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Old 11-10-2017, 12:45 PM View Post #1 (Link) The past casts long shadows
Georgy (Offline)
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Julia enjoyed looking at her reflection in the mirror..A smile trembled on her childlike plump lips, her eyes glittered like diamonds. She combed meticulously her long black, shining hair.
"I am seventeen, I am beautiful, I am happy and I love," her lips unvoluntary doubled her thought.
Her first love went so far that made Julia doubt whether she'd been living before. Her real life, she felt, began when she saw Tim first time at a party. Only one look at a slim tall frank faced guy with close-cropped fair hair changed her life unexpectedly. That moment was inscribed at her memory forever: his grey eyes focused on her, and their glance's contact caused a new striking feeling like palpitations in Julia's chest, mixed with suffocation. Her palms and forehead grew moist - she blushed and lowered her head. " What's that?" Julia thought in confusion. But at the back of her mind she knew exactly what all this meant. She knew that from books, she knew that from her friends and of course she knew that from the bottom of her heart.
As soon as Tim began to speak with Julia, she felt for him an unlimited confidence.
She wanted to dance with him, and he, divining her wish, invited.
While dancing their bodies pressed against each other, and Julia thought with awe " Yes, I feel it."
They talked much during the party but though their conversation was vivid and light their eyes were much more eloquent.
Since all their leisure time they spent together.
Julia passed the second semester exams in the university. Her parents flew to Egypt, Julia preferred to stay in her cottage with Tim. He graduated from the Law Academy and worked at a law firm.
Tim was eager to spend a holiday with Julia and accepted her invitation with joy. They arrived in hermitage by Tim's car. Tim liked it at once; the two-story brick house, albescent among the greenery of the garden.
Tim got out of the car, undressed and jumped in the nearby pond. Having reached the shore, Tim embraced Julia and kissed her ear.
'Just try. The water's great!'
'I don't bathe here,' Julia's face darkened.
'Is the water bad?'
'Normal,' Julia answered and hurried into the house.
The days were sunny and hot. Lovers went to a river a mile from their home. Water in it was more cool, and there were guys and girls on the shore.
The lovers made friends with their neighbors - a young couple - and spent their evenings with them.
The first week of happiness passed - and then appeared a first disappointment.
One morning Tim said. "You often yell when you sleep."
'What?' Julia frowned.
'I recorded it.'
'Why? What for?' Julia cried.
'Look,' Tim handed her his smartphone.
She heard her own voice, coming from the headphones: "I don't know, Mom, where Peter is! I really didn't see him! "
Julia took off the headphones and threw it them on the bed. She was silent for a minute, biting her lip. Two wrinkles ran across her forehead.
'Maybe you want to tell me about it?' Tim touched Julia' shoulder but she recoiled, shouting 'Leave me alone!'
Her face was pale, her eyes flashed.
Tim came out on the porch and sat on the step.
For five minutes he looked at the pond, then got up and returned resolutely in the house.
Tim went to Julia, sat on the couch next to her and said softly 'I do not want us to hide anything from each other.'
Julia cast a glance at Tim, tears dripping from her eyes.
"I was nine when my dad died,' Julia began her story in choked voice. 'We adored each other and I grieved badly his passing. A year later mom,' Julia sobbed. 'She married, yes,
she was married again. My stepfather didn't like me and I didn't
feel affection to him. Both of us concealed our feelings under the guise of politeness.
As soon as Peter was born, I felt myself an orphan.
My stepfather adored his son, and Mom seemed to forget about me entirely. Since Peter's birth Mom was always inclined to send me away to my grandmother or to the aunt.
I hated this child. I did not cause him any harm, but I never became close with him.'
Julia stopped and wiped her eyes by her handkerchief. After a half of a minute of silence she continued in a trembling voice.
" It happened right here. It was stepfather's birthday. At the dinner table in the garden the guests, pretty drunk, sang, talked, shouted and laughed, and Mom for some time lost the sight of Peter.
The kid came waddling to the pond and looked at the water lily attentively.
I sat on the sidelines and watched Peter. Water lily trembled and Peter stepped up to it ... I did not move. Some force kept me. Peter sank quickly...' Julia, sobbing, took her handkerchief and wiped her face. ' He didn't even scream and shout; it seemed he didn't expect me to help him, or rather he knew it... Then I went back to the table. A few minutes later Mom noticed the child's absence, and then an awful commotion began .....
