Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Benjamin Chronicles: Relativity by Matthew DiConti (Excerpt)

Conal sat there processing everything Edie was saying. What she said coupled with an oddly familiar feeling he had just being around her, allowed him for the first time in over two years to lower his guard. “All right, Edie. I’ll be straight with you. You’re right. It’s not normal. It’s not healthy. And it’s exhausting. But there’s a reason for it, a reason I keep to myself. Most people are happy to assume that I’m a loner, a weirdo. If their lives are so dull they want to tell stories about why I keep to myself, that’s fine by me. I couldn’t care less. I have more important things to worry about.”

“I’m not most people, Conal. I’ve lived across the street from you for the past two years and a sadder existence I’ve never seen.”

Conal laughed bitterly. “Fair enough. All right, What do you want to know?”

“Everything. Whatever you want to tell me. I assume that somewhere along the way, this is about a girl?”

“What makes you say that?”

Edie shrugged, smirking to herself.

Conal paused, not knowing how to start this story. Damn! She’s good. Hmm, maybe it’s safe to tell her? What’s wrong with me? Why am I even considering this? She’s a million years old, why not? Maybe it’ll do some good. Maybe I could just come right out with it. You see, it’s like this, Edie. I got cocky, made the biggest mistake ever and the love of my life paid the ultimate price for it. Probably not. For a moment, Conal wandered, lost in his memories. How had all of this begun?

“Conal?” Edie prompted.”

“Sorry, Edie, was just trying to figure out where to begin.” Until everything had happened, Conal had lived a pretty normal life. He wasn’t exactly an average child, although he was something of a loner in high school. He just kinda preferred books to friends, He wanted to hurry and finish high school and get to college.

He had a plan. He was going to do his working-class parents proud by being the first in the family to graduate from college. UC Santa Barbara. A good state school that allowed him to be close to home while pursuing his degree.

Looking back, Conal could see that his obsession with books and learning might have been an escape. He was the first to admit he was a little different from other people. He had never been able to put his finger on it, but when others wanted to go out to ball games and parties, he felt drawn to numbers and science. Some might consider it his calling, but it just felt like something more. Like there was some kind of an unexplained purpose for his passion.

After college, he landed a position teaching at a local high school, a job he loved. He was single and a little lonely sometimes, but he was optimistic. Women had never paid much attention to him, or at least if they had, he didn’t notice it. Had he lived a little less outside of his own head, he might have noticed classmates and acquaintances who were trying to shake him back to reality. But he only ever stepped back into the real world for one woman. And now she was gone.”

Relativity

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Genre - Paranormal Fiction

Rating – NC17

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