Double Vision

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Double Vision

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-06, 15:13

Edit: The continuation of Double Vision has been posted. The new posts start at the beginning of this whole story, and I'm trying to make it all inclusive. The original Double Vision post will remain here until my writing approaches this part of the time line; at which point I hope to re-write this scene.

A Bad Day (Revised 12 Feb 12)
A Bad Day pt. 2
Acrobats & Astronomers




The Original Double Vision



I've been trying to be more creative / productive lately, and was recently inspired by the suggested idea of an insomniac character elsewhere on this forum. So I wrote up a quick scene. For your enjoyment:

"Double Vision"

So she isn't in her room or at the observatory either...why is she avoiding me? I'll try the east side of campus. Surely she's at the hilltop. It wasn't even two days ago we'd finally reached a milestone in our friendship. I'd stayed up with her all night. It felt like we talked forever. Was it too much? Too fast? Checking my watch I see that curfew will take effect soon. Hopefully she's there. The night air is warm and humid - a testament to spring finally setting in. There are still a few students idling down the walking path. Some give me strange glares as we intersect. Yeah yeah, curfew soon. I quicken my pace. The light from the main classroom building begins to fade with every step I take. Entering the woods now. Here comes the hill. Surely she's there.

The walkway has ended. I'm treading carefully now on the wet grass. A somewhat steep climb. The surrounding woods cut away as I near the hill's peak. All light fades away. The light from both the school and city is barely visible here. I look up to the heavens and have to stifle a gasp. Stars. Everywhere stars. I can't remember ever seeing so many. This is why the hill is Alexis' favorite spot. No light penetrates here save for the millions of stars twinkling overhead. I'm suddenly very aware of the absolute silence that accompanies the perfect portrait above.

Wait - Is she here? Pulling my attention away from the star's spectacle I survey the area. Relief. There she is, her telescope stands nearby. Still donning her school uniform; she's slightly bent over the telescope. Her long curls of blonde hair fall over one shoulder as she peers through the eyepiece. Ever focused on her gazing she hasn't noticed my presence. This is good. I think carefully how to say what I want to say. Her gloved hand delicately adjusts a ring on the telescope. What was I going to say? I can see her chest rising and falling with every deliberate breath. This is a very different picture of the Alexis I know. She's focused, she's steady, she's...controlled. Is this what Alexis meant when she said she was only alive at night?

She suddenly pulls away from the eyepiece and writes in her notebook. It's so dark, how can she see? She places the notebook on the ground and leans back towards the telescope; however she halts halfway. I snap out of my stupor. She's finally taken notice of me. She slowly turns to face me while standing to her practiced posture. "Hello." She blurts out in her usual tired monotone. "Uhh. Hey. I..uh.." Damn it. I forgot to think ahead. "Come here." She motions me towards her telescope while stepping aside. "Ok." My legs suddenly feel like lead. When did it get so hard to interact with her? I drag myself to the telescope. She prompts me to look into the eyepiece - and I do.

My eyes take their time focusing on the image projected by the lens. They settle into an odd double vision of a star. It's twinkling in a dazzling array of red, purple and blue. Alexis begins to narrate. "You see them? Those two stars that are dancing?" Two stars? I should put more faith in my eyes. I realize now that the stars flicker out of sync with one another. These are different stars. "Yes I see them." Alexis breathes in before speaking again. "I think that's us. Those two dancing stars." I pull away and look into her eyes. Her pupils aren't there; looking back at me is the reflection of all the stars surrounding us. "Well-" She continues. "I've decided those two stars are us. I've watched them dance before, but I never thought it'd be me dancing too." I don't think I can follow her if she keeps talking like this. I've got to be honest with her. "I feel like you've been avoiding me lately. I came here to ask why." She pulls her gaze away to the ground. "I was." My heart drops. "But you didn't do anything wrong." She pauses and turns away. "I...you...I really enjoyed the time we spent together last week." A grin escapes onto my face. "I enjoyed it too. But that doesn't explain why you suddenly don't want to see me. I feel like we had...I don't know. Like we'd taken a step towards..." She interjects "No one has ever stayed with me before. Like you did. I'm so used to being alone at night - and...and at the same time I'm only alive in the dark. Having you there with me was..." She brings her gaze back to mine. "It was nice." Alexis looks away again and beings to fumble with her white gloves, pulling them tight.

A gentle breeze rolls in, capturing her hair and skirt all at once. The faint smell of her shampoo dances around my senses. Vanilla? She puts her arms rigidly to her sides and connects with my gaze. "I had to organize myself - to make sure this is what I want." She steps closer. "I think I know now. I think-" She reaches for my hands, taking them in hers. The soft feel of her gloves electrifies me. "-I think I want you to stay with me more." I pull her hands to my chest. "Me too. I don't want you to be alone in the night anymore. I'll stay with you." She smiles warmly and looks up to the stars. "I became interested in the stars when I first stopped sleeping. My father used to tell me that all dreams came from the stars. When I stopped dreaming I thought I could look to the stars to bring them back." A single tear glistens in the starlight as it rolls down her cheek. She still smiles. I extend my hand to pull her gaze to mine. I hesitate only for a moment before asking "Would you dance with me then? Like our stars?" Another tear forms at the corner of her eye. Suddenly Alexis throws herself into me, burying her head in my shoulder and wrapping her arms around me. "Yes, yes, yes!" Sweetly she answers my question, her voice momentarily breaking free of its tired norm...


Last edited by Dr. Friendly on 2012-03-26, 11:48; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Updates)

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by QbertEnhanced on 2012-02-07, 02:04

That, was adorable Smile

QbertEnhanced
Admin
Programmer

Posts : 227
Join date : 2012-01-15
Age : 28
Location : Waterloo, Ontario

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-07, 14:49

Oh, was that my idea you were talking about? How flattering Embarassed
A very nice approach, and one I completely didn't consider. Are you planning to continue this story at some point, or is it just a standalone piece? I'd like to see more of this Alexis and her lonely nocturnal life.

On a different, yet somewhat related topic: I myself have been inspired by my own idea last night and wrote a short piece also about insomnia. Nothing like this, of course, but I was wondering if you'd mind if I posted it in this thread. I mean, I guess I could open one for it, but that would mean the whole forum would have two threads, and both would have the same title and subject. Which feels wrong to me, somehow. What do you say?

Gloom

Posts : 94
Join date : 2012-02-02
Age : 23
Location : Israel

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-07, 15:01

By all means go for it. We could turn this thread into Insomniac love central cheers

I'll definitely continue the story as I had quite a bit of fun writing this piece. I'll probably roll the timeline back and cover the events leading up to this. Should be fun.

