Story: Around the Corner

I contemplated. Then I thought, it might be alright to put up some stories I created years back. This story that follows comes from 7 years ago. I have decided to make major edits to my original writing – it’s still a little long, I’m sorry. I’m putting this up solely for fun. Please share with me your thoughts, I’ll be happy to learn and improve along the way! Thank you!
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Around the Corner (2012)

I made my way down the roads, deep in thoughts. I paused briefly, unknowingly, as I approached the corner. I turned. A squeal of grinding brakes and tortured metal pierced through the evening traffic.

A fault of fate?

Each time I made a turn, I would see her. I never knew her name, although we met often enough to have asked. Some considered her a cold, detached creature, though I had never understood such sentiments. She had once too often stared so deeply into my eyes it felt as if my heart was torn wide open as she scrutinised every stream of emotion that flowed through my blood. At times I wished I would never see her again. Other times, this strange urge drew me closer and I wished endlessly to catch a glimpse of her. What was this unfathomable feeling?

I steered blindly around the corner, humming to the tune of a new song. Seemingly unaware, I bumped into someone – it was her. Though lethargic, her eyes, looking like wet black jewels, sparkled in disapproval of my inattention. I muttered a word of inaudible apology and shuffled to move away, but was stopped when a cold and unsteady hand clutched my arm. A tingle ran through my spine – that of familiarity, connection and passion. She looked at me, slightly embarrassed, and her usual stern demeanour that had caused much discomfort in others melted into a weary smile of gratitude. A ghost of fear lingered on her face as I pulled away. I nodded slightly and we parted ways. That was the first time I met her.
Maybe she knew.

Speeding off on another evening, I scurried along with files in one hand and paintings in another. I made a mental note and as I turned the corner, an avalanche of documents hit the ground. Quietly cursing, I bent over to pick up the mess I’d created. My eyes traced the sleek beautiful fingers arranging my files to a face with classic high cheekbones – it was her. I stood to thank her, but she dismissed my speech with a smile so mysteriously sad and charming I could hardly breathe. I watched as she turned to leave. We met again, yet still never spoke.
She must have known.

A jagged bolt of lightning splintered the sky into dazzling brilliance on a chilly Monday morning. Around the corner I spotted a drenched figure in the binding sheet of rain – it was her. A great opportunity only comes once, and you have to get it right. Almost instinctively, I hurried to her side and pushed an umbrella into her hands. She wiped the raindrops off her furrowed brows and looked around nervously as if someone was watching her. I rushed away. We remained as strangers who have never spoken despite the many times we have met.
I never got it right. But, she probably knows it. 

For the following days, weeks, or even months, I saw her around the corner, and gathered more about her unsociable and paranoid character. It didn’t bother me at all and I was secretly happy to see her. It had elevated from a typical routine to that of an addiction as I watched her from a distance, the journey to work and back home. Laughter, tears and frustrations were all within observation and I grew to understand her insecurities or preferences. Each day seemed to prove that we have known each other for a lifetime. She pre-empted my every move just as I predicted her every decision. Yet she showed no fear in my ubiquity – instead, an unexpected acknowledgement of my presence.
She doesn’t know.

Something was different this very morning as I came by after the phone-call. Her eyes glowed with an urge to speak. But a strange feeling rose within me and I berated myself for my recent uncanny behaviour. I left in feigned oblivion, leaving her with words suppressed. That evening, as I made my way on my usual route, I paused. Maybe my walking away from this would bring it to an end. I turned to leave. A sharp unforgiving crash rang through the neighbourhood behind me…
She couldn’t have known.

I felt sick as I heard of the cliché, typical, unsurprising news of a reckless driver. Foul-play – a pre-mediated murder – suspected, but lacking in proof. A grieving husband’s face appeared on the television, or maybe not so bereaved? Knots formed in my stomach and waves of unease swept up my nose. My heart hammered in my chest as I turned the corner. Curious burning tears torched my face. I stood, staring into emptiness.
She never knew.

I never saw her again. I derided the unspeakable guilt that lived, and grew in me. Would it not have happened if I had not agreed? Had she known that our meetings were planned in detail? How could I have, within an hour, fallen for someone so captivating, that I had chosen to betray my professionalism and condoned my senses to run awry? Would it have been different if I had told her or stopped to listen? Her voice might have been a warm, timeless melody, light as a peal of bells on a snowy Christmas. But how did it matter now? Her voice – I could no longer guess or tell.

Years have passed. People have forgotten. Her face remained unchanged, etched in memories. No-one knew how a rendezvous with this familiar stranger had killed a part of me the day she stopped appearing. I steered towards the corner again, this time, seeing a face ever so familiar. His face, so insincere, spewed with hypocrisy and deceit. I spat – after all the excuses, how could he have the cheek to smile as he stood with his arms wrapped around an impudent, promiscuous, cattish woman deprived of any style, at the very spot where she was when it all happened? Was it a coincidence or had he found someone else to finish the job after calling me to drop the case? Had he known of my intentional avoidance to strike on the stormy Monday morning? Did he discover in rage, that I had become more than the passing stranger with an assignment?

Target identified. The engines revved as I put my foot on the pedal.

Scenes of the past unreeled before my eyes, He handed over the money for the job and a photo of a stunningly poised lady, an undeniable sophistication set in her tapered chin and shining gentle eyes. I smiled, recalling his dry sardonic mockery that would now seal his fate – Who could tell what awaited them around the mysterious corners of life?

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3 thoughts on “Story: Around the Corner

  1. Pingback: Story: Around the Corner – sub-episode | rustic recluse

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