“Oh… you are quite the philosopher.” She said finally discarding the white stones. “So tell me. What exactly do you think about?” She said lying down in a similar position beside Timothy.
“You watch movies right?”
“In a movie, there are characters and these characters are placed in certain situations and they are engineered to have peculiar experiences right?”
“Yeah. I guess.” Lucia said.
“The point of these character’s existence is to tell a story and to bring an idea to the mind of the audience at the end of the movie. I like to think life is like that. I think that we all have a purpose; we all have roles to play in this great movie called life. That is why every one of us comes with distinct character designs or talents or little quirks that make us who we are. And life basically is s race where every one of us strive to be the best that we can be. We all try to highlight our best quirks. Every human being is full of something special and that content makes us genuine in our own way. The problem is that, I don’t think I have a role in this movie. I don’t have a quirk, I’m not special to the plot, and my life makes no contribution to the movie. That one thing that I must do to feel significant; that one thing that makes me, me… I think it is missing. Most of the time, I feel as if I don’t have any spectacular content. Most times, I feel empty. Most of the thinking I do here is a kind of search. I always try to find who I’m supposed to be. What there is to me…? But I can’t and I just seem to float about in the world without any particular purpose. It’s like I am …”
“You feel like an extra. Right?” Lucia said as she turned on her side to him.
“I feel worse. At least, extras fill up space, I feel as if I don’t have any substance at all in me. It feels agonising.” He stared into the vast sky associating it’s emptiness with his nature.
“You are the only fifteen year old Timmy, I don’t know who would think so deeply about something like this. But that’s something you know. So you aren’t empty or whatever. Other distinctive beautiful things about you are: You are cute.” She winked at him. “…Generous enough to share your paradise with me. You are interesting; mature for your age… the list goes on. Just give yourself break and don’t let people boss you around because you think you are empty.”
“You are referring to the Matthew incident. Aren’t you?” The topic always made him uncomfortable.
“Yes. Maths is dumb. That fact is established. So he is not superior to you in anyway. I don’t see why you should let him think that he is. The fact that you don’t defend yourself whenever he confronts you is in fact what encourages him to try it every time.” Lucia advised him.
“It’s not that I am afraid of him, it’s just that I don’t know what to say. I feel the anger inside me but the problem is in expressing it. I guess it has to do with my hollow nature”
“You don’t know what to say? How about telling him to shut his mouth. C’mon say it Timmy. Say ‘shut your mouth’.”
“Shut-shut your mouth.” Timothy stuttered.
“Say it louder.” Lucia urged him. “It’s not even convincing.”
“Shut your mouth!” He said sternly as he rose to a sitting position.
“Good attitude, now try screaming it.”
He felt it bubbling within him like molten lava: The hatred he had for Matthew. He saw his ugly face twisted in ridicule of all that Timothy was. He felt the energy flowing… flowing from the core of his soul until…“Shut your dirty mouth Matthew!” Timothy screamed with more rage and anger than he could muster. His voice echoed and birds flew out of their nests.
The feeling was wonderful. He felt like a balloon which had been popped. As the emotion flowed out of him, he felt light as a feather with all the pressure flowing away. Lucia propped herself up on her elbow and smiled. “Wow! I didn’t see that coming. You’ve become quite the actor.” Lucia said but Timothy was not acting. What he just expressed was genuine anger. And he felt good letting it out. He wished Maths could see him right now. He wanted Maths to be at the receiving end of the incredible force he just let out.
“It’s so easy. Thanks” he said. He knew that she must be special for her to be able to bring this out of him: what he thought had been sealed away by meters of emotional concrete. She was like a puzzle piece to decypher who he was, to fix him and to fill him. Or rather, the appropriate metaphor was a key to open up the locked door to reveal his true nature.
As twilight came, they left the resort and went back home. It was already dark when they reached their houses. Timothy realized as he watched Lucia silently that something had happened to him today. Apart from the fact that Lucia had helped him to open a door in his sub-consciousness, something else had sparked within him. It was more than his attraction to her beauty, much more. He realized that he had fallen in love with Lucia. She mouthed a ‘Goodnight’ and he replied as he went into his own house.
Timothy and Lucia had become established as the latest couple in their school. The rumours spread throughout the entire school like a plague. Everyone was talking about their ‘relationship’ but Lucia and Timothy really couldn’t define their ‘relationship’ and honestly, they didn’t care to. Timothy knew for a fact that it was not romantic. He knew that he loved her but it was not the cliché romantic gooey kind of love. It was a deep friendship that seemed almost psychic. His association with her was something that he thought necessary to his wellbeing. Like a screw to bolt in the engineering of some machine, being with her made him to finally function properly.
Timothy believed that Lucia fixed him. Their friendship seemed to give him purpose. All those moments when he felt insignificant seemed to fall away. He thought that even if the world didn’t notice him, the fact that this special girl saw him was worth more than any attention he could possibly get from anyone else. His existence relied on her. He wanted to hear her voice every second and know her thoughts every moment. That way, he felt truly alive. Their relationship was a connection which seemed surreal, ethereal and supernatural. He felt as though his spirit needed Lucia. The fact that she looked at him alone or called his name was more valuable to Timothy than the supposed “I love you” which a ‘romantic’ relationship between them was expected to birth.
Whatever their relationship was, it was more blissful than what Timothy had ever experienced before, more comforting than home. Whenever he was with Lucia, he forgot everything, he forgot himself, emptiness and all and just lingered close, savouring the treasure that was Lucia. Even now, he was oblivious of the football match going on the school field even though he and Lucia sat on the first roll of the benches. It was a match between SS1 boys and SS2 boys. It was apparently a fight for power since the SS3 students had just concluded their senior certificate exams and had left the school. But Timothy didn’t care. He was unaware of all that had been happening; he didn’t even know who was winning. All he was aware of was the sulking Lucia who buried her head in his chest complaining about how much she hated football.
“Why did they have to make the stupid match compulsory to watch? It’s so annoying.” She whined.
“What is so exciting about a bunch of sweaty boys chasing a ball?”
“I have no idea.”
A team scored and the school cheered but Lucia groaned.
“Do you think we could escape out of here? How long will it take for the match to be over.” Lucia said.
“There are prefects positioned on the way out. They are turning people around.” He pointed at the boys at the corner of the field.
Lucia pointed too. “There is Matthew. I’m sure he is playing ‘bouncer’ right now.”
Timothy looked and an idea crossed his mind.
Lucia groaned again. “I would give anything to be at our little hideaway right now taking a cool swim.”
Timothy looked at her face. “Really?” He said.
She nodded and with vigour and he stood up, bolder than ever, so out of character.
“What are you doing?” Lucia asked. “They won’t let you pass.”
“Just follow me.” he said as he walked boldly away from the benches and directly towards Matthew.
Timothy was just about to walk past Maths when Maths stopped him. “Where are you going?” He said with authority. Timothy gave no reply. He made an attempt to walk right past when the bigger boy dragged him back with the collar of his uniform as if he was a child.
To be continued…