Edit: On second thought, we probably wouldn't be doing each other any favors by posting two continuing stories in the same thread... Start another, populate the sub-forum, and I look forward to reading it! Cool

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by HeDanny on 2012-02-09, 12:36

QbertEnhanced wrote:That, was adorable Smile
I agree! There was a sweetness to the way this was done that I thought was quite involving.

Man, that part where he could not follow her train of thought, about the two dancing stars, but then he danced with her. Dude, shivers.
Granny Weatherwax would completely approve of this headology! Smile

Are you going to continue with this? While it is certainly good as it is, it does feel like there could be room for a little more. Either before or after the events here.

HeDanny

Posts : 16
Join date : 2012-02-08
Location : Down Under

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-09, 13:33

Thanks for the feedback! I will be continuing the story, both before and after. I've gotten a basic plot outline done and am revising before jumping back in to writing. I'm hoping to use this series to improve my creative writing skills. Any and all feedback is well received Cool

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

A Bad Day

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-12, 12:42

The sharp ringing of the alarm snaps me awake. Without thought I slap the snooze, hit the alarm back on, slap it off again.

My eyes slowly adjust into focus on the ceiling. That momentary feeling of peace when you first wake up; when all memories are at bay and nothing can stress you. It doesn't last long. My name is Niklas Vastic. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I go to a special school for people just like me. Not just people with OCD, but all manner of mental issues. Is issues the right word? Disorder doesn't sound much better. Peculiarities. That sounds fair.

My family lives in Salzburg, Austria. The school I go to is in Vienna, however, so I rarely get to see them anymore. It's not so bad, my sister keeps in touch via the internet; my parents prefer to send letters the old-fashioned way.

I'm not particularly tall, but I'm not short. Average is the word. I could simply say I'm average, and you'd have a good summary of me, but I'll elaborate. I've got dark brown hair that matches my eyes, also a dark brown. I'm not really the athletic type, preferring to dedicate my free time to reading, and occasionally playing the violin.

My OCD started at an early age. Little things first, like arranging my toys in a certain way. By color, or height, or just making everything parallel or symmetrical. My library of compulsions steadily grew through the years. I'm sure that my parents noticed, but didn't say anything; out of fear, or denial. I was definitely in denial; not really pretending it didn't happen, but telling myself it was what I really wanted, or that it was normal. I started to do things in twos. Enter a room twice, wash my hands twice, make my bed twice. I'd catch myself staring at things that were “perfect.” Perfect in the sense that they were in-line, or matching pairs. When I'd completed arranging things just right, I'd have to watch them for a time; to make sure they didn't shift out of their perfect positioning.

I'd even developed a compulsion I can only describe as ironic in how it opposes every other compulsion I have. I started to drop things, or throw them, randomly; just to see how they'd land. If they'd land in a way that pleased me, or calmed me. I attribute it to being a way for me to make order out of chaos; questioning if fate, or chance, or even god, can deliver perfection.

The turning point happened when I was in the 6th grade. The day had just ended and everyone was getting up to leave. I accidentally knocked my pencil box over, spilling its contents all over the floor. When I crouched to pick them up, well, I couldn't stop. I would pick up everything only to find something wrong requiring me to dump it all out and start over. The colors didn't match, the lengths were too different, they weren't angled properly. This went on for what felt like an eternity. Everyone saw, everyone was watching. When the teachers eventually pulled me away I was in tears.

I remember a lot of doctor visits after that. My parents having secret conversations about me when I was supposed to be asleep. I'd been out of school for a few days after the incident, and I didn't have the courage to go back. All my classmates saw me break down. They'd taunt me, they'd ridicule me, they'd treat me different.

My parents decided the best thing to do was send me someplace else. Someplace where I wouldn't feel different. I didn't resist. That's how I came to where I am now. It's been nearly 6 years since that incident. I can't really say Salzburg feels like home anymore. I don't keep in touch with any of my childhood friends. A new life for me started the moment those pencils hit the floor.

A great deal of support is offered here for people like me. Over the years I've been taught different methods to deal with my compulsions and anxieties; they now pale in comparison to the days before and after my incident. I keep them in check with reassuring thoughts, and some totem items. Currently I favor flipping a coin. I've been using that method for a few years now, and it still works wonderfully for most of my attacks. Sure, I have some good days and some bad days, but it feels like the good greatly outnumber the bad.

Today, however, is the first day back at school after winter break. My dorm room is illuminated only by the red glow of the bedside clock. The winter sun still refusing to rise this early; yet I have to. For whatever reason I'm feeling anxious this morning. I'd fallen into a bout of laziness visiting my parents in Salzburg over the break. Still feeling such, I slowly bring my feet to the floor, as if moving through pudding. The floor is unforgivably cold. I flick on my bed lamp, off, on again.

Damn it.

I take stock of my room. It's strange how after only a week away it can feel foreign to me; the slightest hint of unfamiliarity. Different smells. Two sets of uniforms hang on my door; beckoning to be worn. A brown leather violin case rests against the back corner; collecting dust from neglect. Two neat stacks of books lie on my desk by the window. My 2 euro coin on the nightstand.

I shuffle towards the bathroom; I go through my usual morning routine. Shower. Comb. Brush. Floss. Shave. Comb again...and one more to be sure. I shuffle back and don one of the prepared uniforms. Familiarity returning.

My shadow stretches out to the wall in front of me. A glance over my shoulder reveals the rising sun. At last. There's the slightest change in warmth while standing in its rays. A nice contrast to the cold floor. Shadow Niklas flashes me the peace symbol; I can't help but return the gesture.

Abrupt knocking at my door interrupts the finishing touches of putting on my tie. I walk over and open it. On the other side stands the figure of Dieter Bietak. He is slightly taller than myself; his light brown hair sits a mess upon his head, as usual. His uniform is disheveled, and the shirt a size too small. In his hands are two plates carrying various breakfast foods. He pushes towards me the healthier of the two: eggs, semmel, and a grapefruit. I take the plate and step aside as he brushes past into my room, and seats himself on my bed.

“I went and got breakfast for us because you take waytoofuggin'long to get ready in the morning.” He speaks with his fork in hand, pointing at me in an accusing manner.

“Not all of us live in a constant sugar high," I retort, "Also, grapefruit is just awful, why do you insist I eat them?” I sit at my desk.

“Don't try to deny that grapefruit is an essential fuel to start the day! What do you think keeps me going?” He throws me an orange juice box from his pocket.

“Piss. Boiling hot piss.” I reply while fumbling at the plastic straw.

“Okay, true, but besides boiling hot piss; grapefruit. So, how was Salzburg? Pretty friggen worthless?” His head twitches to the right while he stuffs a semmel into his mouth. I set my plate on the desk and reply with a thumbs down, like a roman emperor damning a gladiator.

“My sister Hannah was glad to see me. Both my parents pretended they were glad to see me; they didn't even bother to take time off work though.” I sip at the juice box.

