Kelly

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 29, 2016

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Submitted: July 29, 2016

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“Kelly”

 

“The common view of all reality is possible because of how you perceive things,” he said. “If I were to somehow negate myself from seeing you in front of me, you would cease to be a part of my conscious reality. Understand that the only reason explaining the existence of Kelly in your reality was the fact that your senses could see, smell, hear, and even feel her there; you perceived her as a real person.”

I shook my head slightly, looking down at the crazy carpet. I knew he was watching my every movement.

“You make it sound like I’m crazy,” I said. Then, I lifted up my head to look at him. “How do you explain all the other people that knew her? Are they crazy, too?”

He leaned forward in his seat, usually meaning that I said something which he must correct.

“You’re not here because you’re crazy. You’re here because you need to understand that the Kelly others knew wasn’t the same Kelly you knew. While there was some common perception of her existence, each person who came in contact with Kelly perceived her differently, especially you. Your perception, in fact, was very similar to how a romantic couple see each other. Not accepting this --”

“No!” The people outside the room probably heard me say that. “I have told you very clearly that I never felt that way about her.”

He sat back and smiled as if he were the king of something.

“And I find that interesting,” he said.

“If you say that one more time, I will walk out of here.”

He leaned on the left arm of his chair, resting his head on his fist.

“I’m surprised you haven’t left yet,” he told me. “Your normal session was over thirty minutes ago.”

I looked up at the clock above him. He was right. I got up from the couch. How ridiculous is this? I headed for the door, turning my back on him.

“See you next Friday,” he said.

I gripped the round door knob, but I couldn’t turn it.

“Of course, I trust you know what that day is,” he said behind me.

I looked up at the door, and there was his name written on a piece of white board: Dr. J. Kelly – PhD.

“Well, do you?!” he said.

Of course I knew. My heart sank at the realization that next Friday was the day Kelly had fallen in the well all those years ago.

 

Kelly had won a ticket to Spain the summer after graduating from high school, and I was visiting my grandparents there at the same time. She stayed at the farm with us for two weeks before she travelled on her own through the country.

One morning, Kelly and I were going to go get eggs for breakfast over by the other side of the farm (my grandparents owned a lot of land). It wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there was a still peace of nature floating in the air. We could hear the birds singing outside. I waited by the exit door for her to get ready. I understand that girls need more time to get ready for whatever, but I was waiting for a good 40 minutes??maybe she was nervous.

We went outside and got on a path that led to the chicken corral (we called it the gallinero). As we walked through, Kelly saw the fruit trees growing all around her. I had to walk a little slower just because she wanted to see all the different colors, such as the hot red of the apples, the bright yellow of the lemons, the distinct shade of green of the pears, and so on.

“Can we get some?” she said, pointing at the lemon trees, and at everything else.

“Sure,” I said.

She was wearing sandals, the kind that makes the flop noise each time she every step. Her hair was a golden color and the darker threads matched her eyes, although Kelly’s smile was probably her best physical feature.

We got 4 feet up the lemon tree, the same one I had climbed over a million times as a kid. Every time she thought she would begin to fall, she would scream my name and grab on to me for dear life. Kelly could be very dramatic for those situations. We quickly realized that we had no place to carry all the lemons, so we left them at the foot of the tree and continued to walk.

“The gallinero is past that building,” I said pointing a head of us. My mom used to live in that building, along with her siblings and parents. I never really took the time to think that my own mother once lived inside an old cube; no stairs, no windows, no backyard. Just dirty, white walls.

Kelly wasn’t my girlfriend. I never believed we ever liked each other. We were just friends.

As we approached the gallinero, there was a clearing to our left that I hoped Kelly would not notice, but she did.

“Is that a water well?” she asked.

I nodded slowly, staring at it .

I remember as a child my grandmother trying to scare my brother and me from coming close to the well because she was worried we would fall in. It was one of those old ones which you had to draw water with a bucket tied to a long rope. Our grandmother told us the story of two young sisters who stood by the well. I always pictured the setting in black and white since it supposedly happened many years ago. The girls were pale, slightly smiling, and holding hands. Their parents and my great grandfather were there, drawing water to drink. The sisters were curious, and I understood that: as a seven year old, you must know everything, even why someone’s teeth are crooked. The sisters leaned forward to see the deepness of the well, and then the obvious happened: they fell down and drowned.

I never questioned why the girls kept holding hands when they fell, or why the adults didn’t save them, or why anyone would lean forward so much that they’d fall into a well. I looked at my grandma and pretended not to believe the story. However, my eyes were secretly filled with horror because I did indeed believe every word of the story. I stayed up for nights, thinking about how everything played out. For the rest of my childhood, gravity was different around that well. What I always thought of as a giant Super Mario pipe before, now became a death vacuum. I tried to avoid going by there, but when I had to, I squatted down to increase my center of gravity. There were nightmares in which no matter how hard I tried to remain on solid ground, I fell in the well. It never even moved; everything else did. The world would shake, and I would always end up inside the water pit. I had no problem staying afloat, but the monsters in there had other plans for me. I think I used to wet my bed back then.

