This is fan fiction. Though the characters involve real people, this does not recount real events. The rating on this story is NC-17/Hard R. If you are not a least 18 years of age, please do not read!
G A B E : S I L E N C E I S N E V E R G O L D E N
P a r t O n e
© Radiantbaby, 2001
* * *
"In the end there was silence."
It sounded like some wretched plot from a film, but it was not, it was my life.
Had I fallen in love with him? Had I let myself walk that path that I worked so hard to guard myself from? Should I even be angry that I did and that he left me?
"I warned you."
Warnings are nothing, when you let your emotions take the lead.
My stuff arrived today, packed with annoying shredded paper whose fine dust made me wheeze and got on anything and everything in its vicinity. It was like those Christmas tree icicles one finds still clinging about months after the holidays have passed. Perhaps it is all a metaphor anyway; perhaps little pieces of him will always cling to my world. A small part of me hoped so.
I don’t know if I was more nauseated from the fiber dust or the fact that the package, though intact with everything I’d left at his place, was packed so…*impersonally*. Of course in these matters the very fact that he had opted to just mail my stuff to me and shirk all my attempts at reaching him and getting it all for myself was the most impersonal. Was I *that* terrible to face?
My friends and I simply stood around the box, quietly looking down at it in wonder and disappointment as if it were an open casket at a funeral. The worst thing was that was closer to the truth than anything else. It was symbolic of the final death of “us” and like many deaths, I never even got to say goodbye.
* * *
It has never been a favorite past time of mine, with a proclivity towards alcoholism and nausea knotted deep within my stomach already eating away at me, it was probably not the best idea.
At this point, though, there was plenty of space for mistakes. Things had broken into the wide open, lending me many different roads that I could take. Tonight. Tonight was to be the road of self-destruction.
It was light and almost hollow with a desolate quality. It brought me from deep within my thoughts to acknowledge the stranger next to me at the bar.
His almost shoulder-length black hair curled towards his neck, softly caressing it, and his hands lay splayed before him on the bar. I could tell he was certainly one who worked with his hands by the calluses carefully placed on them.
His eyes were the most striking though. In those eyes he was a million miles away, seemingly unaware that he was even humming to the music being played. Underneath them were dark circles and a bit of red puffiness. Had he been crying?
His eyes then seemed to glimmer and a small smile crossed his lips. He raised an eyebrow and glanced in my direction.
Oh God, had I been staring?
I smiled nervously back and the looked down into my drink. I focused on the swirls of vodka curling in the orange juice. How many drinks had I had? I’d lost count. Even more, when did they ever look so fascinating?
“Hello,” I heard to my right.
It was *him*, I could just feel it.
I slowly lifted my gaze to meet his, trying to hush the butterflies that were beginning to rise within me.
He was looking at me was a strange mix of wonder and arrogance. I found myself almost startled upon getting a better look at him. His skin was excessively pale and pulled tight against his high cheekbones. He would have almost looked dead had it not been for his eyes, now glinting jovially, and his almost twitching smile that set me at ease,
“Hello,” I replied back.
“A little girl like you should probably slow down a bit with those screwdrivers. You are liable to do yourself in,” he quipped, arms now across his chest as he leaned back a bit to regard me.
I straightened up in my stool, nearly falling off in the process, mind you. I then held up my finger to reply.
“First…first of all,” I stammered, “I am *not* a little girl, I am almost thirty. And second…well, second, I can certainly hold my…hold my liquor”
He looked at me amused, “I can see that.”
I groaned, knowing that I was sounding like a complete idiot and that I should probably quit while I was ahead.
He seemed to read my mind. “No, really, I mean it,” he said, moving my glass away from me,
“You are just trying to take my drink for yourself,” I teased.
He smiled more widely. “No, I’ve enough for myself actually,” he responded, holding up his glass and rattling the ice within it.
“What do *you* care then?”
