Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chase Harrison is a social misfit, a loner and tagged as the boy who practices witchcraft. Why does he live in the shadows? Could the rumors be true?

This story is written for Raga's New Year contest.

WON 1st PLACE In the Contest! :)

Submitted: February 10, 2014

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Submitted: February 10, 2014

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~ Death ~

 

 

 “Daniela.”

“Daniela.” I snapped out of the novel propped on my lap and glanced back at Alison who was gritting her teeth in frustration. “What?” I asked her.

Alison pointed a sneaky finger behind her, sneaky enough for the person to not notice it was directed towards him. “That freak is staring at you.”

I spun in the general direction she’d pointed in. As usual, the guy seemed to be lost in his own world, oblivious to our burning stares or the endless gossip. He poised his pencil on the paper; his dark hair concealed his face like a curtain. The red dyed streak had made its way in the front, a brilliant contrast to his dark black. Just when I was ready to face back towards the board, his charcoal black orbs caught my eye. Something like ‘gottcha’. I smiled nervously at him but his expressions didn’t change. He continued to stare impassively at me until I was forced to mind my own business, only then did he go back to scribbling.

“What is your problem, Alison?” I whispered to her. “He wasn’t even looking at me.”

“I didn’t think he’d give you the sting eye.” Alison pushed her hair back dramatically and continued, “Who knows, maybe you’d wake up in a pond tomorrow. You know, Ribbet! Ribbet.”  She roared with laughter at the lame imitation of a toad.

That was so fucking childish, not to mention, annoying. Her laughter died down when Chase collected his stuff and stormed out of the classroom.

Fucking Fantastic!

There was no doubt he’d heard our conversation. He’d only walked out the classroom, had I been in his place, I would’ve surely rewarded Alison with a punch or two. I only guessed the teasing and bullying didn’t matter to him anymore. Chase Harrison was supposedly the guy who did voodoo magic in his leisure time, had cursed a dozen students in our school and now they bared a few permanent scars from injuries. If nothing else, it would remind them to behave when they walked in his near vicinity. The teachers never so much as acknowledged his presence while he sat in the far corner of the classroom, invisible to the rest of the student body. Long story short, Rumour was Chase’s middle name.

 Now I had no idea how or why those kids in school even got those scars, only that they were deserving candidates. My finger was pointed towards ‘Coincidence’. Rest all could be a bunch of bull for all I care.

“Ally, I think you crossed a line.” I snapped at her. “He was minding his own business, why would you even bother him?”

“Oh C’mon Dan, why the big fuss?” Alison propped herself on top of the desk. “It’s not like the freak can do anything about it, everyone knows what a loser he is.”

“His name is Chase.”

Alison pressed her lips in a thin line, chagrined by my defensive demeanour. “What is wrong with you? Has he appointed you as his new voodoo emo lawyer?”

“All I’m saying is leave him alone. Let him do his thing.” I gathered the books scattered on the desk and dropped them inside the leather back-pack. “He’s got enough shit thrown to him by the rest of us. We don’t need to be his added bonus.”

And just out of the blue she said. “You like him don’t you?”

I froze.

Alison chuckled. “That’s rare Dan, I mean; I’d totally understand if you’d liked Harry Robinson, but Chase Harrison? Like Oh-mi-god, Daniela. The venue for your marriage is going to be the cemetery and the guests would be the Dawn of the dead. You out of your mind or what? How could you fall for the undead?”

Harry was the high school sweetheart, douchiest of the douche, who officially topped my shit-list. I had no idea that my fascination for the Goth boy had become so obvious. What was it that attracted me towards that fanatic? The guy, who lived under the shadows, hardly exchanged a word of greeting. Hell, I didn’t even remember the last time I’d heard him speak. Does he even know my name? For Pete’s sake, we were in the same damn class for almost a year.

“You know what? Go ahead, broadcast the news and if you’d excuse me, I’d like to shop for a new gothic wedding dress for my creepy gothic wedding in the cemetery. Maybe you’d just call Marlyn Manson and ask him if he’d like to play the DJ.”

 Sometimes I just hated Alison for having such a loud and foul mouth. No matter how far I tried to get away from her, she’d follow me around. I bolted out of the classroom without a second glace.

“Daniela, listen.” The hypocrite called out to me. “I’m sorry.”

As I walked further, Alison’s voice drifted away which was relaxing for a change. I crossed the hallways, rifling through the swarms of people near the bustling cafeteria and out the large iron gates of the Raybon High. I crossed the now dead street and entered a little cafe which was the ultimate get-away from the chaotic school environment. The cell phone in my pocket buzzed, I could guess it was Alison without a glance. Her Sorry texts were frequent, not to mention, identical to the previous sorry texts. I had no doubt she had one saved up just so she could keep jabbing the forward button to save time from typing another one.

