Thinking Out Loud

ThinkingOutLoud
Found this photo online and added the words for the sake of this post. I don’t own it.
Part I: One and Only
Part II: Falling Fast
Part III: Hello Heartache
Part IVWhen It’s All Over
Thinking Out Loud (Part V)
It’d been days since he first met her.
She was on his mind every day regardless of how many times he tried to push her out.
She has a boyfriend.
Every time she invaded his thoughts he had to remind himself that she has a boyfriend.
Torture. That’s what it is. Every day he thinks about her, her eyes, her beautiful smile, the brown of her skin, the way she smelt, the curl of her hair and he knew he was losing his mind. He always saw her brown eyes, they were a rusted amber color that had to be created only for her. He remembered the way she looked at him when she realized just who he was and what they were supposed to be. Forever. Soulmates. She went through so many emotions in such a short period of time. He committed to memory every expression. He felt it as soon as she said her words and he knew she felt it too, she had to but she fought against it. After she ran off it kind of hurt. He didn’t want to admit it but it hurt like hell.
His mind constantly drifted back to the conversation they had after their first meeting; it was extremely awkward. However, the longer they sat in each other’s presence, it felt natural, like they were falling into an easy rhythm. He liked that. He hadn’t had that in a while. Not even with Natalie. With Natalie, there was excitement but she was analytical where he was creative. They worked but there were many times when they didn’t. He could see it now.
Of course, she had something to do with her boyfriend, so she left, and it was like… something inside of him left with her. He missed her and he didn’t even really know her.
It was because of his alleged constant “moping”, that he was dragged out for a night downtown at the new Jazz club The Broken Spoke. Blake and Eric insisted that he tag along with them, it was Open Mic Night and they wanted to be there because women turn up for Open Mic Nights. He was an artist but creative writing was not a strength besides he was more of an illustrator, a painter, a sketch artist…
“Hello! Earth to Mike!”
He blinked in surprise as Eric waved his hand frantically in his face. Blake watched him with a cool expression while Eric tried to stifle a loud laugh. Their eyes focused on what Michael doodled on the pad he always carried around. He’d been absentmindedly doodling and he finally glanced down at his pad and immediately felt embarrassed.
“You’ve been doodling her name for weeks.” Blake murmured as he slipped his hands in his pockets.
“This is sad.” Eric said as he slid into the booth and draped his arm around his best friend. “You have to get over this.”
Blake was mysterious and “dreamy” as Natalie used to say and Eric was so cool and open. It annoyed the hell out of him. He could never be like either of them. Michael was always the reserved one, always had been. Reserved. Not mysterious.
“Look, could you at least go and get a drink? Act like you’re going to have fun? Cool?” No answer. “Cool.” Eric pushed himself out of the booth and walked off, not missing a beat in his mingling.
Sometimes he hated Eric. They’d been friends since freshman year in college and it was because of him that he got out of his comfort zone. Blake came along some time around senior year and he just mixed right in. He was quiet but apparently there was something alluring about him. Eric was the shortest of the three, but he stood tall. Michael watched as he moved over to a booth full of beautiful ladies. They flirted. Eric was brown skinned with light eyes and girls seemed to just swoon. Always the lady killer.
His eyes fell on the girl at the far right in the group. He jumped to his feet thinking he saw… but in the end, it turned out not to be her. He stood there awkwardly for a moment before taking a wary glance at Blake who regarded him with dark green eyes.
“You should go and get a drink.”
Michael plopped back down with a loud sigh. “I don’t want to get a drink.”
Blake ran a hand through his dark hair and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. “Listen Michael. I know you can’t stop thinking about this girl, but, there’s nothing you can do. She has a boyfriend and in the end, the choice is hers. Right?”
Michael wouldn’t look at his friend. Eric was charismatic while Blake was observant and seemed to just understand everything. They both knew what happened and they had different takes on what Michael should do.
“Alright.” Blake stood. Michael didn’t even remember seeing him sit down. “We’re here to have a good time. There’s good music, a cool atmosphere. Do something other than draw.” He walked away and Michael wilted. He shouldn’t have left the apartment. He looked down at his pad, looked into the eyes he couldn’t forget and closed the book.
He forced himself to walk to the bar. It was long with three bartenders. There wasn’t a ton of people in The Broken Spoke but it seemed to be popular as all of the bartenders were busy so he slid into a seat at the end. After a few moments of waiting, the tall bald bartender stopped in front of him.
“Sorry about that. There’s always a rush at this time. What can I get you?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know in as you’re not much of a drinker or you don’t have a preference?”
“Both.” Michael wasn’t much of a drinker. He’d go out with his friends and have a few, or Eric would throw a party and he might drink but that was never a vice for him. He never knew what to order. The bartender nodded and seemed to think for a moment.
“Okay. I’ll give you something simple.” He turned around and did his bartending magic and slide a tall glass of dark liquid to him. “This is a rum and coke.”
That was one of his dad’s drinks. He tried it and it was… okay.
“Good?” The bartender asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yeah.”
“Cool.”
The guy moved away to help someone else. Michael sipped at his drink and watched the people in the building. Someone was singing on stage, people were chatting in booths, chatting at tables and some were dancing to the girl’s song. It was nice.
He could see Eric swaying with a leggy girl on the dance floor. He glanced around till he found Blake leaning against a wall talking with a redhead girl. Some people just had it.
“You good over here?”
“Yeah. Thanks.”
“Are you here alone?”
Silence. Awkward shuffle.
“I might as well be.” He nodded to where his two friends were. “They’re doing their thing.”
Blake was tall and long, with his dark curls and green eyes. Girls just loved him. He and Eric were polar opposites but they had the same affect on people and neither one of them cared about soulmates.
“Not much of a ladies man?”
Michael turned away from his friends and leaned his elbows atop the bar. The bartender watched him with dark eyes. It was intense.
“What, you going to be my therapist now?” Michael chuckled.
“Well you know, we do do that sometimes.”
Silence.
Crap.
The intensity cracked when he chuckled and swiped a few glasses left on the counter. Michael always wondered if that was a real thing and apparently it is.
“Everyone doesn’t do it but I enjoy it. I went to school for psychology. People are interesting.”
“Is that why you became a bartender? To practice?”
Another chuckle.
“Nah. I like bartending and it just so happens I can talk to people. I wear a suit and tie during the day. Not much interaction with different people.”
Michael didn’t have to worry about not having people to talk to. He worked in a museum as a tour guide on the brink of becoming an educator. He saw hundreds of people a day. He loved art and wanted to be as close to it as possible. One day, he wanted to see his paintings, old sketchbooks, original comic drawings put into a museum to be seen by people forever. He always loved the idea of “forever”.
The bartender was called away, so Michael sipped more at his drink and turned back to the crowd. Eric was now sitting at a table with three different girls. One of them seemed intrigued by him and the other two were watching and talking amongst themselves. He searched the room for a tall figure and found him talking to the same redhead he was talking to before and even from far away, Michael saw something different in Blake’s body language. Michael watched for a moment and like he could feel the stare, Blake’s green eyes cut in his direction and they were wide. He’s never seen that look before, not on Blake but in the reflection of Theo’s eyes.
Did Blake meet his soulmate tonight??
Jealousy crept through his body at the thought. At the sight. It clawed its way from his stomach through his chest and he tore his eyes away from them and he tried to push it away.
“Ready for another one?”
He jerked hearing the voice of the bartender walk up to him.
“What?” The words caught up with him and he noticed his empty glass. “No.”
Silence.
“I think you do.” The Bartender mixed another drink. It seemed stronger this time.
“It’s so easy for some people.”
“What is?”
Everything.”
