She Has Time

Senar Arcak

This was amongst my very first attempts in creative writing. I have always liked stories with a bit of weirdness and tried to in this very amateur writing to bring about the idea that “We are all a bit weird sometimes” with unexpected qualities. I wanted to share it with you, I hope you enjoy it!

What is about time that makes it so precious? Isn’t it something that humanity imagines and then measures? For Sarah and Nova the timing of their meeting was a good omen. It was two weeks ago in a crossroad of Irvington when Sarah lost control of her bike and almost took Nova’s left eye out. She wished she were dead instead of embarrassing herself in front of such a handsome man. But when she saw Nova just staring at her, she could do nothing except for asking his name, in half a smile half a blush. But within her excitement and happiness she never forgot time was tricky and wondered if that was an illusion too.

Now, Sarah has just moved into a bigger place in Lane Road, Irvington, and she thinks it is time she invited Nova to her new place for their third date. She cannot stop herself from looking out the window to see Nova. She knows that he is supposed to be with her now, but she doesn’t check the time to know that. 

Her new place has a cozy kitchen with light wooden floors and a big white window above the sink. Even though the kitchen is invaded with the heavy and sour smell of baked potatoes, roasting duck, and wine, Sarah doesn’t open the window or the curtains. The curtains in the new house are almost always closed. The coziness of the new place is wounded by the dimness and thus a sullen quietness rules the house.

With oven mitts on her hands, Sarah rushes into the living room to look out of the window again. Like the kitchen, the curtains are closed tightly and Sarah’s anxiety is only visible in the TV light. The living room doesn’t have a dining table yet so she has put everything on the floor over the white carpet, in the middle of the room. She lights the scented candles and hopes that Nova will find it romantic rather than odd, like having a picnic on a beach with an ever-burning fire that lightens up the sound of waves crashing to the rocks.

She likes the thought of light and fire, but never turns on all the lights in the house. Brightness is a discomfort for her. She doesn’t like to see the big dark metal clock on the wall, which was a gift from her colleague. Although darkness and the infamous clock on the wall hoard Sarah’s creeping anxiety, she cannot completely avoid it. She likes to know when the uncanny thrill of time may ambush her. That is why she still keeps the metal clock on the wall. It is a feeble attempt to keep the enemy closer so that he may be scuffled by her sight. 

She doesn’t like to hear the ticking sound either. She always diverges from time. The bulging numbers and the ominous mechanical tick-tocks make her senseless. Checking time is like looking over a shoulder to see a fleshless body stalk; it is never there when she stares. But when she spies it with the corner of an eye she is certain that it is prowling behind her. 

She has been waiting hours for Nova when she hears the sound of the tires on the gritty ground outside. It’s him, finally. She sprints to the door and sees Nova’s figure through the opal glass. But before she can open the door she feels contorted and twisted in the sharp silence of the long dark entrance. A realization suffocates her; Nova has a small backpack on his back. He is not planning to leave tonight. She has never – not for a split second – considered this while inviting him over for an early dinner. Her body thrashes with lurching anger and frustration. There again it’s all about timing. Her hand is still on the doorknob and she is well aware that Nova can see her standing. But it doesn’t matter, stalking time is closing in again and it is pressing. 

“Hey, are you gonna invite me in now? I’m soaking.”

She opens the door wordlessly and senselessly. He doesn’t really see her face as he puts his red backpack down and takes off his coat. The only thing she can see is the twirling of the raindrops on the red backpack. 

“Wow, I like the place, but isn’t it a little too big for just you?”

“No, believe me, I never get lonely.” She cannot believe her own words that are spilling from her. At that moment she wants to tell him, she wants to howl out everything she sees and let it end there. She doesn’t want the crippling uneasiness clutching her. She looks at him and the only thing she can think of is his unnerving decision to bring a backpack. The bright red backpack stashes his daring lateness that is special to this day. So she forces herself to smile. 

She takes his hand and takes him to the dark living room. Neither of them says a word. They slowly sit and she gazes at him as he babbles. Her attention is again on the red backpack in the hallway right across from where she is sitting. The relentless suffocation of her secret returns. Her heart starts the anxious dance in her chest as soon as she looks back at Nova because she doesn’t only see Nova, but the dark stalking figure she always sees over her shoulder. Nova frowns and tries to grasp the reason of her distraction. His looks prey on hers but nothing. Sarah can see the dark figure creeping against the wall behind Nova, closing in. She also sees Nova’s eyes filling with perplexity and horror. She can hear the figure now as he slaps his silvery fingertips that create the tick-tock-tick-tock sound. The figure is dismantling itself to become darker and larger and taller. Every time this figure gets bigger the world stops for Sarah, she feels as if she is trapped in a long drenching pause. She sees it all the time but at some occasions it is something other than a stalker. He becomes an intruder. 

“It’s Time.”

“For what?” Nova blurts out. She wants to turn things over but she cannot. She cannot control time after all; it is cunning and full of deceit. Time makes its move to take Nova away from her. This deceit can last forever. And forever means a lot of time.

“It’s Time… he, I mean, I want you to leave, now.” She can hear only the tick-tocks echoing on the fingertips of time. She stands alone in the darkness while Nova gets his backpack and leaves the house without even putting on his coat. She hears Nova’s car’s faint sound in the distance. She glances out of the window. It is still raining. Tick, tock, tiiii…ck, too…ck. She doesn’t turn around but she can feel the hands of Time piercing through her skin since it’s not just a measurement for Sarah; Time is living, beating and creeping. She never gets lonely because she has Time.

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