Mom couldn't give a birth to a child any more, something happened to her health. After Peter's death she was not more attentive to me. Stepfather rarely cast at me his sad ambiguous glances.
Now they forgot all what had happened to Peter and live for their pleasure.
On the contrary I got a feeling as if a big black stone pressed my soul.
For the first time I woke up in tears when I was sixteen, since that time it all began...'
Julia screened her face with her palms. She cried. Tim sat with a grim expression on his face, his eyes frozen in despair.
' I always ask myself, how could I do that?' Julia continued quietly. 'Why nobody told me that I was on the edge of the gulf? Why nobody explained me that there would be no salvation after the evil I caused?'
Tim, as if petrified, stared at the floor and said nothing.
The next morning, having waked up, Julia found a note on Tim's pillow. It read "I'm called to work. It's urgent. Sorry. Can't refuse. "
Not believing it, Julia called Tim several times, and only having noticed the absence of his car, she admitted that he was not kidding.
She called him but Tim's phone was switched off.
"Because of my confession?" she thought. "I need to see him and talk to him."
She arrived in the city by train and entered into the Tim's office. The manager assured her that Tim was not called. Julia went to his home.
There was no his car in the yard. Nevertheless she vainly pressed his front door bell.
She remembered Tim once told her that he enjoyed sitting with his friends in "The enchantress", small cosy cafe located nearby.
She hurried there. Entering the cafe, she saw Tim in the company of two young men. They drank from the glasses.
Suddenly Julia felt a strong bewilderment. She stood at the entrance not knowing how to open conversation with Tim. She had to gather her thoughts.
She chose a table so that Tim couldn't see her - because he was sitting with his back to it - and ordered a coffee.
The boys shot glances at Julia. One of them leaned over to Tim and whispered something.
'The flag in your hands,' Tim replied. 'I am out, fellows. I just fled from one abnormal species, which cries out at nights.'
'Probably, it's your fault?' sneered one of his friends.
'No. When she was ten, she drowned her little brother. Ditched him die in a pond, and now she suffers from nightmares.'
'You said she was cool and you were going to take your relationship seriously.'
'Everything some time becomes vulgar,' Tim sighed.
Julia got up and left. Her legs carried her away from the cafe.
"I opened my soul to him, and now he tells about it as if it is an anecdote!" she thought, seething with indignation. "Talks about me as if I am no more than a bike!"
At the door of her apartment Julia, rummaging hurriedly in her bag, found that in the rush she had forgotten to take the keys.
Julia returned to the cottage by train, found the keys, but suddenly it crossed her mind that in fact there was no need for her to go anywhere. Loneliness did not scare her any longer - on the contrary, she yearned for it. Thoughts of her parents caused her annoyance, thinking of Tim she felt rage; memory of Peter caused her almost physical pain. She felt an unbearable disgust to life.
The pain in her temples struck her down. In the medicine box Julia found a package of sleeping pills.
Her stepfather after his son's death was often tormented by insomnia.
For some time he was addicted to pills, then having gathered his will, he gave up taking them. Looking at the tube on her palm, Julia felt her mouth go dry.
Consciousness of her guilt in the death of the child was burning inside her.
Julia opened the package, swallowed the contents, drinking tonic water. She went out of the house and headed staggering to the pond. She went to the water and looked at the dark surface. Drowsiness and heaviness in Julia's head crushed consciousness and blunted the fear of death. Through tears and mist, covering her eyes, Julia saw the lily on the water.​​ A breath of wind swayed lily and it nodded. ' Yes, yes, I am coming' Julia moaned.
With an incredible effort she managed the fateful step. Plunged to the waist, Julia whispered "sorry" and lost her consciousness.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:07 PM View Post #2 (Link) Sad and Melodic in a Good Way
lawdawg25 (Offline)
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The stories tone is well crafted and dark. It is attractive and seductive in nature and gives the reader a sense of someone on the outside looking in without the ability to intervene. All that said, it needs something vital, it needs a beating heart. The tale gives me no reason to care about the protagonist and causes disdain for her rather than a sense of connection.

final review: Good story to be taken at face value
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