“Yes, that is a water well,” I said reluctantly.

“Let’s go check it out!” she said very enthusiastically, as if playing around with a twenty feet deep, six feet wide, one hundred year old drawing well would be fun.

We walked over to it and looked down in it for a while. Then, with our heads dangling over the mouth of the well, we looked at each other.

Kelly had told me in our early friendship that in the spectrum of attractiveness, I was on the handsome side of things. I replied by saying that I thought she was pretty, and she didn’t exactly respond to that. I don’t think it was a big deal, but after that incident we didn’t talk for a week. We’ve never brought it up since.

Kelly picked up a small rock and held it over the well, smiling at me. She released the rock from her grip and we both watched it fall. When it impacted the water, about twenty feet from the mouth of the well, we saw the circular waves propagate outward.

Silence always killed me.

“Want a drink?” I offered.

“Is the water even alright to drink?” she asked looking down the well.

I nodded firmly, pointing at the bucket which hung above us. She turned her head towards me, making her hair float in the air for a brief moment. I promise: she was just my friend.

I untied the knot that held the bucket, and slowly lowered it down. The wheel in which the rope traveled through squealed with age and rust. Kelly’s eyes grew wide with awe.

Kelly was a city girl, although she was not completely oblivious to the outdoors. She grew up with two brothers and some of the nicest parents I had ever met. It explained why she enjoyed some activities which many would consider boyish, and why she was such a nice person to be around. One thing that I could not understand was her adventurous personality combined with her physical weakness; it resulted in an interesting outcome.

I also did not understand her relationship with guys. I know she grew up with two brothers, but that never stopped other people from pairing her up with whatever guy she spoke to. I suppose it was the way she communicated. When she was listening, her eyes didn’t move from you, and she would nod her head slightly, giving the assurance that you were being heard. When she spoke, her answers were unorganized, and eye contact seemed more difficult. But guys didn’t care; they’d go out of their way to get some attention from Kelly. And they often thought that maybe, just maybe, she had a crush on them. After knowing her for a while, I knew that wasn’t the case; it was just who she was.

I had convinced myself that she never liked me, and I told myself I didn’t like her. Whether those statements are true or not, I will never know.

The bucket flew down, and the deep, dark water was broken once again. I wiggled the rope to get bucket to swallow up water. When it was filled, I began pulling it up. Kelly watched all of this with amazement. I guess the things of the past have a beauty which the things of the future lack? at least for now.

 The water no longer looked dark and disgusting; instead, it was clean and transparent, allowing us to see right into the bottom of the metallic bucket. Kelly leaned forward. I stepped back, thrusting one arm after the other to pull the bucket up. When the bucket rose out of the mouth of the well, Kelly stretched her thin arms to grab it. The memories came back and the cord broke. The bucket sucked Kelly into the water pit, and I remembered that gravity didn’t exist around that well.

In horror, I ran forward, and my feet inevitably left the ground. My body hit the water violently, making me go deeper than I wanted. I may have been a fully grown teenager, but the thought of the skeletons of two sisters holding hands beneath me became more real than ever before.

I quickly swam to the surface and wiped my face from the water. Right next to me was Kelly, eyes closed and sinking. I put my arm around her to keep her afloat.

“Kelly. Kelly!” I said, slightly shaking her. She didn’t respond.

The sounds of my voice propagated back and forth within the bricks that formed the circular shape of the well.  The water was cold, and her hair was wet. She hated her hair getting wet.

I looked up at our only exit. Maybe it was fear, but the well seemed to grow longer in length, making the mouth shrink in size above us. The monsters in my dreams came to life. My muscles tightened at the thought of some slimy creature swimming beneath me.

“Kelly, hey, come on,” I said desperately. She did not respond.

I know it seems like an odd thing to say, but it had crossed my mind that I could have kissed her. Right then and there, she would never have known. Under my command, I could have tasted what other guys could only dream of. What a stupid thing to think about.

Just then, Kelly woke up. Her eyebrows fringed and she coughed twice.

“Kelly,” I said, not knowing what else I could have said.

Her eyes rapidly grew wide, and she looked around her as if she was a lost child trying to find her parents in the mall.

“Well, you fell down, and I…” I was still holding her. Without saying a word, she swam away from me and attempted to climb out of the well by herself.

Over the centuries, females have strayed away from being the damsels in distress to becoming the heroines and protagonists of their story, shoving to the side the man who was intended to be the hero.

I remember I made the Mario franchise pretty popular back in my kindergarten class. I invented this game which consisted of Mario (me) rescuing Princess Peach (a pretty looking girl). She was guarded by Bowser (usually that one kid in class who hated my guts for no apparent reason other than to hate my guts) and his minions (those who rather be on the side of the kid who hated my guts than me). I had my fair share of friends. Luigi (my closest friend) would make fun of the kid who hated my guts. This would make him mad, and he would begin to chase after him. This allowed me to run and rescue the Princess. That’s the way it is supposed to be.

Now, all of that is over, and I dislike how many females have become the protagonists of more modern stories, both fictional and non-fictional. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; I just don’t like it.