Dieter rests his plate on his lap and raises both his arms and eyes into the air. He moans aloud, his arms raised aloft, “Ooh, the great Niklas Vastic was not well received at his villa! Whip the slaves! Slay the sheep! He demands blood!” His arms drop lifeless to the bed; his gaze to mine. “At least you were given the chance to go home. My parents? They don't give a shit.” He lowers his eyes to his plate and twitches again as he picks it up and resumes gnawing at an egg.

“I wasn't trying to sound ungrateful; just a little disappointed. The holidays don't have the same appeal to me as they used to; that's all. And why are you getting all wound up? Last year your parents DID invite you back for the break and you turned them down.” Dieter swallows a chunk of egg and replies “It's the thought that counts. At least last year they considered having me.”

I finish my juice. “You could be a little easier on them sometime. I know it's not my place to say, but there it is.” Dieter stops eating and stares at me. A pause. He shrugs and resumes eating.

“Fuck 'em.” He blurts out through a mouth full of food. My eyebrows raise as I reply.

“You know having breakfast with you is always so pleasant. Thank you.” I stand and empty my plate into the garbage.

He gulps down the last of his breakfast and smugly replies “You're welcome. Let's go already.” I extend my hand to his and pull him to his feet. He opens the door and walks out into the hall. I grab my books and follow until he suddenly stops and turns to me; blocking the doorway. “Coin?” He asks.

Oh damn, that's right. I step back into my room towards my nightstand. I reach to pick up the 2 euro coin, a sigh of relief as my fingers make contact with its cold edges. I almost forgot; still lazy. My hand instinctively flicks the coin into the air; heads. Another flip; tails. Damn it. Flip again; heads, and again; heads. Another sigh as I stow the coin in a pocket.

Today is going to be a bad day.

We step out of the dormitory into the cold morning air. A dusting of frost coats the grass. Dieter puffs as he slaps his gloved hands together. His breath made visible in the frozen air for only a moment. We begin making our way along the sidewalk to the main school building. Dieter's pace is slightly faster than mine, as usual.

The main building stands at four stories, and is quite impressive. We are blasted with warmth upon entering. Dieter immediately removes his gloves and stuffs them away into his jacket. A group of female students is standing nearby gossiping; I notice more than a few of them shooting glances in our direction. They're checking out Dieter no doubt; he's always been popular with the ladies for whatever reason. Dieter's shift in posture doesn't go unnoticed by me; it's his usual “I'm too cool to care about anyone else” routine. He follows it to the T and looks in the complete opposite direction of the girls as we approach them. Before passing, however, one of Dieter's tics goes off and his head jerks to the left towards the girls. They all quickly look away. He frowns trying to fight the tic. I try to stifle a laugh as his routine crumbles away. His response is to elbow me in the ribs. Worth it.

He quickens his pace even more as we ascend the stairs. Seeing we're alone in the stairwell I take a breath to volley a taunt in his direction, however he intercepts me. “Don't say a word, asshole.” I chuckle at his preemptive retort.

“That was very smooth, Dieter.” He glares at me for a second before opening the door to our floor.

“Those girls were too young for my refined tastes anyhow.” He says, quite smugly.

We finally arrive at our first class of the day. Coincidentally Dieter and I are assigned to the same early morning chemistry class. Dieter struts into the classroom and strolls to his desk; I stumble in, leave, stumble in again and resign myself to my own desk. I hate chemistry.

Most of the other students are already here and sitting at their desks chatting idly. I lay out the appropriate chemistry book and associating notebook; my pen and pencil as well. Judging the expressions of the other students present I would say I'm not the only one feeling lazy from break. Sunken expressions and disinterest pepper the room.

The teacher walks in and we all customarily stand.
“Please take your seats. I trust everyone had a refreshing holiday break,” he says mechanically while arranging the day's teaching material on his desk. He is answered with assorted grumbles. Dieter, in his animated manner, loudly addressees the teacher.

“Sir, I for one had a fantastic break, and am more than eager to resume my thirsting for knowledge of all things chemistry. Thank you.” Some snorts and giggles escape from the other students at Dieter's daring. I hang my mouth in disbelief. Dieter stays standing, waiting for the teacher's reply. The teacher brings his gaze up to Dieter, hesitates, sighs, then finally responds.

“That's good to know, Mr. Bietak. If you are so thirsty, perhaps you'd like to come in at the end of the day for some extra studying?” Dieter flashes the briefest look of agony, quickly replaced with one of his trademark grins.

“Yes sir, I think that would be swell.” Teacher's narrow eyes look Dieter over again before concluding the exchange. “Excellent. Take your seat then, Dieter.” Dieter sits again; placing his hand under his chin and looking out the window.

I shake my head at Dieter's folly; all the while my hand reacts by removing the euro from my pocket and sending it flipping into the air; heads. Another flip; tails. I tense. Flip again; heads. One more...heads again. Satisfied, my hand returns the coin to its pocket.

Class resumes with little fanfare, save for a few late students, and the results of our pre-break test. I, and a good portion of the other students, failed spectacularly. Teacher gives us the standard speech about motivation and determination and how he expects better from us.

The teacher fills the board in the first half-hour with equations and chemical compounds. I find myself arranging and rearranging my writing utensils. I managed to jot down two paragraphs of notes before my mind started to wander. I'm not even sure now how long I haven't been paying attention. At any rate, my disdain for chemistry continues all the way to the ringing of the class bell.

Everyone stands up with gusto and makes for the door. I'm nearly free myself when the teacher barks out, “Mr. Vastic, Ms. Fruehauf, will you please come join me at my desk?” My stomach drops; I'm in trouble. Dieter sneers at me from the doorway right before he is liberated by the hallway.

I find myself flipping the euro as I approach teacher's desk. He quickly glances at me, and the flying euro before looking away. The teachers here are particularly good at ignoring oddities like this, and other actions that could be considered rude in the “normal” world. I begin to ponder the nature of the word “normal” and the meaning it takes in a school like this. I don't get far before I'm yanked back to the situation at hand.

Standing next to me facing the teacher's desk is Alexis Fruehauf. She's in a few of my classes and...and I don't really know her. She is facing the teacher, and paying me no attention at all. Her long blonde hair is curled. It rests on her shoulders and down her back. Her eyes appear darkened, and at the moment quite lifeless. They have the slightest touch of blue, like a clouded sky. She's shorter than me; her eye level is about at my collarbone. Her posture is eased, relaxed, like nothing happening right now matters, or maybe it just isn't registering.

