We are all victims, he thought. Victims of love, and hate. For sometimes, not being able to see the fault in another is a curse. Having hate, so strong that it blinds you, that’s dangerous too. We can’t and never will understand why or how we can be so psychologically affected by so few, and why those few are not in the least affected by us.
Dorian usually thought about such things as he braved the crisp Manhattan air on his way to work. He worked a menial job, in a mediocre building, situated on a fairly average walkway on the tip of the island. At a first glance, you would never guess that such thoughts bounced round the head of Dorian Hunter. Dark brown curly hair, unruly and forever disobeying the teeth of the comb and a pair of wide set blue eyes, seemingly the only remarkable thing about this man. His dress sense followed everyone else, when flares were in, Dorian would wear flares, and now that dressing it down with baggy jeans, plain t-shirts and a leather jacket was in, he was seen to only wear this, blending into the crowd, a stone among stones it seemed.
The one thing that distinguished him from the millions of other people listed as citizens of America, was his name. His parents Ruth and Todd Hunter saw a spark in their bouncing baby boy, something that didn’t fit into James, Thomas or Samuel. Something extraordinary. Something Dorian shaped.
Dorian never understood school, his childhood had passed by in a blur of crayon stained trainers, lonely proms and unfulfilling lectures. But through all his life, there had been the few that had understood him, and helped him see. Mrs. Butler, the jolly, bustling third grade teacher, was the first. Lily Jones, the first girl Dorian ever made friends with, was the second. Then there was Kat Linden. She was the third. The third person to truly understand the workings of Dorian Hunter. She was the most remarkable girl Dorian would ever meet. Her family’s wealth promised her big things, yet she insisted on becoming a busker. Standing in various places throughout the knot of subway tunnels with only a microphone, a guitar and a hat. Her mass of ginger hair blazed through the sea of greys and browns as she played out her heart to the morning commuters.
On January 7th 2006, Dorian Hunter was caught up in that crowd. His usual walk to work had been cancelled, due to a conference in Brooklyn that afternoon and as he trudged slowly along shoulder to shoulder with various other business men, he thought about life. Life as it is. Life in the fast lane. Imagine that. Just living life on a whim. Jumping on a train and seeing where you end up. Not giving a care to what time it is, or where you should be. Just. Being.
Dorian stopped. Stopped walking in the middle of the morning crowds. His thoughts suddenly too much, and the people around him, mumbling, complaining, he was in their way. He pulled his old leather briefcase up to his chest, closed his eyes, and tore his way out of the crowds. A burst seam on an old jacket, finally giving in. A pea pod, busting under the pressure of the midday sun. He kept running until he could feel space around him. Until he could breath. And when he could, he slowed to a walk, and opened his eyes.
There standing in from of him was a girl. A woman. Thick red hair, cascading over her shoulders, back, resting in crevices of her worn denim jacket, caught up in her assortment of jewellery. Ripped kahki shorts, studded with random gems and a guitar slung over her shoulder. Dorian looked down, not sure what to say.
“Are…are you alright?” the girl asked. Dorian looked up, noticing her sharp grey eyes, and took a breath.
“I am now.” he replied slowly.
“Not used to the subway heat I guess?”
“No…” She was right. Dorian had never been caged up in that kind of situation before.
“You, really don’t say a lot do you?” The girl laughed. Dorian shook his head slowly. Quickly, she thrust out her hand. Dorian took a step back, and looked at her awkwardly.
“I’m Katarina. But most people call me Kat. And you are...?”
Dorian liked the way she smiled. The way she held herself and suddenly, he didn’t feel nervous anymore. When he was around this girl, his head was clear. He didn’t understand it. But he liked it. He took her hand and shook is slowly.
“Dorian Hunter. And I am very late for my conference.” She laughed at this.
“Call me.” She said, and held out a business card to him. He took it without thinking, nodded and turned back down the tunnel he had moments before been hurtling down.
It was late, and as he slowly made his from the subway station, home, he felt something small and rectangular his back pocket. He slowed and shoved his hand in, nearly obliterating the tiny thing, and bought it out into the light. It read: ‘Katarina Linden. Busker. Lover of fine ice-cream and chocolate.’ This made him chuckle as he ambled down the badly lit backstreet on which he lived. As he reached his front door, and rummaged through his jacket pocket for his keys, some small silver writing in the corner of the card caught the light. He stopped, and looked at it more closely. ‘Live life on a whim. We all end up the victims some day.’ This made Dorian gasp. He dropped his briefcase in disbelief. He sat down on the step of his doorway and hastily searched all his pockets for his cell phone. Once he’d found it, he flipped it open, and the bright light momentarily blinded him, he closed his eyes and blinked, squinting down at the luminous block lighting up the dingy alleyway. A picture of Mount. Everest flickered on, he smiled, the last place his mind has been quiet, his head had been clear, until Katarina Linden. He looked at the business card he held in his hand, and cautiously typed in the number, and in one fateful second, pressed, dial.
We are all victims, he thought. Victims of love, and hate. For sometimes, not being able to see the fault in another is a curse. Kat Linden held my heart in a barbed wire grasp, yet softer than the skin of a new born baby, he thought. We can’t and never will understand why or how we can be so psychologically affected by so few, and why those few are not in the least affected by us.
My name is Dorian Hunter, he thought as he braced the crisp Manhattan morning air. I fell for Katarina Linden psychologically. I am a victim of love. She fell too. She was a victim of hate.
© Copyright 2016 Anna Townley. All rights reserved.
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