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A Place for the Heart

 

A Place for the Heart

by Elizabeth Smith

 

 

 

Published 2016 by Elizabeth Smith

 

Text Copyright © Elizabeth Smith, 2016

All Right Reserved

Book & Cover Design: Copyright © Elizabeth Smith, 2016

Cover & Interior Illustrations by Elizabeth Smith

Author Photo by Elizabeth Smith

 

First Shakespir Edition

 

License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please download an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not download it, or it was not downloaded for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and download your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Title

Copyright Page

Table of Contents

Home

Needed

You’d Be Surprised

About the Author

 

 

 

Home

 

On the shore of the Baltic Sea, a couple gazed up at the cloudless night. All of the stars in the heavens above were glittering like diamonds on black velvet. The young women couldn’t tear her gaze away from the glittering jewels, but the man gave a blank stare out to the gently flowing sea.

 

“It’s beautiful,” the woman said.

 

“Yeah,” the man replied.

 

“Rikard, you’re not looking.”

 

“Sorry, Saphrina.”

 

“Why do you look so troubled?”

 

“When do you have to go back?”

 

The Saphrina opened her mouth to reply, but couldn’t seem to get the words out. Instead the Saphrina looked down at her feet as she thought over what to tell Rikard.

 

“My people gave a week notice yesterday.”

 

“So you’re going home.”

 

“If that’s the case, than why does it feel as if I’m being taken away?”

 

“Saphrina?”

 

“I told you, didn’t I? My people think of humans as an unintelligent and violent race. When I was pulled from my research department to study the Earth’s geology, I was terrified. Until I met you.” Saphrina looked up; her royal blue eyes stared into Rikard’s forest green with tears welling up in them. “I love the Earth, I love the humans. Yes, some of you can be quite idiotic, but there are those who would go through greater lengths to make a stranger smile than what we can boast about.” Saphrina brought her legs up and cried into her knees. “I don’t want to leave.”

 

Rikard slid closer to wrap an arm around Saphrina’s shoulder. “Can you ask your Major to allow you to stay?”

 

“He wouldn’t,” Saphrina said with a humorless chuckle. “He despises humans. The Major firmly believes that humans are beneath us. He wouldn’t even approve of the time I had spent with you.”

 

“This isn’t fair.”

 

“As the human expression goes, life isn’t fair.”

 

“Isn’t there someway you could stay?”

 

Saphrina shook her head, but gained a thoughtful look a moment after as she stared out to the Baltic Sea. “Rikard.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I believe I have an idea,” Saphrina said as she looked back at their seat. Its large shape would normally be hard to miss, but it was designed for covert purposes when she was unable to be with it. To anyone else, the ruff looking texture and the grayish brown color made it look like a giant rock, however, the two friends could feel the hum of the engine that made the vehicle warm enough to sit on despite the cold weather.

 

“Saphrina, what are you planning?”

 

“Will you help me?”

 

“For you, anything.”

 

The next day, the vehicle cut through the air at breakneck speeds. Saphrina typed in commands on the motherboard computer and positioned levers with a speed that only comes with years of experience. She ignored the warning the computer was giving her as she continued to override its autopilot program. An alarm sounded as she dropped to a hundred feet before impact with Sweden’s coastal water. Saphrina braced herself as she cut off all of the power and let Earth’s gravity do the rest.

 

Rikard paced back and forth a mile from the landing site, praying that Saphrina will be okay.

 

“Rikard,” a sweet voice from behind him said. Rikard turned around and let out a sigh of relief as he spotted a soaked Saphrina waving at him.

 

“Saphrina, can you do me a favor?”

 

“What is it?”

 

“Remind me to never say ‘anything’ to you again.”

 

“But that’s the only way I can get you to go along with my ideas,” Saphrina said with a huge grin.

 

“You’re going to be the death of me,” Rikard said, but he couldn’t stop a smile from forming when Saphrina laughed. “Are you really okay with your planet thinking that you died in a crash?”

 

“Yes, if I wasn’t okay then why would I have done it?”

