|I Told You So
Author: E.B. Rowling PM
Her eyes were haunting. They stung you as they threw glances and you couldn’t help but stare back, fierce and curious. That’s all he remembered. But as he recognized just a glimmer of their past selves, penetrated the shallow crust, disbelief shook him.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,257 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 05-01-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2355652
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I told you so
Her eyes were haunting. They stung you as they threw glances and you couldn't help but stare back, fierce and curious. That's all he remembered. The eyes were hidden, glossed with a shadowy, empty surface. But as he recognized just a glimmer of their past selves, penetrated the shallow crust, disbelief shook him.
The word traced his lips frighteningly; he hadn't wanted to say that word in so long. Or maybe he had. Mixed feelings had poured into his mind, in the still darkness, late at night.
As that word filled her new, fearful voice, he gaped. Cole didn't know what to feel now, his eyes wide and confused, his brain whirling with the astonishment of it.
"Get in," he croaked through a mass wind of amazement.
She opened the sleek; shining car's door and her mouth was still straight and trembling. Her hands were covered in grime; everything about her was changed. Her clothes were raggedy and bagged from her new, thin frame. She had always been slender, but never like this, stick-like creature. Her hair was oily and too long and like a bird's nest, cascading from her weak, bony head. Her high cheekbones were lost somewhere in the pale, ghostlike-ness of her face. The tin can, with a few discarded coins rattling at the bottle, was grasped tightly in her hands. It was clenched so ferociously, her knuckles were white and her eyebrows were furrowed.
"You can let go of the can," he said quietly.
"What if I didn't want to?" she snapped.
She was the same, he concluded; through the amount of dust and dirt, she was still Laura. As they swiveled down the road, words unspoken passing between them in the airy silence, Cole thought. He thought about the years dissolved, all the kisses lost when she had decided to go off on her own—let her knowledge encase the world with happiness. Being a writer, she had told him, was her one ambition. She spoke like she was talking out of a novel, but her writing was just all right. He would never admit it, that her one passion was something that was almost unreachable. But some books out there were horrific, and they still lay imprinted on the book's glossy pages. Cole had reassured with a soft, embracing hand and a gentle smile, telling her she was wonderful.
Maybe the ego he had built for her was a bit much. She went out into the world, telling him he could be at her first book party, that he was going to be the first one to get his copy of her book autographed. Nothing of the sort had happened, and the connection between them had been closed. And now here she was, begging for money in the intersection of East-West Street. Laura wasn't a writer. It didn't come as much of a shock, but her begging did.
"Why are you begging?" he asked cautiously, hoping not to explode her unpredictable writer's personality.
"Because it's easier," she said. No emotion was poured into the words as she usually did. Her words were usually dripping with emotion.
"Than what? Going to a safe place, a roof over your head?"
"A shelter? I wouldn't sink to that level!"
"But you'd sink to begging?"
"I have my reasons, Cole; can't a girl have some privacy?"
"I think I deserve to know, I am taking you in."
"To my house. In my car. We're conversing. I'm taking you under my wing basically, and I'm going to give you food and a bed and a bath, so I want some answers."
"Hmm, Cole, you haven't changed a bit!"
"You have. What are you?"
"What do you mean, what am I? I'm Laura, the wannabe writer."
"You're not wannabe."
"You can stop pretending I'm wondrous, Cole! We both share the same knowing that I'm horrible."
"You're not horrible, per-say. You're better than the young boy who wrote 'Eragon.'"
"He and I are on the same level."
"Please, Laura, don't drown yourself in self-pity."
Come to think of it, thought Cole, Laura and I both talk like we're reading out of novels. Maybe he'd picked it up over the years him and Laura had been…involved. While he thought this, Laura was droning on and on, on how her life was just a measly little life, the bottom of the pile. He had no reassurance left in him and just listened, ears perked and attentive.
As they rolled in front of the white mansion that towered, also known as Cole's mansion, Cole blushed. He didn't know what she'd think or her response to its largeness and elegance. Cole averted his eyes as he slunk out of the car and unlocked the door with a twisting, golden key.