He had no clue if that was actually Blake’s soulmate, or if she was single, or if she was even interested in falling into that black hole that was fate. But it was the fact that someone who is indifferent to soulmates, someone who is so casual and so unbothered looked so…
“Hey.” His eyes snapped up to face the tall man before him. The Bartender’s expression seemed a bit worried. He wasn’t angry, at least he didn’t think he was. “I don’t what happened in the two minutes I was gone but get it together.”
“You don’t know me.”
“No. But you’re different now. Why?”
Michael clenched his jaw. This man was not his therapist and he didn’t have to tell him anything. Plus, it wasn’t like he was that much older than him, it wasn’t like he was this adult who had all of the answers. The bartender’s eyes flickered away from him for a few moments before settling back on him.
“So, you buy into this whole soulmate thing?” Silence. “Look. We’re human and we have free will. It’s not true love.”
“Yes it is.”
“No it’s not.”
“How do you explain the feeling then? You must not have met your soulmate.” Forget the sip. He drank.
“I have actually.”
Michael arched an eyebrow at the bartender’s words. It was impossible for him to have met his soulmate if he was so nonchalant about it. His parents are soulmates and they were in love. They argued because they’re human but they loved each other like they need each other to live.
“Then how can you say that? If you’ve met your soulmate then you know how it feels to hear your words and feel like every breath in your body–.”
“Because I make my own way. Just because I met my soulmate does not mean that I’m going to fall for her. She’s a stranger to me.” The Bartender rested his hands on the bar and spoke with a calm demeanor which irritated Michael. “I work in an office because it’s what I have to do but this is what I prefer to be doing.”
“So what?” Michael’s eyes narrowed. “Are you saying that fate pushed you into your office job but you go against it by being a bartender?”
“We choose our own path. Just because the universe says you’re supposed to do this with your life, or be with that person, doesn’t mean you have to listen.”
Every since he was a little kid, Michael knew what he wanted to do with his life. He loved art. He did different kinds and wanted to be around it as often as possible. That’s never changed. Michael liked signs. Whenever he felt there was a sign, he’d follow it. It lead him to greatness in many ways. Maybe not right away but life isn’t perfect. He ended up in the museum because he met someone randomly one day who worked there. He took it as a sign and applied. Look at him now, he’s moving up and he actually loves the museum.
“Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore it when a sign does come. People ask for signs all the time.”
“If you can’t find direction on your own–.”
“So you’re one of those then? One of those people who just ignore it when something is put right in front of you for a reason?” Michael ran a hand through his hair at the thought. The Bartender watched him. It made him uncomfortable. Michael wrapped his fingers around his sketchbook tightly, trying to maintain the stare.
The moment broke. The Bartender pushed off the counter and turned away from Michael. He spoke to the brunette bartender who nodded and smiled. He turned back to the young artist and rolled his shoulders.
“Taking a break.” Silence. Stare. Moves around the bar to take a seat next to Michael. “So it’s obvious you’ve met your soulmate. I can only assume that it wasn’t happily ever after for you?”
“She has a boyfriend.”
Now that he was sitting next to him, he couldn’t see his expression. Not that he really wanted to anyway. He heard the man make an understanding noise. It was quiet again. The only thing making a sound was the band playing in the background. He was sure Blake was still in enthralled with the redhead and Eric was still making his way through the lounge. Here he was, sitting next to a bartender who clearly doesn’t agree with him and he hasn’t moved yet. Maybe he just needed someone who wasn’t close to him to talk with. They always say it’s easier to talk to a stranger about personal problems.
“There’s nothing you can do about that.”
“I know.” Two drinks appeared in front of them and he took one like a thirsty man in the desert. Drink. “But what happens to me if she doesn’t choose me?”
He didn’t want to end up like his aunt. She found her soulmate, according to her, the woman was beautiful and everything she wanted in a partner but she was engaged to another woman. The woman chose to be with her fiance instead of his aunt. Aunt Sharon was still single. He loved his aunt but she always seems sad… would that happen to him if Theo chose her boyfriend and not him? Would he be sad for the rest of his life?  How could anyone ever measure up?
“I wish that it wasn’t like this. I’m an artist, I agonize in general,” Soft chuckle. “But I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life.”
“You have to make waves for your own life. I mean, what if you have to wait five years or ten years before you see her again? You make your own choices. Life doesn’t happen to you. You happen to life.”
Ugh. He didn’t even come here for this. He came here to have a good time. Well try to have a good time. He’ll probably be up late tonight sketching again. He might have to break out the big guns and cover up that hole in his wall with a new mural or something.
“This whole soulmate thing has people doing things they probably wouldn’t if they didn’t think their life was mapped out for them just because of some magic little words on their body. If we didn’t have them then none of this would a problem.” Pause. “I think you have to just live your life man. My parents aren’t soulmates and they’re happy.”
“My parents are soulmates.”
“Good for them. That doesn’t have to be you though. Artists always make their own way. I don’t think it should be any different from you.”
Michael also couldn’t help but to think about her boyfriend. If Theo did choose him, then what will happen to that guy? He’s been in that position before where he wasn’t the soulmate and he wasn’t chosen. It hurt like hell. Michael didn’t think he was a bad guy and of course he wanted Theo to choose him but… god this is so hard.
Silence loomed over them again. How could he love someone he didn’t even know? That’s what this guy was saying. That’s what kept him from making the choice of going after his soulmate. Michael wasn’t sure if he could do that though. Even without the matching soulmarks, he felt a connection to Theo, he knew he could love her no matter what.
“Hey man.” Eric sat on the barstool on his left and released a huge yawn. “I’m beat. You wanna go?”
“Where’s Blake?”
Eric waved his arm somewhere behind him without actually turning around to see. “He’s talking to that redhead over there. I think she’s his soulmate. I’ve never seen him look like that before.”
“That’s what I thought.” Well good for Blake. He took a deep breath and allowed himself to come down from being wrung so tight due to the extreme jealousy he couldn’t help but to feel. Now that’s drained away, he felt exhausted.
Eric looked past him at the man on his right. The Bartender nodded at him and downed the rest of his drink.
“Steve!” One of the girls shouted from behind the counter. He made an annoyed noise and jumped to his feet rolling his neck.  
“Guess I have to get back to work. It was cool talking to you man. You finished?” Michael pushed the empty glass to his outstretched hands and watched as he walked back around the counter. “Good luck in everything.”
Michael stood to his feet and stretched his limbs, he noticed that Eric was trading eyes with the brunette behind the bar. Michael shook his head and patted his shoulder.
“Come on man.”
He grabbed the back of Eric’s shirt and he stumbled back off the stool. He made a “call me” sign at the girl who winked at him. Michael shook his head.
“You okay?” Eric asked once he got himself together to catch up with his taller friend. Michael shrugged and stuffed his hands in his pockets as they moved towards the door. Blake was waiting for them with a mystified look on his face. “You get that girl’s number Blake?”
He nodded, his green eyes looking through his friends. “Yeah. Her name is Delia.”
Yep, soulmate. Michael knew because he acted the same way when he told them about Theo. Eric laughed and nodded turning Blake away towards the door. After he had a chance to get his life together, Michael smiled. He was happy for Blake. All the ladies could eat their hearts out.
Just as they got out the door, he realized he’d forgotten something.
“Oh hold up, I left my book. I’ll be back.”
He turned back made his way back towards the bar. He narrowed his eyes seeing The Bartender standing there flipping through his book. Michael didn’t mind people looking at his work but he’d rather if he was showing it instead of them stealing looks. As he got closer, he noticed The Bartender’s eyes were intensely focused on the pages.
“Hey.”
The Bartender had a tight hold on his sketchpad. After what seemed like forever, he looked up at the young man before him, his eyes a mixture between confusion and anger. He slammed the book down on the counter and slid it towards him. With a downward glance, Michael saw just what he saw.
Her eyes.
“Are you Michael?”

