Author's Note: Hi guys! So I know the name of the main character used to be different. But that was because it was actually based on Harry Potter. But now I've decided to make it into a real master piece, my own. So I present to you the actual characters with their true names. My humble goal is to be a GREAT storyteller so I would really appreciate if you can review as to what you think. Thank you for reading this and enjoy!
The World Under Our Feet
CHAPTER ONE: WE WERE NOT BRAVE ENOUGH
There's a guy sneaking under the barricade tapes. Cailey suspects he got here by a car, and happened to park somewhere behind the trees in the forest. She'd tell him to leave, but she doesn't want to. Not really. Surely he can read the signs. DANGER-DO NOT CROSS in red bold capital letters. The police made sure that warning signs decorated the area to keep intruders away. Intruders like her, she supposes, and also like the him even if he was in a very expensive looking black armani suit.
She watched his movements like a hawk hiding in the dark. Took him three minutes top to get past the tapes, another minute before he found himself at the edge of the cliff. She could just imagine what was going through his mind at the moment. How high was it? Fifty feet? Seventy? A hundred? These were normal questions, and she had enough normal to tire of them. Truthfully, normal wasn't bad. But it's not exciting either. And not exciting, she realizes, might as well be considered pretty bad.
He took a step closer to the edge. Just another half-step and he'll fall. She stayed quiet, entertained, and adjusted her butt so that she was more comfortable sitting in the gigantic rock two meters away from him. She grinned. It was oh so fortunate that she found this spot, perfect for spying cliff jumper wannabes. She could call him, scream and make her presence known. Or, maybe she could make some weird sounds to scare him off. It could be fun. She could do that, only she would hate to miss out on seeing what he came here for.
So she just stayed quiet. True enough, he didn't disappoint. His back was on her. He was just there, standing, staring at the darkness. She wasn't even sure he could see what's below. Heck she doesn't really know what's down there.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" He started screaming restlessly.
Aah. Frustrations, she suddenly thought. It's always about frustrations.
He just kept screaming, one loud scream after another. Was he angry? Desperate? Tired of life? He wasn't even screaming actual words. There's no need for words. He merely just wanted to scream.
He looks like a man, she observes. His agonizing and the way he carried himself say it. But if he thinks like one, this she's yet to find out. Even boys can disguise themselves as men. For now, she's seeing a tall, strong built man. Not at all scrawny, with jet black hair that doesn't do well with the wind, and glasses that seem to fit him well. She'd seen other people with their glasses on. Most of them tend to fall off their nose and they often had to rearrange it back. Imagining him as one of them might just make her laugh. Ah, the irony. She came here to mope, and here she was finding amusement at the expense of another.
He adjusted his glasses, and watched the stones fall. There was no sound of course. No splash, though the waves were still roaring down there. They were just stones, pebbles. And the cliff was more or less three hundred feet deep. He tried putting a foot to dangle in the air, but immediately drew it back to solid ground, his leather shoes stomping haphazardly.
She sighed in the shadows above him.
Yet again, the world had managed to produce another coward to live, die and be forgotten in history.
Stupid, she murmured to herself. She should have known such soft sigh would be loud enough in the stillness of the night. The next thing she knew, he was already alert and looking for her.
"Who is there?!" he called to no one, sounding frightened.
She could tell he's terrified and has a good reason to. She could be a rapist or a serial killer on the loose. She's kinda feeling let down. Maybe she should have been one. That would make this scenario even more fun.
But she still has her heart, a pitying one at that. Less than a second and she jumped down to the ground, wincing at the impact of her landing. It hurts, damn it! For one, she's never gonna buy another pair of glass shoes! They suck!
Failing composure, she must as well reveal the vile state she was in. She cleared her throat so it sounds cool, and started walking towards him, holding both sides of her gown so that she wouldn't step on them. She'd had enough tripping for the day. She's perfectly sure she doesn't need anymore.
"Relax. I'm not a serial killer."
He didn't move. He was merely waiting, looking ready to pounce. As soon as he saw her, his eyes bulged.
She almost wanted to ask what he's seeing. What was she in the eyes of this stranger? A girl? A woman? A crazy woman in her bridal dress with messed up hair, smudged makeup and tear streaked face? She might as well be a clown. For once, she actually wouldn't mind if he'd call her crazy, a lunatic. She'd been here for almost six hours. Just her and her thoughts, which were nothing optimistic, if not self degrading at the moment. He could think all he wants. She just wouldn't care. But he didn't run. He relaxed, so that must count for something.
"You're a girl." she heard him state.
She frowned, feeling like banging her own head in the rock. Well that answered her question. Seriously? Twenty three years of existence and not even a woman? Ugh, that hurts.
"Yes, yes I am a girl. And you're a boy. A boy in a suit." she replied, and watched his face morph from shock, to surprise, to frustration and finally for his shoulders to slump down seeing as she was no threat to him, at least not physically.
It was his turn to sigh. He took a few steps back, but then as if he changed his mind, he walked back so he was standing on the very edge of the cliff again. She was almost tempted to just push him. She could help. She would, if he asks. But she'd seen him, and she'd seen enough.
"You know you're just wasting your time. I watched you. If you really wanted to jump, you would have done so without hesitation. It's been minutes and you haven't gotten close to leaning half your body off the edge, which means you really don't want to in the first place. So, why bother?" she said with same tone she uses to describe the weather.
