Sunday, 23 December 2012

My Mechanical Heart - Chapter Eight

Well I've got one more chapter present for everyone before Christmas! This week I have Chapter Eight of My Mechanical Heart and as the characters grow closer we're reminded how grateful we can be; and should be for our friends and family. The people who support, love and care for us no matter who we are or what makes up our unique personalities. I feel that this was a strong message that came through in the relationship of Will and Helena. It was unintentional; but a wonderful thing that I have learnt from them and others too.

I know that I'm thankful not just for my stories and characters but most importantly my readers. There's something very irreplaceable in each of you and I wouldn't trade one of you for the world.


Chapter Eight

- Helena Cope -

How many times had Helena locked herself in this closet?
She'd lost count along time a go, but her mind was full of memories where she would stay there for days and read. She wasn't a human so being self-sustained made it all too easy. Back then when she was nothing more than an art piece it was simple. Helena needed nothing more than her books.
But now something was unmistakably different and the hollow place in her that had once been filled with verse would no longer yield to well memorised novel pages. Instead there was an ache within her that felt like some of her vital gears had been removed and even though her mind protested it, Helena knew that Will was the only one ho could fill those desolate spaces.
But how selfish was this?
How could Helena expect William to sacrifice his social life for her?
And in the deepest reaches of her mind, Helena spent most of her time ruminating over what their friendship would mean for Will's future. If things were to progress as Helena wished and Will too, then it would no doubt become and hindrance for his existence.
It was true, people found it too difficult to accept Helena for what she was and with Will's selfless nature she knew he would give up too much for her sake.
She cared for him too much to see that happen.
She loved him too much to watch him do that.
He needed better, he deserved so much more. Even if William failed to presently realise that.
Yes, love. What a strange and complicated thing it was.
In Helena's world where life was a simple black or white matter, love was confusing. Maybe Clarence hadn't been able to put real emotions into her steel heart, but something unculcated happened. Will had done the impossible and in such a deft way that she doubted either of them could ever figure it out.
Sitting with the thoughts of her mind made Helena feel closer to humanity than she had ever been, it reminded her of the complex emotions she would read about so often. It was while she sat amongst these strange companion thoughts that a voice broke through and pierced Helena's bitter reverie.
It was Will, he hadn't left and given up and there was a part of Helena that thrilled at this. That however didn't change how selfish Helena thought it was to cling to William.
"Helena, I'm not leaving without you." He reaffirmed in a strong yet sweet tone.
While that would have been enough reasons for most people to heed his words, Helena found it a great battle of strength.
Slowly getting to her feet, Helena felt the door knob. It quivered under her hand and Helena could hear a soft gasp on the other side of the door. Will no doubt, picking up on the subtle movement.
Fear had controlled Helena through all of her short life and even now the fear of hurting Will made her want to stay in the closet. But the stronger, more human sense of Helena that William had awoken wasn't thinking about fear, she was urged forwards by the strange and foreign sensation of love that so often made people do things that were beyond their comfort zone.
Slowly the door was pushed open by her hand and Helena stood there in front of Will with a forlorn look. She was still inside the closet and as though he was afraid she might retreat again, Will kept a respectful distance between them.
"I love you too Will...but I'm..." she was going to say frightened but before she could and amazing and unexpected thing happened. A warmth rushed through Helena as she was silenced by William's lips pressing against hers softly and yet firm enough that she didn't want to try and protest.
Both of them were stiff, awkward at first while under the influence of this sudden show of emotion. Helena of course had never experienced anything like this and the grand way books described it were nothing compared to it's true splendour. Even before they both eased into a proper kiss, her arms over Will's shoulders and his around her waist, Helena couldn't have found anything to compare with this.
It felt like little sparks were dancing on the edge of her lips and making her feel relaxed and excited all in the same wave of emotion. There were no words between them and Helena wouldn't have had it any other way. The kiss was sweeter than words and she would have traded the pages of a million novels just for this moment to stretch on even a second longer. Watching William so close to her, Helena could examine his eyes with new depth, the rich, dark brown that seemed to go on forever without any end which mesmerised her.
Everything was beautiful in that moment and fear had been chased away by William's gentle care and tender kiss; letting the rest of that day melt away in a blissful daze.

*

The next day was surrounded by remnants of that same glow which Helena and Will shared through a single kiss.
The whole school noticed it in equal parts of amazement and confusion. Of course, neither Will nor Helena completely understood how strong the power they were under was but it became something they didn't want to fight. Helena certainly didn't want to fight it.
And with the dance that evening she was bright with anticipation to prepare...
Sitting up in her room getting ready, Helena sat before a mirror with Clarence behind her, brushing her messy hair so that it would resemble the distant cousin of a tamed hair-style. He pulled it back and up; pinning it with a decorative black hair comb and sticking what looked like a Victorian hair pin in the bun so that it looked ornate.
"So Helena, what's your dress like?" Clarence asked with the trembling edge to his voice of a nervous father.
He didn't know about the escapade while her and William were Downtown and Helena planned to keep it that way.
"I let Will pick it out." She said, glancing to the bag that she had yet to open. Simply peeking in, Helena saw the colour of the dress which enticed her to heed Will when he asked her not to take it out until she was getting ready.
"I'm sure he picked out something very nice..." Clarence said, one of his curious eyes peeking towards the bag before Helena hopped out of her chair.
"No! You can't see it!" She protested, snapping it up and shooing Clarence out before he could take another look. He was chuckling the whole way out; clearly amused at how she was acting.
The very second Helena closed her bedroom door she commenced to changing from her school clothes and into the dress, very careful not to mess up her hair. She was in such a flurry of excitement that it wasn't until she looked at herself in the mirror that Helena realised what William had done.
There in front of her, staring at her in the mirror was a girl who could have looked pretty; even just a little bit. But the stitches that quilted her shoulder together and mechanical heart in her chest were like a centre piece for everyone to see. The dress didn't hide Helena and her imperfections as she had hoped. Instead it made her prominent and magnified everything that was Helena's essence.
She hated it.
Just as Helena was about to change out of the dress, a gentle knock came on the door.
"Helena, can I see your dress?" It was Clarence.
"No!" Helena protested, heading for the door.
But he was smarter and quicker than Helena. When he threw open the door, she stood like a deer in headlights. Clarence too looked stunned but that quickly shifted into marvel as he looked his piece of artwork from head to toe.
"It's absolutely perfect." He said, approaching Helena and taking one of her hands.
"No it's not!" She growled, pulling her hand away and looking at Clarence with contempt. "It makes me look...ugly! Like myself." She muttered, turning away. "I don't look normal at all." She seethed, feeling angry and betrayed that William wouldn't have chosen a dress she felt comfortable in.
Maybe he didn't truly love her, maybe it was all a big joke. Or maybe he changed his mind and would insult her like all the others.
"I'm not going if I can't be normal." She decided, not letting Clarence get in a word between her flustered statements.
"What's normal?" He finally got to ask, although it was rhetorical question. "Maybe William doesn't want what you think is normal Helena. Maybe that's why he's so happy when he's around you. Maybe, just maybe that's why he picked out that dress...to show you that you're beautiful to him exactly the way you are." Clarence's words were sage and gentle but Helena could hardly believe them.
"How would you know that? You're always wrong! You said everyone would love me before and you were wrong then too." She said behind tightly clenched teeth. Clarence however was unfazed and only looked out the window.
"If you don't believe me, why don't you ask Will?" He said softly.
And as if on cue, the doorbell chimed...

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