Teacher claps his hands together before bellowing out “Now then, the reason I called you both here is quite serious.” He turns to me, a serious look on his face. Directly in the eye, too. My hand fidgets with the coin. “Mr. Vastic, after the results of our last test you are quite plainly failing this class.” I swallow this unfortunate news. “Now I haven't failed a student in many years, and I don't plan on failing you. But you need to put in the effort to improve, and you need to start right now. You've got roughly a month before this term is over, and if you do well enough on the final you can still pass.”

I'm not sure how I feel about this. There's some degree of panic, but at the same time I've never cared much for chemistry either. Also, why is he revealing all this with Alexis Fruehauf standing right here? She doesn't need to know my academic business.

The teacher soon answers my question for me, turning his attention to the girl on my left.
“Ms. Fruehauf. You, on the other hand, did exceptionally well on our last exam, and are currently holding the highest grade in the class.” Her expression doesn't change after receiving the good news. She must be stuck up or something. Teacher continues. “Consequently, I was wondering if you would help me by helping Mr. Vastic. Tutoring him, to be precise.”

What? A tutor? A fellow classmate tutoring me? As if I needed a reason to hate chemistry even more; this is definitely it. I interject. “Excuse me sir, but I don't think I need a tutor. I'll study harder and get better, I promise.” The coin is burning hot in my hand, my fingers clasping it like a vise. Teacher doesn't take long to think it over and respond.

“I don't think that will do. Either you accept tutoring, or I'll have to require you come in every day after class is over for extra studying,” He smiles, suppressing a small chuckle, “At least Mr. Bietak will have company then. Firstly, we must have Ms. Fruehauf's blessing before we make any conclusions.”

Teacher and I turn our heads to look at Alexis. She's staring absentmindedly out the window. How can she hope to tutor me when she seems to have difficulty keeping with this conversation? Teacher clears his throat then asks, “Ms. Fruehauf? Would you kindly accept to tutor Mr. Vastic? Not that you need it, but there would be bonus points added to your grade if you did.”

Alexis brings her gaze to me; apparently analyzing my face. For a split second her blue eyes lock into mine. I become aware that the warmth engulfing my cheeks is most likely a very visible blush. If it is, however, Alexis doesn't react to it. She brings her gaze back to the teacher and answers in monotone “Yes, I'll help with tutoring.”

Her voice is quiet, and takes on a slightly higher pitch than most girls. I don't recall hearing her talk before; surely she has. I must not have been paying this much attention. Teacher nods his approval and says, “It's settled then. I'll leave you two to work out a schedule. I'd like it if you could tutor at least 3 times a week.” A chill goes down my spine; I successfully holster the cringe that threatens to expose itself. I'm sure the euro has fused itself into my palm by now.

“Wait, sir, I haven't agreed yet.” I say as he is packing away his belongings. Teacher gives me a familiar look of disappointment. Before he can answer me I stammer out, “O...of course I'll accept her help. Thank you sir.” He smiles and nods again before leaving the classroom. Alexis and I are alone now. I turn to face her. She has wandered over to the window and is leaning against the ledge; peering into the courtyard.

“Umm...Alexis?” I mumble, walking closer to her. She turns and gives me the same blank expression as before. “So, when do-you...do you want to start?” I can't talk to women like Dieter does. Actually, he doesn't, but is still successful. Anyway, that is not pertinent to this moment. Alexis scrunches up her nose while she thinks. Her eyes are still fixed straight ahead. Her head tilts to one side as she speaks.

“How about today? After classes are over?”

I'm not currently in any clubs or extra activities, so I have no excuse here. “Okay,” I answer, “Where?” She looks at the floor and responds.

“Right here, this classroom.”

“Okay.” Without another word she gathers her books and slowly exits the class. My eyes escort her all the way out.

Dieter won't let me live this one down. I hope Alexis isn't always weird like this. I have little faith in teacher's plan. Well, it's too late now. I wonder what kind of person Alexis is. I flip the coin. Heads. Flip it again. Heads again. Perfection. Whatever anxiety I held washes off in an instant. I sigh relief as I gather my books.

Maybe...maybe today won't be so bad.


Last edited by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-12, 14:32; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Revisions.)

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-14, 05:50

Looking forward for your updates to fill so the bridge between the beginning and the original "double vision" can be pulled through! Smile

imperial.standard
Admin
Artist

Posts : 650
Join date : 2012-01-15
Age : 34
Location : Jakarta, Indonesia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

A Bad Day pt. 2

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-02-26, 09:12

The rest of my morning classes were uneventful in comparison to chemistry. I meet up with Dieter outside the cafeteria for lunch. He's quick and to the point,

“So. What happened with chemistry this morning?”

“Well...I'm failing the class after that last test.” I sigh in reply, “I have to be tutored now, at least three times a week.” I can't bring myself to look Dieter in the eyes; I can already imagine the mocking look he's wearing. Dieter laughs as he grabs a lunch tray, and barges his way in the line.

“Big deal. The class will be over in a month anyway.” He twitches. “Hey, who's going to be tutoring you?” I grab my own tray and take my place in line.

“Alexis Fruehauf. That's why he kept her after class too.” Dieter narrows his gaze in silent thought.

“The blonde?”

“Yeah.” I answer. Dieter pauses, still thinking.

“Yeah, she's pretty good looking.” We fill our trays with various plates from the bountiful selection. The cafeteria here is one of the better accommodations. I grab the last of the 2% milk. Nervously I reposition it on the tray twice.

“She's weird though. I don't know how good of a tutor she'll be. She could barely stay focused on the conversation with the teacher. Is she ADHD?” I ask Dieter discreetly. Talking about others afflictions isn't necessarily taboo here, but it is a form of gossip – which I try to stay out of.

“I don't think so.” Dieter responds, “I've heard she's got some kind of sleep anxiety or something.” He pauses briefly. “She doesn't really hang out with anyone, so who knows?” He shrugs.

We've cleared the line and are now sitting across from each other. Dieter is inhaling his food. I move my milk from the left side of the tray to the right. Today's meal isn't bad. I'm rarely disappointed with lunch. My knife is on the right; nervously I move it to the left. Dieter speaks, his mouth half full, “So when does the tutoring start?” I fix my plate's rotation as I respond woefully,

“Today. In the chemistry room. After classes are over.”

“Looks like we'll both be suffering this afternoon.” He laughs in response as he places an unopened 2% milk on the left side of my tray. I start eating with a sigh.

“Yeah, at least you'll be there to keep me entertained through this. Maybe she'll fall asleep during the session?”

“Actually,” Dieter sits up in his chair, “I think it's the other way around. She doesn't sleep, like, at all.”

“Is that even possible? Not sleeping at all?” I ask, with an eyebrow raised. “You'd have to collapse eventually.”

“Ok, exaggeration. But still, she only sleeps like twice a month. No joke.” Dieter answers. “Now that I think about it. I have heard about her. She stays up in her room all night long, and is always first to class in the morning. She really doesn't sleep.”

