I know the night’s wearing thin because I can turn my head to the right and watch the sundial on my coffee table, all mahogany and high-class and mocking in its obstinacy, tick slowly forward, pushing the shadow of my doubts and lusts away from eyesight and into the room.
I know that the sundial really isn’t ticking, but I can hear something going at an almost break-neck pace, and it takes me a second to realize that it’s not the movement of a small Rahi on the floor – this house, just like all the others owned in my name, is immaculate, and any pest that gets in would be rapidly exterminated – or the sound of any sort of wind chimes or any natural sound.
No, this is the most unnatural sound of all, the one sound that cannot truly be explained or pushed away rationally, even after days or weeks or eons of thought; it’s the sound that blares during every special moment in your life, whether good or not-so-good, and it’s a sound that, when it finally dims and fades away, carries us along for the ride as we have carried it: a heartbeat.
There’s a lot we don’t quite know about the psyche of people in general. We don’t know why certain Toa are inherently good and pure, and why in certain offshoots of our race there are Toa that are such a stark antithesis to the cookie-cutter, one-for-all-all-for-one heroes that the universe has come to know and adore that they sometimes aren’t even gifted with the title that the heroes bear; they just float, nameless, as much a shadow as the slowly-shrinking dark area on the sundial.
We don’t know why people feel empathy, or sympathy, or any of the chemical reactions inside a person’s head that give them such a profound sense of right and wrong, good and evil, love and hate, that they all conform to those standards and then band together because of them, forming relationships and love affairs and families because of them.
One of the quirkier, less philosophical things that I’ve always been fascinated with is the palette of colors that I see when listening to music. Pianos are a bright, vibrant blue, like the shining, almost transparent tears in a new father’s eyes as he gazes on his son for the first time, while the heavy, rhythmic pumps of a snare drum or a gong resemble punches, thrown into the serenity of the music with a blinding and pulverizing force that leaves nothing in its wake but bruised bodies and rent hearts. When I hear my heartbeat, strong and quiet and beating at an increasingly rapid rate, I see nothing but a flash of green, crisp and lush like a summer leaf that kisses your forehead as you walk underneath a tree, and, even though I know this will sound ridiculously weird, I see the color - and the girl - that I fell in love with.
Almost as if the flash actually rocketed through the air around my heartbeat, like an explosion bursting in the sky, like the hearts of lovers as they lean in for a trembling first kiss, the bursting of the emotional levee that a stoic keep barricaded above the rising floodwaters of his negativity, his quelled depression, the room brightens visibly and the sundial stops pushing forward because there’s no shadow left to push; the dawn finally pushes its way through the closed curtains and I open my eyes slowly but surely. I hadn’t even realized I’d closed them, and I enter a repeat pattern of deep inhale exhale inhale exhale to help me focus my breathing.
I’m meeting her for breakfast now, this morning, and I feel like at this moment, as I crawl out of bed and move out the window in that classic pose that every girl who loves romantic guys that love romantic poetry know and adore: all I need is a rope made of handkerchiefs as I leap from the third story and slide down the side of the wall into the Ko-Wahi snow. It’s cold outside, as it always is here in the area of Mata Nui enshrouded in permanent blizzard , but all I can think about is the previous night.
All I can think about is how we had played a couple melancholy, longing songs together before sitting on the bed, eating ice cream together and telling jokes and reading books and cuddling and doing all that kooky stuff that best friends do together, and all I can think about is how slowly, surely, after two decades of tension and longing and a fair sprinkling of indecision just to top things off, I asked her if she’d ever wanted something more out of a guy.
“Well…” she had started, biting her lip and looking as contemplative as could be in that frail sort of cold logical way she had that I could never look at without smiling, “you know, Dorian, we as people live inside ourselves, whether we want to or whether we’re forced to. People keep secrets, people store white lies and thoughts and feelings inside themselves, let them ferment like wine. And then, when we finally dismantle that big emotional bomb inside ourselves, finally let these things out, we build ourselves another one and keep it stored. It’s a never ending arsenal. Maybe what I want…is someone who can help me disarm.”
We were quiet, then, two starcrossed lovers, comets with tails and dreams and talents and fears on a path through the sky, dust in our wake; we were so close together and yet we were zooming past each other’s realm of comprehension with nary a warning flare or a siren’s call to scream out, Hey. Stop me. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.
Yeah, Kynaera. I know what you mean.