 The aroma of coffee beans and fresh baked muffins tingled my taste buds. I stood in the short queue to order for a hot beverage. I picked up the warm drink and settled down near a glass see-through window and when I looked up, I froze for the second time. Chase sat alone towards the wall facing me.

Lovely! Out of the fire and into the frying pan.

As usual, he seemed lost in his own world, texting on his cell phone and taking a sip off his coffee cup occasionally. There must have been a daring spirit possessing me as I picked up the coffee cup off my table and made my way towards his. He didn’t look up, just continued to wave his pencil on a pad like a magic wand. I placed the cup on his table and cleared my throat.

A lump formed deep in my throat. “Would you mind if I sit here?”

I expected him to glare at me or tell me to fuck off. Chase met his dark hooded eyes with mine, remaining dead-pan, like I were some bug that hadn’t disappeared even after excessive spraying of bug repellent.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” He said grimly, “Unless you want to wake up in a pond tomorrow.”

His voice sounded almost musical to my ears. Seductive and husky.

I settled down ignoring his warning, maybe it was worth turning into a toad. I tried. “I’m sorry about earlier.”

Chase raised his hand, asking me to shut up. I noticed the silver rings in each of his fingers. “Please don’t be.” There was even a silver ring looped around the left corner of his lower lip.

After a momentary pause he continued, “Why are you here? Certainly not to chat, I suppose.”

“I just...I just came for a coffee.” I explained. “And saw you and thought I should talk.”

“Why bother?” Chase sipped his beverage and continued. “Are you here to show some sympathy for the social outcast? Think you could earn a few brownie points?”

I was at loss of words. This was supposed to be easy. “No, thought I’d use some great company while I sipped my coffee.”

He smiled, really, smiled. It was the most attractive smile I’d ever seen. Now that I remembered, I never saw him smile like that in school. Not once.

I continued. “Do you even have any idea how popular you are at school?”

“Oh. I do, popular for all the wrong reasons.” his voice was laced with annoyance and amusement. “It has never bothered me though, not at the slightest.”

Chase seemed lost in thought for a second before he said. “This isn’t some kind of a bet or dare, right? I can’t think of any other reason why you’d risk a conversation with me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself.” I took a sip of my coffee and noticed it was already empty. “I just want to be friends with you.”

“Friends, huh?” he didn’t seem to believe me at first. The word ‘Confusion’ was written all over his face. “That would be nice Daniela but, if you want to stay in the social circle, I’m probably your worst choice for a friend.”

He knew my name?

Chase dumped his diary into his bag and climbed to his feet.

“What if I don’t want to be a part of the social circle?”

The corners of his mouth twitched upward as he pushed a wad of tissues towards my side of the table. “Then I’d love a coffee buddy occasionally.” He left the cafe and I didn’t miss the vibrant smile on his face.

It was probably instinct when I opened the wad of tissues and found something scribbled in neat blue ink.

856983xxxx – Chase

I couldn’t stop the grinning as I walked out of the cafe.

 

***

 

The society misfit had become the reason my usual mundane mornings became bright. Alison had started to drift apart, only exchanged a few friendly greetings as we passed the hallways, and ignored me like a plague otherwise. She thought that Chase had indeed mixed voodoo stuff in my drinks. Chase walked me to History class, my heavy books tucked easily under his arm; the other hand was holding my hand, fingers laced. He stopped right outside the door as he handed me back the books. He pecked my cheek. “I’ll see you after class.”

That was the daily routine for a few weeks. At first it came off as a surprise to people when they started to notice that Chase was actually getting along with somebody. See people? It wasn’t so difficult. The right perspective is what mattered.

I watched him as he picked up my books from the back seat of his Jeep Wrangler. His toned arms flexed with each heavy binder. He noticed me watching and smiled. “What?”

“Can I kiss you?”

We’d only held hands and we still hadn’t proceeded to a first kiss. I wanted to make this high school dream ridiculously cliché.

“Always so blunt. You never cease to amaze me.” With delicate hands he pushed my hair away from my face, leaned in and I felt the cold metal ring press my lips firmly. I felt his tongue tantalize my mouth. I deepened the kiss and a shudder ran through his body like he was electrocuted. He pulled away abruptly and his body shook violently.

“What’s wrong Chase?”

He shook his head violently, took a few steps back and jogged towards the school building without a second glance. I followed him.

Had I done something wrong?

“Wait! Chase, listen to me.”

 I lost him completely as he disappeared down the hallway. Classes had already began so the corridors were empty, making it easier for me to look for that one person. I continued to walk until I reached an empty classroom. A muffled anguished sob filled the silence. My feet were wobbly at first as I stepped closer to the door, hesitant about what I might encounter.

I was scared that what people warned me about was true, that Chase was indeed eccentric.

I pushed the door open, Chase appeared to be hunched in a chair, sobbing like a little boy with his hands covering his face, the black and red hair covered his face.

“Chase.” I called out to him.

“No. No. No.” He said between sobs. “Don’t come near me, Daniela.”