When It’s All Over

Read the other parts before part four.

I. One and Only

II. Falling Fast

III. Hello Heartache

When Its All Over

“I met my soul mate today.”
 Those were really not the words he was expecting her to say. He didn’t know why but he couldn’t react. Not at first. He just stood there. Silent. Say something. But he couldn’t, he didn’t know what to say. What should he even say? He knew this day would come, he didn’t know when and he didn’t know what it would do to her and just by looking, he could tell it was killing her inside.
What should he do?
“Steve?”
Hearing his name snapped him out of whatever he just disappeared in. He cleared his throat and took a step back trying to regain his balance. Theo moved forward but stopped herself, her eyes darting away from him. He could see on her face that she was confused. He could see on her face that she was in pain.
This is why. This is why he never put stock in the whole “soul mark” thing because of reasons like this. She’s hurting, and he knows he can’t do anything to help her, not really. This is why he admired his parents for making it through this society full of matching soul marks because they are still in love. He never knew if they met their soul mates or not, but regardless they’re together. They’re in love. He wanted that regardless of matching soul marks. He knew Theo didn’t care either, she always wanted to make her own way. So why was this so hard? Especially for her?
“Steve…”
“Just…” He waved his hand asking her to stop. Just don’t. He wasn’t angry, not really. Steve didn’t really know what he felt. It was confusing. He turned his back on her and gripped the back of her navy-blue couch trying to stable himself. What does this mean for them? He wanted to move in together. He loves Theo. He doesn’t want to lose her to… “What is his name?”
“What?” Her voice was shaky, almost a whisper. He didn’t want to see the look on her face because who know what he’d see.
“What is his name?”
Silence. Steve turned to look at his girlfriend. She stood there, her head lowered, her arms crossed, like she was trying to close herself in. Theo had walls up before, he worked hard to get through them, but it was like she was trying to pull them back up.
“Theodora… what is his name?”
“Michael.”
Michael. He wanted to know what he was like. She was gone for a long time, perhaps they got better acquainted. That burned him up inside, it felt like something red-hot was trying to claw its way out of his chest. Jealousy maybe? He never thought he would feel this way. Theo looked at him, her brown eyes wet. Was she crying? Oh god, he can’t handle a crying Theo. She is always so strong so tears were a rarity.
“Tell me about him.”
“There’s nothing to tell Steve. He doesn’t… I mean, we didn’t… it wasn’t like a full conversation. We just talked.”
She stepped towards him again and he would have moved away but he forced himself to stay. He could smell her perfume as she moved closer. The honey lavender scent wafted into his nose and it centered him. He always loved the way she smelt. The smoothness of her hands, touched his arms that tightly gripped the back of the couch behind him. He watched as her hands moved up his arms, rising to his shoulders…his heart beat so painfully in his chest but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to kiss her. Her hands moved to his neck, they rested on his face and she stood on her toes. Her full lips touched his and he didn’t know if the sharp intake of breath was his or hers.
Steve released the couch and pulled her closer to him. Her body touching his…but something was wrong. Something was off. There was an alarm going off somewhere in his mind. When they pulled away, his breath was heavy, her eyes stared into his eyes and he knew something was wrong.
“Theo I-”
“Something’s wrong Steve.” She pulled away completely, her movements frantic as she began to pace back and forth. She touched her fingers to her lips, her brow furrowed as it did when she was in thought.
“It’s the soul mark.” His voice was quiet. It was the only explanation. But why would they feel different just because Theo met her soul mate. Nothing changed when he met Ebony. Why has it changed now?
“No. Why would it be different for the both of us and not just me? I don’t understand any of this. It’s so annoying and I hate it. I love you Steve. I know I do but I just feel… so confused that I don’t know what to do.” He watched as her pacing picked up speed. Her face was full of agony and she occasionally stopped to look at him her brown eyes wide.
“No one truly understands how soul marks work Theo.”
“Maybe not but I don’t… I hate this. I hate it. When I heard my words…” No. I don’t want to hear this. “…I, I wanted to fight it. I did fight it, but it wasn’t good enough. I’m so sorry Steve. I never want to hurt you.”
“I know.”
“You know I never wanted to meet my soul mate. I just… I want to be with you. I just can’t decide what’s going on inside of me. If you meet your soul mate you’ll know exactly…”
“I’ve already met her.”
Theo stopped moving, her body rigid. She turned to look at Steve even more confused then she already was. Steve looked away. Today has been ruined. He shouldn’t have said anything, he should have kept everything to himself. He shouldn’t have asked in the first place.
“What? You have? When?”
“About six months ago.”
Theo’s eyes grew large. Steve wasn’t sure what that expression was, but he knew her mind was going through all kinds of scenarios. She stood still. She was so silent. He felt like he should have moved forward, maybe he should reach for her, maybe he should reassure her that it meant nothing. Yeah, he thought about Ebony, but not like constantly. It just happens every now and then.
“That’s why.”
What? It was so quiet that he almost didn’t hear what she said. He asked her to repeat what she said, but she finally looked at him. Her brown eyes watery once more but soft.
“Is she pretty?”
What? 
“Tha- that doesn’t… that doesn’t matter Theo.”
“Is she pretty Steve?”
He sighed. This is so painful, and he didn’t want to make it worse. Why should it matter if his “soulmate” was pretty? It didn’t matter.
The woman of his dreams stood there in front of him. Her eyes a beautiful light brown, seeming brighter because of her tears. Her beautiful brown skin always glowed from the light she carried inside her body. Her large curly hair styled in one of her favorite “go-to” styles of a fro-hawk. Her dark jeans and blue tank top. Everything about her was what he wanted. She was perfect.
But… there were times when he thought of Ebony James. It happened randomly. Not often but randomly. He remembered how she looked when he stopped her dog from running too far.
Ebony had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, it was black and straight with wisps escaping and curling around her forehead. Her skin was dark, he imagined it was beautiful in the moonlight. She had almond eyes, dark as well and a beautiful smile with full lips. She was beautiful and sometimes her face appeared, and he always pushed it away.
Sometimes it lingered for too long though.
Ebony doesn’t look a thing like Theo. But he couldn’t deny his own confusion, but he could push it away a lot easier than Theo apparently could. He didn’t know Ebony. She seemed nice, but he didn’t know her.
Shit. He’s been quiet for too long.
“Yeah, she was pretty.”
There was a sharp intake of breath, but he didn’t see anything accusing or hurt in her eyes. There was understanding, and he hated that. She was perfect and he’s sitting here upset that she met her soulmate, like she planned it.
He sighed and moved towards her.
She wrapped her arms around him and they just stood there entwined. He could feel her heartbeat against his chest, and he really wished everything before this moment could be erased but he knew it was going to be different.
At the end of the day, it’s Theo’s choice.
Isn’t it?

