A Quiet Soul, Part 3 of 3: Promise

Fiction By Clare Marie // 10/28/2011

 **Due to my neglecting to post, it might be a good idea to go back and read Parts 1 and 2 before reading this one. ;)**

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"Lockwood University," calls the bus driver, pulling up to the stop and opening the doors.  Dillon and Hayley scramble to their feet, maneuvering to the door with a handful of other people, whose overloaded backpacks indicate that they must also be college students.  The girl who looks like Hayley is among them.  Dillon and Hayley step off the bus and let the other students stream by them while Dillon adjusts his backpack.  Hayley turns her bright eyes onto the college campus.

"So, this is it," she says.  She releases a small sigh.

"Yup, this is it," Dillon confirms, nodding.  He looks at her.  "What do you think?"

She grins at him.  "I can't tell yet."  She studies the buildings again thoughtfully.

Dillon watches the buildings also, wondering what new drama awaits to frustrate him today.

"Hey."  A voice behind them calls lightly.  Dillon glances at Hayley and turns.  He is somehow not surprised to see Hayley's look-alike.  But now that she is up close, he can see that her eyes are greener than Hayley's, and her hair has a slightly reddish tint to its strands.  Her cheek dimples and her nose crinkles slightly when she smiles.

"Um, I know this sounds weird," says the girl, shifting from one foot to the other awkwardly, "but I've seen you around campus a lot, and I just wanted to meet you and finally find out your name."

"I, uh," Dillon fumbles, wishing he wasn't so embarrassed.  But the mutual discomfort between them made things better.  "My name's Dillon."  He feels like he has forgotten something, but the blushing, shining-eyed girl in front of him is making his mind swim.

Hayley, momentarily overlooked by her brother, raises her eyebrows at him and extends her hand to the girl.  "And I'm Hayley, his sister."

Dillon could have smacked himself into shape right then and there.

The girl smiles warmly and sticks out a little hand with a ring on its fourth finger.  "Are you going to college here, too?" she asks as she shakes Hayley's hand.

"No, I'm just checking out things," Hayley answers, waving her hand at the campus behind her.  "I'm still in high school."

Dillon watches the girl's face, searching for any negative reaction.  Please don't make fun of me because I'm bringing my little sister to school.  He holds out his hand.  "And your name is...?"

The girl still smiles.  "Victoria," she answers, shaking his hand.  Her fingers are soft and cool.

"That is such a pretty ring, Victoria," says Hayley, looking at the girl's finger.  "Are you engaged?"

Victoria blushes, as if embarrassed.  "No, that's my promise ring.  It means I'm...waiting for true love."

Hayley smiles at her.  "That's beautiful!"

"Really?  I thought you would laugh," says Victoria, tucking her lip under her front teeth in a relieved half-smile and lowering her eyes.  "Most people...um..."  She trails off, and wiggles her feet as if they itched her.

Dillon wonders if she also has had many bad days at school.  To him, her shyness is merely the result of loneliness, and he feels suddenly drawn to her.  "Hey, no; it's cool," he says, wanting to comfort her.

She raises her eyes, and the look in them makes Dillon slightly giddy.

"What's your first class?" he manages to say.

"Astronomy," she answers.  "Then world religion.  I have a break at 12:15.  Can you -- I mean -- would you want to meet for lunch?"  The words tumble out like ping-pong balls.  

Dillon looks at Hayley.  She grins and winks.  Dillon frowns at her.  What is she plotting?

"Uh, yeah.  Yeah!  That would be great," says Dillon, dragging his mind away from his sister.  "We'll meet you at the fountain outside the science center.  Say, 12:30?"

Victoria nods coolly, but her face is beaming.  "Sounds good.  I'll see you then."  She hurries away, waving her hand at them.  She is lifting her head up a little higher, and she gives a skip as she walks.

Dillon watches the girl go.  Did what I think happened really happen? 

Well," says Hayley complacently.  "She's cute."  

Dillon says nothing, not hearing her, still collecting his thoughts.  He settles his backpack more comfortably on his shoulders and digs in his pocket.  Pulling out a handful of change, he hurries over to a nearby vending machine and plunks the coins in.  Hayley, following, sees him pull out a package of potato chips and carefully place it in his backpack.

"She might like potato chips," says Dillon almost apologetically. He feels Hayley's gaze and quickly turns to her.

"What?" he asks brusquely.  She is grinning.

"Nothing."

He rolls his eyes.  "Sisters," he says with a sigh.  But he puts his arm around her shoulders as they walk to class, and a smile touches his lips and lights up his sleepy eyes.

Hayley has never seen him so happy.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Comments

 This whole thing was a sweet

 This whole thing was a sweet story. There's not enough brother-sister stories out there :D But why does it have to end there? Maybe you could write more, just with a different name than 'A Quiet Soul'. Maybe, 'A Joyful Heart'? LOL Anyways, I liked this. It was definitely a very quiet, gentle story. Thumbs up!

Laura Elizabeth | Fri, 10/28/2011

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The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

It was so sweet :) I really

It was so sweet :) I really enjoyed this story. I loved your writing style, and your characterization. I could see the different mannerisms in my head. I like the title, I think that it suits Dillon and the slightly dreamlike writing style.

Erin | Fri, 10/28/2011

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I.....

I really enjoyed this Clare, I love how it's in contemporyary times, but you write it in sucha way that it isn't obvious...if you know what I mean, and I also like this line 'and a smile touches his lips' I thought that was a really cool discription....I just loved it.

Bernadette | Fri, 10/28/2011

I like this.

When I saw this was part three, I realized I hadn't read parts one and two yet.  So I went back and read them, and then read this.  But then, I saw that this wasn't just part three, it was part three "of three."  I thought, "Nooooooooooooooooooh!"
I hope you right a sequel that picks up right where this one left off.

James | Sat, 10/29/2011

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

 Laura Elizabeth: Thank you!

 Laura Elizabeth: Thank you!  I agree: the writing world has a sad lack of brother-sister stories in it.  The only reason the story ends here is because I actually wrote the first draft of this story in a creative writing class I took last year; the assignment was a three-part short story.  I don't really have any ideas to go any farther with this, but if I do, I will let you know. ;)

Erin:  Thanks so much!!  By the way, I saw on your profile that you are a big LOST fan.  Welcome to the club! ;)  (I've seen all 6 seasons of LOST, and I won't even breathe a hint of the ending, but it's fantastic if you haven't seen it yet!)

Bernadette:  Thank you.  That's quite a compliment. :)

James: Ha!  I absolutely love the character of Dillon and would enjoy writing more about him, but I really don't know where to go from here....I'm quite delighted that you enjoyed what I've written so far. 

Clare Marie | Thu, 11/03/2011

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

I don't know what to add,

I don't know what to add, except that I'm so glad you finished, because it's sweet and dreamy and fun, and we've missed you.

Anna | Fri, 11/04/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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