writing" posts were initially created as a writing exercise for me to try and keep myself motivated and on track by making sure that I spend at least 30-60 minutes each week (with the follow-up goal to turn it into a daily writing practice).

Over the past few weeks, I've been continuing the same story with a single post each week. To help you catch up with this serialized story, you can use the following table of contents:
  1. Morning Machinations
  2. Communication Between Friends
  3. Daydreaming Decisions
  4. Off to the Park
  5. Driven
  6. Coming Home
  7. Revealing Photographs
  8. Just a Dream?
  9. At the Tower
  10. Caught
  11. Revelations
  12. Lunchtime
  13. The Watch
  14. Visions
  15. Escape

Critiques, suggestions, comments, etc. always welcome.

Enjoy.



Evan


Gabby reflected on recent events as she flew down the freeway hardly conscious of the other cars on the road. She kept returning to the image of James's bloody hand clutching his stomach. The sound of the gunshots still echoed in her mind. The thought that she had actually shot someone terrified her. Even in the practice sessions of her self-defense course, she had flinched at the idea of actually hitting or hurting anyone. Her instructor had done his best to help her realize that violence for the sake of self-preservation was acceptable, but the pacifist inside her still winced at the idea that she had hurt someone.

As the next sign passed, she found she was nearly thirty miles from her apartment. Dalton's instructions had suggested going there to meet up with her husband and win his trust and his help. She glanced in her rear view mirror and saw the motorcycle keeping pace with her a few car lengths back. She couldn't see the man's face through the visor of the black helmet, but she was certain it was Evan.

Her mind flashed through images of the past few days. The strangely attractive man at the party. A vague recollection of kissing him in the back seat on the way home. Talking with him in her daydream. Following him up a winding mountain road. And then watching as he whipped his motorcycle around and disappeared in a cloud of dust leaving her stranded on the mountain with no explanation. She remembered her frustration and confusion as he drove away.

Even though she couldn't explain their relationship or understand the connection, she truly felt as though they belonged together. She felt an underlying pull to him and thought he felt the same way. She'd never been in love before, not really, but that was the only way she could explain her feelings towards him. But then, watching him abandon her high in the mountains and then with the revelations from Dalton, she wasn't sure what to think.

Then she thought of Julie and was spurred to action. As the next exit approached, she signaled and slowly moved down the offramp. A red light stopped her and she glanced back. A dusty red van had exited right behind her but through her side mirror she could see the motorcycle idling patiently behind the van. She turned into a gas station and pulled between a pair of cars into an empty parking spot directly in front of the glass doors. Whatever confrontation was about to happen, she wanted to be sure there were plenty of witnesses. She didn't know who to trust but she was tired of taking chances and following instructions blindly.

She closed her eyes and sighed briefly then looked around to see where the motorcyclist had gone. She found him parking his bike in a spot at the north end of the lot. He stepped off the motorcycle and pulled off his helmet. Gabby's heart started beating faster and her skin grew warm. She watched as he smoothed his short, curly hair, messed up from the helmet. A soft stubble had started to grow along his jawline and gave his powerful face even more distinction. While she stared, his brown eyes raised and met her own eyes. A shudder flew over Abby's body and she blushed softly as his lips became a soft, gentle smile. He titled his head to the side, nodded at the door to the gas station then winked, and went inside.

Gabby sat clutching the steering wheel. She watched Evan calmly walk through the glass doors and begin to wander between the candy bars, magazines and air fresheners lining the aisles. She couldn't take her eyes off him but he didn't look at her. He scanned the shelves as though searching for something but not finding it. Finally, Gabby turned off the car and walked inside.

Somehow between the car and the door to the store, Gabby lost site of Evan. She scanned the rows intently but couldn't find him anywhere. She walked to the back of the store to start methodically working her way forward when she felt a hand on her shoulder. He didn't grab her or hold her forcibly, but Gabby jumped in spite of herself and wheeled on her heels to confront Evan, her own arm raised ready to strike out at him. As soon as her eyes met his, all anger and fear melted away. She felt her body slump slightly and her muscles grew momentarily limp. She actually stumbled slightly and Evan quickly reached out his other arm to steady her. When she straightened up, he smiled at her and waited.

Gabby returned his gaze. She'd gotten off the freeway and come to the gas station preparing for a confrontation with Evan. Now that she stood face to face with him, she wasn't sure what to do next. She stared at his gorgeous brown eyes for what felt like forever. The air around her grew thin and her vision started to fade. She felt dizzy again and shuffled away from his hands to lean against a nearby counter and support herself. As she reached the counter, the world started to spin violently and everything around her started to blur. She heard Evan start to speak to her, but his voice was hollow and distant and his words made no sense. Then, everything went black.




Gabby felt the blackness surround her and she began walking. There was no sense of direction or location, but she felt she needed to keep moving. In the distance, she saw a light and a hint of people moving around. She started running towards the light but it seemed to stay just as far away. Then at the edges of her sight, she felt light growing but as she turned her head to the left or the right, the light moved away from her staying just out of reach. A soft rumbling of noise came next, unintelligible and soft but growing in volume. As the sound increased, the light from her sides increased in intensity and slowly worked its way around until a dull light hung all around her. The sounds slowly turned into voices.