Falling Fast

Seriously
*Companion piece to One and Only.
It was always there, as far as she knew. Her memory only put it back to about twelve years old when she first noticed it. As a little girl, she knew about the words on her shoulder-blade but she didn’t know the meaning until she was older.
“Seriously?”
That was what was written in an interesting scrawl on her shoulder-blade. She didn’t know what it meant, until her mother explained it. Her parents were soul mates. They met in college and been together ever since. Their words matched. Her mother’s was  on her lower back, a place she hated by the way, You’re really pretty when you yell. It was the first thing her soul mate said to her after he accidentally hit the back of her car. She got out and said Are you blind!? and those words were printed on her father’s leg.
Neither one of them could truly tell her how it felt after they said their words to each other. Her parents couldn’t put it into words so she didn’t know what to expect. All of her life she heard people say “Seriously” in various ways, but none of them were the right one. She never had a feeling that she couldn’t explain. She had friends who found theirs, some in high school, which put a whole new meaning to the phrase “high school sweethearts”. She wasn’t jealous but she couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if she never found her soul mate. What if instead she fell in love with someone else whose words didn’t match hers? Would the words go away?
They didn’t.
When she met Steve, they had a great conversation and hit it off right away. They talked more, spent more time together and she found herself forgetting and ignoring those words on her shoulder because as far as she was concerned, she found her soul mate. She loved Steve. He was a good man. Smart, had a stable job, a car and ambition that he pursued. Two years they dated, they often talked of moving in together and she barely thought of her words.
Every now and then, someone would say Seriously? and she would freeze thinking it was for her, but it never was. She moved on. Fate would not dictate to her who she had to love and who she could be with. No. She made her own future.
At least until she slammed into the body coming around the corner in the grocery store. She was looking for some goodies, she and Steve had a reservation for dinner and then a movie later. It was going to be a good night. But fate apparently had other plans.
“Seriously?”
Crap! She dropped her items. She scrambled to pick them up while glancing up to address the young man.
“Are you okay?”
Her shoulder tingled, like someone just barely caressed it. Her eyes widened as she looked at the guy who stumbled into the shelves behind him, her items forgotten. What…? His dark brown eyes snapped to her face and she couldn’t help but to stare. He was tall, his skin brown like coffee, hair cut short but she could see the curls. Her eyes couldn’t help but to look. He was well dressed even though he seemed to just be grabbing goodies himself. A nice shirt, with dark wash jeans, a jacket. He was handsome. He was perfect. She could feel it. It was him. It had to be. Now she understood why her parents couldn’t tell her what it felt like because it was like nothing she ever felt. How could she ever explain this?
She yanked herself out of her stupor. She had to. “Um…” he continued to stare. What should she say now? So, she moved closer and touched his arm to get his attention. “Hello?”
“Oh yeah! Sorry, yeah I’m good.”
Those dark brown eyes blinked rapidly as he seemed to get himself together. He wouldn’t stop staring though and she found herself…curious. She wasn’t uncomfortable but she wasn’t comfortable either.
“Are you sure? We hit each other pretty hard, you went back into the shelf.”
Her eyes flickered to the shelf behind him, though he hit it pretty hard, nothing too bad happened. Nothing that would cause a bad reaction from an employee.
“Yeah no, I mean, yeah. It hurt. But I’m good. Nothing I can’t handle.”
She smiled at his awkwardness. He seemed to be the type to not say much, he seemed to be someone who observed, which was clear due to how much he stared. But she couldn’t fall into this. Steve. If she was honest, she could have stared into those brown eyes all day, but… Steve. He was good. She told herself. He’s a good man. She thought of his face. His darker skin, bald head, which she always teased him about, his strong arms… Steve. 
“Okay, well that’s good then.” She quickly grabbed her things and forced herself to walk away. She would run if she could. She couldn’t deal with this. Nope. She wouldn’t. Fate would not force her into anything, no matter how much her stomach may twist into knots, or how her heart feels like it’s aching. Nope.
“W-wait!” She froze. It was her words. He saw them. He had too. She didn’t even think to look for his words, because she knew. She felt him walk closer, he stood before her and she refused to look at him. If she looked at him, she would fall deeper and she didn’t want too.
“I can’t do this.” She said. She looked away. She couldn’t do this. Steve.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I’m talking about.” She could only muster a whisper.
“Can we at least talk about this?”
No. They couldn’t talk about it. What was there to say? Nothing. She made her own fate, she was with someone else. But she couldn’t help but to think of what would happen to him if she refused to accept this. Now that he knows, would he just be… alone? She shook her head.
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
“That’s not true and you know it.” She felt his fingers touch her skin, she tried not to shiver at the electricity that occurred from his touch. He lifted her chin and he made her face him. She could see it in his eyes that he wanted to talk. “We’re not required to get married right away.” MARRIED?? Now she really wanted to know all of his thoughts. “We don’t have to do anything now.” He released her. “I just want to talk.”
After a moment of silence. She couldn’t think of anything else to say that would refuse him. Besides, she wanted to talk too.
“Fine.”
“Thank you.”
She went through the store to get the rest of her things. Now her mind wouldn’t stop buzzing. What happens now? Gosh. She was losing her mind. What was she going to do? Part of her hoped he went home. But he didn’t.
“Oh, you waited.”
He leaned against the bike rack near the entrance of the store. When she walked over, he pushed off and came towards her. She felt her entire body stiffen with anticipation.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
Too late.
“Well… can I see it?”
“Huh?” She arched an eyebrow. Come on. He obviously saw hers. “Oh! Yeah.” He pulled up his sleeve, and she could see the script on his forearm. That looked just like her handwriting. Is… does the words match the handwriting of the soul mate? She needed to see his handwriting.
“Wow. How many times have you heard that?”
If he only knew how many times she’s heard “Seriously?”
He laughed and pulled down his sleeve. He shook his head and it seemed like maybe he was trying to remember but it was a loaded question. He couldn’t possibly remember.
“Too many to even count.” Right, that makes sense. “I’m Michael by the way.”
It was perfect. Everything about him was perfect. She wanted to know how his arms could feel around her. No! Steve! 
“Theo. Well, Theodora but Theo.”
He nodded and it got really awkward. Theo shuffled her feet, unsure of what to say next. Perhaps it was time to go. She needed to get back home to get ready for tonight. But he had something else to say.
“So, about this whole soul mark thing-“
“I have a boyfriend.”
It came out before she could stop herself. Steve’s name was lodged in her throat and she couldn’t not tell him… Michael, that she was already with someone. She loved him. Her thoughts were like a broken record today, she would not let fate tell her what to do. She felt bad for Michael but she loved Steve.
His eyes widened in shock but at the same time, she could see the resignation in his face.
They stood in silence, brown eyes staring into brown eyes. A connection between them that neither could truly explain or deny. What were they gonna do?

