Friday, August 19, 2011

Muse Calliope Week 65: The Cliché

Muse Calliope

Picture 1

Picture 2

Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1

The Cliché

My name is April Showers, and, yes, I am fully aware just how unfortunate my name is, but it could have been worse. Much worse. I’ve a twin sister, you see, named Kitty, who can control the weather, whereas my gift is a second form – that of a jaguar. We inherited the gifts from our parents and, fortunately, when we were born they guessed wrong on which one of us would manifest which gift. Could you imagine actually being legally named for your power? I mean, sure, it’s great and all for the X-Men to go around being called “Storm” and “Cyclops” and “Wolverine” are all very nice little aliases for comic book heroes but in real life I’ve come to appreciate the fact the bad guys hear “April Showers” and prep themselves for thunder and lightning instead of claws and fangs. Not that I’m a hero, far from it, but the advantage was nice regardless.

Anyways, all of that was just to say my name is April Showers and, um, I guess that I change into a jaguar when I care to. Fortunately for you, not to mention me, that is not the point of this letter. Nope, this little story is about the day I ran away. And, okay, yeah, I’ll admit that this part is totally, irrevocably, completely lame. Not to mention cliché. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I pulled a total Romeo & Juliet and fell in love with the son of my father’s mortal enemy. His name is Callum Daniels, gifted with the ability to communicate with vegetation, and he’s, to put it bluntly, mine. I could go on, blabbering endlessly about how he completes me, how I love him, how we tear each other apart with a glance and build each other anew with a touch, but honestly? I just don’t have the time.

We met when I was fifteen and he was seventeen. He’d found me up a tree. Well, sort of. It was in one of those sprawling meadows that somehow found itself in the middle of a forest. The tree had fallen or bent or something, ending up on its side but still arching several feet over the tall grass, scraggly shrubbery and wild flowers. I remember that I’d gone off to explore the woods and found myself sitting on that tree, my legs dangling off the side as I admired the play of shadow and light on my thighs. I’d been wearing my favourite light denim skort with a black t-shirt and an old floral print vest I’d rescued from some thrift shop. I’d even had on the cutest hat I owned, which had more to do with the fact that I, mighty cat shifter though I be, burn in the sun like you wouldn’t believe. I shudder even now just thinking about it.

Anyways, there I was sitting on my tree when Callum suddenly and with absolutely no warning just seemed to materialize next to me. I screamed and lost my balance, windmilling my arms for the briefest of moments before gravity won the battle and dragged to the ground behind me with a crash. I would have been royally pissed with Callum if while I was slipping from the sporadically barked tree, I hadn’t clutched desperately at his arm and ended up dragging him with me.


We’d had one of those classic awkward moments. I should probably add that, not only is Callum the Romeo to my Juliet, he’s also the Prince Charming to my...actually, I’m drawing a blank here trying to think of a nerdy princess that blabs a lot, but you get the idea. He was captain of the football team, came from a wealthy family, had already been accepted to no less than three Ivy League schools and, yes, had even dated the head cheerleader for most of high school. Me, on the other hand...I had braces and glasses, read books more than I talked to people and got grades so high I’d already been begged by no less than three Ivy League schools to go study with them. It was so cliché it was teetering on the ridiculous.

And there I was, Miss Nerdy, sitting on my sore keister having brought down Callum Daniels, Mr. Golden Boy, to sit on his no doubt equally sore keister right beside me. It was...dreadful. I think I died of mortification right there in that field several times over.

And then Callum started to laugh. “Oh, hell,” he managed to push out between gasped breaths, “I’m sorry, April – I don’t mean to laugh at you. It’s just...this and the look on your face and...I’m sorry. Really, I am.”

I glared at him, but that only served to make him laugh harder so with a sigh I stood and went about brushing myself off while I waited for him to get a hold of himself.

It took twenty minutes. I was mildly insulted.

“Sorry,” he apologized again. “For laughing and for spooking you. Are you alright?”

I had told him I was fine and he asked what I’d been doing in the field. The conversation gets a little vague after that – I mean, I remember it happened and I remember the gist of it, but I don’t remember the details. The end result however was that I agreed to meet with him again the next day in the same field. And the next. And the next. I kept expecting that one day he wouldn’t show up, that one day he’d trick me or mock me or...betray me, but that never happened.

The first time he asked me to go out with him on a real date in a real restaurant where a whole bunch of real life people would see and spread the word from here to Timbuktu I nearly died. I mean, it was like God, Chris Evans and that guy in the new Conan movie asking for a foursome. It was a HUGE deal and so impossibly unlikely. I was certain it was too good to be true, that somehow I’d end up being the butt of some joke. But I turned out to be wrong; with the exception of the aforementioned cheerleader ex-girlfriend of Callum’s, the night was perfect. And when the ex didn’t make an appearance on the second date, that proved to be even better.

Somehow, probably when I wasn’t looking, Callum and I ended up being a couple and we quickly became almost inseparable. The only problem was that my dad and Callum’s were adamantly against our being together. That was five years ago. We ended up going to college together and even now we are both working on Master degrees – his in horticulture, mine in zoology (and, in case you were wondering, yes, my sister got a degree in meteorology). Three weeks ago, Daddy found the last straw when he caught Callum asleep in my room in the middle of the night. To be fair, we’d just fallen asleep working on homework but Daddy didn’t care. He decreed that I would transfer to Europe – or anywhere else an ocean away – to finish my degree. I started crying before he even finished speaking.

Last night Callum proposed. Call me crazy, but somehow I doubt a dad who flips out over an accidental sleepover is going to be all that accepting of a wedding, especially to Callum. So we’re running away to elope. I know, I know, but I did warn you this was going to be lame and cliché, didn’t I? I’m finally on the verge of getting my happily ever after, but unlike Romeo and Juliet I’ll actually be able to enjoy mine. Please, please be happy for me. I love him, obviously – why else would I put up with my life turning into one giant cliché? And he loves me. Like the movies say, does anything more than that even really matter?

Curtains close.

The End