Author: LovelyLytton PM
Reincarnation can be cruel. Three vignettes, V/K, J/N, M/Z. Dark.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Tragedy - Words: 2,039 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 12 - Published: 01-02-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6616478
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He was holding a lecture centered around the concept of international constitutions.
She sat in the last row, busy reading The Silence of the Lambs.
His wife had cooked him dinner, but he found himself without an appetite.
Her boyfriend touched her just the way she liked it, but release was not on the cards as she heard the professor's calm voice in her mind over and over again. It made the blond man atop of her angry.
The next week came and once again, he saw her with a book, not even pretending to follow his words.
She left the lecture hall alone, meeting his green eyes for the briefest of seconds before hurrying her steps.
She missed the third week, and noting her absence caused him to lose track and stutter. He never had before.
The make-up couldn't quite cover the black eye, so she had decided to stay at home.
In the middle of the lecture, he looked up to find her watching him.
By the end of it, she was once again immersed in tragic tale of Lolita. Given her porcelain doll looks, it seemed a fitting choice, he mused.
When his wife told him that she wanted to have a baby, he barely lifted his eyes from Dombey and Son. The divorce was imminent.
She saw him in a bar once, white hair glowing and setting him apart from all the other men. Her boyfriend gripped her hand a little harder once he noticed her wandering eyes.
He had a list of all the books she had read during the course of his lectures. Fourteen titles. Tracing her steps through the pages, he absent-mindedly wondered if he would see her again next semester.
She had the transcripts of his lectures on her desk, leafing through them every once in a while. It made her remember his voice. She had already secured herself a spot on his next class.
He watched the news on the first Monday morning of the new semester, just before heading off to work. The anchorman talked about the murder of a young woman, a law student. He put his empty coffee cup in the sink, missing her photo on his TV screen. She had been stabbed by her boyfriend the night before, ending a long-winded story of violence. Concerned neighbours had told the press that the young man was insane – he had shouted the same sentence at the top of his lungs over and over again as the police dragged him away from her lifeless body.
"I WILL NOT LOSE YOU AGAIN, APHRODITE! THIS TIME HE WON'T TAKE YOU FROM ME!"
The press had been there when the murderer was taken away, catching his screams and bringing them into countless homes on this sunny morning. They echoed strangely in his pristine kitchen.
The words haunted the professor and stirred a part of him that he had not been aware of. He pushed it all away.
He and his wife made up, had children, bought another house, but he was never again free of the image of the blonde girl sitting in the last row. He wondered where she went to.
He died of a stroke ten years later.
The last thing he saw before his heart stopped beating was a golden girl in a silver world, reaching out to stroke his cheek.
Planes made her nervous. Excruciatingly so.
When she boards the large machine to Scotland on that misty November evening, her skin is unhealthily pale, her hands sweaty, her tall frame shaking and her eyes shining with something akin to primal fear.
The stewardess at the check-in counter had immediately recognised her as a person suffering from aviophobia and given her a spacious seat next to the emergency exit up front to soothe her obviously dancing nerves.
Feeling her stomach clench, Makoto knew it hadn't worked.
However, the observant stewardess had done a little bit more and placed the carelessly handsome man next to her that now tried to arrange his long limbs without awkwardly bumping into hers. His movements were far from graceful, but the flight attendant had found him and broad grin so charming that she figured he would be the best cure for fear of flying.
So two brown-haired people sat next to each other in the confining closeness of the silver plane, one delighted and one terrified.
A rumbling sound told them that the plane had finally been set into motion. Makoto followed the security instructions with an ardour she normally reserved for Jamie Oliver's shows. The man beside her unfolded his legs again and was busy leafing through the duty free catalogue. Her mouth turned dry and and she wished for a stiff drink. A very stiff one.
Grinning and oblivious, he turned to her.
"Ah, there's nothing like flying, is there? I love it. Best thing in the world, being up in the sky so close to the stars."
Her response was a feeble smile, procured only through the shattered remains of her manners.
"I'm an astrophysicist, so naturally I like stars and the atmosphere and all the other things that my wife tells me not to bore other people with."
There it was again. The broad movement of his full mouth. It was captivating, even in a plane.
"You don't like flying much, do you?"
Forced to answer, she cast her eyes to the grey carpet and swallowed down the panic that had rendered her speechless so far.
"No, not much. My parents died in a crash when I was eight."
She wasn't sure why she had shared this privileged information with a man whom she had known for less than four minutes.
