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We’ve Aged, Not Grown Up [part 3/final]

She was still for a moment, but a moment that could have been infinite, something which could not have been said passing between them, from his downcast face to her hesitant one. When the moment ended, he went to get her red jacket, and she slipped off of the counter. He returned and handed it to her; there was no longer any electricity when their hands brushed, just skin brushing skin. He stood silently as she put it on and walked to the door of the room.

She turned to him, but there was no smile, no three words that could make him drop everything just to follow her. Only a girl in a red jacket, a girl who could never stop moving but could never move fast enough, a girl who would leave you in her dust if you slowed for even a second. Only a woman in a faded jacket, a woman who desperately wanted to stop moving but could never slow down enough, a woman who could hardly bear to leave you in her dust.

She didn’t make a sound as she walked down the hall, and the door clicked shut as he stared into the tin. He picked it up and emptied the last teabag into the bin. He hated raspberry and chamomile.

Filed under story we've aged not grown up part 3

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We’ve Aged, Not Grown Up [part 2]

Time would pass, it always did. If they stayed too long, one day he’d wake up alone, her bed not even slept in, her few possessions gone. It hurt every time, hurt like a piece had been ripped out of his heart, so he would simply gather up whatever he had with him and look around the town. Sometimes he stayed a week, others barely a day. He always went home afterwards, back to his dusty flat of however many days worth of post, of however many messages on his answerphone. He would stay there, falling back into his old life, a few friends, none very close, an old trinket shop, barely getting by on the trickle of summer tourists, and a hole in his life, one that she ripped anew with every disappearance.

It took a long time, years, but he knew he would never regret any of it. She turned up on his doorstep one morning, cheerful as ever, and asked if she could come in for tea. The answer was obvious, and her old red jacket was soon slung over the back of a chair, almost missing and hitting the floor as she began to tell him of her latest adventure. He filled the kettle and set it to boil, then opened the cupboard to get out the tea. Raspberry and chamomile, her favourite. He listened half-heartedly to her, motionless and staring at the tin.

Eventually, long after the kettle had boiled, she paused in her narrative and looked to him, a question on her lips. He took a breath and turned.

"We’ve run out of tea."

Filed under story we've aged not grown up part 2

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We’ve Aged, Not Grown Up

All it took was three words. Just three words, and he would drop everything, follow her to the end of the world and beyond. He would get left behind, of course; he would be angry, maybe disappointed that it hadn’t amounted to anything. But all it took was three words from that girl, and everything was forgiven, he would go following after her again.

It was pathetic, he knew. She could never want to stop, to stay in one place, to stay with him. He had no doubt he wasn’t the only one, but was content to ignore that fact whenever she came calling, another adventure already in mind.

She would perch on some nearby surface, be it chair, table or cardboard box, and prattle on about where she’d been, where she was going to go next. He would make her tea (raspberry and chamomile, her favourite), and she wouldn’t pause to thank him, just keep on about her next adventure. He no longer expected her to, and just sipped his tea in silence.

Halfway through tea, she’d look at the time, and, be it four in the afternoon or two in the morning, she would declare her imminent departure. They would go through the motions, she gulping down tea, he fetching her red jacket, and he would show her to the door. They’d say their goodbyes, and at the last second, just before she steeped away from the door, she would turn back, smiling.

"Come with me."

And he would.

Filed under story we've aged not grown up part 1

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I knew it was going to be a fun summer the moment I saw him stumble into the small square. I paused in my conversation to consider him for a moment. He held his map at an odd angle, and having his sunglasses perched so precariously on his head revealed his confused frown (the cutest frown I’ve ever seen) as he studied the map. It was insanely obvious that he was a lost tourist, and they never lasted long in my part of the city. So, assuring Maruo’s cousin’s daughter’s ‘friend’ (Tien, ‘friend’ of Selen, daughter of Ms Kinhsa) that I would speak to their parents about an arrangement, I made my way out of the square. It just so happened that I was heading for the exit near my lost tourist, but I did need to get some more pataro, and Liae’s nephew (Gil, not Matll) was selling some just over there, so it was entirely coincidental. I bought a small bag and offered my congratulations on his little sister Sera’s scholarship, then turned around and smiled at my lost tourist as I walked past him.

"Excuse me! I am lost."

I turned to face him. It seemed he wasn’t too bad at the language.

"Can you… Could you helping I with it?"

He gestured at his map with a nervous smile, and I decided to take back what I’d thought about his linguistic skills. Of course, being the helpful and caring person I am (because it was not in any way for my amusement or to aid the development of some kind of plan), I said sure, where was he trying to get to? He said the Jean Parilo Museum, (honestly, I was barely holding in my laughter) and I pointed out the massive distance between the little square and the museum.


He didn’t seem to know what to say, so I decided to do him a favour and offered to take him there, though it wasn’t likely we’d be there before dark; it was a fairly long way to the station, and the buses would have stopped by the time we got there. My lost tourist looked unsure, then tried to say something to me.

"I have not to stay place, before people of museum give to myself keys. Are you knowing of to stay place?"

While thinking about my options, I deduced that his native tongue was one which lacked articles and cared little for word order. I could direct him to a ‘hotel’ down an alleyway, with words to certain people that his organs were rather unimportant in the greater scheme of things; though that seemed a bit too callous, and the ‘people of museum’ might miss him. A better option was kidnapping, a ransom note would be easy enough to get to them, but I didn’t have any chloroform on me. (Which was a shame, really. I could have dealt with Djan’s fiancé much more easily if I had. Still, I was sure he was much better acquainted with the river now.) So, to be honest, I was quite unsure of what to do until Andjel came running into the square. Judging by how she panted as she stopped in front of us she’d run quite fast, which meant it must be important. I waited a moment for her to catch her breath, then asked why she’d left home without permission. She never left home without my permission, and going out alone was completely out of the question. Andjel glanced briefly at my tourist, then told me what she was doing.

"The controlled-lightning has disconnected, Pyero says the soft-clear-gold is not getting to his house-row, and all the items thou wert loading off of the world-net have messed up thine magic-glow-picture-writing-box."

Much to my delight, she spoke in her rare Western dialect that few people around us would understand, but what she’d said was important, and I thanked her for telling me, though she should have come with someone. I told her as much, still speaking in her dialect. Then I turned to my tourist and told him to come with us, and to keep up. I instructed Andjel not to let him lose his way and ran off, Andjel and my tourist following closely.

Filed under S2 C1 S2

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Talk To Me (S1) - E-mail 4

From: e.pedersen@humac.dk

To: lydhør.ai@humac.dk

Sent: 22:56, 2/9/10

It’s worse if she’s in love. That just means you’ll hurt her more.

From that, I’m guessing that you’re a… homosexual male teen. Family problems, too.

I couldn’t do that to her, and it wouldn’t make me come back anyway.

(Translated using Google Translate.)

Filed under Erik Lydhør Talk To Me S1