I attempt to picture not sleeping for weeks at a time. The thought of trying to stay entertained all night locked in my room gives me a shudder. Dieter must be following the same train of thought as he blurts out,

“I bet she has some interesting nightly hobbies.” A grin overtakes Dieter's face. With a swift flick I topple his half full drink, spilling it onto his tray.

“Damn it Dieter, do you think about what you're saying before you say it?” I scold him for his perverted innuendos. Dieter quickly scans around us to see if anyone is looking, before he unkindly kicks me in the shin.

“Take that! Ass.” Dieter feigns anger as he rights his glass. He points an accusing finger at me while squirming in his chair. “You know damn well I don't believe in censorship.” His nose twitches as he checks our surroundings again.

I slowly finish off my meal while Dieter starts to drone about upcoming soccer practice. I find my thoughts dwelling on Alexis. Does she really only sleep a few times a month? Dieter had a point earlier, his insinuations aside; she must have a lot to keep herself occupied throughout the night. I'll try asking her during tutoring.

The rest of our lunch conversation is centered on all the upcoming sporting events. Once finished we return our trays and separate again for our afternoon classes. Before I know it I'm waiting in the chemistry lab for my first tutoring session.

I'm sitting at my usual desk; my books laid out at the ready. Teacher is sitting at his desk reading today's newspaper. Dieter is nowhere to be found. I absentmindedly flip my 2 euro coin while eying the door.

Eventually Alexis walks in, I find myself straightening up in my chair. Her skirt dances with the air as she walks to the teacher. They exchange words I cannot hear. She ends their conversation with a nod before promptly turning towards me. A rouge curl of hair obscures her view, she brushes it aside while starting in my direction.

Alexis stops in front of my desk. Her mouth pulls into a barely noticeable smile as I look up to greet her.

“All ready?” she asks in the same monotone as before. I nod my head in reply. She pulls a nearby desk up to mine so we're facing one another. I catch myself examining her movements as she retrieves books from her bag. She moves slowly, but deliberate. Her actions make no sound, even as she places a rather large book on the desk. It seems she's being very delicate.

Suddenly her eyes are locked into mine. A shot of adrenaline rushes into my stomach. Her expression remains neutral as she speaks,

“Let's start with the subject of the last test – chemical bonding.”

She's getting right to business. I nod my head in silent understanding.

Nearly 20 minutes go by as Alexis speaks in great detail about valence electrons and molecular orbiting. I take notes while she instructs almost entirely from memory, her books remaining untouched. Thus far we haven't talked about anything other than chemistry. In fact, I haven't yet gotten a word in. She's all business, indeed.

Dieter arrived 15 minutes late, and was promptly scolded by the teacher. Now he sits on the other side of class, supposedly doing self-study; in reality I catch him sneaking odd glances and making faces at me. Neither teacher nor Alexis notice.

Halfway through the session Alexis stops and closes her eyes; her breathing slows as well. I glance at Dieter and teacher. Both are distracted by their respective work; Dieter is drawing something on his desk; teacher appears to be filling out a crossword.

I find myself taking this opportunity to more closely examine her. Her chest rises and falls in perfect time as she breathes. A rogue curl of hair has again fallen to cover her eye. I notice for the first time she is wearing makeup, not overly applied. It is subtle, and very effectively enhances her natural features. In this state her usually tired expression has been wiped away, replaced with tranquility. She is cute.

She stays this way for a few minutes until I work up the courage to finally speak to her. I manage to pitifully utter her name, “Alexis?” Her eyes open as she snaps back to consciousness.

“I was just resting my eyes.” she says, returning to the familiar blank stare. She pauses for a moment to adjust her blonde curls, then checks her watch, “Shall we take a break?”

“Uh, yeah, a break would be good.” I stand and stretch while Alexis reaches into her bag to retrieve a can of fruit juice. She gently opens it, and slowly drinks. Her eyes remain fixed, moving with the tilt of her head rather than independently. I'm flipping my coin, trying to think of a good topic to break into conversation with her; before I can, however, she speaks,

“Heads.” She calls out after I pop the coin into the air. In my surprise I nearly miss catching it. It is heads.

“Good guess.” I say. A slight grin has overtaken Alexis' face. My heartbeat feels like a powerful bass drum, kicking me in the chest. I can feel a cold sweat overtaking me, and my thoughts race over her intrusion into the ritual. I must flip again, and if it isn't heads then I'll have to start all over. She won't understand why. I won't be able to stop. No longer waiting for my brain to catch up, my thumb pops the coin into the air again.

“Heads.” She calls out once more. I catch the coin, and quickly check the result. It is heads. Relief starts to creep back in. Alexis stares me in the eye, awaiting the results of the toss. I quickly rebuild my composure, and respond as casually as I can,

“I think you've got luck on your side.”

“No luck,” she says with a hint of pride, “I have super-powers.” I don't know what to think of this sudden revelation. Still shaken from the coin tossing, I ask,

“What do you mean?”

“Just what I said.” She replies. I don't know how to interpret her off-character comment. Confusion showing on my face, she speaks again, “It was a joke.” Even as she tells me she's joking, her face is plain, her tone the same; she shows no indication of trying to be funny, only her word that she is.

Alexis nervously lowers her gaze to her books. “Shall we continue?” Still put off by her joke, or lack of one, I agree – no longer sure that I can successfully ask her about herself. I resign myself to my chair once more. My books are all wrong, I arrange and rearrange them; sighing in frustration. I cannot manage to get the right position.

“Is everything alright?”

I'm suddenly aware that Alexis has been watching me this whole time. I feel a familiar blush engulf my cheeks. My gaze still lowered, I swallow before responding,

“Yes. I'm okay. I just have...uh, I've got problems getting things right sometimes...” I'm not usually good at explaining my compulsions to people, but for some reason explaining to Alexis seems a million times more difficult. I look up to meet Alexis' stare. I expect to see concern, or confusion, or any one of the standard shocked reactions I'm used to; instead I'm greeted with the same empty stare Alexis has carried since we met. Is she incapable of feeling emotions, or only expressing them?

Unable to continue my explanation, I instead stare into her eyes for what seems like an eternity. Alexis eventually breaks away, looking to the floor. “I'm sorry.” She says, sounding defeated. “I didn't mean to-”

“Oh, no, you didn't..”

“I was just trying to-”

“I'm alright.”

Our words play leapfrog as we each try to awkwardly comfort the other. Silence eventually returns. I work up the courage to speak first,

“I have these compulsions, it's nothing you did, sometimes I just have...trouble.” I can't bring myself to look her in the eyes anymore. I'm sure my cheeks are engulfed in red right now. “I should apologize, I didn't mean to startle you...Maybe we should stop?” I'm going for the coward's way out now. Damn it.

