|Almost As Deep
Author: Silencia LaRuse PM
Relationships have a way of bringing personal demons to light, forcing Lily and Brian to see the truth about themselves and how those facts threaten to erase what they have together. InterracialRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,151 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 3 - Published: 01-21-08 - id: 2465910
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As soon as Brian saw her he knew he was finished. Done with. Forget about it. She was sitting at a table with a bunch of other women, her girlfriends probably, and she was laughing deeply and her whole body seemed to shudder with laughter. She took a sip of her drink, the same color as her glowing red halter dress, and she laughed again and it was like her laugh was vibrating through the air and sliding across his skin. He had never seen her at this bar before.
He didn't want to come to this bar. But his friends, once again, had dragged him there. He didn't even drink because of what happened with his dad, the drunken mess. He was glad now that his friends had convinced him to enter the stale smokescreen of the bar one more time. He wouldn't have seen this girl. The women at her table got up and in a single file line snaked through the crowd and onto the dance floor, clicking away on their high heels, but she stayed. She gathered her long honey-brown hair and draped it all over her right shoulder, exposing all the constellations of light brown freckles that dusted the suntanned skin of her back, and more freckles suspended on her face, stippled nose and apples of her cheeks. Freckles weren't usually Brian's taste, but this girl...
Brian began walking towards her when half way there he realized he had nothing clever to say but his legs, stubborn, kept on trucking.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a guy walking in my direction. I rolled my eyes and went back to my absolutely delicious Cherry Island something-or-other, I forget. However, I couldn't help but look up at him when standing beside me he said, "I don't have any lines to give you except that you look amazing tonight." He didn't sound sleazy or anything.
He looked about my age, 23, and he was handsome really. With really short, wavy black hair and his eyes were my favorite color: gray. He had a dark gray polo shirt on to match. He did not come off as rude at all, he was sweet even, but it is just in my nature to tear this poor man to shreds. I smiled up at him smiling down at me. I let the tip of my tongue slowly slide over my front teeth and still smiling stated, "If you ever look at me in an ungodly way again I will rip out your gonads and wear them as charms."
The pearly white smile faded from his face. Usually he would have blown up at a person who talked to him that way but her deep brown eyes were digging into him and he felt sorry he even bothered her. He wasn't mad at her. He never could be mad at her it seems.
"Oh." He blurted. Now it was my turn to feel sorry. Immediately angry at myself, pushing people away as always.
"No" I almost whispered. I gulped down the froggy in my throat. "No, I'm sorry, really sorry. I didn't mean that at all. That was completely, utterly rude and that was totally uncalled for. Please sit down. I apologize...please sit down?"
Brian knew he should just turn around and leave if he knew what was good for him. Of course he just sat right down. Sitting across from her, closer, he watched her slurp at her drink again. Her eyes were not on him but he could see the hazel. He assumed she was too embarassed to look him in the eye just yet. There was a jolt in his stomach when she finally did.
My eyes were getting wider and wider as I looked at him, feeling, what was it? Fear? 'Course not. It was annoyance. I allowed the annoyed feeling to pass when I saw him gaping at me and I smiled impolitely. He gave a strained smile back.
"Let's start over," I suggested. I held out my hand to him and he slowly shook it. "My name is Lily. You are?"
"Thank you for the compliment earlier."
Silence again until I noticed we were still holding hands. I quickly pulled away. Couldn't believe I was actually nervous. I usually made others fidget uncomfortably, not the other way around. I looked down at his milky arms. 'It's called sunlight' I thought. 'Nice biceps though'. I saw his arm tense as he noticed me staring. I met his eyes and couldn't help but laugh. 'Your Giggling now Lily?!' I screamed within the echoing hollow of my skull.
"You from around here?" Brian said.
"I've been here five years now actually."
"Really? Must be your first time at this bar then."
"Where did you live before?"
"Down South." I was not going to be more specific and Brian took the hint.
"Ok. Why did you move up here, might I ask?"
"My dad died." I snarled. Why can't I control the bubbling tar pit that is my mouth?! Brian didn't look shocked like other people did when I play the sympathy card. He didn't look fazed a bit. Then he told me,
"My mother died," He said.
All I could do was nod. Because I knew. I nodded because their was understanding. From my experience, it wasn't until you lost someone near to you that you were living in the true light of the world. Only in that loss could life hand you the truth about itself. I smiled at him because there was a connection now between us. A certain trust. That night I gave him my phone number and a peck on the cheek when he walked me out to my car.
The next afternoon, Brian felt like his cell phone was burning a hole in his pocket. He thought about Lily's number being right there on the memory card of the phone. His hand had moved to cover his pocket, shielding the phone, he thought, from any damaging rays that might beam through and delete her number.
