Beautiful and the Silver Arrow--Chapter 2
This is the second chapter to my story, Beautiful and the Silver Arrow. I will be attempting to write a chapter of this every day. In the story so far, Eli is very depressed because his girlfriend was cheating on him and dumped him. Beautiful, a klutz of a cupid, finally arrives at his apartment only to find out that he can both see and hear her!
As always, constructive criticism is welcomed!
From the moment that Eli woke up, his head was pounding and his eyes were sore and tired. The entire day before was absolutely the worst day of his life. He saw his girlfriend with another guy, she dumped him, his friends just made him feel worse, and he ended up seeing a strange ghost. The only thing he could think of once the new day dawned was how he was in no mood for anything.
He had spent most of his morning on his couch, staring at the television. A huge frown plastered his usually happy face and all he wanted to do was to just sit there. When the clock read noon, he knew that he had skipped two of his classes for that day, but the nagging thought of him getting close to graduation made him decide to get dressed and at least go study at the college library.
He found a quiet corner on the third floor of the four story library. Other students around him chatted and studied together, doing whatever they needed to do. The quiet murmur seemed to echo around him, but he found the quiet noise pleasant.
Feeling a little more satisfied, but not to the point of going to his final class for the day, he decided to get down to his research paper. Occasionally, he would get up to find another resource or go get a drink, but he worked hard for two hours straight until he was interrupted by Rose, a student in his computer class.
Rose was a short but very pretty red head. Her eyes were a very pretty brown and she was extremely kind. She was almost always smiling and since their freshman year, they had grown to become very good friends. "For O'Herns class?" she asked after greeting him. She set her books down on the table and sat down across from him.
"Yea," Eli muttered. "I restarted it three times already. I keep on writing too narrow of a thesis."
"I hated that paper. It almost destroyed my GPA last semester. You should have taken it with me!"
Eli looked up at Rose and gave a weak smile. Being in the same program gave them both the opportunities to take many of the same classes. But she had somehow taken her psychology requirement a semester before him.
"Mind if I study here?" Rose asked quietly, right after commenting about letting him continue his work. "I hate sitting alone in the library." Eli nodded and Rose left to get some sort of material or book for whatever she was working on.
"She's very pretty!"
"What?" Eli asked, turning his head to the voice. Standing right next to him and staring off into the direction that Rose just went was the ghost from the night before. Eli jumped and his eyes grew wide. "Oh no, another delusion."
"Hey! You can still see and hear me! How do you do that?"
"Shut up, already. I know that I'm going crazy. I don't need you to remind me."
"You're not going crazy. I really do exist. But really, why can you talk to me? Very disconcerting. But anyway, getting back to the topic, she is very pretty."
Eli sighed and didn't say anything back to her. Beautiful looked over Eli's shoulder and read a few lines of his paper, but soon stopped after not understanding much of it. "Rose would make a good match for you. She's kind, pretty, smart, happy, and full of love. Absolutely brimming with it!"
"I'm sorry," Rose answered with a tilt to her head. "I wasn't going to say anything." She sat down across from Eli and seemed to dismiss his apology. He glared back at Beautiful before returning to work.
Beautiful walked over to Rose. She covered her bracelet and began to watch a series of different colored lights flash in a particular order. Eli couldn't help but be distracted as he watched the lights from the bracelet and the strange ghost that was haunting him. "Please stop staring at me," Rose whispered with a wink and a smile.
"I wasn't! I was . . . "
"I'm just messing with you! You seem like a different person today. Anything wrong?"
Eli shook his head. Beautiful laughed and Eli looked around to see if anyone else could hear her. No one around them made any movement at all. "She is definitely ready. Since you can see me, do you have any objections?"
"To what?" Eli managed to ask in a strange mutter that made it seem like he was commenting on a frustrating passage he was writing.
"I'm a cupid! I make people fall in love. And it is time," Beautiful continued pulling out an arrow, "for you to fall in love! Now hold still." Beautiful made a dive to jab her arrow at Eli. Eli dodged and fell on the floor.
"Are you alright?" Rose asked, standing up. Everyone around them looked over at Eli, and Eli could feel himself getting angry at Beautiful. He muttered a yes and a very lame excuse while he crawled back into his chair. His attention was turned to Rose, listening to her express concern and suggestions in regards to his chair fiasco. But out of the corner of his eye, he could see Beautiful preparing to try to poke him again.
