No description written...
“Are you in need of some scrap metal, Miss Lansing, or just enjoying an evening of delinquent activities?” he said to me still elbow deep in the pile of rust.
“No I’m not in need of scrap, nor am I participating in delinquent activities.” I said to him.
“Considering I have permission to be here and well, it’s after hours, technically your trespassing therefore you are participating in delinquency. “He said to me with a sarcastic tone.
“Touché” I replied.
At that point he had turned around and started over to me, he stood there silent. I tried to collect my thoughts as quickly as possible.
“I have never been good at apologies, but I’m truly sorry about slapping you and treating you the way I did, it was unfair and irrational of me. Please forgive my disrespect.” I said to him.
“No need to apologize, I shouldn’t have been so disrespectful myself.” He replied. He then quickly added.
“But out of curiosity, may I ask why the harsh reaction to my words.”
“It’s a long story, well not a long one I suppose, but not an easy one.” I said to him.
He looked at me with a puzzled but intrigued look and said
“I’ve got all night”
“Let me clean up and we can talk.” I said to him.
“I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.” He said to me as he headed out of the junkyard carrying miscellaneous scrap pieces.
I flew up the stairs as quickly as I could, and rummaged through my dresser to find something to wear. I threw on the first thing I could match. Then quickly ran a brush through my hair. I stood in front of the mirror for a moment and thought to myself, what on earth am I going to tell him. I wasn’t so sure that I was ready to tell an almost complete stranger the deepest troubling things of my life, I began to sob lightly, but on the other hand there was a strange air around Ari, it made me feel almost comfortable, and at ease. Maybe having someone to talk to wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
I heard a loud beep outside.
I ran to the bathroom and looked out the window, there was Ari outside and it had only been 10 minutes, he was early, usually men are always late, leave it to this guy to be the one to be early! I splashed some cold water on my face to help reduce the puffiness on my eyes from crying and headed out the door. “You’re early” I said to him as I ran down the stairs. He was already on the passenger side of the truck as he held the door open for me.
“Early and well mannered I see.” I said to him as I approached the vehicle.
“I was raised the old fashioned way” he said to me with a smile.
“Never late for a date, always hold the door for the ladies, pull out chairs, you know those sorts of things.” He added on as he shut the door and walked around the truck.
“Date?” I asked. I was blushing inside.
“I wasn’t aware we were on a ‘date’.” I added quickly.
“I didn’t mean in it that sense.” He chuckled a little.
“Date as in appointment, or scheduled event.” He said to me with a slight smirk.
“Oh… sorry I didn’t mean to assume…” I stopped mid sentence a little humiliated.
I noticed he was trying to quietly laugh, and I broke out into a loud giggle.
Though neither of us knew exactly what the other was laughing about, together we laughed. When our sounds of laughter came to a stop I turned to him.
“So exactly where are we going?” I asked.
“You will see when we get there.” He replied.
The remainder of the ride was silent. Not an awkward silence, just silent.
We arrived at a quiet and secluded small park near the lake. Ari lit a fire and laid out a blanket and placed a picnic basket in the middle, and motioned for me to sit.
“This is one of my favorite spots.” He said, as I listened intently.
“It’s nothing spectacular I know, but its quiet, and the view is spectacular. I come here a lot when I need to think or just to relax and get away; almost always late at night, when there is no one puttering about on the boardwalk.” He explained.
“It’s beautiful.” I said with a smile. He sat there for a moment silently, looking at me and moving his head side to side like he was waiting for me to do something or say something. I hadn’t thought of what I was going to say or how I was going to say it so I decided to just start with something, anything.
“I know that I was irrational and I apologize, again, I can’t apologize enough, I don’t usually act like that but you see…” my voice crackled and my eyes welled up.
He sat closer to me, and softly wiped away the tears from the corner of my eye, with his fingertips.
“It’s ok, whatever it is, it’s ok, you are here now so you got through it, if you don’t want to explain it you don’t have to, I don’t want you to have to talk about anything that will upset you.” He said to me reassuringly.
