100 words, 100 sentences, 1 story
Other Side of Oblivion
It began with sticky notes stuck to his locker every morning, bearing messages such as "Good luck today" or a simply drawn smiley face and he would peel each one from the metal and rub off the adhesive residue and there would be something remarkably similar to a smile on his face.
The majority of the world seemed to hold some sort of animosity towards him because he was too smart, too quiet, too weird but this girl was different.
It wasn't as if he was expecting a miracle or anything particularly exciting but when he read the note stuck to his locker he thought it almost disappointing and rather anticlimactic that the one person in the world who seemed to care for him had such an ordinary name as Emily.
There were days when he could feel the tears burn, like arsenic down his throat but that was only the shadow of a nightmare form a long time ago.
Some of her notes had colorful stick figures drawings (including one with a stick figure knight slaying a small lizard with the caption "Death to Future Dragons!!") that would beguile him and he wished he knew who she was.
The brevity of their first real meeting didn't surprise him because the meeting was so accidental: he caught her putting another sticky note on his locker.
He had a talent for turning fantasy back into reality, turning dragons into lizards, mermaids into fish, brimstone into simply sulfur (which only took the magic from the words and was somehow much worse).
Logic and intellect were what he relied on to survive and when he told her the rational behind civilizations else-where that would cannibalize other human beings, she would just nod and smile slightly, listening and understanding as if he wasn't completely insane but just a semi-normal kid with a mind too advanced for high school.
Eating by himself was something he was used to, but he was surprised when the jocks came over and capsized him table, sending all the food crashing to the floor and rendering it uneatable.
Her sticky notes were never cryptic and this was no exception: there was a stick figure jock panhandling on the corner.
Sometimes he wondered if, when he died, this girl would be the only person in the whole world to remember like someone killed by cyanide, with no indication except a light pink tinge and the faint smell of almonds.
Her feelings were like a weed, a dandelion: you could decapitate the dandelion but the roots are still there and the dandelion will keep growing back.
He kept all her sticky notes, like he kept every bit of information he knew about her in a little file in his mind, and it excited him when he uncovered a new piece of information, a new datum to add to the file.
The world seemed so strange to him, lacking reality, like everyone was in a disguise, playing pretend, but this girl was undeniably real.
He trusted her and felt safe divulging tiny secrets to her, sharing little pieces of himself that he had hidden from the world.
When he told her, passive and serious as always, that she wasn't really riding her bike in a circle because it was more of an elliptical shape, she smiled and insisted that's what she was aiming for.
He was not good with emotions or expressing them, the ability to emote, something so simple for the vast majority of people, eluded him: everything just came out flat.
Envy was not something he was immediately acquainted with because if you knew there was something you could never have, there is no point on being jealous: that was logic.
She stopped being accepted by the general population but she still smiled and he was glad she was in exile with him.
To him, fantasy was fabrication, lying, but she showed him how to use illusions to get closer to the truth.
He almost never watched movies and as the screen faded to black he felt a quick jolt of fear, wondering if he would fade too, but he felt her hand on his and he was safe.
She took him to a play, a farce, and though he didn't understand it, she didn't seem offended and even explained it to him afterward.
There were several things he kept his fidelity for: logic and reason, math, his cat, and of course, her.
Human beings are changing creatures, they fluctuated, but somehow he always remained constant and sometimes, when the nightmares are still chasing him, he wondered if he was less then human.
When he stated that the genocide of Jews during the Holocaust did not upset him she was the only one who asked why (everyone else thought him a sociopath) and he gave her a very logical answer; it happened before his lifetime and besides if one cared for every other person, even those they did not know, it would destroy them emotionally because human beings aren't equipped to deal with that.
Sometimes she arranged her words in ways he didn't really understand - "dog tired" "hit the hay" - it was all gibberish to him, but he didn't mind too much.
She spent a good portion of her time in a state that he could only refer to as giddiness and he kind of liked it.
He always thought that stars didn't glow so much as glisten and Emily, she kind of glistened too.
They followed him around - jeering voices, angry voices - but he could ignore them even when they would haunt his footsteps so closely.
Because of the hierarchy of things he was always forgotten and sometimes he wondered how she could possibly remember him.
She kisses him very softly and the thought enters his mind for a fraction of a moment that perhaps it is all a hoax but he discards this because he trusts her.
