tagNovels and NovellasIn Search of Logic in Limerence Ch. 01

In Search of Logic in Limerence Ch. 01

byFreyaBlues©

Celeste was back. She was back where she belonged and felt safe. But the place wasn't as familiar as it was when she left. "Of course it's not, you silly, a year has passed since your departure." She smiled at her thoughts. When descending from the airplane she felt the chilly wind press against her bare face. She was advised to dress warmly, so she wasn't cold, but the wind still bothered her. Is this the welcome she gets? She smiled again.

Her family was waiting. She saw them through the glass, separating the luggage reclaim and the waiting lounge. She didn't know what to think. Leave out the thinking, what about feeling? Was this what it feels like being overwhelmed by all the available emotions? She guessed so. Yet, she still couldn't understand what it was that she felt.

Whilst waiting for her bags, she saw others, entering the lounge and greeting their loved ones: kissing them, exchanging warm embraces, some even crying. She felt out of place, even embarrassed, by the fact that she could feel so little. Yes, those were her parents, but what was she meant to feel?

Finally, she saw her bag. Now, she did feel something. It was adrenaline, entering her bloodstream, making her more alert and focused on the one thing she only had one chance of grabbing: THE BAG. Well, ok, you can wait for the bag to circle around the belt once more, but who'd want to do that? There was the bag, moving dangerously closer and closer to here when... She collided with somebody. She was so focused on her bag, that she didn't even see that there was someone in front of her.

"Sorry" she mumbled. Then she lifted her head up, to judge the person's face. You know, if he/she didn't have that "you piece of shite" look on their face by any chance. However, instead she saw a man, equally as baffled as her, probably saying "I'm sorry" too. At that point it didn't really matter, as she saw the last opportunity to grab her bag and save it from the perpetual wheel of luggage.

The bag turned out to be heavier than she expected so she had to literally drag it through the air until it landed on the floor and she could deploy the wheels. As she started walking towards the exit, she involuntarily tilted her head back and found the same man looking at her. Their eyes met for a split second, but she quickly turned around and walked off.

The journey home wasn't going spectacularly well. There was that awkward silence and tension was lingering in the air. So Celeste resorted to looking through the car window. She was quietly admiring the view, no matter how dull it looked in winter. The fields that would be green with meadows in summer were brown now, partially covered in snow and muddy. But Celeste saw through this temporary disguise, and felt the summery meadows with her heart.

Her parents weren't a perfect match. Her father was happy-go-lucky, taking life as it is. Curiously, he did have a bad temper, but so did she, so she couldn't really say anything about it. Except that she'd manage to control herself, and he... Well, most of the time.

Her mother, on the other hand, was ambitious and cold. She liked it when the things were going her way and people acted the way she wanted. She was the one to send Celeste abroad, "To see the world". Celeste didn't really mind it, as she could get out of her mother's controlling grip. And she did. Through the years, she formed a personality of her own. She was a different person, uninfluenced by her mother. Leaving her was a gift, which she used wisely.

"How was the journey?" her father asked. "I hope it wasn't too cold when you stepped out of the plane. The winter has only begun, and we already have freezing temperatures. It's good for the ice, though. The ice fishing season should be starting soon." He rubbed his hands together happily.

His questions brought her back to the flight. The service was decent, and the person sitting next to her wasn't too invasive. Then Celeste remembered the little accident. It wasn't the accident itself, but the man. Only now did she take notice of the way he looked. He was taller and bigger than her, so it was odd that she didn't see him. He wore a brown turtle neck, which she had to acknowledge, fitted his slightly muscular frame perfectly, and jeans, with purple shoes. Purple shoes? That's odd, she thought.

Nevertheless, she delved into more detail. She remembered his blond and ever so playfully unkempt hair. She breathed out, but halted. His eyes were now staring at her, piercing her own ones and boring deep with the same sharpness. She shivered. The features were very familiar, but she couldn't quite place them to a name. Maybe it was only her imagination...