I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride and continued on.
“I lost my mother a couple of months ago to a terrible car accident; I remember it like it was yesterday, it was right outside our house. She was going to sell some produce at the corner market that morning and just as I was beginning to eat breakfast, I heard the squealing of tires, and the awful sound of twisting metal, before I could even get outside I could already smell the burning of the rubber, the air was thick with black smoke, It nearly choked me. I seen a man get out of the SUV and run over to a body lying in the middle of the road. I watched him examine the body, thinking to myself what a tragedy it was, not realizing the extent of the tragedy at the time. He then yelled out to call the police and that “she” was dead. At that time I studied the scene a little closer and it starting to become a little clearer that the other vehicle was my mothers, and that….” I began to sob harder. “And…that it was…her in the middle of the road.” I stopped for a brief moment as Ari handed me a tissue and placed his arms around me.
“I’m... so… sorry….” He said in a soft apologetic tone into my ear. I wiped away my tears and let up my sobbing a little, I noticed that night had given away to early morning but paid no more attention to it than that, and continued on as he sat there with his kind stare locked into my eyes. “For 28 days, I allowed it to consume me, every night I had nightmares, every day I ached, and then on the 29th day I gave it all up and moved here, not to run away from it, but to start new and try to move past it and start a life for myself. I came here with pretty much nothing, I was able to get an apartment with what little savings I had, and I had to practically beg to get a job, but I was determined to make it on my own. And when you had made a comment about my mother I kind of lost it and I’m sorry. I know it isn’t an excuse, but it’s all I have for an explanation.” I said to him.
“An excuse, no, but it is a reasonable explanation for your actions. I apologize to you as well for putting you in that position.” He replied to me kindly.
“You have nothing to be sorry for, you didn’t know.” I reassured him. “I was out of line.”
He sat there for another moment looking at me, examining me with widened eyes.
“It’s getting late, or shall I say early, I should be heading home.” I said to him as untangled myself from him and stood up.
The fire had completely burnt out at this point, the sun was beginning to rise and the sweet serenade of the birds surrounded us. He reached out and placed my hands in his.
“Things are going to be ok, I can only imagine that losing someone so close to you would be more pain than one thinks that they could handle, but things will get better in time…if you let it.” He said to me softly. The entire time in my head, I was rolling my eyes, too used to the “time heals all wound” speeches, but as he continued to talk, I actually began to feel more at ease and almost as if I believed him.
“Open your eyes, look all around and see that you are still here, see the beauty that is you, that is around you, that is awaiting you. Open your arms and embrace life and the things in it, hold it tightly and never let go. And most importantly, open your heart, allow it to heal, let people in, embrace life and love with all of it.” He said to me with such poise and wisdom. The words were beyond beautiful. I began to well up again.
My heart began to flutter a little and once again I began to feel the color drain from my body. He was starting to get to me. I wasn’t ready for this not in this state of mind, my fight or flight response began to kick in and naturally I chose flight.
“That was….beautiful. Thank you for listening, I really have to go now sorry.” I quickly turned from him and began to run home. I could hear him yelling from the distance.
“LET ME GIVE YOU A RIDE AT LEAST!”
I politely waved him off as if to so no thank you, and continued running.
When I returned home I pretended not to notice Ari driving by and continued upstairs. I stripped myself down and ran a hot shower. For nearly an hour I let the hot water trickle down my body, as I cried. I cried out of anger, for the sudden and heartbreaking departure of my mother from my life. I cried out of pity, for myself because I was so lost. I cried out of sadness, for what I had done to Ari, I cried out of humiliation, for all the things I said and did that were...well...humiliating. And then I just cried, for no other reason than to just cry. Eventually I pulled myself together and threw on my robe. I went into my room and wound up Bella and let the sounds soothe me, I lied down on my bed and peacefully drifted off. I awoke a few hours later, slightly groggy and disoriented, but oddly enough with a smile on my face, I felt content, and light, as if the weight on my shoulders had suddenly been lifted. I almost felt carefree, until I looked at the clock and realized I had 10 minutes to get to work. I began to panic there was no way I was going to get ready and get to work in 10 minutes, I was still on my probation period too, I quickly got dressed and ran out the door. As I began to walk down the street, Ari drove by and stopped abruptly.