She hums him a lullaby even though it is day time and because his head is on her chest he can fell the vibrations and he thinks it is very cool.
When she gets sick he walks the 1.4 miles to her house with chicken soup that isn't really hot anymore by the time he gets there and a bottle of Ibuprofen and she says it's sweet which makes the rain he walked through worth it.
He asks he once, why identity is so important and she tells him identity is what makes people different, definable and special and he likes this answer.
She asks him if he ever feels anything emotionally and he thinks for a long time before he says "sometimes" and she suggests maybe he's built up an immunity to emotion and he doubts this; he thinks he was born immune.
He asks her why people can be so untrustworthy, why infidelity is so common and she said it's just a human thing.
She starts to pick up on what interests him and tells him of a man whose neck was slashed completely through the jugular and challenges him to guess how long it took him to bleed to death and he's only a second off.
With the proper knowledge, understanding and argument, anything could be justified and when he tells he this she asks him if that is good or bad and he tells her that good and bad are subjective.
When it comes to knowing things, she is the expert on people and he is the expert of everything else.
She points out to him that he has a bit of kleptomania when it comes to information and general knowledge and he reminds her that one can't steal what is public domain.
Sometimes his nightmares feel like he is running through a labyrinth and something is chasing him and when he wakes up he reminds himself of all the real things chasing him.
Every so often they lapse in protocol and he kisses her instead of the other way around and this always makes her smile.
Once (and she insists it's a joke) she suggests that maybe he had gotten a lobotomy when he was younger and when he points out the flaw in her theory, she laughs.
She asks him if he has ever been lost and he asks her what that means and she says "have you ever been somewhere you didn't belong without a way to find somewhere you did belong?" and he says "everyday" and she holds his hand.
He can never forget the days before the sticky notes, before Emily, because his memory won't allow him to, be he doesn't mind because he likes knowing where he was before.
She calls him a misanthrope and he doesn't deny it because she is right and she isn't malicious about it and besides most people should be avoided anyway.
She tells him she thinks she's a masochist because he hurts her every day and she lets him but she kisses him and says that it's okay and besides, he doesn't leave the type of bruises that show.
She says he has a certain mystique to him and she wishes she knew what made him tick (but he doesn't really know what that means).
It's like a narcotic, this thing they have and he wonders if it's killing them and if they would even notice.
She asks him what necrosis felt like and he explained it to her and she said heartbreak feels kind of like that only different and it doesn't leave scars.
He asks her if she could, if she would negate everything, their entire meeting, everything and she hugs him gently and tells him she wouldn't trade this for anything in the world.
He comments how the two of them seemed to be completely separated form everyone else and she says that they are "the two teenagers on the other side of oblivion" and he likes the way she phrases it.
She often calls him omniscient and smiles softly when he points out it's impossible to know everything.
With Emily, he doesn't have to keep any of his thoughts oppressed because she doesn't mind what he thinks and smiles no matter what he says.
He tends to be oblivious when she's kissing him and sometimes she has to nudge him gently to remind him to breathe so he doesn't die from lack of oxygen.
He always notices the rhythm of his heart and of her heart and how his heart palpitates when she hugs him and hums her lullaby.
She does enjoy the theatre and the next play she takes him to is a parody (he doesn't understand this one either but she laughs at it and explains it to him later).
He finds the word "perfidy" in a book and when he tells her the words she says it sounds sad and he thinks it does sound sad even though it is illogical to give feelings to words.
He once tells her truth is the most important thing but she says that perception is most important because if enough people perceive something to be true then it is.
He asks her once what it feels like to have your heart broken, past invisible necrosis that doesn't quite feel like necrosis, and she says it is like phantom pain because it hurts so much but you can't fix it because it's like your heart isn't there anymore.
She takes him to a small quagmire near her house and even though he hates the slime and dirt and other such things he likes the smell and she holds his hand so it is a little better and she catches a frog for him (which he names Estrella because he thinks that's what Emily's name ought to have been).
He is asked one day to list his friends on a sheet of paper and he only writes one name down because Emily is the only person that qualifies.
He asks her once why she started putting the notes on his locker and she shrugs and said it was random and he tells her that "random" exists only as a theory and everything in this world has defining factors and she just looks at him and smiles as if she knows something he doesn't.
