Ever Lonely

17 - Sands of Time - MMMBopJenn

"Yes I still remember, every whispered word The touch of your skin, giving live from within Like a love song that I'd heard Slipping through our fingers, like the sands of time Promises made, every memory saved Has reflections in my mind. . ."

I often just lie in bed for hours, just watching the antique hourglass on my dresser as the grains of sand sift through that tiny hole, only to slowly float to the bottom in order to wait for the the transaction to be reversed. My brothers think I'm crazy, I'm sure they do.  After all, it *has* been three months now.  Three months, and here I am, still thinking of her, remembering her, missing her. . .  Every day, I go through this period of mourning, where I have to remain in bed for a certain amount of time in order to gain the energy and the strength to face the day.  Taylor is ready to call the men in white coats on me, even though I swear to him that what happened was of utter importance to my life, and I can't be expected to just forget about it just like that.  I needed more time. . .  How much time?  I wasn't sure. . . I don't suspect anyone can answer that.  All I do know is that that night remains etched in my memory, keeping time with the sands of that hourglass, and everytime the object was flipped over, the memory was alive again in my mind, as vivid as the evening during which it took place. . .  The night that I met Vanessa. . .

It had been just nearing the midnight hour when I heard the sound coming from outside.  I had been tossing and turning for a good sixty minutes, unable to allow sleep to overcome me, before I'd even heard that noise, so soft, yet so poignant that I couldn't help but gently push the covers off me and ease over to the window.  The moon outside glowed brilliantly above, and the diamond studded sky lacked of any cloud coverage.  Everything was so crystal clear I felt that if I were to open the window and reach out, I would eventually reach out into space and be able to connect myself with a universe I had yet to know.  The muffled sound removed me from my fantasies, as my dark eyes lowered to the vision before me. . .  She appeared to be crying.  I'd never known such a sob to sound so hopeless and lost, yet that soft whimpering had reached me, directly to my soul.  Self-consciously brushing my wavy, touseled hair out of my face, I tilted my head to get a better view.  It was then that she looked up to me, her eyes connecting with mine briefly enough to leave me aching for more, yet long enough to send such tremors through me even the most severe earthquake couldn't compare.  Long auburn hair fell in waves over her shoulders and pale, porcelain skin surrounded a pair of dark, twinkling eyes.

I glanced back toward the beds behind me, confused to see that my brothers were sound asleep, neither one of them having heard the tormented crying as I had.  Nevertheless, my eyes roamed back out to the yard as an anguished gasp escaped from my lips.  She was gone. . .  Where had she gone?  She was just there a second ago; I *couldn't* have been imagining things. . .  I had to find her, that was all there was to it.  I couldn't let the eyes of such a sad creature leave me for the rest of my life, never to be heard from again. So with one last glance toward my brothers, I tiptoed quietly out of the room and down the hall.  The house was frighteningly dark, and I wasn't sure why it bothered me so much this particular night.   But for some reason, the way the moonlight was creeping in through the blinds was creating eerie patterns on the adjoining walls.  A few times, I could've sworn those patterns were bouncing back and forth, in some bizarre spiritual, ghostly language that I would never be able to understand.

Trying to push those thoughts out of my mind, I quickly hurried down the rest of the remaining stairs and made my way to the back door, being careful not to bump into anything.  As soon as the door opened, I could feel the slightly cool night air, but decided against throwing on a jacket over my sweat pants and t-shirt.  There was no time for such trivialities.  The backyard was frighteningly deserted, the only sign of life a soft breeze that floated through the trees every few seconds or so.  I shivered, without even really knowing why.  I wasn't extremely cold, so why was I shaking so badly? And why on earth was I so anxious to find some complete stranger who had been keeping company in our back yard?

My ponderings were interrupted once more when I heard a soft sniffling coming from behind me, forcing me to spin around to see what was the creator of such a sound.  I briefly felt uneasy as I wondered how it had been possible to miss seeing someone on my way out, yet there she was, resting in the grass, raising her tearstained face to mine.  I could never recall being so completely blown over by a simple stare before, but the girl's almond shaped dark eyes studied mine curiously.

"Isaac?" she whispered, her voice an echo in the breeze.  I only momentarily wondered how she could possibly know my name, before I realized that it wasn't uncommon to be recognized.  But something about the way she was whispering my name felt different than I'd never remembered hearing it uttered before. It was as if the fact that she knew who I was sent my head into a tailspin and my heart beating out of control.

"Hi. . ." was all I was able to make out.  My senses seemed to take leave of me, and my tongue appeared to have grown numb.

"I've been waiting for you," she breathed, her eyes still sad and her voice filled with sorrow.  I ached to make her pain go away.

"How did you know I was coming?"  My mouth felt terribly dry, and my palms were becoming cold and clammy.

She looked up to me again, smiling for the first time.  Her smile could never be matched in a million years, for her eyes lit up, sending little electric currents throughout my body.  "Because I called for you," she explained matter-of-factly.

