SHORT STORY: Put Your Weight On My Shoulder

‘Put your weight on my shoulders’ was one of her favorite expressions. I didn’t know what it meant but she had a way of sounding smart even when she was saying the stupidest things. Maybe it had something to do with her raspy voice that sounded like muted distortion guitar strings, or the confidence her…

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‘Put your weight on my shoulders’ was one of her favorite expressions.

I didn’t know what it meant but she had a way of sounding smart even when she was saying the stupidest things. Maybe it had something to do with her raspy voice that sounded like muted distortion guitar strings, or the confidence her presence exudes.

A sly smile played at the sides of her full lips as she dropped the groceries in my hand to search for her keys. She wore ripped black jeans and a Dr. Strange tank top, her jasmine perfume scent slighted tainted with the smell of spray paint.

“Why am so I attracted to female geeks?” I muttered under my breath.

“Did you say anything?” she said as she got the keys out of her pocket.

I shook my head to say no.

Her apartment was as clean as ever.

This simply meant that her bed space was filled with books about random things ranging from astrology and fantasy, to the ‘concept of dark arts’ (whatever that meant), her wardrobe was fairly okay and her gaming arena was as clean as my father’s car.

She just got a new Alienware installed and had been daydreaming about the new Halo even at the store.

I didn’t even like games. Well, I loved FIFA but she constantly reminded me that football games do not count.

She ran her fingers through her hair as she attempted to clear space her bed for me to sit down. As much as she acted like she didn’t care about anything, she always tried to make me comfortable and I took this as a sign that she felt something for me.

We’d been seeing each other constantly for about a month although we weren’t exclusive. I stalked her for about five weeks before I finally summoned the courage to say something to her. She was a final year physics student at the college, the best student in her class and the only girl.

I saw her for the first time at the basketball court one evening, I was playing and she was on the other end of the court spray painting graffiti on the wall. The basketball court in the college was popularly called ‘Switzerland’.

It was a place of peace and expression, members of rival gangs and clubs always made peace there. It was a sacred and unspoken rule that we met at the college and happily passed down to the next generation of students. Other events and competitions often held there like dance offs and mini concerts so surrounding walls created the desired effect depending on the event being held.

I stole glances at her throughout my game and even when I was done, I waited to see what she was painting. She had dark skin and questioning eyes, I figured she was about five feet, nine inches because I was about six feet and she could almost look me in the face. She wore braids and had an almost athletic frame, like all her muscles had been put through just the right amount of stress for the right amount of sexy.

I may have likened her to a model but her hips gave her away. I was obviously attracted to her and she became my personal obsession ever since.

Looking back now, not much had changed. So many things about her remain a mystery to me and I guess that’s part of the attraction. My life is pretty straight forward and simple, I am an average economics final year student who happens to be good at sports. I don’t have any complex hobbies or pastimes; I’m not trying to figure out the universe or seek out some higher calling. I just want to get by and maybe, just maybe get to second base with Tricia.

“Smith,” she called pulling me away from my thoughts.

“Yeah?” I replied casually.

“What are we doing Smith?” She asked, concern smeared all over her tone.

I knew exactly where we were and this was the part I hated the most. She wanted a definition; she needed to know what we were.

I coughed.

“I’ve been waiting for the right time to ask you Trish….” I began.

Her eyes lit up, but she tried to contain her excitement.

I celebrated on the inside.

I obviously lied, I had no plans to ask her out or make this official. All I really want to do is to score with her. I hear that mysterious types like her are usually into kinky shit and I need some of that in my life right now. From the glimmer in her eyes I figured that baiting her might speed up the process.

“For real? So we’re actually doing this?” She asked, blushing slightly.

“Of course we are, you know I’m crazy about you. Why not make it official?” I said leaning in to give her a kiss.

Her lips were warm and welcoming and I could feel from her body language that this was going well for me. I pulled her closer for a second kiss slowly playing on her neck as our lips met. In all honesty, the only dilemma I had in my mind was what piece of clothing I needed to take off her first. She was a little overdressed for this occasion and it was a problem that demanded my immediate attention.