 

“Well, this entire idea is crazy so OW!” Rikard rubbed his arm where Saphrina smacked him.

 

“Stop being mean, Rikard.”

 

“This means that you can’t go home, doesn’t it?”

 

Saphrina smiled as she slid her hand into Rikard’s. “I am home.”

 

 

 

Needed

 

Worn sneakers squeak on tile floors as Timothy walks in a lazy gait. He peers down another narrow hallway in search of his friends. Outside is a warm and bright afternoon, a day that Timothy loves to ditch school for. He couldn’t stand the white walled classrooms with their chalky odor that clings to the air, but his mother had already made her displeasure of his attendance record clear the month before. So, here Timothy is, trudging along the hallway to look for the few people who makes his free periods bearable.

 

Timothy finally spots one of his friends, Kevin, at the end of a hallway. Kevin waves his arm to get Timothy’s attention with a glare that seemed to suggest that Timothy is late for an appointment rather than seeking his friends out on a whim.

 

Timothy passes by the lockers on his way to his impatient friend who got more impatient when Timothy stopped in the middle of the hallway. Timothy smirked and held up a finger to Kevin, asking him to wait for a moment. Kevin looked curious until Timothy gestured toward Michelle who is putting her science book in her locker.

 

His shoes squeaks as he walks up to her, but Timothy knew that Michelle wouldn’t think it strange in a hallway of full of squeaky shoes and mundane chatter. Michelle is unprepared when Timothy shoves her against the lockers. The force of the impact makes her rebound and fall backwards onto the floor.

 

Timothy laughs as he continues down the hallway toward Kevin. Kevin holds his stomach as tears well up in his eyes from his own laughter. His eyes are still bright when Timothy reaches him. Releasing another bout of chuckles, Kevin pats Timothy on the shoulder and gestures for Timothy to follow him to where the others are.

 

Timothy looked back at Michelle before he turned the corner out of the hallway. Anyone just arriving at the scene wouldn’t be able to tell that anything is amiss. Michelle is back on her feet with others surrounding her. Someone says something to her and Michelle laughs and makes animated movements that cause a round of laughter from the others.

 

For the life of him, Timothy couldn’t understand what’s wrong with her. Anyone else that they picked on had always fought back or made some action of annoyance, but Michelle response to them in a manner that suggests that it’s as normal to get someone’s attention by shoving them into lockers or pulling their chairs from under them as it is to tap them on the shoulder.

 

The only answer that came to mind is the one that Bill told him when he voiced his question. “The little freak only wants to be popular. She goes around trying to get on everyone’s good side so that they’ll notice the sweet little angel that she is and all of a sudden everyone will be fawning over her. It’s pathetic what girls will go through for attention.”

 

The others are waiting for them by the dumpsters. When Timothy and Kevin arrive, Greg waved in greeting, but Timothy could tell that he’s hiding something when Greg restrained from hurried movements and bit his lip in an effort to keep from smiling. Greg looked around almost in boredom if it weren’t for the gleam in his eyes.

 

When the area remained clear, he leaned toward the others and gestured for them to do the same. “I finally found my brother’s stash last night.” Timothy tensed when Greg lifted a sandwich bag of something green and flakey from his backpack. “Although, this is all that I was able to swipe. My family would probably notice if too much is missing.”

 

The others burst out in quite applause and congratulations while Timothy remained still. Andy noticed and punched him in the arm. “Come on, Tim. Grab some before these pigs take all of it.”

 

Timothy swallowed the lump in his throat and stood up. “Sorry, but I think I’ll pass.” The others jeered him, thinking that Timothy is only playing, but Timothy pushed Samuel off when he put an arm around his shoulder. “Guys, stop. I already said that I’d pass.”

 

“Lighten up, Tim,” Andy said. “It’s only a little marijuana.”

 

“Yep,” Greg said as we waved the bag around. “Besides it’s medical marijuana. It’s good for you.”

 

“I’m not smoking. Besides, if it were good for regular people to take it, then you wouldn’t have had to sneak it from your brother’s supplies. What are you going to do when someone finds out?”