The reply did nothing to sate what I really wanted to say, did not tame the words inside of me gushing to come out like a carbonated love poem, and all the adjectives strung together in all the compliments in all the world couldn’t describe everything that I wished I could tell her at that moment, but I was nothing in her wake, and I couldn’t help but utter the most simple and inane responses imaginable.
I was nothing in her wake, a drizzle compared to a monsoon, a gust to a tornado, and where in the wake of her toned, athletic form, her bright green eyes, her beautiful smile that could make the sun’s grin, so devious, so laced with a benign sort of trickery, turn to ash and blow away in the passing grips of the bands of her storm.
She smiled sadly, as if she knew what was welling up inside my chest and my lungs, pulmonary amor liquefied and drowning my unworthy organs, and she set down her book onto the table by the sundial, already being forced back from its final stand by the creeping darkness moving clockwise across its surface. I whispered something irrelevant, inconsequential, a passing nuance of a remark on how it was getting late and if she wanted, I could walk her back home because the streets could get really dangerous at this point in the evening. Or morning; I wasn’t quite sure what time it was. All I knew was darkness, both emotional and physical; the exception was when I heard music, saw color, saw her.
Without warning, she leaned in and kissed me softly, and all my metaphors and adjectives that I use to describe my thoughts and feelings went out the window with the last rays of sunlight as I leaned back and just enjoyed the ride. Green, green, a vibrant green glowed inside my eyelids, playing a springtime matinee of a pure, grassy color as my heart pumped faster, faster, so fast that it must surely burst; no man could be this happy without consequence, it was hubris, it was the worst kind of wrath incurrent to be this happy while others suffered and wilted like dying flowers in winter’s maw.
Finally, we pulled away, like magnets that had finally grown tired of being attached, and she whispered quietly that she had to go, she had to get back to her family tonight, but she wanted to see me for breakfast in the morning so we could see how things go from here. My heartbeat answered for me, my dry tongue having failed me long ago, in the form of a recurring tattoo that must have purely been pushing through my skin. Briefly, it occurred to me that perhaps my heart could jump out of my skin, a skydiver without a parachute on the way to its final home on the well-furbished floors.
It didn’t, of course, because as my feet touch down onto solid ground and snow, I start to make my way towards the coffee shop and try to quell the green flashes that bombard my vision like artillery fire as I search every avenue, every inch of ground for a trace that she wasn’t too far ahead of me; perhaps I could surprise her, perhaps I could reach her from behind and hug her and spin her around and ask her right now the question that had been burning in my head for so long, a firework waiting to be lit in the recesses of my hopes and dreams.
Kynaera. Will you let me be the one to help you disarm?
As I toss around several variations of this question – most of them a lot less corny than the one I had initially poised – I finally take a right turn off the main square of Ko-Koro and find the café she’s talking about. She’s sitting there, alone, sipping pensively at a coffee that shouldn’t be hot but somehow manages to retain its heat in the presence of the athletic, graceful, slightly stiff but godlike Toa of Gravity that is holding it in her hand. She looks up and sees me, and my heart immediately shoots upwards into my throat.
Ignition. We have liftoff. That’s one small step for man, one giant…
My mental preparations for whatever this conversation may entail cut off as we move forward and embrace quietly, and as we sit down, I signal for a coffee lightheartedly; I have all the caffeine I need right here, and as I stare into her eyes, my heartbeat, the laughs and conversations of the crowd, and the whistling of wind against icicles on the roof above us all condense and combine into one giant kaleidoscope of colors – green and blue and a weird shade of grey - and sounds – laughter and love and peace and sounds I’d never heard before, save inside the most imaginative corridors of my eardrums.
I love you.
As soon as the words leave my mouth, all color, all sound, all pretense of normality and setting disappear and slide to black as I slip out of the chair. She laughs at first, quietly, but slowly I can hear the sound reaching a crescendo and fade away, and I realize that somewhere, somehow, even though it was the worst possible thing I could have done, I’d fainted.
Well…maybe we can do dinner.
Yeah, it's another BZPRPG fanfic: this one is a character study/examination of my character Dorian and his best friend/maybe more Kynaera/Pride, back from before their descent into moral ambiguity. All credit for Kynaera goes to my compadre Legolover-361, and all critique you leave me is, again, always appreciated.
Edited by Tyler Durden, Aug 31 2012 - 09:44 PM.