She had been a beauty in her youth, pale, blond and delicate, a camellia freshly bloomed. She seemed so otherworldly as she floated down corridors at school. Outside the sun would find her and illuminate golden wisps of hair, turn her translucent skin aglow and warm her cheeks with the faintest blush. Her voice, when she spoke, was musical, her words the lyrics to a song. Parents, teachers, classmates, all adored her, except one.
It started with just a little thing, something most would shrug off and say they had made too much about a minor irritation. But he was deeply disturbed by her, by her presence and beauty uncommon, and soon this mere annoyance turned into his great obsession. The sudden sight of her became a cancer to his soul, and as the years passed, unchecked, this malignancy grew, it intruded on his thoughts, emotions, rationality; ultimately targeting and consuming his humanity. Overwhelmingly unaware of his preoccupation, she, in fact, didn't even know his name; but, he knew hers.
They lived in the same small town, just a few long blocks from each other, attended identical schools, and yet had never spoken. He kept her under surveillance as if he were a spy; watching her and studying her, observing every move, and yet she was not cognizant of what he did or thought. There was no acknowledgment of this undue attention; she was oblivious to a fault. Once at the movies, she came and sat with friends. Unobserved, he positioned himself just three rows away. His eyes were like lasers aimed at the back of her head, he didn't see the movie that day; transfixed, he only saw his rage.
In high school he played pranks on her, furtive, humiliating and nasty; discarded folded notes left to be discovered, telling of things she did, but, in reality, had never done, then taunting phone calls at all hours of the night. She became withdrawn and nervous, her paleness now a symbol of vulnerability, rather than of beauty. She was anxious, and her voice no longer lilting, because she was afraid, her speech was stutter spattered. One day she didn't go to school, nor was she at home. It seemed no one knew wherever she had gone. Parents, teachers, classmates, all were worried, except one.
I joined Writers Bloc, a group of writers from Monmouth County, NJ, whose styles are as diverse as their backgrounds and interests. Here are some of my writings from our meetings.