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Perception - A Short Story - Part Two

December 14, 2017

Part Two: Him  

She approaches the intimidating wooden door, towering over her. She instantly loses control of her breathing, her heart preparing to dive from her chest into the black abyss once called her soul, as a hiding place from whom might be behind the dark, heavy door. She knows he may be there, mixed among strangers, his faint, fresh rain scent might catch her attention before they even lock eyes. 
 

Inhale, she tells herself.
 

            Too quickly she expels all the air from her lungs and with it goes all of her courage. She finds herself fiddling with her dress, a last ditch effort to make it fit her better than it had ten minutes prior. She can feel the silky red material, every miniscule snag, every inch where it clings to her body in all the wrong ways. Smoothing her hands down her body, she curses every angle and curve for working ever so slightly against her. 
            In one last attempt to make her feeble appearance seem less appalling she brushes her straw hair from her drab eyes, inhales, and pushes open the door in what feels to be a stumbling, weak effort. She can feel all eyes on her now and instantly knows she doesn’t belong. Regret is heavy on her dress, as it drags along the hard wood floors. She feels their whispers like whips on her back, almost as venomous as the insults her father once spit at her. 
            The whirl of joy and disdain around her, stirrs a passion within her as if she were caught up in a storm. Her hair has fallen back in her eyes as soon as she had brushed it away. Her plain red dress feels disheveled immediately after adjusting herself. As she finds herself more and more absorbed in self-pity, she continues wandering the room. Though subconsciously she knows she is looking for him.
            He, who saves her from her overwhelming fear of feeling empty in a crowd. He, who fills up her soul, taking away all the darkness. He, who’s every word melts from his mouth, every kiss tasting like exquisite chocolate and every touch sending off a shooting start within her heart. The very same heart that fought its way out of her chest simultaneously as she stepped through the door of this over-crowded room. 
            She finds herself snapping back to reality, awakening herself from stolen moments of ignorant bliss, reminiscing bitter sweet days and pushing aside the memories of the even more so bitter nights. Now those nights flood into her days, take away her light swallowing her whole. Alcohol or Him? One would be the solution to this impending doom taking hold of her now. 
 

Or better yet? She thinks to herself, both. Her mouth waters. 
 

            She looks up, squinting as if she really had momentarily stepped back into darkness. As her eyes adjust to the lights, she sees her saviors, both of them, standing so close, elegant and cool to the touch. The tulip shaped glasses are filled to the brim. There he is, a unique version of the typical tall, dark and handsome, with a strong hand tracing the delicate designs on the white table cloth, like he once had done her unworthy skin. She frantically grasps for a glass, gulping down the bubbly liquid as it shatters into fragments of gold, which discover themselves splintering in her throat, stifling a cough, her eyes water. 
            She knows he may turn at any moment and catch her standing so close, so she chokes back the champagne, and pushes out his name, “Casz.” He twirls around, so forceful she finds herself stepping back. He won’t even look her in the eye, he must be disgusted by her presence. 
 

“Vaida.” Her name slips out of his mouth, cold, unfeeling yet with a touch of iced perfection. 
 

Down goes the second glass.

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