Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scattered Stars by Hiba Abdelqader

Last week I did a guest post for the Woven Strands Blog called Persistence Pays Off. I was honored that the owner of the blog, Hiba Abdelqader, contacted me to write the post. I thought I'd return the favor by having Hiba write a guest post on my blog. And I was very excited when the post was flash fiction! There's nothing like a good, free story. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did, and be sure to check out the Woven Strands Blog for even more flash fiction.

[caption id="attachment_781" align="aligncenter" width="490" caption="Image Title: Serafima - Photo by: Yaroslav Karas"][/caption]

Scattered Stars by Hiba Abdelqader

She never knew the window in the attic would be the gateway to her sanctuary.  It would be her escape when she needed to disappear. The place she sought out when she felt her addiction rise to the surface and it needed to be tamed.

No better place than hiding in plain sight. The roof.

The air felt different, it was pure. Climbing out onto the roof, she took her first breath and it filled her lungs with the smell of fallen leaves departing their seasonal home. The bricks coolness prickled her palms when she leaned on them for support; finally exiting onto her peaceful haven. The twilight slowly opened the curtains to the shimmering night. She was on the verge of relapsing into memories she held, locked up, behind walls of regret. It was her alternate reality, an illusion she was banned to slip back into.

She saw the cars pass by, aimlessly, it seemed. The streetlights in her neighborhood twinkled, and the one by her house struggled to stay on. The twinkle triggered the memory she once --desperately-- tried to forget. She breathed in the sweetness of what she was about to remember, closed her eyes, and surrendered.

She, once again, was sitting inside a metal --cage like-- structure looking over the city at night. She wasn’t alone; he had brought her there (the place that would become her sinful addiction). They were high enough to overlook the city; a sea of light scattered below, like fallen stars spread across the land. She whispered “Magic,” and let the image engrave in her memory.

She enveloped herself with the gray sweater he had --so cleverly-- got her to wear.

“Disguise yourself,” he said.

Roaming aimlessly at night, they feared predators. Her figure was lost within the spacious fabric, so no one would know she was a girl. It was his way of protecting her, and she risked being out so late --in an abandoned yet beautiful place-- just to be with him.

She found escaping his scent impossible; it seemed to soak her personal space, leaving her breathless as she tried to focus on the words they both couldn’t express. Towering over the city she should have felt empowered, but his gaze –penetrating through her--left hear weak. His mesmerizing eyes sparkled when he stumbled over words he couldn’t communicate. She could feel the tension in the space between them pulling her closer to him. He stood inches away longing for her touch, and she could feel him debate closing the forbidden distance between them. That’s when her heart came to a complete stop; for just that moment, he was hers.

Her phone vibrated and she remembered the reason of her escape.

It’s been months since she spoke to him. She had finally moved on past the heartache and regret, until she finally reached a place she called peaceful.

She new he moved on too since his news seemed to stalk her mockingly. It invaded her life constantly; except, this time it wasn’t some random update from mutual friends. It was him.

She read the text displayed so boldly on the screen.

I miss you.

She’s never experienced such mixed emotions before. Her anger was displayed clearly across her gentle face, but her heart was racing with excitement. She was afraid to relapse back into his world. He was her addiction; the one who crept casually in and out of her life while she was left to pickup the pieces. Pieces he left behind like breadcrumbs, hoping to find his way back as he pleased.

She never realized how dangerous a single message could be. It took her time, to stich her heart back together and one message found a way to shatter it again. The pain in her heart pushed her to abuse her addiction and she found her way back, absorbing the emotions filling her memories. Memories that no longer existed, they were only part of her past, and she couldn’t to let go.

The breeze grew a little cooler and she held on to the gray sweater, trying to find warmth in the arms of its true owner, but it was only fabric. She felt the sky sprinkle lightly, and decided to call it a night. She climbed back into the attic and her phone vibrated again. Taken by surprise, she stood frozen in place reading the yearning words in her phone.

I’m here…

Her heart raced; her mind couldn’t comprehend what her eyes saw. She turned around looking for his figure in the shadows across the street.

He stepped closer, under the street light. Facing her direction –he knew where she was. Arms open wide, surrendering, while the rain fell like droplets of diamonds bouncing off his silhouette.

She lost control over her body, she was suddenly trapped in a vessel that had a mind of it’s own, dragging her down the stairs and out into the street. Her heart was aching, missing his gentle touch, his sweet breath, and his passionate eyes; looking deep into the ocean of her eyes.

Gaining control, she stopped a few inches away from him. He raised his dripping hand, wanting to caress her face; she thanked the heavens her tears were lost between the droplets of rain on her face. She forced her vessel to step back escaping his touch and stepping out of his reach. Confusion was written across his yearning face.

She needed to concur this addiction once and for all. She needed to let it all go; her heart was never safe with him. Surprising herself and disappointing him, she pealed off what was left of him, stripping her skin from the fabric she held on to all these years. The final piece, the last step into her redemption.

She walked away, leaving behind a meaningless gray sweater, soaking on the sidewalk in front of where he desperately stood. She couldn’t see him but she felt the pleading in his eyes staring at her overpowering figure seeping into the shadows. A smile crept on to her delicate face realizing what she’s done.

She, at that moment became, his sinful addiction.

© Hiba Abdeqader 2011

Don't be shy, the author welcomes constructive criticism, and behind the fiction questions.