One and Only

Are You Okay
It was an interesting concept, one he never really questioned. Not until recently to be honest. The idea of having words tattooed on your body… words that he didn’t choose, in a place that he didn’t want, and that he cannot remove. They’re just words right? Well, no. They’re words that someone else will say.
“Are you okay?” 
That’s the phrase that wrapped around his forearm, from his wrist to his elbow. How many times has he heard those words? None of them were the right ones. How many times could he bump into someone and they ask him those three words? How many times must he be clumsy and fall over and someone asks those questions… how many times!? It’s so frustrating. Was he going to be one of those people who never ran into their soul mate? To never hear the right person utter those words?
Besides, what will happen when he does? Is there a feeling? Do the words go away? Do they glow? He doesn’t really know because no one seems to really know how to explain what happens when it happens. He dated this one girl for a long time, she wasn’t the one and he knew it. Those weren’t the first words she said to him and he didn’t say her words.
If he was honest, it hurt when she found her soul mate and left him. Well, it wasn’t as bad as that but it felt like it. They dated all through college and then she suddenly met the guy, and he supposed it wasn’t their fault that they found each other. It hurt and he wanted to make it work but why would he deny her her soul mate just because he wanted her? Was it selfish? He wasn’t sure then and he definitely wasn’t sure now.
When would it finally be his time?
He continued to walk through the grocery store, he had his mind-set on buying some junk food, it was going to be a night in with video games, movies and food. His mind was on other things, he thought about his parents and how in love they were, their soul marks matched. His older sister was getting married to the person who matched her soul mark, was he going to be the only one not finding his soul mate? He turned the corner and without realizing it, he knocked right into someone, their shoulders collided so hard that he stumbled back into the shelves behind him.
“Seriously?” He steadied himself, but his side ached. Great. Just great.
“Are you okay?”
There it goes again. Those same three words… wait…his arm tingled. What just happened? His dark brown eyes snapped up to the person he knocked into and he couldn’t help but to stare. She did the same. It was like everything around them came to standstill and it was just the two of them in the room. Her eyes were a light brown, her skin was a beautiful shade of brown, like it was bronzed by the sun. Her hair, curly and large, styled into a fro-hawk. She wore dark jeans, and a blue tank top.. he couldn’t help but catalogue everything about her. She was beautiful. She was perfect. He felt it. It had to be her. He also understood why no one could ever tell him what it felt like to find the one. How could he ever explain this?
“Um…” she started awkwardly, and he blinked quickly, pulling himself from his stupor. What does he say now? What should he say now? He scratched the back of his head and she moved closer to him, her hand touched his arm. “Hello?”
“Oh yeah! Sorry, yeah I’m good.”
“Are you sure? We hit each other pretty hard, you went back into the shelf.”
“Yeah no, I’m mean, yeah. It hurt. But I’m good. Nothing I can’t handle.”
She smiled. It was perfect. “Okay, well that’s good then.” She gathered the things she dropped and started to walk away.
As she moved, he spotted it on her shoulder. The beginning of the word ‘seriously’. It looked like “Ser” in a beautiful script. It was his word. It was her.
“W-wait!” The young woman froze. He could see her shoulders hunch. She had to know. Right? It can’t be one-sided can it? He walked over to her and faced her. Her eyes were wide, she HAD to know. He refused to believe that she didn’t. Those brown eyes looked up and the feeling he felt, it intensified. He wanted to reach out and hold her, to kiss her, to know her. Why would she walk away without even trying?
“I can’t do this.” She said. Her eyes shifted away and he wanted to look into them forever.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I’m talking about.” Her voice was a whisper. He knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Can we at least talk about this?”
She shook her head. “There’s nothing to talk about.” What should he do? Get on his knees and beg? Just when he thought he would never find her, she shows up. In the grocery store. On the yearly anniversary of when his girlfriend told him she found her soul mate and couldn’t continue their relationship. The poetry and irony of the situation was not lost on him.
“That’s not true and you know it.” He gambled and lifted her chin to look at him. He could feel the fear radiating from her. “We’re not required to get married right away. We don’t have to do anything now.” He released her. “I just want to talk.”
She released a heavy breath. Please think about it. He begged silently. He just wanted to talk.
“Fine.”
He almost broke out into a large grin, he wanted too but he didn’t want to freak her out anymore than she already was.
“Thank you.
He waited for her patiently outside once he purchased his items. His insides were buzzing with anticipation. He didn’t quite know what he was feeling, but he was sure that it wasn’t they had to love each other right away, they still had to get to know each other. He felt something though.
“Oh, you waited.”
He pushed off of the bike rack and walked towards her. “Yeah, I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
“Well… can I see it?”
“Huh?” She arched an eyebrow. “Oh! Yeah.” He pulled up his sleeve and showed her the script on his forearm.
“Wow. How many times have you heard that?”
He laughed and pulled down the sleeve. He shook his head trying to think the amount but there was no way. “Too many to even count.”
She nodded.
“I’m Michael by the way.”
“Theo. Well Theodora but Theo.”
Interesting name. Must be a family one. He nodded and then the awkward silence set in. He wasn’t much of talker on the best of the days so this was torture. She seemed to be much more of a social butterfly but he could see the awkwardness in her as well. He wanted to ask her if she wanted to go someplace where they could talk, but…at the same time, it was so weird. It’s just like meeting her and asking her out. Get it together. Right. He could do that. So he took a deep breath.
“So, about this whole soul mark thing-“
“I have a boyfriend.”
Oh.