He wanted to call her while he was on his lunch break but he quickly smashed the idea. He didn't want to come off as a punk. It's not like he was inexperienced with girls. Carla the photographer with the beautiful smile, Janine the marathon runner with killer abs, Maria the writer with the amazing taste in cinema and every single one of them turned to helpless plastic dolls with the eye lids that popped open when you swooped them up to reveal their glass eyeballs pleading Marry me! by the third week in.
Why were so many girls just sitting around waiting for a man to come along and save them from themselves? Lily wasn't like that at all. Of course he understood most female psyches were molded by society which led them to feel like a limb was missing until they'd brought back home the kill. Not that he didn't appreciate the sanctity of marriage. He planned to marry. That's why he took care of himself and worked hard, unlike the lazy irresponsible citizens and non citizens of this country, people he despised. They took as much charity as they could when they could get up and work. And when they did get up it was to breed more of their kind and infest the city with violence, drugs, and crime.
One of those criminals killed his mother. He was angered so much by their ignorance and he knew inside and out he was better than them. He handled his own business rather than leeching off of the government. His thoughts settled back on Lily as he chewed into his cheese steak sandwich, the greasy juice of the meat dripping down his fingers, and he decided to call her later that night.
Veggie burger! I came home that evening, exhausted and hungry from the stress of work. Heels off, jacket off, went to the bathroom and took make-up off and went into the kitchen to get myself some dinner. Maybe i'll just munch on some pita chips and hummus. I'm vegan and I can't understand the reasoning of people who aren't. What you eat is what you are. Literally. After all, humans are animals. We don't have to slaughter to survive. How can they dismiss that cows and chickens feel the same fear and the same pain that they do? God of course. They think that God made them real special so they are on the top of the hierarchy on a completely different level then other animals. I, on the other hand, see no difference between. If anything, man was more wreckless and harmful then any wild animals, but worse because man knows better.
After eating my veggie burger, I decided to take a walk down to the beach. The beach was always comforting. Mom, I thought. For some reason I miss her today. Priding myself on being an independent woman now I had reduced to loneliness and wanting my mommy. But every time I called it was like hearing a sermon again.
She would just keep begging me to come back to the church. The only way mother could justify not ostracizing me from the family all together, let alone speak to me, was that she asked me at every phone call, "Lily if you could please come back to God. He loves you and he's waiting." With the topic of mother jarring me, memories of daddy started pouring out and I quickly shoved them away and let the ocean swallow them up. I got back from the beach around ten at night and took a nice warm shower.
Warm in my pajamas I checked the cellie and saw there was a voice message. I listened to a male voice I didn't recognize at first. "Hi Lily. It's me, Brian. From the bar last night. I, uh, wanted to check up on you and see how you were doing. Call me when you get this, i guess. I'll be up late anyways. Later." I couldn't help but smile and bounce around a little after I moved past the initial guilt of thinking of Brian not once the whole day. A great defense mechanism of mine is to push people out of memory so that if I never saw them again I wouldn't be too hurt. Nervously I dialed to return his call.
Brian was reading an interesting book on the weakening relationship between modern man and Christianity when his cell phone started ringing. He was hoping it was Lily and when he looked at his caller ID unfortunately it was Lily. After he had left her a voicemail message earlier he felt so uneasy that he ran off to his room and began lifting weights. When all his nervous energy had been released and his arms felt like Jell-O he went ahead and grabbed a book to take his mind somewhere calm.
The book he picked up got him thinking about his mother, so much for calm, when he read 'The world of today has brought children up in an almost universal cynicism when it comes to religion. Their true faith in God relies solely on an intense life experience which leads them to embrace mainstream Christianity or join the mainstream agnosticism.' Brian did not like the idea that his mother's death was the only reason he had a belief in God.
His mother had always been very beautiful but she was so loving that few people remembered how pretty she was. When she died everyone mourned the abscence of her comforting voice rather than the softness of her features. He remembered he would fall asleep to that voice up until he was twelve years old and then after she died he would wake from a nightmare of seeing his mother, smiling at him, her lips moving with no voice accompanying.
He had only been twelve for seventeen days when she was killed. The red Cadillac sped right through the intersection. Right through his mother's car. A lowlife, a criminal, was running from the police on a high speed chase. With the impact, metal crunching down, he'd added murder to his robbery charge. The police came to Brian's house and informed his father of the accident. Brian did not even remember the police visit because he'd been upstairs and his father had told him nothing.
It was the next day that his father exploded. "That nigger!" He was drunk, a state he and Brian would get used to. "That nigger!" He yelled as he crashed through the back door and then stomped back into the house and up the stairs and past his bedroom and into Brian's. He held up the crumpled mugshot to Brian's face. Brian became dizzy with fear and from the smell of alcohol coming from his father's mouth. "You see this, boy? This monkey! This scum! This nigger! He saw your mother there...he saw her in that car and he just kept on driving. Killed her, you hear me?! This dog is going to fry for what he did! He is going to BURN for what he done!" Brian was whimpering now.