 

“What do you mean by ‘when someone finds out’?” Kevin shoved Timothy against a dumpster while everyone else looked at him with distain. “Is the little wuss going to go tell someone?” Kevin grabbed Timothy’s shirt collar and slammed him harder against the cold metal. “Because it’s going to be bad for your health to even breath a word about any of this.” The others had left Timothy leaning against the dumpsters.

 

When the final bell rang, Timothy brushed himself off and walked toward home.

 

Timothy walked in the front door and cringed when he spotted his mother glaring at him from the staircase. “Your school called,” she said. “You had skipped your last class. What did I tell you about skipping school.”

 

“Sorry, mom. I didn’t mean to do it. It’s just…” Timothy stopped when his mom smacked him across the face, leaving his cheek stinging.

 

“If I had known you would turn out like this, I would have ripped you out of my stomach myself! You’re just as useless as that waste of space you have for a father. Getting me to provide everything and then up and leave me with all of the responsibility…” Timothy clenched his teeth and listened to his mom’s tirade. The shouting itself wasn’t unusual, but her grabbing Timothy by the collar and shoving him out the door is. “Come back when you decide to grow a pair.” She slammed the door and Timothy heard the click of the deadbolt.

 

Timothy brushed himself off and walked back out onto the sidewalk. He didn’t even think about where his feet were leading him. Smiling people walked past him every once in a while; though, the number of people decreased as the clouds overhead grew ominous. They disappeared altogether when the clouds let go of their burden on the town and soon Timothy is drenched with the cold rain.

 

He looked over the ledge of a bridge that he came to and stared into the water below. It’s to high up to see any features in his expression, or maybe that is his expression. His mom’s words had always stung a little, but it always passed as he devised new things to do with his friends.

 

It’s not as if her words even mattered. She could blame him all she wanted, but it was her choice to sleep with a man out of wedlock, and it was her who had put too much faith in someone who never wanted to make the commitment to marriage.

 

Timothy stared into the water below as if in a trance. For some reason, he didn’t know how he felt at that moment. The only thing he was aware of is something in his chest that feels like a ball of cement was placed on his chest over his heart. But, for some reason, it’s not bothering him the way he thinks it should. Maybe, Timothy thought as he placed a foot on the railing, it’s surrender.

 

Timothy gasped at the sharp pain of falling backwards on the cement. He looked up and found Michelle’s blue eyes becoming red and puffy as her tears mingled with the rainwater on her face. Her breath came in pants and her hands that are clung to his sleeve shook violently.

 

“You idiot, what are you doing? Do you know how dangerous that is? You’ll die if you fall.”

 

“What would it matter to you?”

 

Michelle bowed her head, but her hand gripped his sleeve tighter. “Have you even considered of all of the people you’ll be hurting?”

 

“My friends abandoned me, my mom hated me from the beginning, I don’t have anyone…”

 

“Why are you pretending to be alone when there is someone out there that wants to be with you? There’s someone the needs you to be there with them so much that they can’t live without you. You’ll be taking their life away too! How can you live with that?” Michelle tugged on his sleeve toward the stairs. “I’m begging you. Please don’t.”

 

“Why are you…?”

 

“If you want my forgiveness for school, than you have it. Just please don’t die.”

 

After a moment of stunned silence, Timothy grabs her by the hand and pulls her out of the puddle that they settled in. Michelle’s grip tightened again when Timothy’s eyes glanced at the river, but Timothy walks off the bridge with her hand still in his.

 

 

 

You’d be Surprised

 

Warm rays of sunshine streamed into the white walled hallways as the students made their way to their various classrooms. Its warm sunshine caressed every surface from the lockers to the smiling faces of the students. Timothy’s chest clenched with envy at those smiling faces. Each smile was bright and warm as the sun outside while they looked to each other and laugh. The student’s inane chatter floating through the air to mingle with other voices until any meaning fades into obscurity.