He looked at her, and she stared at his widened big green eyes. She realizes he's quite good looking, and that they form quite a pair, it's amusing. A boy in a suit and a girl in a balloon gown. Obviously they didn't come from the same event, but still it was just like those stories she read in books. Two strangers running off to escape in a secluded and very much restricted place, adrenaline pumping and willing them to jump off to the end of the earth.
Such trail of thought reminded her of a quote.
"To die would be an awfully big adventure." She said, tilting her head to observe him with interest. "You know who said that?"
He stared at her blankly.
She scoffed, gaping at him and shaking her head in disappointment.
"Peter Pan! Seriously, how could you not know that? Are you an alien?"
He didn't reply, but turned his body back to the edge so he was ignoring her.
"Silent type, I see. Alright." She said, shrugging like it was nothing. She waited two seconds before she asked. "So what's your story?"
He was still ignoring her. She frowned.
"I could tell you mine, you know. But mine's boring. I'd rather you tell me your story." she encouraged, enjoying the sight of him shake his head in annoyance.
She could do that. She could annoy him into talking.
"Do you ever shut up?" He snapped, making her pause.
She stared at him, and laughed. A full blown laugh that sounded like jingle bells, or at least to her own ears. Now, she might actually join him in worrying for her sanity.
"I'm not usually this talkative you know. But then, I'm not usually drunk. So, are you really gonna jump? Go on. Be my guest." She said, flashing him her perfect set of white teeth, her tone childlike and encouraging as if she was urging him to try a bite of ice cream.
When he didn't respond, she sighed, and walked so she was standing right beside him.
"I see you're afraid. Understandable. I couldn't jump either."
He turned to her, gaping. "You- you tried to-?"
"Jump?" she asked, regarding him. She then lifted her balloon skirt and showed him her feet. Her right foot has a glass shoe on it, the other was bare. She giggled. "Where do you think my other shoe went? I would have jumped to get it, but it already broke. Glass does that you know. They break with a fall that high."
He shook his head at her, massaging his temples. "You're crazy."
She bubbled with laughter.
It wasn't long, and he was laughing too. She thinks it's funny because like her, he probably doesn't have a clue why he's laughing.
But she wasn't the only one laughing this time, so she supposes it's fine.
It was at least a minute when their laughter subsided, and he sat on the ground without saying another word. She took that as an invitation and joined him. She stopped worrying about her dress getting dirty hours ago. Seriously, it couldn't get any dirtier.
At least this is better. He's finally acknowledging her existence. And so they sat beside each other with their legs stretched towards the edge of the cliff. She feels that if someone else was looking, they probably look very out of place with what they're wearing.
"Runaway bride?" He asked conversationally. She looked to see he wasn't looking at her but on the horizon.
She smiled sadly and focused her gaze on the same veil of stars. "Yeah."
She waited a few seconds out of politeness. "And you?"
He sighed, running a hand to mess his wind blown hair. "Runaway best man. Must have been one heck of a wedding huh?"
"It was, I suppose." she said. "Why here? I mean, why did you come here?"
He returned the question with a sad smile of his own. "Same as you, I think. To yell. To scream. To be alone. To escape. It's quiet here."
"But you didn't jump." she commented softly, suddenly feeling too tired to be sarcastic. He was after all, already treating her like an actual person.
He smiled, amused. "Neither did you."
She didn't reply, only stared at the stars. They did that for a while. Just sat in silence, staring at the stars. They saw a meteor or two, but neither commented anything about it. Local custom would imply that they have to wish. Neither really felt like wishing.
"Why did you do it?" she asked, bringing her knees to her chest and leaning her elbows and chin on them. She was watching him from the corner of her eyes. He was biting his lip, looking sad.
"I couldn't do it. I love the bride."
She winced, unable to help a few tears from falling. She didn't know herself a crybaby. Not really. But then she didn't know herself a runaway bride, until that morning.
"What about you?" He asked, looking hesitant. She encouraged him with a nod. "Cheating groom?"
She smiled, chuckling hollowly. She shook her head. "No. He didn't cheat. He isn't like that."
"Then what? Why did you run away?"
"He wasn't brave enough. He should have been here you know. He should have chased me. But he didn't. I guess that was a sign. Maybe it was me that wasn't good enough for him."
"I don't get it." He said, looking honest. "You ran, expecting he'll chase you? You want both of you to run from your own wedding?"
She chuckled. "Well, when you put it that way…"
"I still don't get it. Women are too complicated for me."
"The thing is, it wasn't our wedding. Us running away. Him following me, it would have been a symbol. That this is our wedding, not theirs. Our life together that we're choosing, a life not meant to be dictated by them. I guess he didn't understand that."
"Did you tell him? Did you tell him that you want him to run away with you?"
She looked at him like he'd grown antlers. "Of course not, it's a given! I'm his bride. Wherever I go, he should follow if he really loves me."
He stared at her.
"I stand corrected. You are crazy."
He never said anything more after that. She guesses he never truly feels he has the right to, considering they're both crazy really. He could deny it all he wants, but she believes they actually were quite similar. Both lone, estranged individuals who had just lost it. But a part of her thinks that he just simply sympathizes.
Still she wishes he would talk. Apparently, she realized she was too tired to do it on her own.
A few more hours passed in silence. He was the first one to stand, but he didn't leave until he'd somehow forced her into wearing his shoes.
She was smiling as he left in just his socks.
They parted without goodbyes.
He didn't ask and she didn't have to tell him that she's just as lost as he was.