Rather than ask what she meant by that, I merely joined her in the soft grass, pulling my legs up to my chest.  Because she had called for me. . .  Is that why the cry that had sounded so loud to me had done nothing to awaken one of my family members?  Rather than ponder that any further, I found the courage to finally ask, "Are you okay?"

She took in a deep breath, closing her eyes and then opening them very slowly. "I don't want to leave home," she confessed, shivering so slightly I had to wonder if I'd imagined it.

"No one wants to leave home.  At least in a sense, they don't."  I was slowly regaining the feeling in my tongue and it was becoming easier to form complete sentences.

She gazed up to the heavens, her eyes cylinders of a hollow darkness that made me feel extremely uneasy inside.  It was like looking into the heart of death, and yet at the same time, I could see so much life within her face.  The paleness wasn't sickly, it was Chinalike, and her thick auburn hair only enhanced her features, rather than make them look old and tarnished.  "I could stay out here forever," she murmured, her eyes returning to his.  "Just in the company of someone like yourself, who seems to know what I'm feeling, and who's keeping me safe from harm."

"There's nothing to be afraid of," I explained reassuringly, almost realizing something that I didn't really want to think about.

"I know that when I'm with you. . ."

Matching her smile, I took in a slow deep breath before asking, "So, what's your name?"

She dimpled.  "Vanessa."  Her lips were moist, and appeared to be some sort of purplish color in reflection of the full moon above.  It was amazing what affect the wide open sky was having on her facial features, making her skin look so white and her eyes look so deep.  I momentarily wondered if it was having the same effect on myself, before remembering where I was.

"It's nice to meet you, Vanessa."

She caught her lower lip between her white teeth as she tilted her head to study me, then reached over to gently brush a stray strand of hair out of my face.  I nearly flinched at the iciness of her touch; her skin was incredibly cold.  As she quickly moved her hand away, I reached out and grabbed it, curiousity pushing me to feel her skin, to want to be close to her.  I didn't even know this girl, but my insides were telling me that I had waited my entire life to meet her.  And yet, even though I felt almost blessed to have this moment with her, I somehow knew in my heart that she wouldn't be here for long and that I had to make this moment count.  Looking down to my own hand, I noticed that she did nothing to remove hers from mine as she began to struggle to her feet.  Laughing softly, I allowed her to help me up, then raised my eyebrow questioningly.

  "Have you ever just wanted to go running through the woods, Isaac?  Just to run to release any of your angers and worries. . .  To see the trees flying by you so quickly that it makes your head dizzy. . .  I've never done that. . ." Her gaze was enraptured within the woods behind my house.  Looking into the dark area, I wasn't sure that venturing into the woods at this particular time of the night was something I longed to do.  But looking back into Vanessa's persuasive eyes, I knew that I wouldn't be able to resist.

   And of course, as her legs began to push her toward that wooded area, I soon found myself following.  She started out at a fast walk, but soon built up her speed to where she was racing through the woods, and I couldn't help but chase after her, my legs trying to keep up.  I was vaguely surprised that she could move so quickly, but those thoughts soon flew from my head as my breathing became heavy.  "Vanessa!"  I called out, squinting to try to find her. How could I have lost her already?  But there was no sign of her in front of me. Sudden horror flooded through me at the thought that I could've very well lost this girl, after only knowing her for a few short minutes.  But then I felt hands snake around my shoulders and in front of my eyes.

"Guess who," the most definite female voice asked, a bit out of breath.

I gently removed the hands from my face and turned around to face her. She was standing very close to me now.  So close, in fact, that I could feel her hot breath against my skin.  It nearly felt as if it were burning a hole into me.  My arms ached to be around her, and my body ached to touch her, so I did the only thing that seemed right at the moment:  I cupped my hands around her face and pressed my lips firmly against hers.  I halfway expected her to put up a struggle of some sort--we *had* just met, after all--but she merely returned my kiss, an almost desperate groan being unleashed from her throat. Her lips were cold, yet gentle, to the point where I felt as if I was paralyzed to the spot, as my heart raced uncontrollably within my chest. Her fingers traced my face, from my forehead, to my cheeks, to my nose, to my chin, while her tongue slowly entered my mouth and explored the warmth inside me.  Never before had I felt such a trembling excitement swelling within me, from deep in my stomach, to my pumping heart, oozing thick blood throughout my veins.

It seemed only appropriate that out of nowhere, thunder rumbled off in the distance and a few drops of rain began to pelt on his, forcing us to separate from each other to raise our eyes to the sky.  Thick clouds had begun to form and we needed shelter.  "Where should we go?" she asked, sounding as dazed as I felt.