"I'm sorry. Very insensitive of me, didn't mean to intrude..."
They fell into a silence both of them found embarrassing, but when the plane rose into the air and she was certain that her upheaving stomach would empty itself any minute now, he took her hand into his. Suddenly, words were easy to come by and burst from their lips at the same time.
"Jolly brave of you to-"
"Astrophysicist sounds interes-"
They shared a laugh that felt familiar.
Two hours later, she told him that she dreamt of opening her own restaurant.
Three hours later, he looked out of the window in the dark night sky with a wistful expression and shared that he sometimes felt so disconnected to the world that he felt he belonged into another time and day altogether.
The fact the she precisely understood what he was talking about let both of their blood run cold.
She watched him sleep under the thin blankets, his wild hair unruly and in his face. Her fingers itched to stroke it away, but the wedding band on his right ring finger kept her from it.
They reached Scotland far too soon.
He headed for Glasgow, she didn't.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night with the warm shape of his wife curled up next to him, he awakes with a start and hears the stars whispering tales of love and desperation. He starts to take sleeping pills in order to drown them out.
She tells her friends that her budding business doesn't allow her the luxury of a relationship. Twenty-three years later, an armada of staff behind her, she is still alone. She knows why, but she will never mention the tall man with winning smile to anyone. It's her secret to keep.
All they ever had is one night up in the sky.
Fate is cruel, but kind.
They died at an old age, all alone and surrounded by countless people they hold dear.
It was hard to believe that the gentle, soft-spoken woman in the witness stand was supposed to have blood on her hands. that it was hard to believe didn't make it any less true, though.
He looked up and then back down on his sketch pad, running his pencil over her meticulously drawn doppelgänger. This case was as high profile as they got. The daughter of a renowned doctor and a famous if reclusive artist, on trial for murder. So far, he wasn't sure whether she was truly guilty or not and the jury seemed to feel the same way. It seemed impossible that this shy thing should have shot her husband in cold blood and then just waited for the police to arrive. There had to be some other explanation. The Crown prosecutor was at a loss, as both evidence and proof were condemning, and yet no one seemed inclined to sentence her to a life behind bars.
It was obvious why the media had not been granted access. Her photo on the front page and that of her sneering (and dead) husband beside it and the public outcry would have been loud enough to free her from all suspicion, cementing her lawyer's claim that it hadn't been a crime but an act of self-defence. This was the way the world worked, after all. Perception weighed more heavily than the truth in some cases, especially when the person at its core was a woman as refined as the one sitting up front, the artist mused. She had her hands folded in her lap and her eyes cast to floor, but every single member of the jury hung on her lips. Her desperate tale filled the court room and the artist could feel the compassion emanating towards her.
That her husband had been the head of a multi-million dollar company who had recently fired half of his staff did not exactly help to make the deceased appear any more sympathetic and neither did the knowledge that he had bullied his young wife so terribly that she had attempted suicide two years prior. The scars were hidden under the soft fabric of her white blouse, but he felt that they were there. It startled him.
The artist wondered whether he was the only one who could sense that her looks were deceiving. She was capable of everything, there was not a doubt in his mind about that. Strangely, it didn't make her less appealing to him. Whether she was guilty or not changed nothing. He put his pencil down and settled for simply watching her for a minute. His glasses slid down his nose and he quickly pushed them up again, but the movement caught her eyes.
It might not have been murder, but it most certainly had been manslaughter. Not even the jury could deny this. Her husband had been cruel to her, but he had never laid a hand on her pale skin. Ami Mizuno would not leave this court room a free woman, but be convicted of a crime the world had already forgiven her for.
Still, it meant years behind bars.
Years in a world so much rougher than the one she was used to.
Years without flowers, the sound of waves hitting the shores and the taste of freedom.
Once again, she would be destroyed.
Their eyes met over the nervous crowd as the verdict was revealed.
There was a strange recognition in her face and it scared him beyond everything he had ever seen. He fled the room, leaving his sketches and thus next week's rent money behind.
Seven years later, he had practically become a hermit. A small cottage on white cliffs had become his new home. He never allowed anyone to enter as every wall was plastered with drawings of her. Blue eyes, blue hair, and the same expression over and over again. The woman who had murdered her husband had become his ghost, haunting him with an inexplicable feeling of regret. The guilt, the remorse and the longing began to claw at him, eating away his youth, his passion, his life until nothing was left but an empty shell in an empty house with soulful blue eyes staring at him from every wall.
He hung himself before he turned thirty, never knowing that she did the same.