“You like Spiderman, don’t you?” Kelly asked out of breath.

I nodded, noticing that she was waiting for me to say something else.

“That doesn’t mean I can climb us out of here,” I said.

I kept looking at her for a moment and then looked up at our only way out, squinting at the bright light that shined above us. The diameter of the well was about my height. I had an idea. I extended myself across the water, face down, placing my hands on the walls opposite of my feet. In this position, I began to walk up the well in a backwards motion, rising out of the water up to the point where I could see Kelly’s face looking up at me.

I suppose we were okay friends. Not the type that are reluctant to share personal stuff, but also not the type to share the deep secrets. As a matter of fact, I was told years later that she had thought about making me one of her best friends. Benefits included extensive talks, exclusive information, and maybe a secret handshake. I knew why it wouldn’t happen, however: because of people. Kelly told me so herself.

“You going to give me a ride?” she said, still looking up at me.

“I don’t know, you might be too heavy,” I said, and I casually continued to go up. I was actually being serious, as in I was barely able to pull myself up that way.

She took both of her arms under the water and raised them as fast as she could, splashing water on my face. I comically played along and fell down, acting as if the splash actually did something. Continuing this act, I thought it would be funny if I stayed under water for a full minute. When you are inside a water well with no way out, one minute seemed like five. After thirty seconds, I could hear Kelly’s muffled screams begging me to come up.

I rose up to the surface laughing.

“That wasn’t funny!” she yelled in the midst of my laughter.

“Did you really think I would drown?” I asked, feeding the echo with more laughs.

“Maybe,” she responded. The echo died.

“Alright,” I said. “Let’s get out of here.”

Now this is about to get awkward. I mean, what was she supposed to do to go up the well? Get on my back?

Kelly began to blush. It was so noticeable, it wasn’t even funny.

“You’re going to have to get on my back, Kelly,” I said.

I’ve been told by some of my friends that I got the looks, and that the girls love me. In no point in my life have I ever believed that, and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t even have the reputation of being a flirt; in fact, my few romantic-like relationships were pretty disastrous. There was the chick that had a crush on me in the eighth grade, and I knew it. I acted like an idiot, and she lost interest. There was also the girl that was my childhood friend; she enjoyed playing with me more than I enjoyed playing with her. Years later, she grows to be extremely pretty, but she lost interest a while back. I also begrudgingly remember the girl who I mainly communicated with via social media; she lost interest very quickly. Then there were girls like Kelly. All I ever wanted from them was their friendship, but, in the end, the same thing always happens.

Kelly swam behind me, and she put her hands on my shoulders. I stretched myself across the well and began to climb up, feeling her weight on my back. The only thing I could see was an unclear reflection in the dark water below me. I didn’t say a word, and neither did she. I couldn’t tell how much I had until I reached the top. My arms got fatigued quicker than I wanted them to, and I could see the veins elevating over my skin, pumping blood to my muscles. My back was sinking from the weight, and I didn’t think I could make it. Then, I felt Kelly take her hands off my shoulders, and wrapped her arms around my ribs, locking her fingers on my abdomen. The left side of her face rested on my back. I am not sure how it happened, but a new source of strength filled up within me in the form of a burning sensation.

When we got to the surface, we sat down with our backs resting on the bricks of the well. We were soaking wet, and we stayed there for a while, feeling the warmth of the sun.

“Are you going to tell anyone about this?” Kelly asked without looking at me.

I turned my head to look at her, and she was shaking.

“What, that you weigh more than 120 pounds? That can be our little secret,” I said. She looked at me and smiled.

I got up, groaning exaggeratedly, and offered my hand to help her up.

“Now I have extra laundry to do thanks to your desire to go swimming in a well,” I said.

“You know, if you would have been a bit more responsible, then maybe--”

“Umm, who wanted to go see the well so badly in the first place?”

“Yeah, well who was obviously okay with it?”

“I wasn’t,” I said.

“Not my fault that you didn’t say anything.”

“You’re welcome for rescuing you.”

“You’re welcome on the Spiderman idea.”

I never liked her. She was my friend.

 

We all stood around Kelly in our black uniforms. The skies were colorless, and it began to rain. I had memories of that summer and other days, and I smiled. The people must have thought I was crazy, and they’re probably right? to a certain extent.

Two by twos, they left. Some cried a lot, others were simply heartbroken. I wish I could feel an emotion; tears filling my eyes; the sinking of my heart? something. But, all I could think of was Kelly smiling at me.

Before I knew it, I was alone. I lost track of time, and I noticed I was soaking wet from all the rain. I turned around and walked towards my car. The rain got harder. I stopped at the door, and lighting struck, revealing to me my face on the reflection of the window of my car. I looked across the dark green field covered in rocks, and I began running towards it, gradually going faster. Lighting struck again, and I fell. I could feel the wet grass sink down under the cold mud. Then, I let go, and a tear fell down my cheek. Kelly’s smile had faded away, and all I could see now in front of me was her tombstone.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Joshua A. Noboa. All rights reserved.

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