 

However, Timothy was grateful that the ache in his chest had loosened since yesterday when Greg Bennett, the boy he was following, had talked to him between classes. Greg had been sympathetic toward Timothy on his first day and asked Timothy about himself and his old school. Greg had even invited Timothy to hang out with his friends.

 

Unfortunately, that invitation came with an initiation so Timothy could prove that he’s “cool enough” to hang with them. That same initiation is the reason that Timothy’s knuckles turned whiter as Greg signaled him to stop at the end of a nearly empty hallway.

 

Timothy watched as a boy, whom he guessed was about a year younger than him and a couple sizes smaller, was pulling book after book from his locker. Timothy turned toward Greg as a smile spreads across his face.

 

“There’s your target.”

 

“Umm…”

 

“Come on, Timmy, the nerd even has his locker open for you. All you have to do is give a slight push and it’s done.”

 

Timothy bit has lip as he handed his notebooks to Greg. Deciding that it was best to get it over with, Timothy took off in a run. His heart pounded faster and faster as his feet carried him closer toward the unsuspecting kid until pain exploded in his head.

 

The hallway echoed with a resounding bang as a girl jumped out of an opened locker with a joyous cry of freedom. Her elation, however, became short-lived as her eyes widen and she takes off down the hallway with Greg running moments behind her.

 

Timothy lifts his head slightly before letting it drop back down when he discovers his intended victim had ran off at some point, leaving Timothy sprawled out and cold on the tiled floor.

 

Timothy rubbed the massive bruise on his forehead as Greg drags him to his next “assignment”. Throughout their trip, Greg hadn’t given up grumbling about “energetic girls and who refuse to stay still”.

 

“Well, that was a disaster,” Greg said. “Don’t worry about it, though. There shouldn’t be anymore interruptions.” They finally stopped in front of a door, but Timothy could feel his stomach drop as he realized it was to a private bathroom.

 

“Greg…”

 

Greg placed a hand over Timothy’s mouth. “No talking. Just go in and swirly the person.”

 

Timothy stumbled toward the door when Greg pushed him. He leans in carefully as he listens to see if someone was actually occupying the restroom and praying that it was empty. However, his hopes were dashed as shoes shuffled and the person’s clothing rustled as they did their business.

 

Timothy sighed as he turned the doorknob and quietly slipped into the strangely dark room. Greg leaned back against the wall to wait for the flush but jumped as Timothy’s agonized scream echoed through the tiny space. “My eyes!”

 

“Detention, Mr. Thomson!” Greg’s eyes widened when their Math teacher pulls the door open and stomps out of the room with a blush coating her face while the English teacher exits behind her and heads toward his next class.

 

Greg peeks into the restroom and spots Timothy wide-eyed and huddled in the corner as he mutters incomprehensively.

 

“How about we take a break, Timmy.” Greg pulls Timothy to the back of the school and sat him down on the ground as he takes a seat on a crate. “You haven’t had the best luck today, but I do have something that’ll cheer you up.” Greg lifts a sandwich bag from his backpack and smirks when Timothy’s eyes widen in shock. “It’s not much, but it’s all I could swipe from my brother’s drawer. My family would notice if too much is suddenly missing and my mother would kill me.”

 

Greg holds out the bag for Timothy to take, but Timothy shakes his head. “No, thank you. I’ll pass on this one.” Timothy swallows in the effort to keep the bile rising from his stomach at bay. He turns his thoughts away from the nauseating scent of the plant, which he could almost make out even though the smoke had yet to form.

 

Greg sighs as if he’s dealing with a petulant child. “Come on, Timmy, it’s not like it’s a bad thing. Besides it’s medical marijuana so it’s good for you.”

 

“If it is good for regular people, then you wouldn’t have to steal it from your brother’s supplies. What are you going to do when someone finds out?”

 

“What do you mean by ‘when someone finds out’?” Greg shoved Timothy against the dumpster. Timothy yelled in pain as his shoulder hit the corner and he fell to the ground. Looking up, Timothy shrinks back as Greg’s disdainful expression came out in full force. “You know what Timmy? I’ve tried to help you, but you really are pathetic. You can forget about hanging with us.” Greg turned on his heel and stomped away, leaving Timothy holding onto his throbbing shoulder until the bell rang.

