Chapter 3

Written by: Shmavon

A drink from a flask refreshed Michelle, and she was ready to go. But she stood up in confusion, in the middle of the cave, pondering the rugged walls, the coolness and the silence. Nick stared at her, worried. He held her hand.

“Babe, you need some rest.”

“From what?” Michelle faced him, which caught Nick by surprise.

She walked out the cave, Nick following her. 

The sun was down, closer to the horizon, and yet it was unbearably hot.

“Maybe this heat and light are not good,” Michelle said.

Though unsure, he slid his hand around her. 

“Yes, I believe you need a couple of hours’ sleep. And then we can go out for supper.”

They walked back to the hotel in silence. 

***   

Michelle had a nap, while Nick was out. But her mind started racing before she had a good rest. The image of the old man and what he told her rang in her mind. She looked around – Nick had taken his towel and swimsuit, so he had gone to the beach. Nick’s sticking to the beach and not trusting her feeling about Pythagoras were annoying now. She felt jumpy, and for a second all those connections – her father, philosophy, guide, the old man and Pythagoras came together into something that was trying to reach her. It may be real or not. It wasn’t important. Didn’t her father tell her there is always the dark side in life for humans to seek, find, learn and make use of? Maybe the cave is that dark spot ordained for her, and the old man is the guide?

A thought glimmered across her mind: can she try to get the star above the clouds? A Degree in Philosophy that she had always wanted. The next thought, rushing like a hurricane, was that she had to go back there. 

***  

 Nick was eating his souvlaki eagerly, telling Michelle about the boat ride he took with a tourist group. She wasn’t much interested in his story, nor was she hungry.

“Something wrong?” asked Nick. “You still thinking about your hallucination?”

Michelle put down her fork.

“I’m not hallucinating. I’ve got to find out- ”

“C’mon, babe,” Nick said apologetically, “it happens. Can happen to anybody. You really think there’s a ghost in the cave? Who claims he’s your father-guide?”

“There’s something in the cave. I have to go there tonight.”

Nick stopped eating. He stared into her eyes with a cynical grin on his face. 

“Why don’t we just take a trip to the-”

“You go.”

“What?” Nick leaned forward. “Babe, what’s wrong?” 

“We all have our moments in life, this is mine.”

Nick chuckled and said with sarcasm: “I’m not going to that cave in the middle of the night.” His eyes bore into hers and he laughed nervously, but then froze. He swallowed twice until he could say something. 

“What are you going to do?” was all he could utter.

Michelle slid her purse around her shoulder, stood up and said “I’m going alone.”

 

 

Comments

Welcome Shmavon. What a great first chapter. I like that you reveal the distance that's developing between Michelle and Nick through their actions. Michelle's decision to go to the cave alone adds to the rift. Nicely done.