The difference between fantasy and reality for him has always been like black and white and he always knew how to tell the difference, but since Emily... things started to become a little more ambiguous.
She asks him if he feels obligated to care for her and such because she cared for her (he tells her this is called reciprocity) and he shrugs and says he supposes so but he wants to anyway so it works out and she smiles.
He does not take much stock in religious views of death because they all seem to follow the line of thought that life is simply a rehearsal for after death and that makes him uncomfortable because he knows what really happens when you die.
The phrase "unwritten rules" means very little to him because he is very socially inept and she just tells him if she's uncomfortable with something and he remembers and this is more of a courtesy then a rule.
He knows he hurts her emotionally because she tells him but he doesn't stop and he wonders if it counts as sadism and he asks her and she tells him not to worry so he doesn't.
When she tells him to shut up it isn't sinister and he listens to her because he trust her (and she always gives him a reason for everything).
He does not have the ability to read emotions so she tells him when she happy and when she's angry and sometimes she uses pretty words like "sorrow" and he doesn't know how to comfort her so he holds her hand and lets her hug him.
He tells her that everyone has a slightly different syntax based on their environment, learning experience and personal preference and he likes her syntax because he knows what she's is saying most of the time.
He is a taciturn individual but she doesn't mind the silence.
She tells him she wishes for a tempest to hit the town and when he asks her why she pauses before saying "so none of it would exist".
She says he has a theory about their relationship and when he asks her she says that they absolutely need each other to survive and he doesn't disagree.
"People are translucent" she says and he doesn't know what it means but thinks it sounds pretty anyway.
She asks him if he tells the truth because he is a good person and he shakes his head and says he tells the truth because he cannot lie.
She tells him she likes his turpitude and he thinks this is an insult but she tells him evolution is overrated and the more people evolve the stupider they get.
He thinks she will never get ugly because he knows who she is and he loves her and when you love someone they are never ugly.
One day she stopped leaving sticky notes on his locker and that was when things unraveled.
When he went to her house Emily refused to see him and when he called her name, her father ushered him out of the house and asked him not to come back.
When he finally saw her face to face he had only one word to describe her eyes: vacant.
He began to feel heartbroken, just like she described it and he wanted to fix it but he couldn't and it gave him a sense of vertigo.
All of a sudden, everything seemed virtual to him and it lacked a sense of reality and he hated the feeling and wanted to fix it because he knew she could.
He missed how she understood him and he missed kissing her and hugging her and feeling her hums vibrate through his chest and he missed how vibrant everything was with her.
When he saw her again there was a deep void between them and she stared at him and he decided to do the bravest thing he had ever done and he stepped into the void.
She is warm in his arms and she's crying and he doesn't tell her everything is all right because he doesn't lie but he lets her cry and when she is done he kisses her.
Winter means snowball fights and damp clothes and hot chocolate and warm blankets and Emily and he never liked winters before but now he does.
She says that sometimes she feels like a whip-poor-will, calling out a sad and lonely song over and over and he hugs her and she hugs back.
He thinks that naturally people are broken but now he is whole because of her (and it's all metaphorical so it takes a great deal of thought) and when he tells her this she nods and says she is whole to know and they smile.
She takes a wishbone from a long ago thanksgiving and he doesn't really et the concept and asks her if it could really make a wish come true and she says no, but make a wish anyway so he does and he wishes for this forever.
She teaches him about words and how words could be happy or sad or beautiful and even though it isn't logical he liked it.
He used to writhe away from human contact but with Emily it is different because Emily won't hurt him and even though she had, and if she did again, he forgives her and would forgive her again.
She asks him (and she is only half joking) if he thinks he might have xenophobia and he thinks and then says he doesn't because he doesn't like all people, not just foreign people (except Emily of course, he likes her).
He can't forget yesterdays because his memory was still there and he could ignore the memory but she tells him not to worry too much about yesterday and focus on this day and he can and he did.
Her breath is like a zephyr (a word he learned from her because it sounds prettier then "breeze") on his skin and he tells her this and she says he should be a teenage poet and laughs.
He doesn't take much stock in religious or Chinese zodiacs or stuff like that but sometimes he wonders if they were supposed to be like this, two teenagers against the world, all alone on the opposite side of oblivion.
He asks her why she came back and she is silent for a long time before telling him he makes her a zombie but it means something so it is okay and besides (there was another silence) she loves him.