9 comments

May 27, 2021

Fiction Mystery

Author’s Note

 

Read at your risk. :) This story has been dedicated to Daniel Hayes because I said he inspired me, and I’d dedicate one to him XD. I think there were so many things wrong with it, though. Also, I wrote this in a single sitting, except for a few breaks in-between. On second thoughts, do give it a read. It’s a unique story that holds so many things in it. By the way, I’m on a streak, lol! 3 in a row, twice.

 

Okay, bye!

 

Copyright © 2021 by Fallow. All rights reserved.

 

***

 

I do,” you confirm, smiling at the frail yet charismatic young man in front of you.

 

***

 

In the ending

 

You had been here for the usual two-hour talk, listening to his complaints of having his younger sister knocking on the door every time he sleeps. You know it’s not true, but you listen still. You are supposed to be sad, or as the person you are, you feel sad but don’t show it. Instead, you keep a neutral face, sometimes creasing it to show you feel the anger he feels for his sister’s constant play of hide-and-seek knocks.

 

“Where are you off to?” asks Declan in a wobbly voice as he watches you pick up your purse from his bedside table, placing it on your arm. His eyebrows furrow as you look at him strangely. When did he begin asking that? You smile, sweetly, because you know it tends to keep people happy, especially him. He loves smiling and smiley faces, even if his sister didn’t smile.

 

“Home, like always,” you respond matter-of-factly, raising your hand to wave as you walk towards the door. He squirms, climbing down the swing chair, then moves forward, his hands shaking, “Don’t leave me, you promised.”

 

Did I promise? I never make promises, much less one to stay with him. “Declan, I don’t understand what you’re saying. My session with you is over for today. You know I can’t stay—”

 

“But you promised,” his voice comes out persistently in a whisper, cutting you off. You notice his lips are trembling, his eyes red, and his forehead wet with sweat. The last time you had seen him like this was when he told you about his life story.

 

You wonder what is wrong as you stare at your patient, a mentally ill young adult. “Declan, I’d be here—”

 

He knows what your response is because it’s not the first time he hears such, “Be here now, not tomorrow, not next week, but now,” he pauses, biting his lips, waiting for you to say something, anything. You’re tongue-tied, so you stare at him, reading his thoughts, emotions. A little information to get you going, to at least know why he’s acting strangely a few days you’re about to declare him healed.

 

“Don’t you remember?” He looks at you, searching your eyes for an answer you know nothing about or possibly can’t remember. 

 

You see him whispering under his breath - something about forgetting, a psychologist, helping people with their memory. 

 

“Remember what?” you question with a straight face, uninterested eyes roaming his features because you’re late, and you know your father would be furious, furious with you for not keeping to your words, and your mother won’t be able to do anything. Maybe, you’ve promised a few times, a few people on few occasions.

 

“Do you like me - I had asked you. You had replied affirmatively, smiling. If you weren’t lying, like I know you’d say, why then do you want to leave me like—”

 

“I’m not leaving you like the others. And, I won’t lie. Yes, I do like you, honestly, but I don’t just see why that has to stop me from going home.” You lose a bit of your temper, dropping your bag back on the table. You don’t make your anxiety known as you look at him sadly, seeing through his eyes the memories that flash in by the second yet again. I won’t be like them. I would help you fight your trauma. Even if he can’t hear your thoughts, you assure, maybe promising to make sure you stick by it. 

 

“Home, you say, where exactly is that?”

 

You wonder the pain he must be going through at such a young age. 24 with a family that thinks he’s abnormal, no favourite baby sister, no place to call his except a psychology centre, but still you’re willing to explain, “Home is where your heart is at peace, where everything shines brightly, and there’s—”

 

“Be my home then. My heart is at peace when you’re around. Everything glisters and, I feel like a whole new person anytime I’m with you.” You open your mouth and close it back, unable to utter coherent words that you’d possibly understand, much less that he’d understand.

 

“Marry me,” he finishes for you, helping you with your indecisiveness, grinning and taking small steps forward. You’re scared, worried, amazed, confused as he closes the gap between you and him. Your emotions are in chaos, the same as your mind and your entire being. Your eyes flutter shut.