"I-I don't know. . .  I suppose we should. . ."  My suggestion to head back to my house was a lost cause when I noticed an old abandoned shed about twenty yards away.  Why had I never noticed it before?  The entire bizarreness of the night was not enough to make me stop and think twice about such formalities, for rain was fastly approaching so I immediately grabbed her hand, and pulled her toward the shelter.  It wasn't the most pleasant place to seek refuge, but I supposed it would have to do.  The door creaked loudly as I opened it, and then closed it tightly behind us, as the sounds of heavy rain patted the roof persistantly.  Examining our situation, it was only now that I noticed that we were both pretty much drenched and I considered the fact that it had probably been raining for a longer period than I'd realized.  Vanessa was studying the room thoughtfully, and quiety crept over to one of the shelves to retrieve an old lantern.

"That's a good idea, Vanessa, but we don't have any matches, and I don't think. . ."  My voice trailed off as the newly lit fire blazed before me, the confusion muddled through thickness of warmth.  It didn't matter how it was lit, anyway, the only thing that mattered was that I was here right now, with her, and I was determined to make the most of what little time I had with her.

Vanessa slowly set the lantern on the floor beneath us, and then pulled an old blanket down from one of the other shelves to curl up on the hard concrete floor.  Gazing down at her, I felt my face grow warm when she patted down next to her, offering me to join her.  The cement was cold, but I hardly noticed as the warmth of her body engulfed me, the blanket curling around the two of us. She leaned back against me, our bodies intertwined and our hearts beating in unison.   A shivery sigh escaped from my lips, forcing her to look up into my eyes questioningly.  Shaking my head, I had to hold back the tears which threatened to spill over at the thought of not having this for the rest of my life.  Rather than ask me any questions, she sat up a little until her face was level with mine, and her warm mouth was once again covering my own. I found myself lowering down onto the ground, pulling her with me, our lips never once parting.  My eyes fluttered helplessly as her fingers slid through the wavy tendrils of my hair and I found my hands wandering over her body. Everything was perfect; everything about her was heavenly, from her doll-like face, to her body, to her kisses. . .

I moaned painfully when she pulled away, but she only continued staring into my eyes. . .  "Thank you, Isaac. . ."

"For what?" I asked, half confused, half dazed.

"For your strength, for your reassurance, for your warmth, and for your love. . .  I couldn't have done this without you.  You're a lot stronger than I am. . ."

I felt hot tears rush to his eyes and allowed a few to flow over.  It wasn't fair, I knew. . .  But then, many things weren't fair.  Breaking eye contact, I knew that I couldn't stare into her eyes any longer, or I would completely lose control of the misery that was welling inside me.  As my eyes roamed to the other side of the room, they narrowed as they came upon something very intriguing. . .  It was an old hourglass.  I hadn't ever seen one before, least of all one that looked so old and before my time.  What sent a strange, nauseous feeling to my stomach was the fact that the sand was running through it, almost completely out.  Who had turned it over?  Someone had to have flipped it over, and it sure hadn't been myself.  Yet there it was, almost taunting me as a way of letting me know that our time was almost up.  "I'm going to be okay," she attempted to make me feel better, as my eyes returned to hers. I knew that she would be okay.  The question was, would I be?  Now that I knew how this felt, how could I go on knowing that I would possibly never be able to find this feeling again?  "I know you will be," was all I whispered as I tenderly brushed my lips against her forehead.  "And I'll. . .  never forget you, Isaac. . ." I gasped, those tears finding their way back to my eyes.  "I'll never forget you either, Vanessa. . ." And with that, she rested her head against my chest and we continued lying there in the dark, that mere lantern finally fizzling out as our eyes drifted close and sleep encompassed us. . .

"Back where I belong now, was it just a dream Feelings untold, they will never be sold And the secret's safe with me. . ."

I had awakened the next morning, not quite certain as to where I was. My back hurt, as if I'd been sleeping on the floor, and my head felt fuzzy.  But as I slowly opened my eyes, I found that I was indeed lying in my bed, tangeled up in my sheets, as the sun crept in through the half-open blinds in the window. The events of the previous night washed back over me, and my eyes suddenly widened, very much awake.  What had happened?  No matter how much I tried to rack my brain, though, I couldn't remember anything after falling asleep with Vanessa in my arms.  Had I woken up in the middle of the night and walked back to the house?  And if not, how had I gotten to my bed?  Had it all been a dream?

Closing my eyes, I felt the despair build up, and finally opened my eyelids to release a few tears as I pulled my knees up to my chest.  It hadn't been real. . .  But it had SEEMED so real. . .  Nothing made sense to me. . . Nothing at all.

Finally deciding that I had to face the rest of the day, I threw the covers off of me, and turned to climb out of bed when I stopped in my tracks. There, on the nightstand, was an hourglass, looking as dusty and dirty as I remembered it.  But the sand was still running gently through the opening, and I knew that someone had been here recently.  Swallowing around the lump in my throat, I looked up to the heavens and closed my eyes.

"You'll be okay up there, I promise you," I whispered, knowing that I would see Vanessa again some day.  It wouldn't be for a long time, but eventually we'd be together again.  My soul was certain of that. . .

*Song lyrics come from the Spice Girls'"Viva Forever"*