She launched her attack and Eli managed to catch her arm before she could get him. She gasped, let go of the arrow, which seemed to evaporate instantly, and stand back. Beautiful was holding her wrist and staring wide-eyed at Eli. Eli looked down at his hand.
'I felt her. It was as real as touching anyone else! Can a delusion be that real?' he thought to himself. His mind wandered and wandered, and in a few moments, he excused himself from the table. He packed up his belongings, told Rose that he better get going, and walked out of the library. Before he managed to go, he slyly grabbed Beautiful's hand, which felt just as warm and soft as any other hand, and lead her out with him.
Outside, he walked at a fast pace and wouldn't let go of that hand until they reached his apartment door. They had walked the entire way in silence, Beautiful staring at the ground and Eli determined to get to his home. Their silence was not broken until they were standing right outside of his apartment door and he pushed Beautiful through it.
She went through the door as easily as he could walk down the street. It was as if the door and wall weren't there at all. He touched the door and felt it as solid as he had ever known it. Quickly, he opened his door to find Beautiful on the floor where she had fallen.
"What the hell is going on?" she muttered through gritted teeth, showing her displeasure with being pushed and getting back on her feet.
"That's what I want to know. Spill it. I can touch you. You feel human. You talk. What the hell are you?"
"What do you mean? I told you I'm a cupid. I'm not human, but I look like one."
"Are there more of you?"
"A lot more! Humans don't normally fall in love on their own. We cupids do that, and you need a lot of them for all the humans in the world."
"Can everyone see you?"
"You're a weird one. I don't like playing twenty questions without a quit-pro-quo. Do you see ghosts at all?" Beautiful muttered back. When Eli wouldn't say anything else, she answered his question. "It is very rare for a human to even feel our presence. But you are . . . I just don't get you. You can see, hear, and touch me. That shouldn't be possible. And I can't even ask anyone right now."
Eli was standing, staring at his floor with his hands in his pockets, not believing what he was hearing. He really began to think he was going nuts and that was because of being dumped. Who else in the world would his insane mind invent if not a cupid on the eve of a break-up? "Ask anyone?" Eli asked back just to keep her talking.
"I can't get back home. I told you that I would go back last night and see you later, remember? I can't get back. I don't know what's going on. This has never happened before. So I have to wait until I come across another cupid before I can ask anyone about you. Maybe it's a good thing you stopped me today. I really need to report it before I do anything." Beautiful spoke the last bit more to herself than anyone else.
"Report? What is wrong with me that you need to report me? Am I blowing your cover? Believe me, even if I wanted to tell someone about you, they'd think I'm nuts. I think I'm nuts."
"Well," Beautiful struggled out, "since I'm going to be here a while and you probably won't cooperate with me, I'll tell you. You can even fill in the details." Beautiful smiled, thinking how proud Prince would be with her when he found out she took care of this problem all by herself. Eli replied with a 'whatever' and began to stare at her. "You see, you were in love before."
The room went silent. Eli stared blankly at the cupid with his mouth agape. She smiled back as if that made all the sense in the world. But after a minute of the two in silence, she began to realize he was at a loss for words. "You weren't suppose to be. I have no record of you being in contact with another cupid at all, and that means only one thing. You," she stuttered out again. She hestitated, took a gulp, and looked at Eli. "You were struck with the Bronze Arrow."
"Right, Bronze Arrow. Whatever." Eli rubbed his eyes and sat down at his table.
"Not 'whatever'! It's a huge deal! The Bronze Arrow only brings false love, and you were struck with it and the love fell through. All love brought about by the Bronze Arrow fails, and it does a lot of bad things to a human, like ruin your chances for love entirely. And you might be suffering like that, so I thought that it would be better to strike while the arrow is sharp and get you in love with someone else before you give up on love."
"You're just . . ." Eli couldn't describe her and he didn't want to. His head was beginning to hurt more and more. This imaginary person was something completely different from whatever he thought would exist and she was taking a lot of energy from him. It was then he noticed it. "What's wrong with your hand?"
Beautiful looked taken aback. She looked down at her hand which was wrapped in cloth. "Oh, it's nothing. I just jabbed myself last night with my arrow. I'm fine." Eli thought he saw her cheeks go a little red. He asked if she was okay. "I'm fine. But it's a little embarrassing to be a cupid and sticking yourself with your own arrow. That's all."
Eli sighed and mentioned taking a nap. He didn't bother saying anything else to Beautiful but one question. "What is your name? My own delusion should have a name."
Eli nodded his head. "I would come up with something like that. I have no imagination at all."