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The Lake (The V. D. P. Levon Version)
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The Lake (The V. D. P. Levon Version)
Except for exact words, the inclusion of a cell phone and an idea, and the exclusion of a fire truck and many fifth-graders, a true story. Runner up in a H.S. short story contest at my local library.
[757 words]
V D P Levon
V. D. P. Levon is a rather obvious pen name, if you look at the surname backwards, although I have yet to write a whole novel. I'm new to the site (as of 8-20-05), so please forgive any mistakes I've made. I'm not old enough to vote, but I am old enough to wish I could. I live in FL. I'm a guy. That's about it.
[August 2005]
[email protected]
The Lake (The V. D. P. Levon Version)
V D P Levon

There she was, kneeling on the sidewalk so as not to get the pants of her uniform dirty, as he looked on. He stared, sometimes at her, sometimes at the lake, sometimes at nothing, but always staring. Silence hung in the air like darkness on a moonless night, growing heavier by the moment…

She had come up to him leisurely, acting as if the Question had never been asked. She had asked for the use of his cell phone to call her parents, so they could pick her up. Just a simple favor, with a calmness he envied. Having used his phone for the very same reason, he obliged her, handing over the phone with hands slightly atremble. Had she noticed the shaking of his hands? Had she felt the same feeling he had as her hand had brushed his? The same warm chill radiating from that brief second of contact? What a fool he was, to have withdrawn his hand so quickly, with that childish blush. He had waited nervously while she dialed the number. Then, the sweetest voice in all of creation: “Hi, Mom. It’s me. Come pick me up. The parade’s over. I’m over by the lake, using my friend’s phone.” Friend. Not the same way she had used it in the Answer. Friend. She had said it here like she meant person I barely know. No, in the Answer Friend had meant person I know better than I do now, and am comfortable around. Twenty-five days since the Answer, and he still had ten miles to go on a nine-mile road. “…Fifteen minutes? Okay, sounds great…Love you. Bye” Love You. A phrase he had not heard in her lovely voice except in wishful thinking. What he wouldn’t give to hear her say those words to him…

He needed to get a conversation going with her. But what to talk about? That was the question. As he’d done many times before, he racked his brain without success. Some ideas would come up, but he would quickly discard them. The parade they just got out of? No, he would seem even more obsessed with band than he already was. School? No, she wasn’t even in his grade, wouldn’t know half the characters in his stories. Time was ticking, the silence increasing. He stared into the lake…

She had walked toward him in the hall. In the Question he’d said he would see her in the halls. He’d smiled like he always did in this almost daily ritual of one-word sentences. He’d smiled, but his heart had been beating twice its normal double-time that occurred whenever he saw her. She had looked beautiful as ever, but something was different. On her face he could read the same nervousness he’d felt then. The same nervousness he had felt when he put the Question into writing. She’d seemed to take a thousand years to approach him. She had been mere decades away when she had taken a deep breath, and her face had melted into a mask of neutrality. He had done the same, steeling himself for the worst. Time had stopped as she had knelt down next to him…

Why couldn’t he find a decent conversation topic? Then again, how was this different from most other conversations he’d had with her? Awkward, interminable silence reigning, embarrassment filling the air? He laughed at himself for considering this a conversation. He’d gotten an answer to his second question, though: The Question and the Answer…

“These were really sweet,” had said the sweetest voice in all of creation, holding up the flowers and the note with the Question written upon it by his trembling hand. His heart and Time had switched roles. His pulse had come to a grinding halt. The Answer had gone by quickly, but was seared into his mind with a white-hot brand wielded by the sweetest voice in all of creation. “…your friend, however.” The Answer. Hanging in the air like the silence did now. She had picked up her books and walked away. Her books…

Her books! Of Course! She loved to read, and it seemed like the perfect icebreaker. He practiced it in his mind a few times: “Hey, what are you reading these days?” When he was sure he wouldn’t stutter he turned around, ready to kill this oppressing silence that was affecting both of them like a plague. He turned around, to see the back of her mom’s car driving around the corner of the street, a hand sticking out of it, waving goodbye.



"nice and sensitive, but could do with more dialogues." -- Upasana Datta, india.


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© 2005 V D P Levon
August 2005

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