Alexis taps her pencil against the desk while thinking. “No.” she responds, “We're almost done anyway, we should keep going.”

The rest of the tutoring session goes without incident. I never got a chance to talk to her about anything outside chemistry. Dieter catches up to me as I'm walking back to the dormitory.

“How did it go? You get her phone number?” Dieter slaps me on the back as he speaks, “I saw all the youthful flirtation going on back there, you dog you.”

I roll my eyes in response, “You should probably get your eyes checked then, all I saw was me being the most socially awkward coward here. I didn't talk to her at all. In fact, she probably thinks I'm a total freak after the coin juggling display I put on.”

I wait for Dieter's response, but his attention has long since grazed towards other matters. He's changed his course for the female dorms, waving at the campus guard as he approaches a group of girls standing outside the building. I enter our own dormitory, deciding not to wait for him. The rest of my night is consumed by homework, my laziness from holiday break steadily dying.

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-08, 20:57

Hmmm; this is quite interesting. OCD can be a great source of plot development, and though you don't exactly drown the reader in its significance, you certainly don't leave it as an afterthought, either. A good mix, I think. You also do an excellent job of telling things from Niklas' point of view. I felt as if I were experiencing things directly from his point of view while reading this. The only major problem is punctuation, though English is always changing its rules for using commas, dashes, and hyphens. More importantly, I don't think you misspelled or misused any of the words. Very good job!

This was quite a pleasant read, and I would not at all mind seeing more of it.

Malkav

Posts : 63
Join date : 2012-02-20
Age : 28
Location : Illinois

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by QbertEnhanced on 2012-03-09, 12:14

Wow, you've been busy. I have catching up to do.

QbertEnhanced
Admin
Programmer

Posts : 227
Join date : 2012-01-15
Age : 28
Location : Waterloo, Ontario

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-03-10, 16:55

Malkav wrote:Hmmm; this is quite interesting. OCD can be a great source of plot development, and though you don't exactly drown the reader in its significance, you certainly don't leave it as an afterthought, either. A good mix, I think. You also do an excellent job of telling things from Niklas' point of view. I felt as if I were experiencing things directly from his point of view while reading this. The only major problem is punctuation, though English is always changing its rules for using commas, dashes, and hyphens. More importantly, I don't think you misspelled or misused any of the words. Very good job!

This was quite a pleasant read, and I would not at all mind seeing more of it.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm trying to use this work to improve my writing, and realize I'd stumbled somewhat with punctuation here and there (especially those damn semi-colons, still not comfortable with their type scratch )

Niklas' OCD weighs heavier on him than he lets on. I'm glad that it is showing through the way I intended it too. There is another chapter incoming shortly; I'm still experimenting with the pacing of the story, but I do know where I eventually want the characters and plot to end up.

I find myself second-guessing a lot with the scenes Alexis is in; I'm probably being extra careful because I want to make sure those scenes are as close to perfect as I can get. Alexis is very tame during the daytime, and trying to portray that with only words while still hinting at the personality buried underneath is proving challenging; I'm getting there though.

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Dr. Friendly on 2012-03-26, 11:46

The sharp ringing of my alarm clock snaps me to consciousness. I go through my morning routine without a thought, my brain operating on automatic. A knock on my door, probably Dieter with breakfast again. I open it, and I'm right, partially; Dieter, yes, breakfast, no.

“Sorry, you get your own breakfast this morning.” Dieter cheerily greets me. “I've got treatments today, you're on your own.” He gives me a wink and a middle finger, before strutting away, leaving me standing dumbfounded.

Dieter receives scheduled treatments to try and help with his Tourette syndrome and ADHD. His doctors have recently taken to altering his prescriptions and then monitoring any changes in his behavior. The effectiveness of his last medications had started to fade, and given that he has tics on top of ADHD they're being very cautious about what he takes. He also receives some kind of therapy that he refuses to talk about with me. These scheduled treatments often take up an entire day for him.

His overly aggressive attitude this morning is to be attributed to his nervousness about meeting with his doctors, although he would never admit such a thing. I wonder if I'm the only one that can notice the change in his behavior, given that Dieter is usually over-aggressive on a normal day.

As I make my way to the school building thoughts of yesterday's meeting with Alexis begin to sprout up. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about anything outside of chemistry. My compulsions also managed to make a fool of me. I rarely lose myself to them anymore, but when I did yesterday a familiar feeling of despair flashed through me; much like I felt the first time I broke down in class over six years ago. When the ball starts rolling I'm helpless to stop it; I just have to let it run its course, even if I'm crushed in the process. That ethos has really taken hold of my attitude towards everything I do. If I don't get involved with things, they're less likely to set me off. It's worked pretty well thus far.

Breakfast crosses my mind as I enter the main hall; my stomach, often being the size of a grape in the morning, allows me to skip it entirely. Instead I go directly to the chemistry room; in the hope that I can catch a nap at my desk before class starts. I'm not expecting any other students to be present this early, but to my surprise Alexis is there, reading at her desk. Except that isn't her desk, it's the one next to mine.

Cautiously, I approach Alexis. She lifts her gaze from the book to me. “Good morning, Niklas.” she says casually. I return the greeting,

“Good morning. Are you sitting here now?” Alexis looks around as if she'd forgotten where she is.

“I suppose I am.” she answers, before returning to her book. I peek at the cover, “The Waltz of the Heavens,” some kind of astronomy book.

“Can I ask why?” She blankly looks at me, pondering my query,

“Why what?”

“Why...why are you sitting next to me today?” I say, trying not to sound accusing.

“Oh!” she exclaims, “The teacher wanted me to move next to you, to help you in class if you need it.” I furrow my brow.

“I see. I guess we're neighbors then.” I sit at my desk, my motive towards napping diminished. Alexis again returns to her book. Waiting in uncomfortable silence for class to begin, I manage to sneak a few glances at Alexis while she reads. Her eyes are darkened, tiredness hanging off them. Nevertheless they diligently scan the pages she reads. Like yesterday, her movements are deliberate and noiseless. I realize, for the first time, she always keeps her white winter gloves on. A wooden bead rosary is just visible inside a sleeve, dangling from her wrist.

My classmates begin to trickle in as the clock nears the start of the period. Teacher has arrived and is writing the class notes for today on the board. Without missing a beat Alexis takes out her own notebook and steadily follows along; I do the same.

As class progresses I'm finding more understanding than usual; due, no doubt, to Alexis' tutoring yesterday. I manage to keep daydreams at bay through class, with the help of Alexis tapping on my desk when she notes my attention drifting. Teacher's elaborate scheme of employing Alexis seems to be working splendidly.

The rest of my morning classes are rather plain. Days without Dieter usually go this way; he apparently brings a lot of spirit to the classes we share. Although, I find Alexis giving me a friendly wave when I arrive to classes she's in. I expect lunch to be quite plain as well.