It came out much more harshly than I had intended and in the exaggerated actions of some one with too much alcohol sloshing around their brain, I cupped my hand over my mouth to quiet myself.
He cleared his throat, briefly covering his mouth with his fist, and then straightened up on his stool.
He looked me square in the eye and said, “Well, my dear, let’s just say that I would hate for you to turn out like me. You have had about two drinks to my one and *I* have had a lot. Let’s just say…I’m nice.”
He chuckled slightly, in a self-deprecating fashion, breaking the intense gaze he’d held me in. “Well, my ex would probably disagree, but in the long run…”
He trailed off, his eyes clouding over for a moment as if he’d evoked her very essence just by speaking of her. Then just as quickly, he seemed to snap back. “Oh never mind. You just seem like a good kid…*woman*”
“Good is relative,” I said.
“So is *nice*,” he quipped.
* * *
"Gabe, you'll see a side of me. That's like the other men.
I'm just restless, caught up in the mood of my times Trying to reach right through the fog
Walking forward into I know not what But then that's true for everyone"
-- John Taylor, "Gabe"
* * *
We settled into a booth at the corner of the bar, ordering some bar food before the kitchen closed for the evening. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten and the loud growling of my stomach proved embarrassing to our conversation.
John confessed that it had been many hours since his last meal as well. Oh yes, his name was John. Last name?
“Just call me John.”
“It’s the heartbreak diet,” he offered, as I sipped my drink, now just a soda.
“I am not trying to sound presumptuous, you just show all the tale tell signs.” He said, almost shyly.
I snorted a bit, somewhat annoyed that it was all so obvious to him and that cool veneer I was attempting to use was failing miserably.
“Well, you would presume correct,” I said a bit defensively.
“Look, Gabrielle,” he said his tone low and reassuring now, “I am not sitting in judgment. I only recognize it because I know it in myself.”
* * *
Why was I sitting here in John’s hotel room at 3AM? His charm had certainly not been lost on me and, frankly, the conversation had been good for most of the evening at the bar. It had been last call and I suppose it all just seemed inevitable. Still, I couldn’t have predicted ending up here.
He was in the shower. He’d asked so casually if I didn’t mind that it almost felt as if we shared the sweet comfort of knowing one another for a lot longer than we did. Admittedly though, my heart sank a bit when he neglected to ask me to join him.
He was certainly attractive, his eyes pulling me in the more he spoke, and his charm fluctuating between confident and shy almost imperceivably. There was something about him too, like I knew him from somewhere else. I couldn’t quite place it and figured I wouldn’t ask. Anyway I could put it would probably sound like a bad line. “Don’t I know you from somewhere…?”
Either way, the most important thing was to attempt not to focus on the fact that he was in the next room naked, with hot rivulets of water caressing his body. No, I couldn’t focus on that.
I turned on the television with the remote and settled in to fully take in my surroundings.
The accommodations were very nice, a bit posh even. John had said that he was here on business, but when I tried to pry for more details, he would switch the subject to me. He didn’t seem particularly wealthy at first glance. He was wearing some black jeans, a cotton black pullover, and some simply black boots. Upon exiting the bar, he had slipped on a black Greek fisherman’s cap, resting it low over his eyes.
He seemed almost paranoid, his eyes darting about as we talked on the way to his hotel. There was definitely a mysterious intrigue about him and when we slipped into the hotel through a back entrance, I should have thought more of it at the time than I did.
“Anything exciting on?” he asked, coming out of the bathroom with a robe on, drying his hair with a towel.
“Oh,” I looked at the television and then back at him, “I wasn’t really paying attention.”
He sat down next to me on the bed, balling the towel in his lap. He smiled sweetly at me and for a moment I was lost in his eyes again.
“A lot on your mind, hmm?” he asked quietly.
I sighed, “Yes, I suppose so.”
“Well, let me take your mind off of things then,” he offered, leaning in and pressing his soft lips against mine.
N A V I G A T I O N :
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