Standing there, his boots crushing teddy's plush left leg and tears streaming down, his father mumbled something to little Brian and staggered out of the room. A lot of hatred grew inside Brian but never was it directed to God. He knew his mother was in His care now and he got by knowing one day he would hear her voice again. He was hearing Lily's sweet voice now.
"Hey Brian. I got your message."
"Oh, hey! Yeah I called and so... how was your day?"
"Sweet of you to ask. My day was a little slice of hell. I get to listen to my superiors complain on and on about their dogs and their children who they treat like dogs which is actually a good thing because they incidently treat their dogs like children so it all works out. So, you?"
"Haha. Sorry to hear that. My day wasn't that great either. My bros all left me to go party tonight. But that's really not my scene actually."
"Mine neither. I thought every guy lived for bars and titties."
"So what were you doing instead?"
"Well I was lifting some weights--"
"Are you trying to impress me or something? Haha."
"Oh no! No! Not at all. That's just how I de-stress."
"Hmm. I go to the beach to unwind."
"Cool. Do you swim or walk on the sand or something? I bet you go there to tan because your skin is...you know I saw your skin and um..." Brian stopped himself before he ruined his chances all together.
"I don't go there to tan. But I'm there a lot. Sometimes I swim. Mostly I walk. I like walking at night. I should've been mugged or something by now. I know it's not such a smart idea out at night by myself but it's the only good time to think, in my opinion. Maybe you could come with me some time."
"Sure why not. I'll keep you safe and all that."
"No. You'll keep me company."
"Or that. I can do that."
"Well, what else does your day consist of Bri?"
Brian was delighted to hear her already giving him a pet name. "I read. Actually I was reading before you called."
"I was reading this book on the relationship between man and God in the present condition of the world. You know it seems like more than ever the streets are filled with delinquents and criminals. It really bothers me that it's so mainstream now and this 'thug life' is seen as the basis on which they calculate their manhood."
"Yeah I know, I agree. Especially with a lot of the black community. I feel more and more a mixture of sadness and anger that the community has fought and then forgot what they had fought for. I listen to hip hop sometimes, sure, but I am not going to fall in line with the ideal that they're being held down by some invisible White Hand because when it comes down to it their holding themselves down. Their settling for less, the children AND the parents, and I get so frustrated."
"But what do you know, Whitey? Hahaha."
"Yeah they don't want to hear the truth, especially not from white people. The stupidity."
"OK. On to a lighter subject. Other than read, what do you like to do?"
"I like walking, too. And going out to restaurants."
Lily gasped, "Food! Do you love food like I love food?"
"I don't know. How much do you love food?"
"Well then yeah. I love to cook. Food Network is my life. I make an awesome Chipotle-marinated flank steak."
"What? Can't handle that type of heat?"
"No. I'm kinda sorta vegan."
"Oh." Brian cut through the silence. "I respect that. Really."
My mouth started moving on its own accord. Again!
"Maybe so, but I don't respect your choice at all," I snapped.
"Let's just agree to disagree. I like you, OK? Stop this."
"Excuse me?" The volume went up a notch. "Excuse me, but stop what? Who called who here? Really? Who left a lonesome message? Huh?"
"Well, first of all, you called me back and look, I just put myself out there, give me a break will ya?"
"I don't believe in breaks. I don't believe in giving second chances!"
"What about back at the bar? I gave you another chance. To start over, remember?"
I had never felt so perfectly and amazingly dumb in my entire life. This guy was being amazingly forgiving. He hadn't even raised his voice once. Wish I had some of his self control. How were they supposed to date when she just kept swinging at him every chance she got?
"Brian, why you being so nice to me?"
"It's called common courtesy, politeness, respect, do unto others, etcetera."
"I'm sorry. I'll leave you alone. When it comes to dating I just--"
"I was hoping I would see you this week."
"You a glutton for punishment or something?"
"No. I'm just real real understanding."
"Soooo, how 'bout it?"
"What are we gonna do?"
"How about we go to the beach?"
"Well, shouldn't I be sucking up to you instead of vice versa?"
"I'll call you tomorrow."
"You don't have to do th--"
Click! He had hung up. Should I be pissed I just got hung up on or siked that he asked me out on a date even though I'd been an incredible hag? Whatever, it's bedtime.
Brian didn't know if he was crazy or if he was just desperate. He felt like he'd known her forever and still she was a mystery. Either way he had just made a date with some angry girl. A wonderful angry girl. He could hardly close his eyes to sleep.