I was just about to make a decision when I felt a shift in her demeanor. In many ways I am a regular everyday guy, but for me sex was as easy as sports. A woman’s body speaks, every slight nudge, turn or squeeze means something. Sometimes they don’t even realize that they are speaking to you but if you can understand the language, you’ll always have control.

Right now her body told me to pause for a bit so I withdrew.

“What’s wrong baby?” I asked.

She seemed to like that I called her that. I made a mental note of this.

“I need to show you something.”

My mind raced slightly, I didn’t expect this and I didn’t like being surprised. One thing was for sure, I couldn’t back out now.

“Okay? What is it?” I asked.

“We have to go outside; I promise you’ll love it,” she said pecking me on the cheeks.

She stood up from the bed and headed to the door. I followed behind her, manufacturing a backup plan just in case.

We walked to the school compound and I realized she was taking us to the basketball court, I glanced at my watch and it was fourteen minutes past eight. The court flood lights were usually left on at the night so it was bright enough for us to see.

‘Probably she’s into outdoor sex,’ I thought, remembering some of the porn videos I watched online a week earlier.

She walked towards one of the walls of the court, it was then I noticed that she carried some of her spray cans in her pocket before leaving the house.

“You want to draw something tonight?’’

“Something like that.”

She removed the cans from her pockets and began to draw on the wall. This was the first time I ever saw her work up close and I had to admit she was a genius.

Her every move was fluid as she made strokes of varying colours and shades. I watched her for about ten minutes thinking about how I was going to recreate the mood when she was done. I glanced around for a bench long and strong enough to accommodate both our weights if it came down to it.

“I’m done” she finally said.

I stared at the walls. She had drawn a shadow of what looked like a man, his mouth was open in what looked like shock. The shadow was surrounded by different people with various funny facial expressions. It was really beautiful to look at.

“What’s it called?”

“I don’t know. Put your weight on my shoulders?” She said with a shrug.

I couldn’t help but laugh at that.

“Do you want to feel it?” she asked.

“Now?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said with a giggle as she dragged my hands to the wall.

“Art has a voice of its own; all you need to do is close your eyes.”

I obeyed, placing my hands on the wall, the paint was still damp but she didn’t seem to mind. I shut my eyes, giving in and hoping we could get back to our order of business as soon as possible.

“Can you hear them?”

“No” I said.

“That’s strange, they can hear you…. CLEARLY,” she said, except that the last word wasn’t her voice. It was not one voice. I heard voices.

My eyes bolted open as I stared at the wall; the people she had drawn were all staring at me smiling. I looked around for Tricia but she was nowhere to be found, my instincts told me one thing.

RUN.

I didn’t realize that my hands were still on the wall until I tried to turn and a hand grabbed mine. It was one of the wall people.

“Oh shit!” I exclaimed, as I managed to free myself and break into a run.

I was almost halfway through the court when I felt a sharp pain on my left leg. I looked down to see a hand holding a knife and another hand dragging my right leg to the ground.

I lost my balance.

I turned around and they were all out.

Coming for me.

They were all still damp, moving like humanoid lumps of clay. They overpowered me, dragging me on the ground towards the wall. I could feel pain on all sides as we got closer to the wall.

‘Is this how I die?’ I thought to myself.

They must have heard me because at that exact moment they all gathered me and started to rub their paint hands on my skin. Every part of my body they touched turned to paint until I no longer felt like myself.

I was just like them now. They left me and went back into the wall, taking their former positions. I stared at the wall again and it finally hit me.

The shadow on the wall.

The shadow…was me.

I made one last attempt to run but a gush of wind started pushing me into the shadow.

I struggled.

I screamed.

Until I was no more.

*TWO WEEKS LATER*

Frank hated teaching.

He only took this job as a substitute lecturer to make some extra cash to buy his grandad a speedboat.

So far, the only thing that had kept him from losing his mind in class was a student of his. She definitely had talent and she made him a bit enthusiastic about this job.

Her name was Tricia.

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