Razed Expectations

December 24, 2009
Wisps of smoke danced into the wintry air from my lips, creating ornate designs that could never be replicated. I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry. Of course, it's difficult to articulate emotions that I can't feel, but I find that irony is relatively simple to demonstrate. I inhaled the toxic vapors of the cigarette casually. Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart.
I glanced in the direction of the horizon, and flinched. The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky. Its last waves of light caressed my cold, pale skin. I wanted to snarl rebelliously as I felt its warmth slide against me deviously.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
My muscles went rigid, and I had to focus madly on controlling my shaking hands. I would know that voice, that beautiful, disastrous voice, in the realms beyond that of Earth. I grated my teeth, reeling in the disturbing sensations that she unknowingly always aroused in me.
I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon. I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises.
“I find the sunset lifeless and meaningless, actually,” I countered flatly, and a beat too late.
She laughed merrily, and I struggled within myself as my mind and body became entranced by the beautiful movement of her laughter as the colors of the sun played about her.
“You amuse me, Darian. How can you have such a pessimistic view of the world? The sun will not be lifeless until it disappears beneath the horizon, and the night falls. It’ll rise tomorrow, though,” she said.
I dared not think of her name. I hated the way my soul-if I had a soul-thrilled when her voice lingered over my name. It reminded me of music. I had to close my mind defiantly as I thought of music. I wanted nothing that resembled passion.
“That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain. You want poetry, and ridiculous vows of forever. You aren’t difficult to read. If you want that sunset to mean something, then you want unrequited love. It doesn’t work like that,” I growled unmercifully, angry at her for unleashing the flood of feelings upon me.
Her lovely green eyes shifted into hard emeralds.
“What do you know about me, Dare? And what’s so wrong with having dreams? And why are you talking to me like that? I was simply commenting on the sunset.” She tossed her red curls, clearly miffed.
I lifted my chin, and blew smoke in her face. It was easier on me when she was angry. I don’t know why she bothered with me. Why she was brave enough to confront me. Why she didn’t follow the laws of the superficial high school we both attended. Why she didn’t stay away from me, like everyone else.
“You’ll die from that smoking, Darian.” She glared at me. We’d had this argument a lot. I lifted my eyebrows, and turned away from her, signaling that the conversation was over.
She didn’t obey, and I sighed.
“You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Her voice was soft, a whisper in the darkening air. She was air. My air.
I reviled the potency of the emotions I could feel pulsing through me. I ran a hand through my black hair nervously, my body skidding with strange, unfamiliar energy. I didn’t want to answer her. Why didn’t she leave?
I made a fatal mistake when I looked at her. Every nerve inside of me screamed, as though my body and internal organs were recharging hurriedly in the rare moment of my awakening.
I think I felt my heart beat hesitantly.
My voice seemed like that of a stranger. It had a rich, deep tone to it. It had color.
“Understand what?”
Something in my expression changed the way she was looking at me. It may have mirrored the arrangement of my own features. She became vulnerable in that instant.
“Kiss me.” She whispered brokenly.
Surprise jolted keenly through me. God, I wished I was numb again. Everything felt electric-too intense and too vivid. Emotions scattered across my being, a mutinous invasion of the raging war against myself. I was defenseless and an easy prey to her request. I breathed jaggedly, and there was a husky vibe to it. Want. I recognized it more clearly as it bloomed vibrantly through me.
And she was waiting. For me.
I destroyed the walls I had so warily built as I leaned towards her. She lifted a creamy hand and laid it tenderly against my cheek, the expectation making her bold. I moaned, and closed my eyes. My own hands loosened, and reached for her face greedily
Something hot-burning-ignited against my skin. I wrenched myself away, dazed by the unpleasant sensation. Had a spark traveled through our bodies? That’s when I noticed the cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me. The throbbing pain brought a wave of consciousness through me. Reality. And I stared at her face, inches from mine, and something clicked inside of me. Gears that began humming smoothly, like a tuned clock. I pulled back, and tossed her hand away like it stung. I grimaced as the vitals within me slowly resumed their state of nothingness, and shook my head to clear it of its nonsensical ideas.
She watched the change take possession of me, and tears began to collect in her eyes.
I found that I could care less.
I grinned at her, and mocked, “I taste of cigarettes, Clara.”
She got up shockingly to her feet, and backed away as if understanding for the first time what I was. Tears stained her nondescript face.
I smiled, that careful replication of a smile, and said acidly, “Did I humor your silly fantasies well?”
Her face crumpled entirely, and she pivoted away and ran sobbing from my scathing ridicule.
The sun died, and all was dark.

Join the Discussion

This article has 206 comments. Post your own now!