Runaway

“Do you trust me?”
Jade looked back to this boy, his golden brown eyes sparkled with excitement but she wasn’t sure if she could, should trust that look. He stood on the ledge of his “window”, she wanted to look and see how high up they were, was he going to make her jump? The footsteps were getting louder and the boy looked insistent. With a deep breath, Jade grabbed his hand, he hauled her up to the ledge, his other arm around her waist to steady her.
“What about Fox?”
Alijah glanced at his dog, whose eyes were on them before barking and taking off down the stairs.
“He’ll find me. Always does.” They slipped out of the window just as the guards burst into the room. The big men always ransacked his place, looking for something that was never there, something to get him into trouble as usual. Everything he had, were things people threw away or didn’t miss. It was never enough for them but enough for Alijah.
Jade held tightly to his hand, it was warm, firm and steady. He knew what he was doing as he led her across the thin ledges of the old buildings. Alijah grabbed a hanging piece of fabric and tugged on it.
“Will that hold?” He shrugged. “You’re not sure?”
He turned to her with a grin but Jade was not impressed. Alijah’s grin never faltered.
“It’s better than making a jump for it right?” His fingers grabbed tight onto the fabric and he pushed himself off the ledge, his feet keeping him steady against the side of the building. “Come on, I’m right below you. Try not to fall.”
Jade watched Alijah make his way down the fabric. It wasn’t long enough. It didn’t touch the ground and she’d never done anything like this before. It was ludicrous… but he was doing it without problem. You wanted to be here. So be here. With a deep breath, the young princess followed suit. Her stomach dropped to her toes feeling her body fall from the ledge but she held tight to the fabric.
“Hold on tightly.” His voice said from below. “Don’t look down.”
“Stop talking!” She hissed. She heard light laughter reach her ears and for a second it sounded like the best thing in the world but she had to focus. Focus Jade! She felt hands against her legs.
“Let go, I have you.”
With a shiver of hesitation, Jade released the fabric and while Alijah did have her, his footing caused them to stumble backwards. Jade dug her feet into the dirt hoping to prevent the fall, but with Alijah tumbling backwards and his grip against her, they couldn’t stop. They hit the hard ground hard, Alijah released a pained grunt.
“I thought you said you had me.”
“I did have you, I just didn’t have myself.”
They sat up, Jade turned to face him, catching the light from the sun as it descended behind the buildings. It shone across his face, Jade couldn’t help but to blink owlishly at him. The sun browned his skin more, caused his eyes to flicker from golden brown to a deep golden green. It shocked her. Who was this boy? She could see his freckles. Where did he come from? She had to know.
“Can you stand?” She nodded, still a bit dumbfounded but allowed him to pull her to his feet. “They will have to go all the way around to get back here, by then we’ll be long gone.”
Alijah glanced at her for a moment, her hood had fallen in the escape, she didn’t seem to notice. She was beautiful and he stared. Her deep brown eyes watched him. They watched each other. Silence hung in the air before he reached up, her eyes hardened at the motion, but he pulled her hood forward to cover her face again before turning to lead the way.
They walked as the sun completely disappeared, washing the back alleys of the kingdom in long shadows. Alijah felt Jade grab his hand, he grinned and squeezed it. Today wasn’t such a bad day after all. They walked in silence, but the kingdom was abuzz with the sounds of night. Songs from crickets, laughter coming from children on the streets, sounds coming from candle lit windows… it was different from the quiet sounds of the palace.
Alijah paused in front of a building, he glanced around, and knocked. Jade stood quietly next to him, wanting to know where they were but she chewed her lip instead. She was naturally curious, now that she was out of the palace, her curiosity grew and it was killing her not asking but obviously he had his secrets.
“Where are we?” she whispered. She couldn’t help herself. He didn’t answer. Candle light flooded the side street as the door opened. A woman with long dark hair that fell in waves down her back stood before them, her grey eyes shifted between the two before a smile appeared on her face.
“Hey there handsome,” her eyes shifted to Jade, suspicion crossed her features.
“We need a place to hide for the night Maria. Can we stay here?”
The woman’s eyes never shifted from the young girl, who narrowed her eyes in return. Jade was never one to back away from a fight, especially one as brazen as this. Maria’s eyes glanced down to see Alijah’s hand entwined with this mysterious hooded figure but she moved aside to allow them in. Alijah pulled Jade in with him before releasing her hand and putting an arm around her waist. She tried to keep her reaction subdued but it hardly mattered, the surprise at his movements was quickly masked by what she saw.
There were scantily clad women in various areas of the room. The building was two stories, obvious by the stairs near the back. There were women in rooms covered by beautifully colored curtains, women dancing about, perfumes filled the air, it was warm and Jade’s eyes widened. Alijah paid no attention to the surroundings. He followed the woman in the impressive purple dress in front of them. However, the tightness of his arm around her waist showed her he was in fact paying attention.
“This is where I can put you for the night,” She led them into a room on the top floor near the back.
“Maria is this your bedroom?” Alijah asked finally releasing Jade’s waist. Jade’s stuttering heart began to slow to a normal pace. Maria turned towards the two, her hair whipping around.
“Just… stay quiet and do not touch anything.” Her eyes flickered to Alijah before turning back to the girl. She then swept out of the room.
“This a brothel.” Jade’s voice shook with surprise. Alijah pushed the curtains back against the windows, checking for the guards.
“Mhmm.”
This is a brothel. I had no idea we had these in the kingdom.” He released the curtains and turned to her. She spoke so strangely. Where does she come from? She willingly pulled her hood from her head, her hair all but released from the bow she used to try and contain it. Seeing the dark thick curls, Alijah had to turn away. Something about her was familiar but he could not put his finger on it. She didn’t belong here, the smoothness of her hands, the way her hair curled, the way she spoke and carried herself. This world wasn’t for her, it may suit her though.
“Yeah. I think you’re pretty naive to this whole thing.” He pushed away from the window.
“Obviously. But why are we here?” She carefully sat on the edge of the bed, mindful to not touch anything. Alijah tried no to laugh at her rigid movements.
“Maria looks out for me. When I was younger, some older boys beat me up for stealing from them-” She arched an eyebrow and he rolled his eyes “-it was a toy for Fox. But they didn’t like it so they beat me up. So Maria on her way back here, found me and fixed me back up. Simple.”
Just on cue, the door opened and Fox trotted into the room. Maria shook her head before closing the door once more. Alijah greeted his dog, Jade smiled but it faded at the uninterested look Fox gave her before jumping onto the bed and curling up.
“I don’t think he likes me.” Alijah shrugged and sat on the floor against the wall. He pulled his hair from his tie, it fell against his shoulders and Jade’s breath caught. There was something so sincere and genuine about this boy. Why couldn’t the suitors her parents wanted her to meet be like him?
“Fox is hard to please. It’s been just us for so long. We’ve never had to take care of anyone else.”
“You’re not taking care of me.”
“If you say so.”
He ran a hand through his dark brown hair and smiled at her. He was comfortable with her, but the nagging in the pit of stomach told him he would never see her again.

