Author Topic: Next to Normal  (Read 507 times)

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Offline ChordTerias

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Re: Next to Normal
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 04:14:50 AM »
Everything burned.

Rohan’s eyes burned with the threat of tears that have yet to fall. His chest burned as strange new feelings wound themselves inside him. His cheeks burned as humiliation and frustration manifested in an undeniable flush across their surface.

And he was decidedly ignoring the subtle, roiling burn deep within his gut that felt more like a hunger and less like pain.

Ever since the pair had escaped Arcadia, his bond with Theo has felt more like a leash than a prison. And Theo was the type to allow him plenty of slack on this metaphorical leash, when they had the ability. The downside to this freedom, however, means that he has been bombarded with several new experiences as he lived out of their (literal and metaphorical) shadow. Rohan knew he would never, for example, live down the time he first encountered amusement. An eight hour giggle fit -- which at least 30 minutes of it Theo caught on camera before he mustered up the strength to steal their phone -- was the result of that particular discovery, and the memory did not make Rohan look forward to what the next few hours had in store.

His thoughts inevitably returned to the man in the bar, and he stifled a groan. He could still feel Luke’s lips on his fingertips -- still feel the electricity that ran down his spine as their eyes met. He hadn’t looked particularly disgusted by the gesture, Rohan rationalized. His brain saw fit to repeat the scene over and over again, his heart skipping beats as he relived the moment their eyes met over and over -- and over. Rohan’s head pressed back into the brick of the bar as he leaned back on the bench, letting out a whine.

Theo had cut him off, extending the metaphorical leash as far as it could go and closing the door on him. As a result, he wasn’t able to siphon any of these extra emotions into them, or use them for comfort. They always acted this way, treating Rohan like a child who needed to learn for himself, when he was going through any new experience. Rohan hated it.

The familiar sound of the heavy door of the An Tsi swinging shut caused Rohan’s stomach to fall. Sure enough, Luke turned the corner. Rohan turned his eyes to meet Luke and instantly regretted it. To Rohan, in all of his socially-inept glory, he saw that Luke appeared uncomfortable. But he shuffled forward towards him nevertheless, leaving so much space between the two of them despite the open seat on the bench. Great job, you really nailed this one Rohan.

“Heh, yeah,” Rohan said in response to Luke’s question. Rohan was still struggling for air, but made his best attempts to appear fine. “Just embarrassed. I’m from the country and I keep forgetting that there’s different manners in the city.” He hoped the bullshit coming out of his mouth sounded at least half believable.  He felt himself getting light-headed as his body protested against his attempts at controlling his breathing. “Aren’t you a proper gentleman, though? Checking up on me despite my strange behavior. Wouldn’t have expected that in a place like this, honestly.”

For some reason, Luke’s presence in this private setting was cooling. Everything except that persistent gnawing in his gut had dissipated, leaving this unnerving tension that Rohan could feel throughout his core. He still couldn’t place exactly what the feeling was, but a part of that may have been willful denial. Putting his elbows on his knees, he rested his dizzy head in his hands. He chuckled despite himself as he gulped in air -- unable to continue the charade.

He wheezed, speaking between forced deep breaths, “Haha, is this what they mean when they say a panic attack.” He squeezed his eyes shut, the water pooling in his eyes dropping down his face, much to his continued frustration. “It kinda sucks, not gonna lie.” He waited for Luke to look around either side of the alley, as if checking for witnesses — or help — before letting his form grow incorporeal, leaving A bewildered Luke alone in an abandoned alley.


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