`Link strolled up through the woods up to the hidden medow that the hippy’s been using to plant her garden. It is a mixture of wild flowers and a variety of vegtables, all organically grown and carefully attended to by the two of them. Strangely no matter how early Link managed to get to the garden she always seems to be there first. After awhile he’d begun to suspect that she is living somewhere other than the actual dorms, which may very well be the case. It is hard to tell. Still she always seems happy to see him and her living with him would be complicated. Not impossible, but the room mate would more than certainly make it complicated.
After some debate they decided it would be best to keep the bird ourside as well, in the garden no less. It attracted enough bugs so that feeding it isn’t exactly impossible and by letting it do its best to get around it has slowly been healing up its injured leg. The night it happened was pretty touch and go, however, now the bird seems to be happy to provide Link and the Hippy with a little mood music while they whittle the hours away in what had become their garden. On one of their breaks the hippy came over to Link and placed a carrot in his hand, “Here you go!” she stood there positively beaming with pride, “You and I grew this together you know, and I figured you’d want to share it with me”
Smiling Link took out his pocket knife and began to skim away the dirt crusted outer layer, upon finishing he sliced it lengthwise down the middle then handed her half, “It is amazing how quickly things grow. It isn’t something you ever really conisder until you actually get to see it in action. It really is quite an impressive site”
Laughing a little bit she took her carrot, “You are so oddly interested in life, it is kinda off-setting at times you know that?”
Link shrugged a bit and took a bite to avoid having to respond right away, “Holy shit this is the best god damned carrot I have ever had in my entire life. Totally worth all the crap we go through to get it”
“Well, I suppose we both don’t need to be out here every day, at this point we are just nit picking at the garden”
“Yeah, still it is nice out here. Much nicer than where I usually go to sit and study, besides we can keep watch on the bird out here which is always pleasant. You think he will be able to fly soon?”
Walking over to the bird and squatting down, she cocks her head to the side, much like a bird herself, “I don’t know. It seems to be getting more comfortable with its movements that’s for sure. Hopefully in a little bit it will be able to fly away from all this never to hit a window again”
Link came over, the bird was sleeping oddly enough, “Do you think it will remember us?”
“Well they know how to migrate across thousands of miles by instinct. Soooo maybe?”
“It would be nice”
The hippy stood back up and walked back across the clearing, “I don’t really believe in pets, the whole idea seems really strange to me you know? Keeping some animal that is supposed to be out here inside, feeding it, and being its only real source of comfort in the world, it’s just kinda disturbing to me.”
Link shrugged, “I never wanted a pet as a child, my parents bought me a hampster once, but it got killed. I had let it out of its cage because I didn’t like how we kept it in there cooped up all the time. It apparently got into some rat poison under the sink and was killed. Or so my mom says, I’m not entirely sure if she didn’t do it on purpose”
The hippy, looking horrified, seemed like she didn’t know how to respond at first, “You know you don’t talk to your parenets very much do you?”
“No” He feels his voice turn into a cold dead thing. The sort of thing that kills because it is the only way to get a smile, the sort of thing that pisses used motor oil into drinking reservoirs, and cums blood. A thing whose soul has long since fled for greener pastures.
She could see she trespassed onto one of Link’s forbidden subjects, his entire body language shifted into something hard to describe, almost like a coil. Not quite though. He seems like it is just as likely to collapse in on himself as he is to spring forward, a careful equillibrium that he’s reached as a result of many years of careful balancing. All of it could go wrong at any moment for him sending him one way of the other. She gets hints, every so often, that his attitude is either a new fragile thing or an utterly false veneer. Curious, to test boundaries, “I’m sure your mom wouldn’t do something like that”.
His laugh, a singular auditory object, rings throughout the medow like the snapping of a bone, “You haven’t met her. You also haven’t experienced one of her little life lessions. Trust me, this is a woman who has a seriously warped views on life” He shakes his head and like that, the darkness seems to fall away from him, “Enough about them though, they are in my past. I am hoping that a little time and a lot of distance will soften things between us. I don’t plan on going home for quite awhile”. Nodding she began to busy herself with some nearby plants. She is thinking about something, he can feel it, “someday, maybe I’ll tell you more about what high school is like for me. Up here, I’ve done my best to make a new start. To not have high school all over again. So far I would say that I am doing a pretty good job”
She nods a bit, and fiddles some more. She is somewhere far away, it seems like her feet are hardly touching the ground and she glides quietly from one set of plants to the other gently removing weeds, and adjusting poles that supported some of the more delecate plants. Things just seem to grow better, and faster around her, and Link could swear that if she spent long enough in any one part of the garden that the plants would start growing twords her, instead of the sun. It might be true, there is something aobut her which nourishes the soul along with the body. However, Link has to wonder how much of him is left for her to save. After a minut she stands up, putting both hands over her head she bends over nearly back wards. Link who has resumed reading his book looks up, “You need your back cracked?”
“Can you do that?”
He nods and clamber to his feet, “An old fr-” He hesitates at the word friend and thinks for a minut. A range of emotions flick about him like a lighting storm, and it appeared almost as if the sun didn’t shine down as brightly on him as it did everyone else. Which might explain why he is able to wear 50 pounds of black clothing in the middle of July, “At any rate yes, would you like your back cracked?”
