Made to love, p.1
Made to Love, page 1
Made to Love
Made to Love
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The author does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for third-party websites or their content.
MADE TO LOVE
Copyright © 2009
All rights reserved.
For DSC and LMM. Thanks.
If I had known how much love would hurt, I never would have wished for it.
I would have burned my poems and their longing words of passion. I would have never dedicated those same words to song with all my soul’s fire. In fact, I never would have moved to Coos Bay in the first place—the place to which Cupid hunted me, and eventually struck me down with his arrow, leaving my heart’s blood gushing from my chest in an effusion of infatuation.
And eventually led me here. To my death.
The night was dark, and growing darker. I stared down at my captor, struggling against his grip on my throat, and knew that it was love. Truly, only love could be so painful.
And in his angered eyes, I saw my confirmation: the fire of love so deep, so pure, he knew the only way he could save me would be to hurt me.
Far, far more frightening was that I could feel the same thing in my own heart.
And it was to the oblivion of love’s grasp into which I allowed myself to sink, whispering three little words before I disappeared into dark unconsciousness: “I love you…”
I sank into darkness, unsure I would ever arise from it ever again…
“Your new home isn’t so bad, is it, Calliope?”
I stared out at the house that I was supposed to live in, and felt dark anger clench around my heart. It wasn’t home. It was just some place my parents had bought so my dad could have more room for his stupid work.
But for my mother, I forced a smile around clenched teeth. “You’re right, mom. It’s not that bad.”
Somewhat grudgingly, I had to admit that it would have been fine if it had just been in our home town of Dacula, Georgia, where all my friends were. The old house – more of a manor, really – was huge, with two little towers and a section right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the bay and the ocean beyond. There was a nice yard and my mom had bribed me with a new kitten if I would just get on the plane to come here, which I had.
But my friends weren’t here, and no amount of ocean views and kittens would change that, so it might as well have been hell.
“I’m so glad you like it,” Mom gushed, grabbing my hands. “I want so much for you to be happy with this like I am. I know you’ll make new friends once school starts tomorrow. Everyone will love you.”
I rolled my eyes and pulled my hands from hers. “I don’t care. I just want to be alone.”
The delight faded from my mom’s face. “Calliope…”
My dad hurried past, chasing a moving truck down the long driveway. “Do not drive so fast!” he yelled in his perpetually ridiculous Hungarian accent. “You’ll damage the cargo and there is no amount of insurance to make up for that! I will have your heads! Your heads, I say!”
God, he was so embarrassing. If Allison had been there, she could have made a joke about it and we would have laughed off my dad’s stupidity, but no. She was back in Georgia.
I gave my mom a look, and she spread her hands helplessly. “He’s only so excited because he’s happy.”
“I am done with this,” I muttered. “I’m going to go figure out which den of despair is going to be mine to sleep in.”
“Don’t you want to help us get the boxes out?” my mom asked, wringing her hands.
“No!” I called over my shoulder, stomping across the manicured field toward the towering front doors of the house.
The grass was damp and my boots were sopping wet by the time I reached the door. Closer to the manor, I could see now that it even more run down than it had looked from afar—the thing was absolutely ancient. It was probably a hundred years old.
I pulled open the door, and it swung open with surprising ease. The entrance hall was tall, and there was a fireplace with bookshelves on either side. My dad had already begun to fill them with books.
Probably his boring old science textbooks, I thought, and didn’t bother taking a second look at them. The stairs weren’t hard to find—they took up the entire middle of the room and swept up in two separate lines to the second floor, where tall windows cast rays of hazy light through the dust.
I made my way up the stairs, trailing my hand along the banister. Like the rest of the manor, it was dusty.
I wandered along the hall to the base of the first tower and poked my head into the bedroom there. My parents had already laid claim to the bedroom—a king size mattress with no frame was on the floor with a tangle of sheets piled beside it. My dad had been staying here for weeks while he got ready for work and waited for me and my mom to catch up, so that gave him first pick. Whatever. It was airy and probably moldy and I didn’t want it anyway.
Stepping back out, I searched through the doors and several more bedrooms until I found the second tower, and the bedroom below.
I went inside, and all the breath rushed from my chest.