"Gabrielle? Gabrielle?"

"Is she ok?"

"What happened?"

"Does she need an ambulance?"

"Gabrielle?"

"Did anybody see what happened?"

"Get some water?"

"Gabrielle? Can you hear me?"

The dark patches in the light slowly took on form until Gabby recognized Evan hovering over her along with handful of other shoppers and a cashier in a red and white polo shirt with a terrified frazzled look on her face. Gabby looked around to find herself sitting on the floor next to the drink fountain. Two of the onlookers, a pair of teenage boys with tons of piercings and spiky hair, nudged each other and then walked to the front of the store grinning and mumbling something to each other.

"Are you alright dear?" The cashier held out a small plastic cup filled with ice water. Gabby took the cup without thinking and swallowed a sip. She still felt a little lightheaded. Had she really just passed out? She'd never done that before. The feeling of having been unconscious in this place sent shivers of embarrassment and fear over her. Goosebumps popped up on her arms and she shuddered involuntarily.

"She'll be fine. I'll just get her a little something to eat and some fresh air." Evan wrapped his arm around Gabby's back, placing her arm over his shoulders, and stood slowly but fluidly bringing her to her feet. She still felt dazed but she leaned her head against his shoulder and let him hold her steady. The cashier twisted a strand of her silver-grey hair, still looking uneasily at Gabby. She opened her mouth to say something but Evan beat her to it.

"Come on hon. Let's get you out to the car and get you home."

He slowly walked to the door. One of the teenage boys pushed it open and let them pass. Gabby heard the boy stifle a laugh as she passed. She lifted her head to turn and chew the boy out but as she did, her head began to spin again so she let it fall back to Evan's shoulder. He led her to her car and slowly lowered her into the passenger seat then walked around and climbed into the driver's seat. He felt around momentarily for the keys then slid his fingers gently into Gabby's pocket and pulled them out. As she felt his fingers slide across her leg Gabby felt her body shudder again. She inched herself slightly away from him but at the same time, she felt her heart beat faster and her palms get warm.

"Sorry. Just getting the keys." He smiled at her as he started the car up and pulled back out onto the road. As they drove Gabby just stared wordlessly at him. He felt so familiar. So safe. So right. But she also felt scared and unsure. She squirmed in her seat and struggled to sit up straighter. As she did, Evan turned them into a parking lot in front of some plain office building. He found an empty spot near the building entrance and put the car into park then turned and faced Gabby.

He slowly put his hands forward, moving slowly, deliberately as though approaching a frightened puppy. Like a frightened puppy, Gabby pulled back slightly then tilted her head, curious as to his intent. He curled the fingers of his right hand and lightly brushed her left cheek, softly sliding stray hairs back off her face and tucking them behind her ear. With his other hand, he cupped her jaw softly and tilted her head to face him.

"Gabrielle. I know these past few days have been crazy for you. I'm sure you are confused and a little scared. You probably don't know what to think or what to believe. I should have come to you sooner. Confided in you. Helped you understand what's going on. I fear my hesitance has caused you pain. I will work to atone for that now. I will help fix the problems that I should have prevented in the first place. The rules we put in place are there to prevent interaction like this. But we are beyond the rules. I should have seen that sooner. I should have been there to help you. To protect you. Please forgive me."

Gabby kept her eyes set on his face as he spoke. She watched as his mouth formed each word. She saw the sympathy and remorse in his eyes. She felt his fingers softly caress her cheek as he spoke. Inside her, she felt a desire growing to lean forward and bury herself in his chest. To let him hold her tightly against him and block the world away. She wanted the comfort he was trying to offer. Her body ached for reassurance. For protection. She started to lean towards him then pulled back and pressed his hand off her cheek.

"I….I don't know you Evan. I want to…I need….I don't know who you are." She forced herself not to cry but her voice cracked softly as she spoke. She leaned away from him, pressing her back against the car door and staring at him. A veil of sadness fell over Evan's face and he pulled back away from her, still staring intently at her eyes.

"I know. I'm sorry. I understand. I didn't realize how hard this would be. Please, give me a moment to explain. And then I hope you will allow me to help protect you. To save you."

Evan and Gabby stared silently at each other for a moment, then he turned and stared out the front windshield and laid his hands lightly on the steering wheel. Clearing his throat, he spoke again.

5 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ack. what is he going to say...you cliffhanger endings are brilliant and keep us coming back...

Rick said...

Thanks for the comment :) Here's hoping with the film. Nice blog and great writing

Tgoette said...

Wow, powerful stuff! You are an amazing writer. I really enjoyed your story and look forward to reading more. Thanks for the visit and comments!

Phoenix said...

That is one MEAN cliffhanger, bud! (Just saying!)

That said, this story is getting so good. I am totally rooting for these crazy time-traveling kids to work it out, save the day, save Julie, and adopt a puppy.

Er... you know what I mean. :) Fantastic writing!

Okie said...

Thanks...sorry for the extensive use of 'cliffhangers'...partly it's because I don't want an individual blog post to become toooo long...partly it's also to keep y'all interested and coming back for more.

Partly it's also to help peek my own interest and try to spur a little more intrigue into the story.

Either way, I agree that this particular week's end point was a little too abrupt.

Thanks for reading all. :)