 

Timothy watched as a group of kids walked across the street. In the center of the group was Greg who seemed to be supported by those around him. Timothy’s eyes followed them until they faded into the distance.

 

He fell onto his back, ignoring the rancid odor that the trash bin was emanating, as the skies grew darker. The darkened clouds rolling in seemed ominous to Timothy. They were looming over the city, over him, like a vulture flies over its prey. The faint crash of thunder could be heard in the distance threatening to break down those who couldn’t withstand its might.

 

Kind of like this school, Timothy thought. Timothy could remember the anxiety of his first day and how displaced he had been in the sea of unfamiliar faces. Throughout that entire day, Timothy was lost and confused, but his throat tightened with the thought of going up to one of those groups.

 

He hated his mom’s transfer, he hated that he no longer belonged, he hated that the only thing that his peers see him as is the new kid. However, Timothy felt as if he hated himself the most for what he did.

 

It was stupid to believe in Greg. Timothy knew that everything that Greg told him to do was wrong, but the promise of acceptance lured Timothy in. It served him right that the acceptance was taken back so easily.

 

Taking a deep breath, Timothy stood up and wiped the dirt of his clothing. No more feeling sorry for yourself, Timothy thought. It’s like dad says, ‘Do what is right and things will turn out right’. Timothy took a deep breath and headed into the school before the janitors had the chance to lock him out.

 

Mrs. Bennett picked up the ringing phone as she continued to clean the countertops of leftover crumbs. “Hello. This is the Bennett household.”

 

“Mrs. Bennett? This is Timothy Thomson, one of Greg’s classmates.”

 

“Would you like to talk to him?”

 

“No, I just called to see if he’s feeling better.”

 

Mrs. Bennett paused in her cleaning and looked over at her son. “What happened?”

“Greg wouldn’t tell me, but he was smoking marijuana outside of the school. All he would say is that it’s medicinal.”

 

Mrs. Bennett narrowed her eyes at Greg who was finishing off a brand new bag of chips and looked down and the remains of another afterschool snack. “Well, thank you for your concern. Greg will be fine in a couple of days.” Greg looked up at the sound of his name and choked when he spotted his mother’s narrowed eyes and clenched teeth.

 

“That’s good. Bye, Mrs. Bennett.” Timothy chuckles as he hands Michelle the pink cellphone. “Wow, she sounds ticked.”

 

“She’s can be a scary woman. Be glad you didn’t see her during the last Parent Teacher Conference.”

 

“Thanks for letting me use your phone, Michelle.”

 

“Thank you for getting me out of the locker. I’m sorry about this morning. Is your head okay?” Michelle gestures for Timothy to walk with her.

 

“I had it coming,” Timothy said as he fell into step beside Michelle. “How did you get Greg’s number?”

 

“You underestimate how much I can hear in lockers.” Timothy laughs. “Anyways, I know what it feels like being new,” Michelle said. “How about you join my friends tomorrow instead. Only requirement is being nice.”

 

“If they’ll have me.”

 

“You’d be surprised.

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Elizabeth Smith had always held a love for stories. When she was a little girl, her favorite thing to do was act out the journeys of great heroes. Since then, her passion for the stories and the characters within them had only grown. Ms. Smith is currently living in Texas with her family while she attends online classes at Full Sail University where she is earning a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in Creative Writing.

 


A Place for the Heart

A Place for the Heart is a collection of three stories. Home is the tale of how far a young alien will go to continue her life among the humans. Needed is a story of a young boy’s desperation to find where he belongs. He finds that it’s with the person he least expected. You’d Be Surprised is a young boy trying to belong by becoming a bully, but finds friendship doing the right thing.

  • Author: Elizabeth Smith
  • Published: 2016-05-23 05:05:07
  • Words: 3896
A Place for the Heart A Place for the Heart