Painting My Heart - Chapter One

From the author of 'It's Life', here is my new story 'Painting My Heart'.
Chapter One - Teaser

Nevie stood at the gate of the cemetery, almost afraid to step inside. It wasn’t that going into the cemetery would make losing him any more real, it was definitely real. He was gone. But seeing his grave seemed so wrong to her. He’d been gone for three months now, but she hadn’t been able to step foot inside the cemetery. The wind stung her teary eyes as she stood at the gate. The initial shock of his death was gone, but the pain was still there. The cemetery was usually pretty empty and she’d hoped that knowing there wouldn’t be many people around would make it easier for her to go see his grave.

She turned around to leave and slowly made her way to her car. She reached the tiny parking lot and just as she stepped off the curb, she crashed into someone. She went to step back, tripped on the curb and landed with a quiet thud on the ground. She closed her eyes as her face flushed with her embarrassment, only to have it darken further when she heard the person she’d bumped into laughing.

"I am so sorry." The person spoke quickly, trying to turn the laugh into a cough. She reached up and took hold of his outstretched hand, allowing him to help her up.

"No, it was my fault, I should have been watching where I was going."

The boy nodded slightly as if agreeing and for a few seconds they stood there awkwardly. "I’m Colby." She’d seen him a few times at school. He was pretty quiet, a loner, he never really talked to anyone and she was surprised that he was talking to her now.

He didn’t ask who she was, but she figured it was implied. "I’m Nevie."
"I know. I’ve seen you at school." She knew that wasn’t the only reason he knew her. Everyone seemed to know who she was now. After another slightly awkward pause, he asked, "Going or leaving?"

She tilted her head slightly as she tried to understand what he meant. "What?"
"Are you going in, to the cemetery, or were you just leaving?"
"Going, uh, no leaving. Yeah, leaving." She blushed a bit as she stammered over her words.
He seemed to know exactly what she meant. "Can’t decide?" He didn’t wait for a reply as he continued speaking. "I felt that way, a few years ago. But, you know, once you start going it gets easier."

Nevie stayed silent, not sure what to say in response. Colby seemed to take her silence as an answer. "Well, it’s just something to think about. I could go with you, if you want. Maybe it could make it easier."

"I don’t think that would help." She finally spoke and her voice seemed distant to her. "Nothing could help."

"Well, you know, maybe grave visiting is overrated anyway." He stared at her, his gaze unwavering as he tried in vain to make her smile. She just shrugged and he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Have you been to see him before at all?" Him. Of course Colby knew who she was here to see. Everyone did. It was the biggest thing to happen in this small town in years. She sighed mentally, knowing she should have expected him to know exactly what she was doing there.

Nevie shook her head. "I really don’t want to talk about that. I should probably just go." She turned to walk away when his voice stopped her.

"Do you want to go bowling?"
She spun slightly, so she was facing him again and raised an eyebrow. "Bowling?"
He just nodded, his grin spreading across his face and he pointed towards a beat up looking dark blue Ford truck. "Going or leaving?"
This time she knew exactly what her answer would be.


"I thought you said we were going bowling." Nevie looked down the driveway skeptically. "This isn’t a bowling alley. It’s a house."


Nevie looked at him, suddenly worried that she was at a strange house in the middle of nowhere with a crazy person. "How are we supposed to go bowling here?"
He grinned at her, "Like this."

Ten minutes later they were standing near the end of the driveway, with a bucket of water balloons. A few feet away there was a painting canvas with nine bowling pins standing on it. "We’re going to throw water balloons at bowling pins?" This was definitely not what Nevie had expected but she was surprised to find that she felt sort of excited, albeit confused, at how this was turning out.

"They’re not just any water balloons. Go on. Try it." He picked up a water balloon and handed it to her, with an expectant smile on his face.
"I think I’ll just watch." She said slowly, even as he put the balloon into her hand.

"Come on, just throw it, please?" He put on such a sad puppy dog face that she gave in and half-heartedly threw the balloon towards the pins. It exploded as it hit the first pin and showered the canvas with blue paint. She jumped back a bit in surprise and turned to him with an excusing stare.
"Why didn’t you tell me there was paint in them?"
He grinned. "Well, where’s the fun in that?" He picked up another balloon and tossed it with experienced aim towards the middle. This time it was red paint that smeared the canvas and knocked down a few more pins.

"Don’t you put the pins back up?" She asked as he pressed another balloon into her waiting hand.
"Only once they’re all knocked down."
She didn’t question his method further and they silently tossed a few other paint filled balloons, only stopping once they finally knocked over every pin.


Author's Note

Please check out my profile for information on when I will be posting new chapters.
Published: 3/29/2013
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