Okay, I feel like this one isn’t that good but I had an idea for my Aladdin thing and I went with it. But this is probably the last Aladdin piece I’m going to write since this is about to become an actual story.
By the way: I pictured Alijah to be Anthony Ramos (with the longer hair). Freckled face cutie.

tumblr_o2a45enbe61v0kf3lo1_400

Princess Jade is harder to find someone to represent her. But her hair is very much like this in terms of length and texture.

2015 Summer TCA Tour

On the Come Up!

Oh snap I’ve reached 30 followers today!
It’s so exciting and it makes me feel so awesome. I also have 917 views in total, so close to 1,000.
I appreciate everyone who follows my blog, I appreciate everyone who has read it enough to even want to follow it to get updates from me. I’m glad I am able to be a part of your day.
I am very grateful! I could put here that if you have any questions for me, my writing process, any ideas I have etc that you can ask them in the comments below. I would love to hear feedback from what you’ve read, whether it’s my movie reviews, book reviews, creative writing pieces… any of it I would be happy to answer anything. If you want to ask.
I was nominated for that “newcomer” blog award some months ago, but I didn’t know what to do with it so I never officially accepted it I guess.
But anyway, here is a quick list of some of the more popular posts I have posted.
Creative Writing:
Do You Trust Me?
She Was Perfection
Cold Shoulder
The Golden Hourglass
This Dream Is False
His Angel’s Song
Movie Reviews:
Kubo and the Two Strings Review
Zootopia Review
Finding Dory Review
X-men: Apocalypse Movie Review
Captain America: Civil War Movie Review
The Fantastic Four Movie Review
Book Reviews:
Forged by Fire Review
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Tv Shows/Characters:
Characters who should NOT be together
Characters that SHOULD Be Together
Diminished Characters Bonus: Ahkmenrah
Diminished Characters III: Bonnie Bennett
Please check out any post, feel free to leave comments, likes, and share because I love sharing my thoughts and creativity.
Again thanks so much to everyone who reads and who has followed!
~Alyx (Speak Now Storyteller)

 

 

The Muffled Silence

(another part from what will become an “Aladdin” story).