Surprisingly, as I'm sitting alone in the cafeteria, Alexis casually sets her tray down and joins me for lunch. “Hello Niklas, can I sit here?” She asks, having already sat down. I'm still not used to her greeting me with my name. My coin has wandered into the palm of my hand.

“Sure.”

Her tray doesn't have a lot on it, she must share the same kind of appetite I have in the morning. Maybe she has more meals in her extended day? I try to introduce small talk, “It feels a bit warmer today, it'll be spring soon.” Weather, what an exciting topic. She responds while looking out the window,

“Yes, a few more weeks and the cold will leave us. That will be nice.”

Awkward silence conquers again. She's removed her gloves and set them aside. Alexis delicately holds a plum with both hands while slowly nibbling at it. Her glossy nails are painted a dark blue color. I start again on my own meal. A few minutes of silence pass before she finally breaks it,

“I was thinking we could tutor in the library today. Is that okay?” I look up to meet her impassive gaze. I nod in agreement,

“That would be alright. They have more comfortable chairs there.” I say with a weak smile. Alexis closes her eyes and nods.

“The library then.” Alexis looks at her watch. “Oh, I must be going, the bell will ring soon.” We say our goodbyes and she exits; having not had very much to eat. I quickly eat a few more bites before starting for my afternoon classes.

As planned, Alexis meets me outside the library at the end of the day.

“Good afternoon, Niklas!” she greets me with a wave. It's peculiar to see her move so expressively, even as her face bears no emotion; I think she might be overemphasizing herself on purpose. I'm suddenly aware that she's also stepped into my personal space, not uncomfortably close, but closer than one would normally stand to another; maybe I'm over-analyzing things.

The library is large, and well stocked; however, only a handful of students are currently here, and only one librarian that I can see. She is busily sorting and scanning a pile of returned books. A definite silence dominates the room, very noticeable once we'd crossed in from the hall. The air is rather warm. We find a couple of comfortable black leather chairs to sit in, tucked away between two tall shelves of books; Alexis begins right away,

“So how are you understanding things since yesterday? Did I help at all?” She asks, her eyebrows raising in anticipation of my reply.

“Yes, you were a great help. I think chemistry is actually making some sense to me now.” I answer with a smile. “Thanks also for keeping me attentive in class this morning. I'm hoping that teacher isn't pushing you too hard to help me; making you move next to me and all.” She brushes her hair aside and answers,

“N...no, no I'm glad to help.” She looks away to her books. “Should we start?” I nod and the tutoring commences. Alexis impressively begins teaching from memory, like before. I take to my notebook. Her instruction is precise as always, occasionally pausing to make sure I'm keeping up. I catch her sneaking glances at me when I'm taking notes, then quickly looking away when we make eye contact. I'm beginning to feel more comfortable in her presence, my usual blush response happening less and less. Halfway through the tutoring session I suggest we take a break, Alexis agrees.

I stand to stretch, whilst Alexis reaches into her handbag to retrieve a can of juice; I am hit with a feeling of déjà vu. She sips the juice while writing something in her green notebook. I've noticed her writing in it before; it seems to be for notes separate academics. Personal thoughts maybe? Alexis puts the notebook aside and rubs her darkened eyes. I want to talk to her, to finally tear down this wall of awkwardness that has plagued us since we met. Spontaneously I blurt out,

“You look tired.”

My stomach drops, my pulse spikes; I've properly jumped the gun on this topic. Will she be offended that I mentioned her weary appearance? I can try and play it off as inadvertent. It was inadvertent. I turn away from her and instinctively reach for my coin. Gotta try to make this look casual - I can't relax my damn shoulders. I pinch the gritty edge of the euro between two fingers. The familiar weight of the coin gives me some relief as I position it on the tip of my thumb; I inhale in anticipation of scratching this itch. My coin flips and spins in the air, an acrobat flying off my fingers. Heads, a good landing; it launches again an-

“Well, I don't sleep very much.” Alexis' monotone response pulls me back to the library. The librarian shoots me a look of disapproval as I miss the catch and my coin rattles on the wooden floor, the sound of metal meets wood reverberates though the library shattering the longstanding silence. Fate, in a grand display of mockery, rolls my coin right to Alexis' feet, where it bumps into her shoe and then finally rests; heads up. All air escapes me.

A pure white glove descends to retrieve the coin. I pensively eye Alexis as she studies the coin. She holds it delicately, as if it were fragile. I'm frozen on the spot. Her lips curve into a smile as her blue eyes meet mine. “A 2 Euro coin.” she says, turning the coin to observe the opposite face, “Minted in 2002.” Alexis tilts her head to one side, curiosity showing on her face. “Niklas, you really like two, huh?” she questions. “Or just double patterns?”

Her observations have hit home. I weakly nod in response. She smiles again while extending her opened hand towards me. I shuffle to receive it, like a zombie. For a brief instant I'm bombarded with both the warmth of her gloved hand, and the safe return of the euro; Alexis stares me in the eye as I pocket it.

“Am I making you uncomfortable?” she asks, a hint of sadness in her eyes.

I return to my seat and answer, “Honestly, I think I'm terrified of you.” I return eye-contact with her before offering a smile. She smiles slightly in response. “I've just been feeling more on edge since the break ended, I don't really know why. I'm...not very used to talking to anyone other than Dieter and the teachers.” I shift in my chair.

“Oh. Dieter Bietak? You two are good friends?” she asks.

“Yeah, he's been pretty much my only friend since I started attending St. Dymphna's. Which is kind of odd; I think our personalities completely contrast one another.” I respond with a shrug. “He's so outrageous and raucous, I think myself pretty reserved...and...and obviously shy. We have a strange understanding of each other.”

“They say opposites attract.” Alexis states, leaning towards me. “So, do you have any questions for me?” Do I have any questions for her? My mind starts to race. I suppose I've put it off long enough, no time like the present, just get it all out there. I adjust my tie and expunge my inquiry,

“Actually, um, I've heard that, um, and don't take this the wrong way, I guess I'm just curious, and also trying to get some rapport between us, so we can be, um, comfortable, I mean since we'll be studying together for some time, anyway, I've heard that maybe you don't...uh...don't really sleep at night, or something; I'm sorry for prying.”

Alexis' eyes widen a bit as she sits back up in her chair. “I'm sorry Niklas, I meant, I was talking about chemistry, if...if you had any questions about chemistry.” My expression goes blank, I solemnly drop my gaze to the floor, and, surprisingly, start to laugh. The librarian again looks in our direction with dissatisfaction.