"Wow," she breathed as the two walked into the foyer. The foyer's marble floor stretched out for what seemed like miles and a swirling staircase threw itself up from a regal-looking rug. Doors bumped into the wall's shining whiteness occasionally. Cole just threw his suitcase onto a table, along with his keys, and crept over to a couch piled high with silk cushions. He pushed himself into the softness and breathed out; his eyes squeezed shut so he wouldn't have to see Laura's awed reaction.
"This is phenomenal, Cole! I didn't know you'd live in such a great exterior! Did you get all this from painting?"
Cole looked meek as he began to tug off his tie.
"Erm, no," he said slowly. "I'm a businessman."
"You gave yourself up?" asked Laura darkly.
"Not exactly. I paint on the side; I have a studio and everything!"
"So you gave yourself up? You said you'd been a painter, Cole. But then again, you said that you'd live in a little shack by a gushing river. That didn't really happen, did it?"
"It's been years, Laura!" defended Cole.
"Mm-hmm, so what? Who said that you had to change so tremendously?"
"I did! I changed myself, Laura, and I see you did too! But not completely. Mm-k, Laura, don't talk!"
"Why not? You 'took me under your wing.'"
"Follow me," instructed Cole, drowsily getting up and leading her to a door to the left of the staircase. He creaked it open to reveal a large, comfortable, plush library. Laura's eyes grew wide with happiness as she sunk into a beanbag on the other side with a table conveniently placed in front. Cole turned from the room and soon came back with plates towered high with meat. Laura looked ravenous as the plate was set before her, and she eroded it. All that could be heard from her side of the room with a slow munch-crunch sound.
"You're hungry?" asked Cole, smiling. He couldn't help but smile. It was Laura. He couldn't believe that his former lover was sitting in front of him, eating his kitchen's food. Laura ate like an animal, her eyes smiling.
"Mm-hmm," she mumbled through mouthfuls of endless food. As she finished her third round, she stopped abruptly, halfway towards her mouth. The fork was held between her fingers. And she clanked it down. She was always like that; she stopped when she felt a surge of fullness.
Suddenly there was a slam of a door and a loud, "I'M HOME, COLE-BABE!" Cole's eyes grew wide as his head swung towards the door.
"Don't make a sound," he hissed warningly and Laura cowered in the chair, leaning back and her feet folding into her body. She nodded in an easy agreement as he slid out the door, locking it discreetly behind him.
"Cole-babe!" smiled an attractive girl from the door. Her wavy black hair swung from her tan, heart-shaped face in an elegant way and the clothes she wore clung to her perfect figure in a picturesque way.
"Maria," said Cole, coming up to her and hugging her thin frame. "I've missed you! How was Italy?"
"Divine, darling, and gorgeous! I got a few trinkets for you, honey." She giggled, her head cocked.
"Let's see them!" urged Cole excitedly. He had always liked presents.
"Hold on," nodded Maria, promptly leaning over her large rolling suitcase and rummaging through it. She didn't notice a small sob leaking from the crack under the door that held Laura inside.
Laura was in deep emotional pain, struggling with herself from within the fantasy book shelf. Tears dripped down her pale cheeks. She thought she'd had him under her grasp again, she had thought that she could be with Cole. Now, hearing him talking to a girl that referred to him as "Cole-babe" and hearing the excitement and relief that she was home in his voice, she knew that she would never have him. She had never believed in love, it'd been an undeniable trait with her. But now when she found Cole, she thought it was destined to be, like the woman in her book when she met the man for the thirtieth time. Her hands trembled over a love book's worn-down cover. She knew the book. Laura's eyes grazed over the book and she muffled more sobs.
The book was one she had written, that Cole had gotten bound out of his "unbreakable" love for her. It was broken now, dropped into a pool if bitterness. There was tension between them, but she had thought it was just the awkwardness of seeing each other for the first time. Maybe, she thought with a hyper eagerness, the tension and awkward, dreary silences were a result of him loving her back, but being with this Maria character. Laura couldn't know, she thought dreadfully. As he heard Cole's squeaks of delight and the unscrambling of paper, she thought there was no hope.