“Can I give you a ride anywhere?” he asked me.
“If you can give me a ride to the supermarket you would be a life saver!” I said as I jumped in the passenger seat.
“Not a problem.” He said as he smiled wryly at me.
“Running a bit late today are we?” he asked with a slight chuckle.
“We can’t all be old fashioned early birds.” I said to him in a mocking tone.
“Touché” he said as he laughed.
I got to the market with only a moment to spare. I turned to him as I exited the truck.
“Thanks a million, you just saved my job, I owe you one.” I said. He just nodded and smiled. I watched then waved as he pulled away. I scurried into the supermarket to clock in before I really was going to be late.
I returned home quickly that evening, hoping to see Ari sifting through junk at the junkyard. When he wasn’t there, I was saddened a little. I laughed at myself. I was like a high school girl again; the kind of girls who stood in the hallway nonchalantly between the bell, waiting to catch a glimpse of their secret crush that was a grade or two higher than them. Waiting for him to come out of the class room, the vision clichéd, everything around him stops including time, it was just him coming out of class in slow motion, running his fingers casually through his hair with a smile on his face, his books clutched in his other hand to his side as he strides down the hallway. If Ari wasn’t at the junkyard there was only one other place he could be. I stood there for a moment watching him. I almost felt like a stalker.
“Fancy meeting you here again” I heard his voice say.
“I…uh… was taking a walk on the boardwalk after work…” I said quickly trying to make it seem as if I didn’t intentionally come here. I’m sure I wasn’t as convincing as I wanted to sound.
“Nice night for a walk I suppose.” He said.
“Well since you are here, come sit and enjoy the peace and quiet with me.” He added. I tried to play hard to get.
“No, thanks, was just about to head home and get some sleep.” I said to him.
“I insist. You see had you been taking a walk after work, you would still be in your work clothes, now I know that you came down here with a purpose, so please come and sit.” He said wryly. And so I sat with him. I noticed that he was barefoot, which was odd, we weren’t at a beach or community swimming pool, which to me would be the only acceptable places to be barefoot in public.
“Why are you barefoot?” I asked him with slight confusion.
“Why not?” he said. ‘Oooooook’ I thought to myself.
“I enjoy being barefoot, go on give it a try, live life on the edge.” He said with a chuckle.
“I wouldn’t exactly classify being barefoot in public as living on the edge, but hey, what do I know about living on the edge anyway.” I said back to him.
So we sat there together and conversed, barefoot, with only sounds of our voices, the crackling and popping of the fire, the gentle whistle of the breeze, the chirps of the crickets and the tranquil sound of the water trickling along the shoreline. We must have talked for hours. The breeze began to get cooler as the hours melted away, I began to shiver slightly. Ari got up and poked the fire around adding more wood, I could instantly feel the warmth, and he slid his chair closer to mine and placed an arm around me and rubbed it vigorously.
“Are you getting warmer now?” he asked.
“Yes, thank you that’s much better.” I replied shyly.
I sat there silently, my stomach fluttering at the feel of his touch, he turned to me and I could feel the warmth of his breath against my cheek, it sent shivers up and down my spine. When I turned to him our noses were almost touching I found myself locked in a gaze in his eyes. I suddenly felt a little too close for comfort.
“Thank you so much for allowing me to sit with you, I had fun, but I need to get home now.” I said to him as I stood up quickly.
Suddenly he lifted his arms and brought one to my cheek he began to lean closer into me, a million thoughts raced through my head, I was going through the scenarios in my head a million times over...
Pieces of Me: Chapter 4
Aug 4, 2010 by Nygirl08
Moderator actions: Unpublish
Report this Story:
If you find a problem with this story or wish to report inappropriate content, click here