She swung the double doors open of her father’s study, she flung the royal purple curtains away from the opening revealing herself to her father, who sat at his desk, his quill still moving furiously across the parchment. His dark eyes glanced up for a moment before turning back to his work. Jade frowned before swiftly walking over to his desk.
“Yes Jade?”
“I need to speak with you.” He nodded his head indicating he wanted her to continue. She blew out a sharp breath. “Father I-“
“I’m glad you’ve returned to us unharmed my dear.” It was the lilting voice of her mother, she swept into room like she was floating on air. She stood next to Jade’s father, her hand resting on her father’s shoulder. He paused in his writings to squeeze her hand.
Jade watched them both. Part of her still fuming over what transpired a mere hours ago and the other part falling in love with her parents’ love.
“-as I was saying,” her mother gave her a sharp look, causing Jade to glance away for a moment “I, uh-“
“Do not stutter dear.” Her mother interrupted again. Jade squeezed her hands into fists trying to reign in her anger. They both acted so unassuming or indifferent at times and she wondered why. They were royalty, they were the king and queen, they were her parents, they should be interested in what she had to say. They are, you’re just being a baby. No I’m not.
“There was a boy in the market, he saved me and cared for me while I was there. Just this morning, we left our shelter and the guards swooped in like a swarm of black bats and they arrested him! They had no right!”
Her father tilted his head to the side, his eyes focusing on his daughter, it made her want to squirm but she didn’t move. Her mother didn’t react.
“Dearest, Nazar handles the arrests-“
“Exactly! They said he was the reason why they wouldn’t release him when I demanded it.”
“You need to speak with him. If their orders came from Nazar, perhaps he can shine better light on the situation. I know nothing of this boy you speak of. He may be a well known thief if Nazar has the guards actively searching for him.”
“But he did nothing wrong. He helped me!”
Her mother moved from behind the desk and came to Jade’s side. She took her hands in hers, the look in her face allowing Jade to know her mother was on her side. Neither woman liked Nazar but he was the king’s best friend. They grew up together in the palace. Her father a noble prince and Nazar, the son of the king’s royal advisor. Her father trusted Nazar more than he probably should. He allowed him to handle issues he may not be able to get to himself, such as petty thieves on the streets and the poor.
“Chinelo.” Her mother’s firm voice said. The king frowned, he pushed away from the desk and stood, his tall frame moved gracefully towards the women he loved the most.
“Jade. Just, speak with Nazar. You’ll find he has reasons for the things he does.”
She knew this wasn’t going to be a conversation that would end in her favor. With an annoyed but resigned sigh, the young princess pushed her curls from her face before giving a quick nod. She pulled herself from her parents hands and slowly moved towards the door. Fine. He wanted her to speak with Nazar, then she would. She would get the answers she wanted.
It didn’t take her long to find him. He seemed to just appear in the large ballroom. Jade always wanted to know where he went, he must have secret passages but she could never find them, nor could she ever catch him escaping or entering one. One of these days.
“Nazar.” Her voice echoed in the large room, his dark eyebrows lifted as he approached the young princess. Jade met him in the middle of the room, her jade skirts moving quickly against her legs.
“Ah princess, how may I be of serv-“
“The guards took a boy from the market this morning, they said they were ordered by you to imprison him.”
Nazar’s face gave away nothing and it infuriated her. He was tall, with long limbs, his eyes were cut sharp, with intense dark eyes, his skin was not as dark as her father’s, unlike her father he wasn’t bald. He always wore dark colors, today it seemed a dark purple was his choice. The bird on his shoulder squawked loudly at the girl, causing Jade to startle just a bit, but she only scowled back. The bird was horrid but it didn’t frighten her. At least, not all the time.
“Ah yes, the street rat. They were operating on my orders, the boy is a criminal.”
“What was his crime?”
“Why, thievery, kidnapping, disorderly conduct, disturbing of the peace. The list goes on majesty.”
“Kidnapping? He never kidnapped me, I ran away.”
Nazar raised his eyebrows in surprise. Feigned surprise. The princess before him held a haughty and irritated expression and he couldn’t help but to inwardly smirk. The brat truly worried about his prisoner. The boy was of use to him, he was of no use to the princess. He touched his hand to his cheek, scratching at his dark beard, shaking his head.
“Oh dear. I wish I had known that before.”
“What have you done?”
The bird on his shoulder bristled at her tone, but with a gentle touch to its chest from Nazar, it calmed. Jade noticed the reaction and frowned. That bird… so strange.
“The boy has been sentenced. His death was only an hour ago.” His tone was indifferent but his expression help sorrow for the princess. Jade crumpled. No. He can’t be… 
“W-what?” Tears begin to well in her eyes, she tried to hold them to not cry before this man but it was painful. That boy, she didn’t even learn his name, but he was kind, handsome and she liked being in his presence. He was full of life. Life she wanted. She stumbled away from him.
“Princess-” He reached out for her but she slapped his hand away from her.
“Do not touch me, you-you monster! He was just a boy!” She turned away so fast, that she was worried she might fall. But she was a princess, she would never fall in front of watchful eyes. Nazar watched her run from the room, her jade skirts swishing behind her, her long dark curls bouncing behind her. Her muffled sobs faded into silence. The bird squawked. Nazar nodded.
“Yes my dear. The princess’s attention has been diverted. She will mourn the boy, but it matters not. He is of use to us and she will never see him again.”

Alijah sat, his back against the dank stone walls of the royal dungeon. Manacles were attached to each wrist, both manacle attached to lengths of chain that barely gave him enough room to move them.
The princess. He was so angry with himself for not knowing. But how could I have possibly known? No one has ever seen the princess’ face. Anytime the royal family paraded through the town, Queen Kamaria and Princess Jade’s faces were always covered. Hot sun.
“Idiot.” He mumbled to himself. Alijah rubbed his wrist, wanting to scratch the itch he couldn’t reach. She probably thought he sounded stupid, all of his stories, his tricks of surviving the street, he thumped his head back against the wall, wincing only slightly at the pain. Then she had to see him be friendly with Maria and her brothel. He could die right now and not even be bitter about it.
It didn’t matter anymore. They arrested him without telling him what he did. At least that time. He was sure it was something about the melons but they never said and they weren’t even in the marketplace when he stole the melons, or the apples. It was impossible for them to have known.
“Street rat-” He perked up hearing the scraping of the prison door. It was too dark to see who entered but from the dark mass and the gravelly voice, it was the head guard. Kondo.
“The princess, is she alright? Did she make it back home safely?” Deep laughter sounded and Alijah frowned. What was amusing? It was a serious question. “It’s a serious question.”
“The princess is no longer your concern ingrate. You will never have to worry your criminal head again.”
What? Alijah frowned at those words. Was that a threat? His brown eyes narrowed at the man as he came into the moonlight streaming into the iron bars. It’d been a long day, he’d been down there since morning and he was tired. This was no time for games.
What do you mean?”
Kondo stood down before Alijah, just enough out of reach that if the boy attacked, the chains would prevent him from touching.
“Midnight tonight, you will receive your punishment. All these years of stealing-“
“It’s only been food. To live, to feed my dog. I’ve never stolen anything important. Just food and trinkets people will never miss.” Those people didn’t care about their wooden carved camels, their broken beaded necklaces, or old worn shoes and their small balls he gave to Fox for enjoyment. Kondo grabbed the front of Alijah’s shirt, yanking him forward, fear flickered through the boy’s brown eyes but he refused to give him the satisfaction.
Kondo continued like he was never interrupted. “-lying and running from us is going to end. That stupid mutt will be without it’s master. You’ve been allowed to avoid this for far too long. That ends tonight.”
He flung the boy away from him, Alijah colliding with the stone wall. He stood a bit too gracefully for such a large man and he swept out of the dungeon. Alijah breath caught in his throat. This wasn’t his first time being caught by the guards, it wasn’t his first time spending time down here, it wasn’t the first time he’d been threatened with death or roughed up a bit but this was the first time that threat was eminent. What was he going to do? The silence around him seemed crushing and it took everything in him not to break.