It was way better than my parents’ bedroom. Big doors opened onto a balcony with a view of the ocean with its sweeping blue majesty, and there were plenty of shelves built into the stone walls for all my poetry books. Going through another door showed me a bathroom the same size as my old bedroom with a sunk-in tub and a vanity.
Spiral stairs led up the tower, and I stood at the bottom, craning up my neck to look. It was dark in the tower, but I didn’t need to go up there to decide anyway. I already knew what I was going to do.
“This room is definitely mine,” I said.
I glanced down at the sliding door and saw something laying in
I traced the edge of the thorn with my fingertip. Who would have left a rose in one of these boring old rooms?
For a minute, I forgot to be angry at my new living situation. I brought the rose bud to my nose and took a deep breath of its sweet perfume, leaning back against the wall beside the door.
It smelled wonderful.
“Okay,” I told the ocean softly. “Maybe this really won’t be so bad.”
But I doubted it.
Dinner was as painful as I expected.
Mom didn't feel like cooking, so she ordered pizza with all kinds of meat on it. It made me sick. Dad, on the other hand, scarfed it down like it was his last meal and he got to have as much as he wanted before he went to the gas chamber.
They kept trying to talk to me, but I didn't listen. I couldn't. I missed Georgia too much: my friends, my house, my weather. This gloomy place, with the salt pervading the air and my lungs...it was more than I could bear. I was choked with the loneliness, and the pepperoni in my throat.
“Cal? What's wrong?” Mom asked.
I ran from the table, tears stinging my eyes. I nearly tripped on the bottom of the stairs because I was running so hard.
But I couldn't outrun the pain in my soul.
The sun had set, and my room was filled with nothing more than the light cast by the glittering stars and the cool, pale moonlight. The clouds dragged across the sky, blocking the light and revealing it at turns.
But it wasn't my moon. It wasn't my sky.
I went to my suitcase and removed the shoebox within. Its contents rattled as I threw it onto the counter in my bathroom, and I slammed the door shut behind me and tore off the lid breathlessly.
Inside were the usual: notes, candles, matches. I took out one half-melted piece of wax and lit the wick; even if the bathroom lights had bulbs, it would be too bright for my mood. I threw my hands into the box and sifted recklessly through the fray.
Something stung my finger, and I hissed with the pain.
Carefully, I extracted the source: a quill that my grandmother had given me before she died. The nib was made of some gold alloy, and was sharp enough to draw blood.
“No,” I whispered. “I promised I wouldn't. Not here.”
But I found myself sticking the metal into the flame of the candle. The fire surrounded the tip, caressed it. I took it out before I could become jealous, then pressed it to my pale, milky skin.
I hissed again and looked into the mirror. Haunted green eyes stared back. The hair that fell around my shoulder was as dark as the night around me; the moon was hidden behind the clouds once more. I hadn't eaten much lately, so I was skinnier than usual, enough to show cheekbones jutting against my skin.
Without further hesitation, I pressed the tip into my flesh and dragged. It was like a knife through butter; shallow, but enough to draw blood. The metallic scent broke through the salt in the air, granting me a moment's reprieve. The blood dripped onto the marble countertop, the only color in my bleak existence.
The only color in my bleak existence.
I pulled out a scrap of paper from my notebook and started writing.
The only color in my bleak existence
Is the red leeching from my arm
My soul is so charred it frays
Burning in the flame of my discontent
Why can't I cry?
It was only when I drew back, cherishing the smallest feeling of satisfaction, that I realized the page was inscribed with my own blood.
I was sleeping under a blanket on the floor – my bed wasn't set up, and my arm stung too much to assemble it myself – when I first heard the noise.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not. I didn't think I was. I never did; dreams were reserved for those with the depth to experience them, and I wasn't that fortunate. But I wasn't awake enough to know better, not until I heard it again.
I sat up and leaned against the wall, hugging my legs like my life depended on it. It had been hard enough to fall asleep with the crashing of the surf, that unnatural sound that echoed through my room, but this? It sounded like a wounded animal. In pain.
That thought made me listen more closely. The more I listened, the more it sounded like crying. And not just any crying. It sounded like the breaking of a heart, and not for the first time. This poor creature, whatever it was, had been destroyed more than once. My arm stung in sympathy.
And then, just as suddenly as it begun, it stopped. I listened for a few minutes more, and the sound didn't start again. Carefully, I stretched out on the floor, clutched my poem, and drifted off into the sweet oblivion of darkness once more.
