Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today is week 5 of the 52 week writing challenge.
The prompt for Sunday, 5th February is: Running/Flee.
I could have done a number of things with this prompt, but, in the end, I decided to experiment with first person writing.
The narrator of this piece is demisexual:
Demisexuals don’t experience sexual attraction until they have formed an emotional bond with someone. Casual dating doesn’t usually appeal to them, and getting to know someone as a friend before dating them may make more sense.
Nanti, one of the main characters from my work in progress, Dragonspire, also identifies as demisexual.
Warnings: mentions of sex, desire, and intimacy, but nothing explicit.
All my life, I’ve been running.
I ran from my home, my family, from a prestigious degree at Cambridge, from commitment, from relationships, and from myself. I bounced from one adventure to the next, in the hope that, one day, I would find myself.
I ran and ran, until one day, I met him.
He was shorter than the average male, and yet, his presence took up the entire room when he entered it. He was a nerd, like me, but he was less lost, and more sure of himself than I had ever been.
I’d never really had friends before, only casual acquaintances. People who I had met at school or work, but who were not exactly friends. Where others had scorned my lack of care for anything that didn’t interest me, he was intrigued, and he shared my odd sense of humour.
We laughed over coffee, and he even asked me to dinner.
Was he attracted to me? That’s how people think, isn’t it? When they first meet someone, and look them up and down? A snap judgement: swipe right for yes, swipe left for no.
I don’t think like that.
He made me laugh, and he intrigued me, but still… I can’t be attracted to someone who I’ve just met.
I declined his offer of dinner, but proposed a counter offer. Friendship. I didn’t know him well, but he seemed nice, and I wanted to get to know him.
Time passed, and, remarkably, we remained friends. Our connection only grew stronger, and I began to feel things for him that I had never gotten close enough to anyone else to feel.
I wanted to be held, to snuggle up together and never let go. Those feelings were not enough for me to say yes to a date, not yet, and never at the risk of our friendship, but he never stopped hoping. Every so often, he would ask again.
Then, one day, he stopped.
He moved away, to the other side of the country. Ran from me, ran from rejection. He got a girlfriend, and slept with her within their first week of dating. He told me all about it. I got defensive, and questioned how fast he was moving.
I didn’t understand how he could be that attracted to someone who he barely knew. He should be with me. He knew me. He liked me. We clicked.
The pieces fell into place. I realised that I desired him, in a way that I had never desired anyone before. For the first time, I wanted to run towards something, instead of away.
His relationship with his girlfriend didn’t last. She wanted to see other people over her summer break, and return to him once she got back. I couldn’t even begin to understand why anyone would do that.
He gravitated back towards me, but, despite my overwhelming feelings towards him, I was too nervous to act.
As soon as he moved back to town, we spent every spare moment that we had together, and I could tell that he was still interested. Now that I returned his interest, I waited for the time when he would ask me out again.
He offered to cook dinner for me. I accepted, and I thought that this was it. I waited with baited breath all evening, but the evening came to an end, and he did not ask.
Although I considered it, I did not ask either.
Then, later that evening, disaster struck. A large explosion on his side of town.
I never thought that I would be running towards someone, instead of in the opposite direction. With fear in my heart, fear for his life, I gasped and pushed myself harder as I ran through the panic, chaos, and confusion that our town had become.
In the middle of the commotion, I found him.
“Stay with me, please,” I whispered to him, as he took laboured breaths, his hands on his knees.
He straightened up, and said, “I’m not hurt. Hey… look at me.”
I looked up and eyed him critically. There was a small scrape on his forehead, partially covered by golden locks, but apart from that, he appeared unharmed.
I nodded, and let out a relieved sigh.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he promised.
“Not even to dinner?” I asked shyly, as I took his hand in my own.
“You mean it?” He looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
I nodded, hesitant. He grinned, and I found my lips twitching into a smile despite myself.
“You know, I’d all but given up. Didn’t think you were interested,” he mused. His arm slipped around my waist, and we turned our backs on the destruction.
“I just took time,” I replied, and I looked away with a blush.
“Two years?” he asked, with a disbelieving smile.
“I’m not like other people!” I retorted, defensive.
“No, I suppose you’re not,” he replied. His head came to rest against my shoulder. I felt his lips move as he murmured, “It’s why I love you.”
My heart stuttered, and I raised my hand to stroke the back of his neck as I replied, “You too.”
On that day, I finally stopped running.
I had a lot of fun writing this piece. I rarely write in first person, and I hope that it doesn’t show too much!
Thanks for reading. Did you try the prompt yourself? If you did, let me know how you got on!
I encourage participation from anyone who is interested, so if a prompt takes your fancy, give it a go. If you make an attempt and post it on your blog, let me know the link in my comments section. If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