“I'm sorry” I chuckle, “That's just been on my mind since yesterday.” I return my gaze to Alexis, she's smiling somewhat as well. I sigh, realizing that the ridiculous levels of awkwardness between us have started to dissolve. I just asked a question like a total ass, and she's enjoying the aftermath with me. I manage to relax back into my own chair.

“If you must pry,” Alexis teases with an eyebrow raised, “I experience bouts of insomnia that last up to weeks at a time.” She pauses to adjust her hair. “I've been in this one since break started.” Her eyes wander around the library, apparently avoiding mine. I regain my composure, realizing that we may have stumbled back into uncomfortable ground.

“I'm sorry, that must be rough sometimes.”

“It's very lonely.” Alexis says quietly while looking out the window. She's sitting rigidly in her chair now, hands on her lap, our shared moment of ease evidently passed. The hushed tone of her stated loneliness managed to startle me some, as I perceived a strong sense of sorrow there. I struggle to picture coping with hours upon hours of quiet, dark, isolation.

For an eternity we sit in silence. I feel the urge to reach for her hand in comfort rise up, but I shoot it down before it gains momentum. Selfishly, I catch myself remembering the warmth of her hand from earlier. I can't help but feel responsible for pushing us into this uncomfortable lull, and yet I still want to ask more. Perhaps I can pull us back to the moment of comfort we had.

“I like to play the violin, occasionally; although I've been sloppy about it lately” I blurt out. The image of my dust covered violin case flashes in my mind's eye. “The piano too, but I don't have one here. I have a decent keyboard back in Salzburg.” Alexis has eased her eyes back to me, as I ramble on, “I started playing as a child, my mother and father thought it'd be a good hobby for me to have. I suppose I enjoy it, too...” I clear my throat, awaiting a response from Alexis.

She adjusts her seating and speaks, “I should like to hear you play some time, Niklas. I don't have any musical talents myself...”

“Neither do I, I just play some instruments” I joke with a smile. Alexis flashes a grin and relaxes her posture. Sensing my opportunity at hand, I ask, “So, what do you like to do? I'm assuming you have a lot of hobbies to keep you occupied on sleepless nights.” I'm feeling very bold.

“Oh, well, I suppose so...I, uh, I like to read a lot...and write, I write in my journal sometimes.” She clutches her green notebook as she speaks, “My real passion would be astronomy, I guess.” I'm sure I noticed a twinkle in her eye as she said that. “I've always had an interest in the stars. My dad bought me a telescope when I was young...he would stargaze with me a lot.” Alexis' gaze has made its way back towards the window. “Being able to observe and record the stars burning so far away, and the planets that are unimaginably bigger than our own, it has always fascinated me.”

I smile as I realize this is the most Alexis has spoken to me, and I'm also wondering how many others have had the chance to even know this much about her. As far as I can tell she doesn't have many close friends. Alexis continues to gaze out the window; I'm suddenly aware of a change in her, although I cannot pinpoint what exactly it is; some kind of distinct peacefulness has taken over.

Out of nowhere an uncomfortably hard slap connects on my back. I turn angrily to find Dieter's grinning face. He greets me loudly, “Heyyy, there you are. You done yet? I just got out and these zombie pills are making me hungry. Let's get some dinner.” I check my watch, the tutoring session is nearly over. Dieter speaks to Alexis, “What do you say, teach?”

Alexis starts to gather her things before replying, “That's fine, it's almost time to go anyway.” She seems to be avoiding eye contact with Dieter.

“Excellent!” Dieter exclaims, stealing the attention of everyone in the library. He hurriedly grabs my books for me as I stand. “Onwards!” he declares pointing to the door as he struts off. I turn to thank Alexis for the session. She responds with a slight smile, and nod. As I make my way out the door to follow Dieter, I'm feeling this strange sensation pulling me back. How different, I think, that I'm feeling this way over someone I'd only just acquainted myself with; at the same time I'm feeling pride that I made a connection with Alexis, and I'm hoping it will remain so the next time we meet. The wall of awkwardness, it seems, has finally started to crack.




This piece had me worried as I was writing it. I felt it took too long, and midway I felt I had lost touch with it altogether. I'd messed with my pacing, and am still playing around with the character's personalities. The awkwardness between Niklas and Alexis is precisely how awkward I felt writing it, which I eventually realized was a good thing, like I was truly channeling teenage sexual tension. I'm happy to finally post this piece and prepare to move on to the next. I'm expecting more pacing changes and want to experiment with different writing styles as well. Although still not at the level of interaction I want, this is another stepping stone towards my ultimate goal for Niklas and Alexis, which is more or less how I had planned it out from the beginning. Or something like that.


Last edited by Dr. Friendly on 2012-03-27, 01:53; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Revisions)

Dr. Friendly

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-04
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-26, 15:39

I envy you so for being able to say so much with so little, and for being able to create characters so believable and fluid.

Hypocritical of me to be so bad a critic, given that I so often beg people for detailed criticism myself, but that is just who I am, I guess.

Keep up the good work. I eagerly expect the continuation of this story. The unorthodox method you chose, of giving us the end (or at least the climax) of the story right in the beginning, makes it all the more interesting to see how things start chronologically. You keep looking for the pattern that will eventually lead to the dancing planets you saw before.

_________________
Whose love life is, in fact, quite often stranger than fiction.

רק עוד כמה שנים ואני לגמרי אוכל להתחיל לעבוד על התרגום הזה.

Gloom

Posts : 94
Join date : 2012-02-02
Age : 23
Location : Israel

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-27, 00:41

This was a fantastic way to end what would have otherwise been a long day of aggravating Political Science essay-writing.

Hmmm. As before, you have several comma-use/sentence structure errors here and there. You also ended up misspelling/misusing a word this time (you used "your" instead of "you" near the end). But none of it really hinder my understanding of the story at all, so I can't complain.

On another note, you mentioned sexual tension...? I definitely caught a sense of general tension and anxiety between the two, but I didn't really get a 'sex' type vibe from it. In fact, I thought their interaction was far more cute and sweet in a kind of... platonic? romantic?... way than anything else. Maybe that's just me, though; either way, keep writing! Razz

_________________
You can't buy more time, so why live with hands bound tightly? Cut the ropes and live free. Take the dive.
If everyone just learned to keep silent, we'd break open the summit and climb the Ivy into the land of accidental Tokarev explosions and the Child of all Creation. Aim for the day when we become mere worms as colorful as we are indecent. Is the kindness of messing up the arrangement what we call arrogance?

Malkav

Posts : 63
Join date : 2012-02-20
Age : 28
Location : Illinois

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Brasse on 2012-03-27, 07:45

My eyes got diabetes from the first chapter and the later ones are entertaining to read. I am unable to offer any criticism beyond that already given.

_________________
I don't care what you do as long as you do it properly!

Brasse

Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-03-06
Age : 24
Location : Gothenburg, Sweden

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Double Vision

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum