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Old 03-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 21

There are some quotes/ a teensy bit of text from An Cat Dubh in here because, well, why would I rewrite that part...and I added a bit, at the end.

No more '78 chapters...well, unless I need to clarify some of what happened with Ruth in America. Otherwise, it's probably all '86 from here and potentially some flashbacks. Most likely one time at a time now!

Song Bono's singing is "Hush" by Deep Purple


***

1978 (still)

“‘The day I met Paul for the first time, actually, it wasn’t on the stage…he was walking down the street, and he saw me leave my house. He tried to hide, sensing something was going on, since Isaac was shouting at me. And I hurt Isaac back. I found a piece of broken glass, and…’

‘He’s still alive, though,’ Edge stated.

‘I couldn’t make myself kill him,’ she said quietly. ‘He didn’t deserve to die.’”

—An Cat Dubh

The hurt changed to anger, the next day. Cath woke up to find she was shaking uncontrollably. She took a deep breath, but the anger sparked and settled at the base of her belly. She crept downstairs after yanking her skirt straight and running her head under cold water to wash her hair, and wound herself into her chair, bolting down breakfast. She didn’t look out of the corner of her eye; she knew he was there, but he was only a shadow in her peripheral vision, and if she didn’t look, she could keep the smile beginning on her face.

It was so, so satisfying to begin to not be afraid.

Her spoon clattered into the bowl when she made the mistake of looking to the side. Isaac had woken up, and was reapplying the bandage to his side, his hair still sticking up on one side from lying down, as she’d seen it last. He was very pale in the morning light, and for the moment, unthreatening.

She walked over to the sink and washed the empty bowl over and over, her side touching his. Rather than disgust at the contact, she felt anger still slowly biting through her. She looked up with a still face, and he looked up at the same moment. Briefly, she wondered why he treated her the way he did, when at other moments he seemed so human. She felt a sudden pressure like bone clamp down on her wrists, and then he let go of them, her fingers dripping water onto the floor, his arms coming to the edge of the sink, which she bumped against hard, staring up at him confusedly.

It was very strange: he hardly touched her in that moment, just leaned forward—she tensed—and kissed her. What the hell?

She stopped being shocked a moment later, freeing her arm from where it was trapped between her body and the kitchen sink, and slapping him, wrenching herself away.

“Get away from me,” she told him, glaring, and went and sat outside, grinning to herself. It felt like she had gained some of herself back. It had been gone for the past week or so, but she felt a little like Cath again.


She found herself thinking of the boy she had heard singing. She wasn’t sure why, perhaps his voice…it had tugged at her thoughts, at the center of her body, and a strange compulsion she didn’t entirely understand. There had been both a sadness and a glorious, exultant elation and conviction in his voice, what she’d heard of it, that connected deeply to some part of herself.

Her brows drew together briefly: she thought she heard it again…but of course she was imagining it…she lay on top of the low brick wall on the other side of her house, closed her eyes, her wondering thoughts resounding.


Isaac stood in the doorway, telling her with no argument in his voice to get back inside, his knuckles white, his eyes hard. Cath crossed her arms, trying to root herself to where she lay, although she knew it would be no use. She closed her eyes for another moment, pretending she hadn’t just heard him. Her heart thudded.

There was no mistaking it: she did hear a voice from far away, almost too soft to hear, singing a song she might have heard on the radio once.


Paul Hewson walked down the street, absently singing the first thing that came to his head, which was preoccupied by anything but school at the moment. He’d turned the wrong way, coming home, down a narrow street with low brick walls.

Ali had been avoiding him. Her presence cut, too much to handle at once. It would be worse if he felt nothing, but—he had forced his love for her to die, since it was clear she wanted him to stay away. She didn’t even look at him when he spoke to her, and he’d stopped crying.

Na na na na, na na na, na na na…
Hush, hush, thought I heard her calling my name…


He had seen, for an instant, that girl in the doorway, something in her expression rooting him to the floor and freezing him to stillness, his thoughts electric currents that couldn’t possibly communicate through his eyes, somehow tied to her in that instant. Pain outweighed by hope. He’d wondered why.

Na na na na, na na na, na na na…

The ground and street had rushed past to his distracted eyes, and he realized he wasn’t alone on the road. The first thing his eyes connected to in that realization was a man leaning threateningly from a doorway. Paul flattened against the wall, stopping midstep.

The girl he had seen stood in the middle of the street, practically shaking from some intense emotion, her shirt a bit aslant on her shoulders, anger or shock jolting through her eyes.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she told the man, and a smile broke through her frozen expression. “I don’t have to stay in this house.”

He yelled something, and she gave that dark smile again, before her eyes widened and she stilled, seeming less sure. She began to back away, and found she was backed into the wall, and just looked forward with the inevitability, knowing he was coming this way. The back of her heel bounced against the wall. She edged away, to the side, and uncrouched, her brows drawing together when she saw Paul’s feet and legs; standing, she looked wide-eyed into his face for a moment.

Time stopped and slid. He was caught in the intensity of her stare, as if she knew every fiber of his being, every wayward way the sun struck his face, every thought clawed right out of him with no resistance. And in her frantic desperation—it held him where he stood, stripped down to his bare essence in her eyes, weighed, understood instantly, shivering slightly because at that moment she saw past every barrier he had around himself.

A thought entered her eyes, and the look in them eased a little, a sort of relief growing. She looked away and he could breathe again.

She’d been backed up against a wall, but the man wasn’t nearing anymore. He stood in the middle of the street. With the back of her hand, her thin fingers searching, she scrabbled in the gutter and found a piece of broken glass.

That powerful relief in her eyes and something else constricted around Paul’s heart. He began walking back the way he came. The last thing he saw of her was the ultraviolet flicker of light from the broken glass reflecting across her arm as she raised it hesitantly and looked in the other man’s eyes.


Will I see you again? Paul wondered.

You will, said that look she had given him, with an unshakable conviction.


She hurt, with the anger and the sadness she felt as she looked at Isaac, and the sudden euphoria of that meeting with the boy she’d heard. The hurt melted away: she found it within herself to look into Isaac’s eyes. She couldn’t bring the jagged edge of the broken bottle to his skin. There was a tense heartbeat of a moment between them, the charged air cutting. She saw, briefly, the man he perhaps had once been, in his shocked expression, and then a hard acceptance in his eyes as he became dead to her—the Isaac she knew, who had slammed her face against the floor as he took over her body. She shook, with the effort not to kill him, and threw the glass to the ground.

“Isaac,” she said, “you go back inside.” She pushed him, hard, and it did very little. She dragged him by his arms, yanking him across the street and into the doorway and throwing his body onto the ground.

“Stay here!” she yelled hoarsely. “I’m not coming back.” She bit her lip, and slammed the door in his face.

The wind sighed and pushed against her body as she walked away from the house she never wanted to see again.


Three months later:


Bono Vox stepped as though electrocuted from the stage, the set over at last. The air was fogged with the sliding breath of the crashing bodies dancing and yelling for the past hour or so, and punctured by the lights above and the softer streetlights glowing from the cracks under the poster-clad windows. There were so many people in there it was a wonder Paul could think. He was inexorably drawn in the sensation of being pulled somewhere—he turned his head aside and called to the rest of the band, and they waved and hollered back that they’d be here still in an hour’s time if he wanted to play another round. He shook his pounding head, crossed the room, shouldering away the appreciative slaps on his back. Everything drained from around him, the air clear and unimportant. She leaned against the wall, at first indistinguishable from the darkness: only her exposed skin shone white, her hair and clothing dark, her eyes glittering. She held out her hand and grabbed his, her smile easing any trepidation he had had.

“I saw you, in the middle of the street, that day when—“

“I heard your voice,” she said, looking up at him in the half-darkness. He stopped speaking, and, the lights from the stage winking across her eyes, wrapped his arms around her slowly.

It was hard to explain, the connection he felt with her. It ran deeper than explanation. He still felt the intense sadness he’d felt for her that day. Looking at her—she didn’t flinch, didn’t move away—he kissed her slowly, as if to say, I’m not that man. I am anything but that man. I wish I could go and stop what happened to you, but I can’t.

And yet, his presence changed it nonetheless.

She thought, I’m not that girl anymore.

She’d left any fear, any sadness behind in that day. That Cath, from then, was almost a stranger, looking out to her from a reflection hazy with shadows. Something had changed. Something had begun.




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Old 03-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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I like how it all marries together. It's like you planned it along. Maybe you did
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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I didn't plan it intentionally well, not at first. I did realize it a while before I got to this chapter, though—I knew this was where, for the most part, I'd be ending '78 (I may have a chapter or two of it about Ruth, or a flashback or two, later on, but '78 for the most part is done)

Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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And so Cath is saved (for now) and we all know what happens next. Yay.
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…she lay on top of the low brick wall on the other side of her house,


This sounds very comfortable!
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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Yep! Very very satisfying to not have to write about Isaac anymore.

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This sounds very comfortable!
Definitely better than being inside at that point...
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:10 PM   #6
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Well of course!
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