WSO22 said...
Apr. 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm
I'm the author of this story, looking back with amusement at my first very short story.
dejarenee said...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 4:00 am
At some points your story line gets a little lost, but your first few lines really captured me!! Nice job!
MikaylaT said...
Nov. 4, 2012 at 9:11 am
It was an interestng story, I'll admit. It kept me on my toes and left me curious and wondering. The only thing I'd think about changing, is the excessive vocabulary. It's great that you know a lot of interesting words, but I think the abundance of them all at once in the story took away from it a little. 
TickTockBANG said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm
Overall, I really liked this story, and I'm really curious to know about what Darian's deal is. This plot could have easily been corny and just stupid, but you avoided that with how you made Darian and Clara; Clara wasn't one of those "ermahgerd I luvs youu" girls that a lot of characters in her position can be.   I would watch your word usage, though, like other people have said. Too much takes from the story. Your broad vocabulary in setting descriptions and mayb... (more »)
Ilikedit said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 10:32 am
Interesting that so many people are critical of your vocabulary. Maybe it's just me, but I actually like the florid vocabulary. (Actually it didn't even seem that florid to me.) I think most teens read books w/ dumbed-down vocab, so they get mad when they don't understand words...idk I also liked it because I can understand Darian; I've tried to do the same thing to myself. People who haven't experienced that just don't understand.
angiechick526 said...
Oct. 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm
good but not very romantic if u ask me
kaiterbug said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm
Let's see...I admire your broad vocabulary, but the usage was too much. Less is more. Try to emulate Ernest Hemingway "I went to the river. The river was there." Example of where you should have kept things simplistic:" I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises." Why not say you glared at her? Show, don't tell is a good thing but you don't have to shove it down the reader's throat. Example... (more »)
Its.beautiful. said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm
I applaud your ambition, BUT this piece needs work. The development of this story was lost in your use of vocabulary. Your choice of words, took away from the overall story line. The language does not fit with the character's dialogue or the basic narration. This resulted in the failer to establish a setting, character development, or character relationship. For example, " That's an inane notion that foolish women entertain." , and&nb... (more »)
avidDreamwriter said...
Sept. 19, 2012 at 11:35 am
First of all, let me congratulate you on writing one of the many stories out there that tend to give a bad name to the emo/gothic population by being overly stereotypical, dramatic, and too descriptive of emotions that "aren't supposed to exist" within your cookie-cutter character, Darian. And Clara's no better, she's just as simplistic as him. You over-use descriptive language, adjectives, and adverbs, creating actions that would normally be physically imp... (more »)
MissMaegan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 28, 2012 at 11:40 am
This was beautiful and wonderful :) You really have gift. A quick question though, I was a little confused on one thing. Was Darian declaring his lack of emotions and organs (heart, lungs) as a metaphor because he was so damaged and dark...or was there another, more fantasy-like reason? I don't know, just my mind wandering. Beautiful job <3
Edmund said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm
"Hardheaded girl!¿No ves que no es seguro? Do you not know how close you are to Mexico!?" Victor's voice rose into his familiar octave of exasperated frustration. I grinned to myself as I swung around the corner of mi familia's restaurante, wondering idly who had fallen victim to my brother's easily piqued anger. Victor's stoic silhouette wasn't startling; I was accustomed to the erect posture, the tendons that jaunted from ... (more »)
Alan B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Excellent excellent excellent use of vocabulary and description. I can feel the passion in this story. I also love the abrupt change his feelings take towards the end of the story, the reader never suspects it. 
writer3499 said...
Jun. 23, 2012 at 8:13 am
that was amazing! it was really intense and dark...i really liked it.  Would you mind checking out my work?
JesusFreak3 said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm
:O wow that's really interesting
SonjaRenae said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm
Wow! This was amazing! At first I sort of just skimmed the first few lines, not sure if I wanted to read it, but I was draw in almost immediately! This is lovely!
billgamesh11 said...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm
Oh, reality. This jerks us back to it very well! I am so wowed, my jaw is on the floor! I can't find any words to describe this but: Wonderful. Please Keep Writing!!! :):):);)
BluBliss said...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm
The ending is great. Because when something ironic happens, it sticks in our heads. The description is grand, but on closer inspection you use alot of adverbs. The usage was powerful, but the amount of them stood out. Otherwise, I loved it. I even texted the whole thing to my best friend an she said, I quote, "AWWWW!!"
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 9:32 am
Extremely well written, but of course the ending upset me
Pianoartist said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm
That was absolutely brilliant!...im speechless
Fia-fia said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I have no words right now. Amazing! doesnt even begin to cover it. The emotions, the story..... Better than amazing. I can feel it. I love it. It speaks volumes, Thank you sooo much!!


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