Saturday, 22 December 2012

Noises In Our Rib Cages

JournalWord: Sounds in a tent.


He pours a portion of his coffee into a cup from his thermos and smiles.

"Thanks," she says, reaching for the steaming cup.

He screws the lid back on and leans forward as she blows at the steam. He smiles. She twitches.

"Y'know," he says, abruptly sitting up, "You're very relaxed in this situation."

She looks up at his ever-happy expression, not clueing in. "What situation?"

"Oh, just the situation where you're alone with a guy who's interested in you."

She stares at his pleased smile and all she can muster in response is an unintelligent "Uh..". The words start to form in her head, adding up to the small tent, the close proximity, and the man sitting and smiling to himself before her. She's still staring blankly at him when he hops up to his feet and walks around the small space of the tent, shrugging off his jacket.

And all she can think is the fact that she's alone in a tent with him. And now she's freaking.

"What's wrong?" he asks conversationally, "Do you really want to watch me change?" 

His humor startles her and she blushes furiously. "You don't care if there's a girl here, do you?" she points out, indicating his casual manner.

"I was just taking my coat off." He reassures, but his smile remains. "It's not like I was going to take everything off."

She turns her face away from his humored eyes. "Of course," she sputters. "I'd run if you started stripping."

He feigns a hurt expression, however, his eyes still sing. "Aw, you'd run away?" He crouches in front of her, elbows on his knees and arms crossed. "So, you're conscious of me then?"

She fails at a retort and her face reddens at how close he is. She grabs the pillow at her side and clutches it to her chest.

He leans even closer, unnerving her into a frozen and speechless state. "You won't be able to run away. I won't let you." His face is all she can see now, and it's so close. "I love you." And suddenly he has her hands in his, and he's closing his eyes, and he's so close he can kiss her.

And he is going to kiss her! "You're wrong!" she yells abruptly. He pulls back to meet her eyes.

He smiles. "Really? How so?"

"You don't love me!" she shouts, pulling free from his grasp and inching her way from him.
He seems taken aback and surprised. "Why?" he asks, and pauses momentarily. "But I do love you," he finally says, smiling reassuringly.

"You might like me, but it's not love."

He sits down and thinks about it. "I just long to be with someone," he says, staring meaningfully into her eyes. "Like you, an outsider."

"Is being an outsider that important? I don't think that there is much of a difference."

"You're smart, but you don't quite understand."

She pauses to retort, however, he grabs the pillow resting protectively against her chest and tosses it away. Before she can think, he's already trapped her wrists in his hands and pulling her to the floor.

She scrambles to sit up, flushed and embarrassed. "Wa-wait!" 

She pulls herself into a semi-sitting position and shakes, unnerved by his head buried against her chest. She freezes; all that is running through her head is the position they're in and his head pressed against her body.

"This sound," he starts, surprising her into another round of blushes. "I long for this sound," he explains, twisting his head to look up at her.

"S-sound," she stutters, staring at his face in hopes of an answer. "I don't believe my heartbeat is special."

He gently sits back up, nodding to himself with a faltering smile. He places her right hand lovingly onto the space where his heart should be. "This is the sound of my heart."

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

She stares at his chest, so warm, but ticking like a machine. "What-what is your heart?"

"In this world, people cannot change, no matter how much we try. I believed that I could stay near the sound that doesn't exist in this world," he explains, hand curling tighter around her hand. He stares hopefully into her eyes. "I thought only if I could change." He smiles, all evidence of somber disappeared. "But it seems that it isn't as simple as I hoped it would be.
As you've said, there is a lot more to it than 'liking'."

All she hears is the first of truth from his voice and the resonating sound of his mechanical heart.

"It's not love that I feel for you now, but I can say for sure that I like you." 

She smiles in return because she isn't sure what to say. For now? she thinks, but her thoughts, and the conversation, are interrupted as the fire in the lantern burns out.

"Don't worry," he reassures, as he reaches for the burnt out lantern so it's not in her way. His voice is soothing despite the utter darkness. "It's time to sleep. There is a blanket at your side."

And just so she knows where it is, he rustles it closer to her side, making sure not to startle or touch her. She doesn't remember there being a blanket in the tent, but quickly banishes the thought when a high shriek of wind rattles the tent.

He must somehow notice her tense and frozen state of fear, for he nudges her leg with the pillow he had tossed, to encourage her to sleep. She settles down in the pitch black, wrapped in a warm cocoon of blanket. 

"Goodnight," he yawns from his side of the tent, seemingly farther away than the tent should extend. And through the night, all she can think and hear is the light tick-tock of his heart, somewhere in the far reaches of the tent, ticking like the clocks he makes.


This is sort of from the same plot line from yesterday's dialogue. My mind is still on that, hahaha :) 



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