“What could it hurt” she thought to herself, “Yeah okay all this bending over must of gotten to me”
As he came over to her he asked, “Don’t you do yoga? I used to have all sorts of joint and muscle pain and I found that a combonation of yoga and Pilates really helped out”
“I tried it once, but every yoga class I went to, always has this ridiculous sermon along with it, and I could never really take it seriously as a resu- wait a minut you do yoga?”
Link nods, “I have insomnia. A doctor recommended that I try exercising around bed time to help burn off excess energy” He points to one massively muscled arm, “As a result I ended up doing quite a bit of exercising. I ended up buying a wieght bench and a set of free wieghts which I kept in the garage, and I started doing a variety of pushups, pull ups, crunches, and other things. Things happened and the wieghts had to go. So I switched over to yoga, I got all my lessions from internet piracy and you tube”
“Did it work?”
“The exercising did it work”
“Oh fuck no” Link laughs, “Sometimes I think it made things worse. Still, I like doing it now. It gives me time to organize my thoughts and to put my day into perspective, also being super strong does have its perks. You just need to keep streached out though, otherwise you end up fucking up your whole body” He gets behind her, she feels small chills run down her body as he puts her arms to her side. Not chills of desire, but much closer to something along the lines of revulsion. Realizing that this is their first actual physical contact made her think back. He didn’t just keep his hands to himself, but, looking back, he seems to almost have a pathological desire to not touch anyone. Even in public, he always pays with a card, and he goes out of his way to avoid contact with the cashiers. In a strange way he feels almost as if he no longer belongs on this earth and that some how he is living his life on barrowed time, stolen from somewhere. He asks her to exhale as much air out of her lungs as possible and then suddenly in one quick, fluid motion she is up in his arms. He isn’t lying about how strong he is. She can feel his muscles raging underneath her skin barely flexing under her weight. Then came the crack.
With a quick grunt of satisfaction Link puts her back down on her feet brushing his hands and body off. There is something about her. Something which naturally repels him, almost like a pheromone. Or the way you don’t want to overly handle someone who is sick. The way she initially locked up when he put her arms around her means she feels the same about him. “There is something strange about her,” Link thinks to himself, “Of course there is something strange about me too. It isn’t so much that we should be at odds, but rather that we shouldn’t be even near each other what so ever. This confirms some things I’ve been thinking for awhile, I can see that she is realizing it too. Her sexual prefferance doesn’t mean she is going to fall in love with me or anything like that. No there is something much more profound between us. Something closer to the base elemental forces that control, whatever. This is about the only time ever I wish I knew more about all the stupid stuff Sara knows” As he continues thinking he can see the thoughts swirling around in her head slowly but surely. Soon she will realize the smell of death about him, and how time turns to a dead rotten thing in his grasp.
Flexing her back in all directions she gave off a radiant, doubt shredding smile, “Wow, that was amazing, I’ve never been able to find anyone who could do that before to me. It is amazing how bad you feel until it is gone.” Her words, masking something, were sincere, as sincere as a half truth can be. He watches as she goes back to work, humming quietly to herself. Something is different though, the plants no longer seem to gravitate twords her and there is a certain hesitancy about her hands that he’s never seen, “Damnit” Link thinks to himself, “How the hell did I fuck this up? All I did was crack her fucking back and now it’s like the whole world has shit a brick over it”.
The day starts to fade away, twilight taking over promising a long night to come. While packing up their things the hippy looks over to Link and asks, “Say, umm do you ever go out and do anything fun?”
Shrugging he slings his backpack over his back, “I don’t really know of anywhere to go up here. I’m new to the area remember? Also trouble seems to follow me around so lately I’ve just been lying low and enjoying peace and quiet, why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. It seems like we spend all day together, but we don’t really know much about each other. I was just wondering if you did anything after we parted ways, or maybe someday yhou would like to”
Link though for a moment, “Hrmm is there something you had in mind or is this one of those general things”
Shuffling her feet a bit, “I don’t know, sometimes the nights can be strange and lonely. I’m not quite like you after all. I have people I miss”
He nodded slowly, “Well I don’t really sleep longer than a couple of hours a night, so statisiticly if you were to show up at my dorm room I’d still be awake. Feel free to do that whenever you want okay? We’ll watch a movie or something like that”
“Thanks, that sounds really nice, when I came up here early for a summer semester I had no idea that it would be so desolate, it feels like the whole world is filled with ghosts”
“Maybe it is, or maybe it is just one ghost. One ghost to represent them all, and he’s taken up residence here”
“You saying your 1000 ghosts?”
“Well there is something weird about me, I think that might as well be it”
They looked at each other uncertainly for a bit. After a bit she laughs it off, “Link there is no way you can be dead inside, after all look, the daffodils only grow in your favorite spots. Well I have some phone calls to make so I’ll be off.” And with that, as quick as you like she scampers away through the underbrush like a rabbit scouting out new territory.
She’s right about the daffodils, now isn’t that strange. Mediation on the subject could wait, there were human needs to be taken care of. Most namely bathroom usage and food. With that he lopes off through the woods, feeling more like some large predator than a person. All the way back he could feel something watching him. Oddly enough though it is a feeling he’s long since grown used to. Let them watch. He’ll be ready when they try to act. It won’t be in the summer though. This summer is building up towards something, he can feel it.