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Her heart rate was quickening, as she was walking faster and faster. She heard the footsteps behind her. They were becoming more and more audible. Someone was approaching her. The panic set on her. It was dark. The street was dimly lit and there wasn't a soul outside. Her leg muscles tautened as she prepared to run. She set off, clutching her bag to her side, inhaling the cold and moist air into her lungs; they were burning.

She heard the footsteps behind her become duller and heavier. Running. She felt someone grab her, pulling her backwards, almost ripping her heavy woollen coat. The stranger's hand suddenly jerked and turned Celeste around to face a masked man. She gasped, but no sound could escape her lips. The fear had taken complete control over her. It was not the man. It was her own mind, fearing the unknown that was impairing her, making it impossible to escape.

"Hey, pretty face" Celeste saw a sick smile appear on his face. "You were running. Now why would you do that? I'm not here to do you any harm" and he pulled her towards his own body. She struggled. Only in her thoughts though. She had completely lost control over her body. It was the unknown that was in control now.

His eyes were piercing her own ones, trying to read the fear. Instead, he saw nothing - she was empty. He felt frustration growing in him. Why isn't she afraid? Why, for fuck's sake, is this woman not trembling like she ought to? He pulled out a knife. That'll teach her strength. That'll teach her how to be a heroine.

She saw it. She saw the glistening, silvery blade come out of his pocket. She looked at the blurred reflection on the gloss and focused on it. She was following the gleam as it came closer to her face, ultimately caressing her chin, with no sympathy or remorse. She watched it, frozen, still unable to move, even as it reached her cheek. It was sensing her skin, sending shivers through her body with every brush of its dead smooth surface.

"How 'bout now, eh? Do you like my friend? He can be very nasty, you know" he spoke, smirking. He was pleased, as he felt her trembling reverberating through the weapon. Then he looked into her eyes. They were as cold as the asphalt they were standing on.

His frustration grew, wiping the smirk off his face. This was replaced with grinding of his teeth as his face furrowed with anger. Powerfully, he pushed her to a wall of a tall building, making her bang her head against the concrete.

It hurt badly, Celeste even thought she could feel blood trickling down her hair and dripping onto the pavement. She imagined the crimson drops being pulled by the gravity and splattering on the ground, forming a pool of her own blood. Celeste gulped back her disgust only to be met by his eyes once again.

"You bitch, you're not afraid, are you?" she heard irritation in his voice. She was screaming inside, calling for help and struggling. But again, her body failed to respond. "Answer to me, you whore! He slapped her across her face. She felt the strike and prepared herself for the pain. Her eyes slightly narrowed, but before she could do or feel anything else, another blow came. This time, the pain was even more intense, and she felt blood streaming down her cheek.

"Now look at what you made me do? I told you that I wouldn't hurt you, didn't I? Look at what you make me do!" with these words he touched his own face with the knife and ran it across his jaw. Then he looked at Celeste's chest, rising and falling, as she tried to catch her breath in vain. He quickly cut off the coat buttons, opening the coat and having a good look at her figure. He smiled hungrily, admiring Celeste's curves. He raised his knife again, holding it on a level with her face.

Celeste thought that this was the end of it: he was going to stab her, leaving her scared for the rest of her life. She froze, but in a miracle of the moment, her eyelids slid down, covering her eyes from the horror. Instead, she felt strong thrusts at her blazer, each of them leaving it more and more open. She heard the buttons falling to the ground, the distinctive sound of plastic meeting hard asphalt, testing one's hearing ability, as it caused the highest and the quietest noise around her.

Nevertheless, she listened to the sound, remembering it in her mind, playing it again and again. With that, she began fidgeting, like she used to at school, when she was nervous: moving her fingers as if she was playing.

The man saw her fidgeting; it put a big, victorious smile on his face. "Ah, so now we're afraid, aren't we? What's with all that finger business, eh?" he spoke, mindlessly, as he focused on her breasts, merely hidden by the flimsy vest Celeste wore. With every breath they'd rise, as if showing themselves off, and then fall, only to rise again.

The fidgeting brought back memories of music she used to listen to. She remembered one tune, though she couldn't quite make out the words. Yet, her vocal chords seemed to have involuntarily switched on, displaying their capabilities with reservations in quietude.

Humming? What the hell? He grabbed her wrist fiercely, but her humming only intensified. "This is not funny, I'm telling ya. Will you stop the racket? Eh?" He tightened his grip around her wrist, almost constricting the flow of blood. Yet, she kept going at it. She hummed relentlessly, repeating the same tune over and over again. Tirelessly, she was recycling it, in her first physical attempt to defy her attacker. "Will you shut the fuck up? You stupid bitch!" he slapped her, getting blood on his palm. Then, cupping her jaw in his hand, he shouted: "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" and slapped her again.

She felt a wave of pain travel through her face, the smack deepening an already sizeable wound. But she wouldn't be shut up. She couldn't stop anyhow.

"You're not content, are you? You want more, eh? Is this how you like it? You like pain, you perverted slut?" she felt another blow. Gasp.

Celeste woke up.

She touched her chest, then her stomach. She was drenched in sweat, gasping for air in desperate attempts to overthrow her panic attack. "I'm in control, I'm in control" She kept repeating, tears streaming down her face. She blindly searched for a bottle on her nightstand.

She gulped down a pill, washing it with water. Her trembling hands put the bottle of water back on the nightstand and she slipped back into her bed, holding a spare pillow in between her arms, pulling it tightly to her chest. The drill was becoming all too familiar. It frightened her.

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Celeste felt tired. She hadn't slept a wink after that dream and the emotional charge it carried exhausted her even further. She decided not to call her parents, as she thought they couldn't do anything about it anyway: her father would just get over protective and her mother would organise something Celeste hates.

Nevertheless, she had to get ready. Her nearly numb fingers picked out a pair of jeans and a white tunica, which she always consoled in when the memories came back. She ran her fingers through her short, ash blond hair, looking in the mirror as they rose and stayed put at awkward angles. She scanned her face: full lips, now pale from the lack of blood, blue eyes – a little red and watery.

She poured some cleansing tonic onto a cotton pad and began cleansing her face. As she observed her motions in the mirror, the man from yesterday appeared behind her. She knew that it was only her imagination, but who could give a damn? She studied his face closely and attentively: who was this man that haunts her?

He moved towards her and started massaging her head, digging his fingers into her hair, pressing his fingertips to her scalp. Celeste felt her tense temples relax and the relaxation slowly moving down her body, every fibre of it shivering in response. His strong, yet gentle hands slowly moved down her neck, stimulating the stiff muscles and sending her body into bliss.

"Oooh" she moaned. This was exactly what she longed for so long, ever since the attacks began; ever since her own body refused to let her just live, her mind torturing her in her sleep. She placed her right hand on his hand, but all she could feel was her own skin, riddled with goose bumps.

This was all just a fantasy.

The phone rang and Celeste jumped up to her feet, like a schoolgirl caught daydreaming in a lesson. She looked around the room and remembered that the phone was in the foyer. She marched to the table, on which the landline telephone was stationed. She picked up the receiver.

"Hallo" Celeste said unsurely, as she didn't know who could know this number. She had lost any contact with the people she knew from back then, apart from her relatives, who mainly spoke to her parents.

"Hi, it's Sam. Is this Celeste?" a bright and cheerful voice echoed from the end of the line. Celeste momentarily removed the receiver from her ear and thought. Sam must be Samantha. She detected from her enthusiastic voice, that her friend from the past hadn't changed much.

"Hi, Sam. Yes, it's me-"and before Celeste could add anything, Sam interrupted her.

"Holy cow, it's you! Gosh, it's been like six years, or what? Your voice! It's changed, it's deeper now. Wow"

"Yeah, it probably has." Celeste agreed, with notable absence of enthusiasm.

"Enehoo, we've all missed you SO much. It was really sad, when you left, but we got over it" they both laughed. Now Celeste remembered why she tolerated someone so different to her: the optimism. She always made her feel better, whether it were the good words or the surprises she'd think of. Celeste wasn't a fan of surprises, but Sam's ones were always welcome.

"I missed you too. It's a pity that it ended up like that" she meant the gradual loss of contact. Even though Celeste tried hard to keep in touch, something about them not actually being there with her cooled down her eagerness and the will to write back.

"Yeah, it is" Sam sighed. "But, I have good news. When you mess things up, you can always pick them up by throwing a party" they laughed again. Celeste took the hint: there was a reunion in Sam's mind.

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A black Mercedes pulled into a driveway in front of a rustic cottage. A middle-aged couple stepped out of the comfort and warmth of their car and into the unforgiving scorch of the freezing air and bitter biting of the winter sun. Hesitantly, a woman in her twenties followed them.

The older woman knocked on the heavy wooden door.

"Hallo! Come in" a very cheerful woman opened the door. She was of a similar age as the middle-aged couple, but looked younger than them, only her eyes giving away her true age.

"My, how nice of you to come here. And look at you, Spirita. You've changed so much. May I say that you look splendid" Celeste's aunt still called her the same name, Spirita, meaning spirited in Esperanto. She always said that Celeste deserved this name for her strong character and sharp mind.

"Thank you, Joanne for inviting us. The house looks lovely" Celeste's mother gave her sister a warm smile. Celeste was at first amazed by the compliment, but then remembered that the only person whom her mother would complement was her sister. You couldn't help liking Joanne.

"Why, thank you Cari. Yes, I and John did put a lot of work into this. John, I was just talking about the redecorating we had recently" she spoke as man of a similar age as Joanne appeared from one of the rooms.

"Hallo...Alex... Caroline... Celeste. Oh, you mean you being the supervisor and me doing all the work?" everyone laughed.

"Yes indeed, it took us a while, but now we have the cottage the way we want it. But why are we all standing here? Do take your coats off. We have tea in the reception room. Make yourself comfortable" so the guests did as the host suggested. Celeste took off her orange mittens and hat and her checked maroon coat. She slipped off her boots and was given comfy slippers.

"It's so very nice to see you here, Celeste. How are you?" her uncle said as they gathered for the tea.

"I'm fine, thank you" she gave him a warm smile.

"Thomas is upstairs, sleeping. It's such a pity he couldn't greet you. He is awfully tired. You do remember Thomas, don't you?" her aunt asked in curiosity.

"Yes, I do" Celeste nodded. She did remember Thomas very well. They spent many a summer together, playing outside in the nearby meadows and by the stream. When they became old enough to realise that they could debate, they did so. Every time she met Thomas, she'd already have a topic prepared, and she'd almost always win. He copied his mother, and would call Celeste Spirita, just to irritate her. She knew that he only did that out of jealousy, for he'd always lose.

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"I have to excuse myself. I need to powder my nose" Celeste excused herself as she got up.

"It's upstairs, darling." her aunt told Celeste.

After all the tea and what must've been like hours of talking, she felt she needed a break. Celeste left the room, past the foyer and up the winding stairs. She loved the rustic feel of the cottage. Even though it was modernised, most of the features she adored since her childhood were where she remembered. She looked at the beams, the ornamented window-frames and the large window-sills, covered with what looked like expensive padding. She sat on one of them and looked through the window.

She saw the stream she used to play by, the fields, now covered in snow and the garden, with grimly looking naked trees. Then she turned her head as she heard someone moving in their sleep. It was Thomas.

Who else could've it been? She was sure that she couldn't recognise him if she met him in a street though. He didn't look like his old self. The acne was gone, his hair was longer and his facial features were changed too. They were more... masculine, firmer. Celeste yawned deeply, even pressing a few tears. She was tired.

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