 

***

 

In the beginning

 

“Lynn—” your father starts, eyes staring into thin air. You’re on the porch, having cookies and juice with your parents. Your mother is reading a magazine while you are dusting crumbs from the table to feed the ground termites. You raise your head to your father’s call. Judging from his tired voice, you know he’d argue with you about your job again. Maybe while he stared away, he got thinking and realised psychology just wasn’t for you.

 

You sigh, holding his hands pleadingly, “I’m only going over to his house to talk to him, and I’d be home. Ask mother, since I began, I made sure I always came back early. I kept my promise. He’s ill, father. He needs help. I can help. Please, let me.”

 

He looks at you, his eyes holding warmth. He cups your cheeks and pecks your forehead, “I want what you want. If it’s working as a psychologist, go for it as long as it makes you happy.”

 

“It does, father,” and behind the magazine is your quiet mother, smiling that your father has finally accepted.

 

***

 

Yes, your father would be mad, but Declan would be happier. You place a hand up for him to stop walking, wait for you to say something, maybe your final phrases before you get married to a patient that is older than you by a year.

 

“When I said I liked you, I meant as a person, for who you are, ill or not. I meant I would not judge you, hate you or stay away from you even after our final session next week. I would always remember you and keep you in my second home right here—” you hold your heart, breathing softly, praying he listens like he always did.

 

He follows your movement and places his hand on his chest, “My second home?”

 

“Yes, our second home. Because we cherish the people, the memories, the thoughts, the feelings, the decisions and everything with this small thing that beats and pumps, I would keep you there, and I want you to do the same, not just for me but for your family, all of them. They like you, Declan, no matter who you become, they do, even after Xena’s death which you never caused.”

 

With that, you leave with a weight lifted off your shoulders, knowing you’d possibly never come back. I do, break promises.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

9 comments

Daniel Hayes
01:11 May 28, 2021

Wow!! First let me thank you for dedicating this story to me! That was very sweet of you and I'm very honored that you wanted to do that ❤️ As for the story itself, I thought it was really good. I'm almost speechless. In the beginning, the line: "He loves smiling and smiley faces" - This line almost sums me up perfectly. I'm always smiling, and that really stood out to me and caught my attention :) I'm so impressed with how fast you write these stories. I average about 2 a week, and I don't think I could do 3!! I liked how you start...

Reply

Aisha Olanrewaju
17:55 May 28, 2021

You're very much welcome!!! Lol, I guess I got the dedication right then! That's not true. I'm sure you can do it. I actually had to rush the story 'cause I said I was going to write it to you. Besides, inspiration is everywhere. Thank you. I remember saying you inspired me; that led me to write it that way, lol. I felt so too, but I was trying to beat the deadline. I would try to change that before it's tomorrow. Thank you so much for the recommendation. It helps a lot! That's really nice of you to say. I doubt I'd write one this wee...

Reply

Daniel Hayes
18:03 May 28, 2021

I'm so glad I was able to help. I really did like this story, and I thought that was so sweet of you to do :) You're right, inspiration is all around us everyday. We just need to open our eyes and look closer ;) I'm glad I was able to help a little, honestly I'm still new to this writing thing. I try to read and learn what I can with the hopes of getting better. Yeah, I'll be glad to read a new story from you, in the meantime, I'll read some of your other stories!!

Reply

Aisha Olanrewaju
20:20 May 28, 2021

Yup, and pour out everything into that first draft, even if it's not the best. It's all good, sincerely. I also do the same whenever I'm chanced. You never know what new thing you'd learn. Thank you so much!!! I'd catch up on yours too. As for that story, I don't know if these prompts appeal to me just yet, lol.

Reply

Daniel Hayes
20:26 May 28, 2021

Sometimes you have to think about the prompts for awhile before an idea comes to mind. I always read the prompts when they come out and let them sizzle in my brain for a while to see if something good comes out of it... lol :)

Reply

Aisha Olanrewaju
21:14 May 28, 2021

Honestly! I usually tend to sleep on it, lol. That's always better since it comes in a kind of film, XD. Unfortunately, it's only good for that night. :(

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply