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by Karlie Steadman 5 months ago in Short Story
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Karlie Steadman

Photo by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

“Careful,” he said as he gently took my hand and led me down the steps. “Your eyes are still closed, right?”

“Ugh. Yes, of course,” I said while rolling my eyes under my closed lids.

I wasn’t sure who this man was, or really what was happening, but he claimed to know me. He said he’s known me for a long time. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember. He hadn’t even shown me his face yet, but I wasn’t afraid for some reason. His voice was smooth with a tinge of familiarity. It was like the voice of an old friend who I’d lost touch with. I still couldn’t place my finger on him though.

He said he needed to take me somewhere, so I could remember. He said if he brought me here, then I’d remember for sure. The air around me felt…pure. It was warm and comfortable; like a soft blanket covering you during a cool breeze. There was almost a floral scent to it. I could hear soft birdsong and the gentle rustle of leaves in the background. I’ve been here before?

“Okay. You ready? Now open your eyes.”

He let go of my hand, and I slowly opened my eyes. I rubbed them to make sure I was seeing correctly.

“Holy shit,” I said quietly to myself, “is this…real?”

The sky was a soft lavender, but faded to a golden pink as my eyes wandered closer to the sunset. The rays of the sun seemed to reach every corner of this place. There wasn’t an area where it didn’t touch. There wasn’t an area where it was truly dark. The birds I was hearing were unlike any species of bird I’ve ever seen. They were each a different color of the rainbow; all boasting a vibrant plumage on their heads. They wore them like crowns. In the distance lay a foreboding, indigo mountain range where I could just barely make out snow on top of them. It was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.

Eventually my eyes made their way to the man who brought me here. He was standing with his back faced towards me, gazing at the pale, full moon that was resting in the most purple part of the sky. His skin glowed golden under the sunset, and his thick, curly hair was tied back. He was quite beautiful himself, and suddenly I was very aware of the way I must look. I was wearing my favorite dress. The peach colored one that buttoned all the way down. I don’t remember wearing it when we left. I swore I was in my t-shirt and gym shorts. I was also barefoot. I wiggled my toes in the cool, long grass.

I took a step towards the man, and he turned to me. Eyes as golden as the sun. A strand of his hair gently bounced in the breeze. Was he even human? I stood in silence while I studied him. There was a small, pearlescent diamond shape lying right between his eyes. Who is this…being? How does he know me?

“So? What do you think,” he asked, breaking my embarrassing gaze.

“Oh, you’re- it’s beautiful,” I said, turning red at my slip-up. He chuckled quietly to himself. He knows what he is.

“Do you remember?”

I looked around again searching for some sign of familiarity, but I had nothing.

“I’m sorry, but no I don’t. I don’t know how I would even be able to get to a place like this.”

For just a second, there was a hint of sadness in his eyes. I felt terrible. How could I not remember a place as breathtaking as this? And a person as otherworldly as him?

The tinge of sadness disappeared as he snapped his fingers and said, “I bet I know what will make you remember!” He grabbed my hand and we ran to a small beach. If that was even the appropriate word to call it. The sand was as white as clean sheets, and the water was so clear that you could see the clams burying themselves below.

“You have to remember this place. This is where we first met. On this beach right here in Calypso.”

“Calypso?” I asked.

“That’s where we are. Everything from here to those mountains over there is Calypso. And it’s all ours.” He made a grand sweeping gesture with his arm.

“What do you mean it’s ours? Who are we?”

“You’re Opal and I’m Onyx,” he said. Suddenly a heavy feeling spread throughout my chest when he said his name. Onyx. That does seem a little familiar. But why was this feeling of heartbreak associated with him?

I heard what seemed to be soft jazz being carried by the breeze. He was staring at me in a way that reminded me of someone. It was as if there wasn’t anywhere else to look except for at me. His eyes were low, and a warm smile lit up his face. He held his hand out to me.

“Come here,” he said softly.

My whole body tensed up immediately. What the hell is going on?

“Don’t worry about it. Just feel it. It’s okay.”

He pulled me into him, and it was like I could feel his energy being transferred into my soul. It was warm and comforting. Maybe I had known him my whole life. Out of all the places I could be, it felt like I belonged right here. He slipped his hand around my waist and moved me gently to the music. I could feel our hearts beating in unison. The moon grew higher in the now cerulean sky, and he looked even more beautiful in the moonlight.

I still couldn’t shake this feeling of sadness. Like something had been ripped away from me. Something was missing. It doesn’t matter right now. I placed my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes.

“I wish you would remember,” he whispered, “I wish you’d remember me.”

I gazed up at him, the tinge of sadness had returned to his eyes. He seemed tired. He brushed away a strand of my hair with a touch so gentle, I couldn’t help but feel warm.

“You look just how I remember you. Beautiful and unencumbered. There wasn’t anything that could hold you back,” he said.

“I wish I could remember you, Onyx. Trust me, I do.” I squeezed his hand, desperate for some kind of memory to ooze out of it.

The music continued to play softly as he leaned into my ear. “I love you,” he whispered. The hairs on my arms raised. He then took my face in his hands, and placed his lips gently on mine. I melted into him as he continued to kiss me. We were hungry for each other, and it felt like it would never be enough. We were two stars colliding and exploding until there was nothing left but sheer energy. And love. This is where I’m supposed to be.

Then it came back.

I jumped back, breathless. I had been here before. I had been with Onyx before. This place is ours. This is where we’d go when…it got too unbearable.

“You’re…” I trailed off.


“You’re the other half of me. This is our place. Our beach. Our trees and birds. Our mountains. We made this place.”

He was looking at me in that same way again. Like I was the only one.

“You promised that when things got too hard out there, whenever we felt far apart, we could always come here and be together. Fuck. You’re the other half of my soul. That’s what was missing,” I said quietly.

Just then, the air split open, and the ground cracked, and the sky began crumbling apart. The music had stopped, and the birds fled from the trees. I tried to reach for his hand, but he was already too far away.

“Onyx! What’s going on? What’s happening?” I screamed as tears filled my eyes.

“You remembered!”

“I remembered so now our world is being destroyed?”

“It’s always been this way,” he called back, “it’s the way of our universe.”

“But I don’t want it to be this way! Why can’t we just stay here together?”

“I ask myself that question. But this is how you wanted it,” he answered.

Hot tears streamed from my eyes as I clung for life to the nearest palm tree. No! I don’t want this. I didn’t understand. How could I do this to myself? Why would I want this? I belonged here. My dress flew violently in the raging winds. The sky was a menacing red, and the moon had disappeared.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “you can find me here the next time you want to remember.” He smiled at me through the storm, the diamond between his eyes glowing bright.

“But I want this now! I love you!”

“You always were a difficult one. But I could never forget you. I love you, Opal.”

And he was gone.

I jolted awake. Sweat drenched the back of my neck as I struggled to catch my breath. I fumbled for the glass of water on my nightstand. The angry red numbers of my alarm clock read 5:30 am. Fuck.

I sat with my head between my knees, and my body was sore. Like I had just fought for my life. Which I suppose I did. The sadness spread throughout my bones like a heavy blanket on a hot and humid summer night.

I reached for my phone, but there wasn’t anything from you like I had hoped. You’d probably fallen asleep. Or maybe I’m just stupid. I wiped the tears from my eyes, lied back down, and pulled the covers up to my ears.

Alone. I was alone. And perhaps I always would be.

Short Story

About the author

Karlie Steadman

Hello friends! I’m Kar, and I’m 25 years old currently residing in Delaware. Welcome to the workings of my mind and healing of my inner child. Perhaps you can relate while I’m on my journey to self discovery✨

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