11 May, 2013

Different - A Short Story



Kol spent his entire life being different. I mean, he looked the same as everyone else but inside he knew he was something more.

He spent his childhood years blissfully in the middle of the social hierarchy; a finger of each hand in different groups. As he grew and filled into the man he was becoming, he noticed that other people just weren't the same, and nobody seemed to understand him.

Because of this he spent an exhausting amount of time building walls inside himself to keep others out, so they wouldn't see him for the man he was inside. He was terrified he would be judged, laughed at or worse, pitied.

Kol sauntered through life at face value, never letting anyone inside or get to know him. Oh sure, he dated and he had relationships (some argued he had too many), but whenever he let anyone know the real him they ran screaming.

At work Kol was well liked, albeit for his loud demeanour that tended to scare off more meek employees, which resulted in a circle of friends Kol felt was satisfactory in displaying his public prowess, and just enough he didn't have to rip off his mask to show his true face to anyone. He was happy this way.

When Kol met Marlyn his world turned on its axis. Her first day at work she walked on confidence in black heels through the offices, shaking hands and having her beautiful red hair sway across her back after her. Her eyes looked like blue glass marbles put under fire and her skin looked like it was whipped silk. When she got to Kol’s office he couldn't look away, and it took everything he had not to make a scene or embarrass himself.

She pointed at his collection of Transformers displayed on his desk, and gently cooed to herself as she picked one up and gingerly fingered it in her hands.

“That one is the leader…” Her head stayed where it was, but her eyes darted swiftly to his ad he spoke. “Um the leader of the good robots.” He racked his brain for the words he desperately sought but he felt like his mouth was made of sand. He stammered awkwardly and he went to grab another toy off his desk, subsequently knocking two off and watching them land on the floor, his face red with humiliation as he tripped on his words.

“Optimus Prime.” She looked at him like he had secrets; she put the toy back on his desk without taking her sparkling eyes off of his. Kol nodded and watched her as she took a step to the side and bent over to retrieve the fallen Autobots from the floor.

His eyes instinctively went to her body, and he raked it with his eyes, primal need filled his head like water being poured into a glass, and he went ridged; afraid his obvious body betrayal would be noticeable to her. He hastily grabbed some papers off his desk and made a show of leafing through them on his lap, her cool blue eyes scanned them and she lifted her small frame onto a bar stool by a table in his office.

“Do I make you nervous?” Her face held the beginning of a smile captive, and he felt his body prickle with anticipation.

“Um, no I, I just have a lot to do,” He cleared his throat. “A lot on my mind is all.” He shuffled the papers once more and put them on his desk before he stood up, satisfied with his body returning to normal.
She hopped off the stool and glided past him to the door, her hair filling the room with the smells of mandarin orange and mint, and her skin slightly touching his as they brushed arms on her way out. His arm instantly bristled into goosebumps and a 5 alarm siren filled his head. She’s different too.

***
Several months went by since Marlyn met Kol, and Kol remembered the instant he showed her the real him. She didn’t scream, didn’t run, and didn’t fill with fear. They were on the rooftop of their office at midnight, after he had brought back dinner from his hunt. She took in his solid black frame and smiled at his fur-laden body. She gently ran her hands along his massive wingspan, letting her fingertips linger on the sharp claws housed under the hair of his left wing. His primal eyes took her in as he showed his true self, and sharp howl escaped his jaws in pleasure as he saw her start to change as well.

The two sat on the rooftop, claws digging into the kill, sharp teeth ripping it off the bones, and they ate in content silence.

Finally there was someone who understood him; someone who would understand him without his mask. Someone who would be able to accept him for the beast he was, and not the man he pretended to be.

Marlyn did.

Because she was the only one who was different, just like like he was.

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