Sunday, February 17, 2008

Empty Hallways

He looks down from the second storey of the museum and tried to tune out the crowd gathering around him. These days he finds it so easy to forget about the outside world and just do nothing.

And as he stares down at the whitewashed hallway, memories came flooding back. He remembers that fateful day. He was whiling away his time trying to lessen the stress from his shoulders. It was a few days before the opening of his solo exhibit. A solo exhibit! Who would have thought that a regular guy like him would be given a chance of a lifetime? I guess his definition of ‘regular’ is definitely different from Mr. Scott’s as the curator seems to think of him as ‘brilliant and fascinating’.

He was just standing there looking at the crowd, watching them in their hurried paces, people needing to be somewhere else. And then suddenly, she was there.

From somewhere in his mind, he remembered thinking how his heart seems to be beating a bit faster and how the world seems to be more quiet than normal. At that time, he would probably have heard a leaf falling for the sudden calm.

She looked up and stared right through him. And he wondered why she seems to be immune to his hard stare and come-hither looks. And then he saw her smile. But her smile was reserved for someone else. A hug, a kiss was exchanged and his heart was broken.

He ran down the stairs to get a chance to meet her but when he arrived, she was gone. He looked at the multiple doors downstairs and wondered which one contains his treasure.

A door from the other end opened and there she was. She walked over and smiled at him.

“You’re Greg White, the artist.”

“Yes. How did you know?”

“Your photograph is in the pamphlet for the exhibit. I am looking forward to seeing your work.”

He beamed like a schoolboy in front of his crush.

“Are you also an artist? Do you have any exhibit here?”

“No. My dad works here so I get to go often.”

He nods. As if he understands well what she was saying. He just wants her to keep on talking.

“Hi Dad!”

Greg turned around to see Mr. Scott walking towards them.

“I see you’ve met my daughter Meg. She’s a fan of yours. She’s the one who convinced me to bring your work here.”

He looked back at her and a telltale blush suddenly creeps on her face. His heart seems to swell bigger.

From that day on, the two of them were always together. She was there when he received his first toast of success and was there to share his joy on the first sale of his work. It seemed like a fairy tale that will never end.

But it did. He remembered it like it was just yesterday. The phone rang in the middle of the night and a disembodied voice suddenly announced, “She’s gone.” And everything seems to crumble.

He didn’t know how he arrived at the hospital where she was rushed the night before. All he knows is that looking at her lying on the bed, she seems to be just sleeping. How can she be gone?

Mr. Scott caught up with him at the hospital and tried to console him even with his own grief.

“She loved you and you made her happy in the last few days of her life.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? You should have told me. You have no right!”

“She asked me not to tell you. She made me promise not to say a word. And I had to honor her wishes.”

He cried then like he never cried before. He felt like a heavy hand was continuously pressing on his heart, making it so hard to breath. And tears just kept on coming. Days and months passed and yet the tears sometimes still surprise him.

A tap on his back brought him back to the present. And as he looks down at the empty hall, he was hoping that he would see her there walking, smiling and greeting him once more.

But the hallway remains empty.

Write Stuff Writing Photo Contest


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...


So what happens to this artist? Does he still carry a torch? Its hard to compete with a corpse that lies in the memory of one whose feelings were deeply profound yet so painfully traumatized.

Thanks for peeking. I'll return for the rest of the story. --Durano, done!

Ther said...

Unfortunately, that's the whole part of the story. Not really making it into something more. Or at least I never planned to. I'll have to think about it.... =)

Thanks for visiting!

Chris said...

I like the feel of this piece a lot. It has a strong flow that follows the feeling of loss. You made me want to know more about these characters. It would be an interesting start to a memory piece, or perhaps a mix of memories and how a character works past the grief. However, that is not to say it doesn't stand up alone. It is a very good story on it's own. I was certainly interested. It's also a beautiful picture; it is perfect for the mood of the piece.

Thank you, for your kind words regarding my piece. I sure hope more people enter. I loved the idea of taking a story from a picture. I look forward to reading more of your work.

pjd said...

Hi Ther,

It's a sad story. I like how you created such a complex history from the photo.

Work on the tense issues, though. Mixing current thoughts with flashback can be tricky but also very powerful. Also, watch out for the editorializing ("I guess his definition...").

Very cool photo.

UL said...

I really enjoyed this sweet and romantic, reminded me of a fav. story by Erich Segal, called 'The Love Story' , have you read it?

Anonymous said...

For he may never be mine But to him I shall stayLoyal and honest anActress of his play. Reading his name makes my face red.I didn't die, I just had to get away from all the distractions. I love him still. I want him still. I pray God will let me forget so I can move on but he crosses my mind like a wave knocking me down. This story made me weak. I am shaking right now. If you are him in hiding under this piece please understand that - "I love you"If you are not him then know that you just wrote the story that has been lingering for over a year in my life now. You even knew his name. Though we don't use brushes we paint with words. Singapore is a long way from Oklahoma. Fate brought me to this site, - If you are not him, please pray- that the memory of him will dissolve so I can move on, because He will never find me and save me from this pain. It hurts so much. I only wanted to wrap my arms around his head and tell him how much I cared about him. Thanks deeply,c

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