Story: Disappointed

So, to further prove what a useless excuse for a functioning human being I am at the moment, here’s a story I meant to post a week ago!

Oops.

For the rest of the series, check out the writing tab above!

Disappointed
by Liberty Gilmore, 23/11/12

Adam and Ava both experience disappointments…

Adam woke up in bed alone and felt… disappointed.

It was gone eleven – he’d been asleep a long time, and didn’t recall stirring when Ava got up to leave, whenever that was. She’d left though – the bathroom door was open and she wasn’t in there. The rest of the room was empty. Faolan was gone too.

It occurred to Adam then that she might have left him behind. What did he really bring to the party after all? Not a bunch of freaky super powers or a pet wolf…

I’ll get dressed. If she’s not back by the time I’m finished, then I’ll panic.

Ava walked in as he pulled his socks on.

‘I got us some breakfast,’ she said, unhooking Faolan’s lead. The wolf bounded over to Adam, nearly knocking him to the floor as it greeted him with enthusiasm. Adam felt silly for panicking, accepting the fresh fruit and bread Ava handed him.

‘I’d have woken you,’ she said, ‘but I thought you probably needed the sleep.’

‘Only just woke up now,’ he admitted. ‘I think I probably did.’

The food made him realise how hungry he was for something other than a greasy burger and chips. The fruit juices danced on his taste buds, refreshing him further. Combined with the sensation of Ava sat next to him, it felt like every cell in his body was buzzing with energy.

They ate in silence, even Faolan completely absorbed by the food Ava had placed in his bowl. When they finished, Adam cleared up while Ava sat looking troubled. He returned to her side, but she sat looking down at her lap, worrying the hem of her t-shirt.

‘So…’ Adam said when he could take the silence no more.

Suddenly, she was in his arms, kissing him with an urgency she’d never shown before. For a moment, Adam was too shocked to respond, but he was soon caught up in it, kissing her like he’d never have the chance to kiss her again.

That thought made his stomach drop somewhere beneath his feet.

‘Uh,’ he said, pulling back from her, pressing a finger over her lips. ‘Not that I mind, but what is this for?’

‘I should have told you what was going on before we left England. Before we left your house,’ she said. ‘It was selfish of me, sorry.’

‘Um, you’re forgiven, but that doesn’t answer my question.’

She looked at him then, and he was surprised to see tears glistening in her dark blue eyes. Faolan whimpered and came to place his head on her lap.

‘I just…’ she said, breath hitching, ‘in case you didn’t want to kiss me again.’

‘Ava,’ his voice was breathy with emotion. ‘I told you before, I’m not going anywhere.’

She shook her head. ‘Adam, I don’t know what you’ve told yourself, but I am not the result of some genetic experiment, escaped from some science fiction lab. I am not even human.’

‘Well, I kinda suspected that when your mum went all freaky on us. Not to mention a magically appearing wolf totem.’ He heard the words coming out of his mouth, and thought his voice sounded steady, though it had shaken him more than he liked to hear those words from Ava.

I am not even human.

He knew it. In a way, he always knew it. She was always something else. Something above and beyond everyone else.

‘Don’t talk, please.’ Her eyes were wide and watery. Adam opened his mouth to reassure her, but she pressed a finger over his lips as he had done to her. ‘Don’t. Just listen. Let me tell you the truth.’

And she did, slow at first, then in a torrent of information as she rushed to get everything out, never once looking at him as she spoke, staring into the fur of her wolf totem. Adam tried to process it all – second generation infiltrator, glamour, sacred duty – but one word kept playing over and over in his mind.

Fey. Ava was Fey. A part of the fairy world.

He felt a sting of betrayal that he knew was ridiculous. Fairies had always been his thing and Ava had known the truth, was part of the truth, and she hadn’t mentioned this before. Of course she hadn’t – she was terrified to tell him now. If Adam had carried such a secret, he wouldn’t have told anyone. He hadn’t even been able to tell anyone about his love for Ava. But still, the sense of betrayal cut into a tender part of him.

Ava looked up then and saw it in his face. Her own face fell, and Adam felt his heart take a nosedive off a cliff at the sight. It robbed him of his breath, his voice, and in that moment when he couldn’t speak, Ava stood, grabbed her bag and ran out of the room, Faolan fast on her heels.

Momentarily too stunned to move, Adam watched the door swing shut behind her. It took the snap of it locking into place to break him out of his trance. He dived for the key card so he could get back in, then ran out after her.

She’d already gone in the lift, and Adam had to wait agonising moments for it to come back up for him. He rode it down to the reception level – the keys to the car were still in the room, she hadn’t taken them – and ran out onto the street.

Crowds of people rushed around outside, the town centre busy with morning shoppers. Ava was nowhere in sight.

*

Ava kept walking at great pace for half an hour before she found herself in some back alley, sinking to the floor as grief caught up with her. Faolan wrapped himself in her legs, whimpering and licking her fingers with his coarse tongue.

She tried to push all thoughts out of her mind, but the image of Adam’s face – the anger that lined his features – kept creeping back in. He was angry because he was afraid. A classic human reaction. Afraid of her. Of course he was. All that stuff before was just adrenaline fuelled bravado. Now he’d had time to rest, process, he was responding the only way that was natural. Fear.

Ava never knew that heartbreak actually felt like your heart was tearing itself in half. Based on her study of human physiology, it was only logical that the pain should be felt in the emotional centres of the brain, and her own physiology being fairly close to human, the same should have applied to her. But the pain was definitely in her chest, filling it until she had to snatch breaths between the sobs, breaths that barely fuelled her.

Faolan let out a quiet, mournful howl. A spot of rain fell on her cheek.

Ava bit hard on her tongue, channelling her Fey energy into the ground before the weather could get any more influenced by her emotions. She’d almost forgotten about her newly awakened abilities, and their recurrence scared her more than she cared to admit. Not a welcome feeling, but it gave her something else to focus on.

Another feeling started to push in at the edges of the maelstrom inside her. A bitter, nasty voice that chastised Ava for allowing things to get this far.

You should have told him straight away. Should have wiped his brain clean and sent him off with his family. You shouldn’t have set yourself up for the inevitable disappointment.

She’d been weak. What her mother always accused her of. And though she wanted no part in her mother’s plans, Natalia had been right about one thing. If you weren’t in charge and on top of things, people could take the floor out from underneath you.

It was selfishness, the voice continued. You wanted something you knew you couldn’t have. Shouldn’t have.

The sky had gone black overhead as Ava’s anger at herself manifested as storm clouds.

He said he didn’t care, that all he wanted was to be with you.Guess that wasn’t true in the end.

It felt like two halves of her were fighting it out inside her. The part that loved Adam, and didn’t want to blame him for getting in over his head, and the part that didn’t want to feel the such a terrible pain, the part that wanted to get angry and rage because it was easier than trying to bear the hurt.

Ava stood. Neither side had won yet. She felt balanced on a tiny thread as she walked forwards.

Get on with the plan, she thought. That was all she could do.

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