White Rose

by neko

*sigh* An original story done for English around the same time as A Midsummer Night's Dream, this one's kinda immature style-wise. I got bored with conventional "happy ever after" stories everyone else was writing, so I began, as Covey would say, with the end in mind. And I can't believe I just quoted Covey. (Nor can I believe I nearly spelled "can" as "kann". Stupid German.) I still kinda like it, though. I'm funny that way.

Cold. It's so cold. Why? Arielle? Where is she? Arielle! Where are you, love? Arielle!

Arielle. My best friend and true love. Gone. Forever. No! Arielle!

I had known her since the first grade. We went to school together and were in the same class. She was so beautiful, so kind and gentle that it was impossible not to fall in love with her. We quickly became friends, finding many things in common. We shared everything: our lunches, our lives, our secrets, even our souls. We were soul mates, and we knew it.

She was beautiful. The type of person you could stare at for hours. I should know, I did. She had green-blue eyes like the morning sea and ivory skin marked with tiny freckles across the bridge of nose. Her red-gold hair caught stray sunbeams to shine like the sunset. She was short, at least compared to me, her temple coming to rest easily on my shoulder. Her light alto voice was
sweeter than a songbird's. To me, she was perfection. My angel.

It wasn't until high school that I discovered my feelings were returned. Discovering this, I often went around with a silly grin on my face, undeniably happy. She loved me. Arielle loved me!

People gave us trouble, of course, once they found out. Disturbing as these occurrences were, they all disappeared when she turned her angelic smile on me and reassure me with a simple touch. Nothing could ever change my love for her, nor could anything make me believe that what we shared was wrong. I would love her until the oceans ran dry and the stars exploded around us. She was my reason for being; I felt incomplete without her.

I never knew that that reason would be ripped from my grasp so harshly, so soon.

Faces. So many faces. I know these people. They are friends, family. They are trying to comfort me. I don't want to be comforted, I want my beloved! My Arielle. Why can't they understand that? It isn't alright, it won't get better, and it wasn't her time. Oh, love, is life so cruel?

It was just an ordinary day, simple and quiet, and we went for a walk in the park just after sunset, as we had for years. The moonlit river shone with an ethereal glow. Everything seemed somehow . . . unreal.

She turned to me, holding me close, resting her head against my shoulder.

"I love you," she whispered.

"I love you, too . . . but what was that for?" I was supremely happy, but confused.

"Nothing. I just wanted you to know." She giggled softly. "It's beautiful, ne? I just love watching the moonlight reflect off of the cold water . . . It feels like home." She seemed sad, wistful. I felt the need to lighten her mood.

"Say . . . Do you want to sit on the dock?" I grinned. I knew how much she loved to let the water thread through her bare toes. I helped her with her sandals and we sat, splashing gently.

"Its so perfect," she said after a pause. "I wish we could stay like this forever." We were lost in each other's eyes.

Perhaps if we hadn't been so distracted we might have stood a chance. As it was, all I knew was the sound of displaced air and then . . . darkness.

I awoke a few minutes later in a small pool of blood. I checked myself over, but it wasn't mine. Arielle!

She lay a few metres away, the front of her dress stained red. I crawled over and drew her into my arms, searching desperately for any life-signs. She opened her ocean-deep eyes to focus on mine.

"Beloved . . .?" Her voice was barely audible.

"I'm here." I was shaking, but it wasn't from cold. Her wound was deep.

"It's nice to have your arms around me. I'm so tired . . ." Her eyes slid shut.

"Arielle? Wake up! Arielle!" My voice sounded lost and anguished, but it was only a fraction of what I felt inside.


Sitting up suddenly, I open my eyes and look around the dark room. Dream. It was a dream. My fingers grope through empty sheets, encountering nothing. Damn. It wasn't a dream. It was real. I fell my eyes well up with fresh tears.

This is a recurring nightmare, returning to haunt me every night since that time on the dock. It is torture beyond belief.

We buried her yesterday afternoon. I brought white roses; they were her favourites. As pure and innocent as she. Her mother was there, weeping into her husband's shoulder. Her sister's face was tear-stained. I was silent, too drained emotionally and physically to do anything more than sit. I retreated into my mind and let the events wash over me.

I never really understood what happened, or why. It seemed to be senseless. Why did they kill her? Why did they leave me alive? And why did they attack us?

The room pressed in on me. The sadness and mourning of its inhabitants, carried with a certain undertone of falseness, confused and unnerved me till I felt I might explode.

This isn't right, I thought. Everything is moving so quickly . . . How can they be so accepting? The events of the last few days crowded in my mind until I became desperate for a way to vent my frustration.

A hand touched my shoulder. Looking up, I saw Arielle's sister standing over me, concern evident on her dryad features.

"It's okay, you know. It'll be okay. She's gone to a better place." For some reason, this angered me.

"How can you say that?!?" I exploded. "Your own sister dead, and all you can say is that she's left the one place where she was happy -- where we were happy -- to go and sit on a cloud all day just because that's what this culture tells you!" I realized the room had grown very quiet. Everyone was
watching me. That air of falseness returned, stronger and more disturbing than ever.

I left. I couldn't stand that place any longer; the bovine atmosphere was positively choking. I didn't belong there anyways. I ran home, exhausting what little strength I had left, and fell asleep.

Which is how I got here. Sitting alone amongst the rumpled sheets, crying softly. I wonder why I am doing this, why I am hiding in the childish illusion that she's not really left me. She is gone, I think. Forever. I couldn't save her.

What good am I, then? my mind screams. Indeed. What good am I.

My penknife sits by the bed. I pick it up.

Arielle . . .

Red. Black.

Wait for me.


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