|||||Emilie Autumn - By The Sword||]|
Title: Beside You In Time 7/7
Author: Robby a.k.a Mr. Naked
Rating: NC 17
Disclaimer: Never happened.
Beta: flowers and candy goes to hannelore_k
Author's Notes : This story is based on an idea suggested by akasha6. Also, it has been inspired by Richard's recent interviews, but it doesn't follow strictly the facts as told by him.
We will never die
Beside you in time
“What's wrong, Richard?”
I didn't answer, just listened to the traces of the echo of his voice. His voice traveling half a continent and an ocean too.
“There's nothing wrong,” I muttered through my clenched teeth.
No, I wouldn't allow this to hurt. I wouldn't...
“I know you,” he replied.
“I'm alright,” I said, trying to hide my irritation.
And, after all, what could I have told him, or anyone as a matter of fact?
“Are you sure?”
I followed the little information he had given me. The number where he said he lived didn’t even exist. What the hell? I thought as I passed by the front of that place.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
And the people I asked were dead sure. I added my question about that number on my street to the set of questions to this woman doing all that research for me.
“Yes, I'm alright, don't worry!” I replied trying to sound as “alright” as possible.
For a few days I didn't do anything, I just watched. I watched the dawns over my street, fighting my tiredness with coffee from the mug I was holding in my hand as I stood motionless in front of my window. I watched the day passing in front of my eyes, life developing on the street – people coming, going, cars passing by, cars leaving, cars parking. I watched how the dusk was laying silently over the asphalt body of the street, and, just as quietly, one by one, lights were switched on. Then, the darkness of the night chased away the people from the street, the lights in their windows – it was just me, still standing there, in front of my window, unmoving, waiting and waiting. But no sign of him.
I checked a few times at that coffee shop too. No sign of him there either. Of course.
If anything, I just wanted to understand.
Then, slowly, bit by bit, I cut off from the time wasted waiting, hoping to catch a glimpse of him, and I started to work again. Soon I had to go back to Europe, so I didn't have much time left for my project.
“I really hope so,” he concluded, his voice bringing me back to reality. “OK, then, will see you soon.”
He was getting ready to end the conversation, and I hated that. I would have liked to still hear him. His voice, any voice actually, would have chased away this feeling that I was having, of an open wound in my chest. This feeling that I was losing my mind slowly, with each passing day.
Such things don't happen, you know, to be with someone and he just fades into thin air. No, when someone disappears on you, first you have a fight with them, and then they don’t return your calls, you yell at one another, you shout and cry, you throw fits, you curse, you do your best to hurt each other, you...
I put the receiver in its cradle, and remained standing.
I was feeling like I was embraced, slowly, from behind by this creature with arms of ice, someone that was longing desperately for my body-heat.
“Please forgive me,” I was whispering like a prayer, before I went to sleep. I was wishing to see him at least in my dreams.
I didn't move, I allowed myself to be embraced by this coldness. It was summer, this heat wave had hit our coast. Yet, at that moment I was freezing, feeling my fingers almost aching with cold.
I was looking at the big, brown paper envelope lying on the table between our coffee cups. I was dying to take a peek, to see what was in it. But no, I had to refrain; I had to play the polite one, to make small talk, to say a few words about my trip to Europe, from which I had returned just a few days before.
“There are some interesting facts about the place,” she said putting her coffee cup on the little plate. She meant the house. “Also, there used to be that number that you asked me about, too, but there's been some rebuilding done, so they changed a bit.”
She pushed the envelope toward me.
I picked it up, not sure what I wanted to do with it, whether to wait until I got back home or to open it in front of her. I looked at her and she smiled at me.
I threw a faint smile back and opened the envelope. She had another sip from her coffee. I looked at the papers, most of them copies of old documents related to the house.
“Initially it was a fire department there,” she told me, as I was reading across some of the copies.
My heart froze inside me. I raised my glance toward her.
“Just as you told me back then,” she added, smiling.
“Watch out!” She pointed at the documents in my hand, as some of them were slipping to the ground.
I rushed to collect them, and placed them on the table. I pushed aside the ashtray and my coffee cup, but I stopped in mid-motion. In that small pile of papers, I spotted something. I pulled that piece of paper out. A copy of an old journal article, with a picture. The title spoke about three firemen who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
I looked at my hand placed on the paper. My fingers were shaking slightly. It felt as if this spear was crossing through my heart. I realized I was barely breathing. The article was about this huge fire that claimed some lives, including these three young guys that worked in the fire depot that used to be in the building I was living in now.
I didn't read it, I only threw my eyes over it, picking one word here, a sentence there, as if I already knew what was it about.
Then, finally, I looked at the picture. I looked at each of the three young men, so vibrant with life in their strong bodies, so much self-confidence in their attitudes. They were heroes, they were invincible, fighting the demons of fire.
Yes, it was him! Or at least one of the guys in that picture looked like him. With that start of a smile in the corner of his lips. I assumed he had dark colored eyes, since the picture was black and white.
I heard her laughing shortly. I threw only a furtive glance at her, then looked back at the picture. It was him! It had to be him! So young, so alive... If he would have survived that fire, he would have been dead, already, like my great-grandparents.
“You’ve noticed, haven't you?” she asked, smiling.
“What?” I muttered, choked, staring at the picture.
I clenched my fist to refrain from my impulse of reaching out to caress the image of him on the paper.
Around us, commotion, people having their lunches in this popular place in New York. My city. My home.
“This guy,” she replied, amused, and the tip of her finger covered the face on the paper of “my” guy.
I frowned. Her finger moved.
“At first I thought it was because of the quality of the picture,” she explained.
I knew so well that image, his face, that I used to caress. The coldness of his skin. The way he snuggled up into me, his body begging for the warmth of a living human.
“Maybe I'm imagining things,” she continued. “But he really looks like you. What do you think? I really think he looks so much like you.”
I used to run my fingers through his black hair. I used to kiss along that neck; those hands of his used to hold me, to touch me. Where was all that now?
I reached out my hand, placing my fingers, casually, over the picture.
I looked at her and I smiled.
“Yeah, he resembles me a bit, I guess... Weird, eh?” I laughed shortly to hide my nervousness.
My fingers were moving slowly over the image of him in a gentle caress. In my mind, away from all that, a thought still whispering for forgiveness. Asking for another chance.
~ The End ~