A companion piece to "You are the Fog" by Slipthrucracks. Settle in for a new perspective and a new reason to cry.


He is the Fog

Once upon a time there was a fairy world where all was bright and happy. The mythical people frolicked beneath a sky that was not ruined by pollution, danced beneath a sun that did not slowly kill them, and wandered beneath streetlights that never shone in their eyes as they tried to sleep.

Damn.

I said it was a fairy world, remember?

Fairies aren't real, no matter how many times you close your eyes and clap your hands. No, I think the story went a little more like this...

Once there was girl. No, two girls. They grew up together, laughing and sharing secrets, loving and having their hearts broken. One of them fell in love when she was thirteen to a errant and wayward young man, a friend of her family. Maybe it was because families these days never talk, or maybe it was just because the girl was a small, quiet thing, but whatever the reason, her family did not know of her love until she was 17. Her name was Liana, and her friend's was named Kelly.

My name was Kelly. IS Kelly.

Sometimes, when the mountain grows cold, I wish that I had said something that night...but I get ahead of myself.

I too found love, or the teen's equivalent, a guitar-playing god with sleepy eyes. He was my protector, my anchor that kept my feet on the ground while I tried to sort out my crazy life. I don't care how "emo" that sounds.

There were hundreds of double dates with my best friend Liana, and I'm sorry to say that we weren't always careful. On days when the fog over Afton Mountain was thick and deadly, we'd drive up there for the exhilirating experience of losing oneself. With my boyfriend at the wheel and Liana and Max in the backseat I'd solemnly roll down my window, throwing my head out into the icy fog and reaching my hands outwards to the unknown valley below, watching my wrists disappear into the mist that pulled us from reality. That mist.

We used to love that mist.

But things change.

It was one of those cold, rainy nights where usually I went to your house to watch movies and eat popcorn, [or whatever else 19 year olds are apt to do] but for some reason you wanted to take me out to eat. "I haven't taken you out on a real, live date in so long!" You laughed, kissing the tip of my nose.

"A real, live date?" I asked, playing with a strand of your wavy hair.

"A living date, the kind where people live."

"That's my favorite kind."

We drove around in the rain, debating on the best place to eat. You insisted that you wanted to eat wherever I wanted to eat, but I wanted to eat wherever YOU wanted to eat. In the end, we somehow ended up outside the local hangout, exactly where I knew we'd end up. You started to unbuckle the seatbelt and open the door, but I pulled you back and looked into your eyes for a moment, completely serious.

"What's wrong?" you asked, quietly regarding me.

"I guess I'm a little afraid."

"Why?"

I shrugged, leaning my head against your broad chest.

"You don't have to be afraid, I'll protect you from the rain." Your eyes smile, but your face remains impassive.

"Mm, thanks."

"You know I love you, right?"

"That's one thing I do know."

The only bad thing about love and peace is that they never last forever.

Under the soft glow of the restaurant's light I noticed Liana and her boyfriend, Max, sitting across the way. You noticed them too, and began to call out to Max. You two had always been like brothers. You waved your hand about in the air, gesturing crazily and pulling faces, trying to get his attention, but I stopped you. I don't know why I did. I think it's because that Liana and Max, sitting there with their heads together, they just...looked so unafraid. They were in love and nothing else mattered.

Maybe if I hadn't pulled your hand down, maybe if I could have delayed them a couple of seconds then...no, I don't like to think about the "Maybe's."

But I was there for everything. I saw Liana's mom walk in, her maternal radar honing in on the one thing that she had managed to overlook for so many years. I saw the epic battle that only lasted two minutes. I heard every biting word as though it was I getting yelled at.

"Ever since you were 13 I've told you to stay away from him! He's nothing but trouble!"

"No, he's different from what you think. He's good to me."

"He's nothing but an unreliable druggie! How long as this been going on?!"

"Mother, please, people are staring."

"I don't care! I won't have you associating with him!"

"You know what? I turn 18 in a few weeks and you won't be able to direct my life AT ALL."

"Yeah, well, until then, you are GROUNDED!"

"Ha, I'd love to see you try THAT."

"Come on, we need to get out of here..."

"No! You two are NOT allowed to leave together!"

''Please, you have no power over your daughter."

"Baby don't get into this..."

"So, how long has this been going on, anyhow? Long enough for you to call him BABY? You've probably slept together, haven't you?!"

"I would NEVER disrespect her like that and you know it."

"Okay, you were right, this is getting out of hand. Let's just leave."

Then they were gone.

You and I stared at each other, mouths agape. We saw Liana's mother turn with a look of frustration on her face. Though I tried to look away I was paralyzed as she stalked over, eyes ablaze.

"Did you know that they were going out?"

I shrugged non-committally, toying with the saltshaker. You slowly tapped your fingers on the formica, holding your breath. She wasn't going to get anything out of us, and apparently she knew it because a moment later she left.

I never betrayed them. I promise I never betrayed them.

We sat there in a deep silence, oblivious to the steady drone of accents mingling beneath a warm cloud of happiness. I held your hand and buried my face in your sweet smelling neck. Your arms were strong around my waist, and your voice was steady as you whispered comforting words in my ear. You told me that it was ok to cry, and so I did. I looked up at you, and said two words: "Let's go."

Liana doesn't remember much about that night. I do.

Sometimes I wish I didn't.

I do remember us slipping into your car and inevitably driving towards Afton Mountain, the rain pounding steadily, matching the rough tattoo my heart beat against my ribs and us driving with utter concentration towards something, we weren't quite sure of, and the thick fog rolling in around us, though this time it was comforting but scary, a heavy veil that that settled in my throat and fell over my eyes, and as we crest the hill I notice flashing lights, but then I'm out of the car and Liana's thrown against the windshield, bleeding from her forehead and Max is on the ground in front of the car and he isn't moving, but a slow steady moan is issuing from his cracked lips and my boyfriend is on his knees, his hands desperately searching for a pulse and I'm in the mangled front seat, helping you sit up and you wont open your eyes and you keep on mouthing one word over and over, but it's drowned out by the heavy radio and the sirens in the background.

I think the word was Max. That's what I remember.

The day of his funeral was cold and rainy, as though the world was mourning. That night you, I, and Liana drove up to one of the scenic points of the Afton Mountains. The stars were blotted out by the thick fog, but this time it was warm and comforting once more. You sat on the cold metal bench, idly strumming your guitar and staring out as though you could see something forming. Liana sat with her head against my shoulder, her eyes closed. Suddenly you stopped playing and cocked your head to one side.

"Shh...do you hear that?"

"Do I hear what?" I asked, straining my ears. There was something there, something soft and unexpected on the wind like a voice, or faint music.

"I wonder what it is?"

Liana, who I thought had been asleep, opened her eyes and smiled at us.

"It's him...he's the fog."




Short story by Inked.
Read 1680 times
Written on 2005-08-11 at 03:50

Tags Love 

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text


SlipThruCracks
You know I love this.

So emo. But so much love.

<3
2005-08-11


chasingtheday The PoetBay support member heart!
a good piece, nicely written, though i have just woke up here your story kept me here. i kept thinking of james herbert and stephen king with their stories the fog, which was a little distracting.
2005-08-11