Things were about to get a lot worse.
The morning dawned dreary and gray—appropriate for my mood. The floor was suddenly cold, and my back stiff, and I had to struggle to sit up. I blinked blearily into the half-light of morning, eyeing the pieces of my bed frame leaned against the wall, the boxes stacked near my new shelves.
I had hoped against all hope I might awaken in Georgia, but I wasn’t nearly so fortunate. It was still Oregon.
Groaning, I clambered to my feet, taking the parchment with me. At some point, an errant drop of bloody ink had smeared along the bottom of the page, turning “Why can’t I cry?” into an illegible red blur.
I set the poem on my bookshelves for now, promising myself I would soon create binding for a new poetry book, and it would be the premiere poem to mark my senior year in hell. Of course, that would not start until tomorrow, leaving me to fester in depression without even the distraction school could provide me until then.
On the shelf beside the poem rested the rose I had found yesterday. They looked good together.
Dragging my sore body into the bathroom, where my shoebox still lay open on the counter, I climbed gingerly in the shower and turned the water on. It was cold, but I didn’t wait for it to heat. The ice water was cathartic, shocking my body into consciousness and clearing my mind.
I had done it once more—cut my flesh with the quill I had promised would never again taste blood.
Bracing my hands against the stone wall of the tub, I hung my head between my shoulders and watched the water cascade down my taut stomach and legs. The shower stung my cuts, and I hated how good it felt.
“No more,” I said, echoing my own mantra over the last three months.
Turning the shower off, I toweled my body dry and dug through the boxes to try to find clothes that didn’t smell like mold. Failing that, I pulled out the least moldy – a pair of skinny black jeans and a poet’s blouse with long sleeves to hide my arms – and dressed slowly, watching the ocean through my doors as I pulled each item on.
Once I was dressed, I opened the sliding door for the first time. A salty breeze slapped against my flesh, rushing through my hair, and I stepped onto the balcony to take in my new prison.
The ocean stretched infinitely forward, and a thick fog was rolling in off the coast. There was a dark shape out in the mist on the horizon – probably a little island or something.
The steel gray water roiled, crashing against the rocks below. The waves were capped white and shadowed with dark blue undertones. The stone of the balcony under my bare feet was cold, clammy. I braced my hands and leaned over the edge as far as I could, staring down the cliff to the jagged teeth of the rocks at the bottom.
The swelling of the ocean filled my ears, roaring and rushing like a mighty wind.
It would be a short path to eternal darkness.
“What are you looking at, Calliope?”
I dropped back onto the balcony and turned to face my mom. She was wringing her hands again—her new favorite tic. “I was just checking out my new digs. What are
“I did knock, but you didn’t answer,” Mom said. “I thought you might want breakfast since you missed dinner last night.”
I heaved a sigh. “I’m not hungry.”
“If you’re sure…”
“When can I install a lock on my bedroom door?”
Mom bit her lip. “I don’t know about that. You’ll have to ask your father.”
“I don’t want to ask that jerk permission to do anything.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. Are the moving guys going to put my bedroom together today?”
“They can if you want,” Mom said.
“Great. And it needs to be cleaned, too.”
She planted her hands on her hips. “You know that’s your job, Cal. The maid’s never been allowed in your room to clean.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t make this mess,” I sniffed. “It’s dusty and grimy.”
A sigh. “Okay. Your room will be done first thing today. I promise. But maybe you could go eat some breakfast?”
“Fine. I’ll try.”
Mom smiled. “Great.”
I stomped downstairs to search for the kitchen. Like every other room in the manor, it was way bigger than necessary and decorated with windows higher than I was tall. A heavy oak table was surrounded by a dozen matching chairs, and my loser dad sat on the far end, scribbling furiously in one of his many notebooks.
If I hadn’t promised Mom to try to eat, I would have turned and left the room as soon as I saw him. I hated my mom sometimes, but my dad was even worse. His experiments with the university were time-consuming, and he had always made it clear where Mom and I fell on the priority list—which was clear at the bottom.
Grabbing a plateful of bacon and waffles, I sat at the far opposite end of the table and nibbled at my food. It tasted like cardboard.
“Hey,” I called to my dad. “I’m going to install a lock on my bedroom door.”
“Fine, fine,” he said impatiently without looking up.
by DL Kopp have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes