Home » Short Stories » Till We Meet Again: Chapter 1 (Background)

Till We Meet Again: Chapter 1 (Background)

What is love? Can one see it as a  seed planted and watch it grow until it appears complete in immaculate beauty? Can it even be felt at all? These were the things that worried Michal, Sylvia Greenwood. A very talented musician in her final year at the music academy. Her passion for songwriting (though she was skilled with the harp as well) led her to believe that, in and through song, there was something to hope for in a chaotic world where so little of love is experienced.

Kelton city was very big. It had oddly shaped buildings but were beautiful to observe, even just for a drive. The size of the city was equivalent to half of New York but was nothing like it. Instead the appearance was very prestige because the mayor had
good international relations.

Due to the social laws that had been enforced-one of them stating that everyone must have a balanced level of living; meaning that there were not to be any gaps in the classes of citizens-everyone was more or less the same with the exception of slightly rich people.

Michal, however, was very fortunate to have found herself living in Kelton. She came from another town, six-hour train trip from Kelton. It was a very average town, though it looked like a deserted wasteland from the outside as you approached it. No doubt it was not a pretty sight. The peculiar thing about each place was that the inside looked very inviting. It seems that most of the taxes went to improving the quality and service of each business as opposed to enhancing the appearance. In spite of that there really wasn’t much to do in the town. There was an indoor sports club with six different sports running at the same time except for monthly competitions. It was, in fact, the center of attention because it was the one place where everyone was able to hang out and hold various parties including birthdays, anniversaries of all kinds and occasion-based parties such as, “goodbye” and “welcome home”. Social events made up for the limited entertainment. All that there was other than the sports club was a cafe, two restaurants, two supermarkets and a golf range which had a theme park next to it.

Michal lived in this town for 20 years and she couldn’t remember what her pre-school life was like but she had vivid memories of the rest of her school life, the bulk of which was her best friend, Ruby. She was competitive and grew up subconsciously improving her badminton skills because it was mostly her hobby. She is brilliant pianist and composer who often comes home with first place certificates from the competitions in school. Despite her combative edge she was tender at heart but not perky. She is easily impressed and very friendly too. Get on her bad side and there will be a lot to deal with before things can be normal. This is in part because of her occasional outbursts as a result of her short-temper. Other than that Michal had several memorable experiences with her.

Michal, on the other hand, was very ambitious and that trait, in a sense, came from her courage to always speak her mind. Her parents taught her to be bold and stand up for herself. They did this so that they would not worry about her when she left for college one day. She was the eldest of three in her family and was very close to Chester, her younger brother. The youngest, Cindy was still in pre-school and still learning as much as she can from Michal, who had become her role model.

Ruby also looked up to Michal who managed to save her countless times from getting into trouble in school. “Now we have to move past all that”, she said with a serious look. Michal took a moment to reflect on their experiences together. They were more like sisters than friends. The numerous times they persuaded each of their parents on the same day to give them money for “ice-cream”, which was always their excuse, even though they had other agendas. It’s what they often did as kids.

Growing up they learned, to a certain extent, how to fend for themselves. As far as taking care of the house was concerned, they knew how to finish every chore, use the telephone wisely (they had a schedule which marked the times they could use the phone and how long they could use it), and be aware of the rooms that needed heating as opposed to those that were not in need of it so much during winter.

“True”, Michal replied, “We did have some wild adventures. We can look forward to some more!” Ruby nodded in agreement. They resolved to find and understand their purpose in life as they moved on to improving their mental and physical skills with their music.

They parted ways and on her way home, Michal saw a figure standing by a tree in the park. She started getting frightened and walked a bit faster. She heard footsteps from the corner of the cafe but saw nothing. She started jogging just to be on the safe side. After every five steps she looked over her shoulder. The place was quiet as usual and there was a soft breeze that lifted her hair gently as it was blowing against her on this beautiful moonlit night.

Her pace was increasing as her breathing patterns were changing. Her brother went out for a walk and was only a few blocks from home. He saw Michal running as if being chased by a ghost as he saw her turn her head from time to time. She took a shortcut into the woods and nearly fell upon entering. As her emotions were closing in to the moment of trembling, she marked the position of each tree she passed by pointing forward with both hands. Chester hid behind one of the trees after working out the spot she would pass him. He shook his head as he thought to himself, “Why does she never see that there is nothing to worry about. She better not be seeing things.”

She was a minute away from him. He prepared himself as she approached, and at the right time, he jumped in front of her without making a sound and stood with his legs just over shoulder width apart, knees bent and arms out. He tried to look as scary as possible, but for Michal, that was more than enough. With a very high shriek, she dashed back the same direction she came and made an exit out of the woods.

Chester began chasing her after debating with himself whether
or not it was necessary. It took a few minutes for him to catch up as he was slowed down by the trees. Before he was able to see her enter the house upon exiting the woods it was too late for him to catch her.

Later that night Michal pondered for a long time about her future. She knew what she wanted to do but the thought of leaving both her life here and understanding that she would not be able to spend time with her friends-not just Ruby-was something she was not ready for. Her whole life here in this town is all she knew and loved. Life or anything outside if it was literally a new adventure. She was close to her family but she had to make her choice. She started getting frustrated because of a seemingly easy, yet unbelievably difficult decision. There was only one thing for her to do. After an hour of working everything out and putting all her plans and ideas together, she felt ecstatic about her achievement. At last she could now sleep in complete relief of understanding exactly-at least at this point-where life was going.

The next morning the first thing she did was go over her plans one more time. With a smile that indicated peace and focus for everything that lay ahead, she made her way to the door after giving her family her salutations, held her head up high, wore a confident look and opened the door to take her first step out of the life she always knew-into what she was certain was going to shape her future to a promising destiny as she perceived, and eventually, believed it to be.

“Hi Michal”, Ruby’s surprised tone sounded strange to Michal. “Well I’m looking forward to the trip.” Michal still thought very deeply about what lay ahead of her. She knew what she wanted to do, except the only thing getting in her way was, how. Ruby’s enthusiasm slowly faded as she began to notice the look on Michal’s face. At that point Michal turned slowly towards her and with a serious tone said, “Listen, I’m going to write a song that will touch the lives of many. I really want to understand what it is that connects people on different levels and how they are tied to different things that the planet has to offer, such as nature and pets. Words impact people in so many ways and they always create a picture that reflects either who they are or what they see in someone else. I want to create a picture that communicates effectively the very thing that people’s lives are centered around: love. For if a picture paints a thousands words then let my words paint that important picture.”

Ruby was frozen in awe. She could tell that Michal was on to something. She always knew about her ambition and goal-oriented mindset, but she had never seen her this serious. The atmosphere almost seemed tense. Michal made her way to a nearby bench and pulled out her journal. Having noticed something interesting she wrote:

The beauty of a world that is fashioned by the words that are born from an idea-that compliments the process of creation itself-is very admirable. There are not many who have the patience to adore the completion of a work that was put together by someone, who resolved within themselves, to do whatever it took to execute the passion for that task with the words they spoke. In the end there is only one thing that holds true in the heart of humanity, and that is: If a picture paints a thousand words, then a thousand words paints a picture. If the world is not in a state that is suitable for all humanity to reside in, what kind of picture are our very words creating?


2 thoughts on “Till We Meet Again: Chapter 1 (Background)

  1. I felt a bit like being in English class back in upper secondary school when I read it. The language is excellent and I get a good feel for the characters.
    Still, somehow the style feels a bit old, and I haven’t decided yet if I like that or not. I’ll know when I read more.

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