Fiction · Little stories · Short stories

Arsee’s short stories 141 Should I believe?

When Chloe Castelle walked the ramp the world of Parisian fashion held its collective breath; she was beautiful. She could make the work of any designer look good, even the mundane and the ordinary.

She had a show in Milano and landed late for the Saint Laurent show.  Makeup, hair and fittings were all done at the same time, a manic energy in the back stage area filled with cigarette smoke and rounds of espresso to keep alive and kicking.  The music came on, claps from the other side of the wall, the show had begun. Chloe was the showstopper, ten minutes more she told herself.

The floor assistant signaled to her with her fingers, two minutes, Chloe nodded and then absent mindedly gazed at an open laptop carelessly left open on a poetry website. She read the poem on the page, what she did not know was that it would change her life forever. Her eyes scanned the poem, “Waking, The crumbs of euphoria linger, The ringing laughter, The silly banter, The scent of her being, The sly glancing, Linger” Chloe was so lost in the poem that she missed her cue, the assistant had to push her onto the stage.

The flashbulbs popped and the beaching strobes blinded her, this was not new to her, she was accustomed to it but on that day something odd happened, between every flash she saw the lines of the poem, flash, “A piece of paper, Torn, Carelessly placed, Digits written with the color, Color of her lips, Mere ten jabs to her voice, Ten jabs away, The promise of more euphoria” More flashes and then more lines of the poem, “And yet so many jabs at euphoria, The memories of so many, Laughter, Scents, Banters, Glances. And yet this morning I wake, Alone, Wake again to another promise, On the bed of many dead ones.”

Chloe felt like the poet was talking to her, it was like he was in her mind, in the light of the glaring flashes she found the words floating towards her, “The piece of paper, Torn, carelessly placed, The look lingers, Hope lingers, One more time, One more chance to wake, Wake to euphoria”

She stepped back into the green room and read the last lines again, “The moment passes that decides forever, I hold breath then let go, I let go, Forever begins all over again, In search of forever.”

It was late at night, Chloe was exhausted but she could not sleep. She had to know more about the Poet who could write those lines. She knew like her he was a lonely lost soul. Michel Dubois, she liked the name. The website had an email contact and Chloe, spontaneous as she was, decided to write Michel an email.

“I found the treasure of your poems. They have my heart, Chloe Castelle.”
The next day she received an answer from him, “Are you the poet or am I?  Or then are you ‘The Great Chloe Castelle’ ?”

Anton was doing her hair, she asked him to stop, she had to respond to the email, she giggled like a child as she responded, “I am Chloe Castelle but not really great!”

“My poems have your heart and you have mine,” the mail came back quicker this time.

Soon the emails moved to text messages and then to whatsapp messenger. She loved his voice when they spoke for the first time. Three weeks into their constant chatting she asked him to write her a poem. He did.

“Should I believe?
Should I believe everything happens for a reason? 
Should I believe in Destiny?
Should I believe you are here for a reason?
Should I believe you sigh when you hear from me?
Should I believe when you close your eyes you see me?
Should I believe you think, if only?
Should I believe you are so many unsaid thoughts?
Should I believe you are so many feelings?
Should I believe you smile to yourself? Should I believe you have a secret? Should I believe I could be your secret?
Should I believe I make a difference? Should I believe you hear music? Should I believe I could be your music? 
Should I believe you have dreams? Should I believe I  could be your dream?
Should I believe that silences have meanings?
Should I believe I could be your silence?
Should I believe there is no beginning? Should I believe there is no end? Should I believe it is right for me to believe?
Should I believe that love is what I believe?”

She cried when she read the poem. The she reread the poem and cried again. Then through her tears she wrote him a mail, “You should believe.”
They fell in love.

There was one problem, Michel refused to meet her. He told her that he was not what she imagined. He was only good enough to be loved over the Internet or a telephone call. Should she meet him, she would be disappointed. Chloe told him that it was not fair of him to decide for her. Michel relented finally but she would have to come home to see him, he would not step out.

Chloe found Michel’s apartment with a fair amount of ease, tucked away in a lonely street off Trocadero. When the door opened on her and she stepped in she realized why Michel did not want to see her, he was in a wheelchair, paralyzed waist down.

“This is my life,” Michel explained to her, “I have so much love to give but I can only do it through my poetry. My body has betrayed me.”

Chloe went down on her knees to face him, “I love you Michel Dubois, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“Why would you do that? You are a woman that all the men in the world would want to make to love to and you want to be with a man who cannot do exactly that? Do you know that I have nothing but words?”

Chloe held him very tight, “Michel, men may love me with their bodies, your words make love to my soul.”



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