For a few minutes his words rang in my ears like a mantra. I pulled his arms away from his face which revealed bloodshot eyes and tear stricken face. “Talk to me.”

His next words felt like the blood drained from my body.

“You’re gonna die soon. Really soon, before the New Years.” His voice came strangled. “And there’s nothing that you can do about it.”

 

***

 

Chase skipped school for several days and I’d begun to wonder why he said those words to me that day. Sleep wasn’t something that knocked on my door for days and everyone started to notice the change in me, whether it were the dark circles under my eyes or goth boy that no longer walked to class with me. Why would Chase say something like that?

I texted him every single day, every few hours and never got a response from the receiving end. New Years was just around the corner, and the plans I’d made of spending with him wouldn’t play well. In the mean time, Alison just got an entirely different reason to rub it in. She reminded me how bad my choices had been of hanging out with the wrong guy.

 A few days later after Christmas when it had become too much for me to take, I decided to overwhelm him with a surprise visit. I was a little anxious about who might open the door. He had mentioned that he lived with his mom. She’d adopted him as a single mother when he was only eleven, too old to be adopted but, never late. A petite woman with mousy hair answered the door. She smiled warmly, all too knowingly like she knew that I’d stop by in due time. “Daniela?”

That just proved my theory right.

I nodded and she ushered me inside. The house seemed cosy and warm; the rich aroma of freshly baked cookies filled the air. She disappeared from the room as I settled onto a single couch and a few minutes later appeared with a plate of raisin cookies for me. There were no coffins lying around or traces of the Adam’s Family. It was just a normal home. Pictures of a young Chase hung on the walls. His muscled body was lanky back then, his expressions impassive. If I could guess correct he was probably eleven, the age he was adopted by his mom, who smiled at the camera cheerfully with an arm around her son.

“He was a tough cookie to crack back then.” I peeled my eyes away from the picture to look at her.

“Chase didn’t come to school for a week and I was wondering how he was doing.” I didn’t want his mom to worry about him by telling her what exactly he’d said to me the other day, but judging by her looks, she seemed tired and worn out like she’d also had a few caffeine free sleepless nights.

She nodded. “Did he tell you that you were gonna die in a few days?”

I gaped at her. “Yes, Mrs. Harrison. He did say that to me.”

I was beginning to wonder if it was even true. What if I died in a few days like Chase said I would? But then again, this was real life.

“You’re not dying, alright?” she said. “Nobody is dying.”

I couldn’t hold it any longer, I spilled out whatever happened and told her how he’d just flipped on me.

“Chase’s parents and his sister died in a car accident. He was the only one who survived.” her jaded green eyes pierced right through me. “He lived with his grandmother until she died of cancer just before he was taken by the orphanage.”

I continued to remain silent as she told me how he was being teased as a death magnet for years until she decided to take him in. Chase believed that the people he was attached to would eventually die. Mrs. Harrison’s eyes were glistening with fresh tears.

“Is he upstairs?” I asked her. “Can I see him?”

I took the steps, skipping two at a time and halted in front of a closed door that had a sign that said ‘Keep Out’. I knocked once.

“Mom, I’m studying.” the response came in a few seconds.

I pushed the door open and watched the surprise cross his face. “Don’t come near me.”

I settled down next to him and took his hand in mine despite his protests. “I won’t die, Chase. No one is going to die.”

He shook his head, slamming the book shut. “Eventually you will. Everyone does. My mom, dad, my sister..all of them are dead because of me. My grandmother too. You will die soon if you don’t leave me alone.”

“It’s not your fault.” I said softly, I could barely hear my own voice. “Death is also a part of life. We don’t control it, Chase. If I die, it’s not going to be your fault. It’s just how nature works.”

His hands were balled into tight fists. “It’s not fair.”

“Life is not fair, I know.” I caressed his tensed fists. “I won’t die, I promise. Not until I have gray hair or loose teeth.”

 Chase attended school after that. I’d successfully convinced him that I wasn’t going to die so soon. A part of me wondered if he’d actually seen me getting run over by a truck but brushed it off at once. He was just emotionally disturbed for years and believed what the facts that were laid down in front of him, that death followed him like a shadow. People he loved died eventually. At times he called me home and told me to stay under lock down. I didn’t mind doing it but it would only prove his theories right so I went to school. He latched close to me during the New Years Eve, pulling me away from every burst of the cracker. I made it through 2013 without mishap.

“See, Chase?” I gave his arm a tight squeeze as we made our way home through the swarms of shoppers on the street. “I’m not dead.”

During school, he’d follow me around the entire time, keeping a look out for a banana peel or a janitor washing the floor. It was comical yet sad. I was leaning more towards the sad part. It was a matter of time before he would not fear death. He once told me that he never feared death if it came to him but the thought of someone he loved dying killed him more.

Aren’t we all the same?

 


© Copyright 2018 AbstractKash . All rights reserved.

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