"To entertain, inspire, frighten, teach, and entice as many readers as possible." - Keith Helinski
Wastin' Away Press features Keith Helinski's writings, ranging from short stories online to movie reviews over the years. Also features an assortment of Keith's interests. If you like what you see, check out Wastin' Away Press's official Facebook.
“Do you think he can hear us crying?” Anthony asks. Anthony does not expect an answer, of course. Marcela’s eyes go from Anthony back to James.
“Does he understand that we’re by his side?” Anthony asks. Marcela’s attention returns to Anthony.
“Why are you so concerned?” Marcela asks. She knew that would hit his nerve. Her nerves were shot when she’d found out her husband had gotten into a car accident and gone into a coma. Anthony’s guilt-filled-eyes stare into Marcela’s eyes. Marcela stares right back into Anthony’s. What pains Marcela more is that Anthony isn’t the only one feeling guilty.
“Do you really care about James? Or do you just feel responsible?” Marcela asks coldly. Anthony clearly doesn’t want to answer this, so he looks back towards James. Marcela does the same, and then says to James:
“Let your conscious be your guide love, and please, come back to us…”
James chuckles but suddenly stops. He realizes it is the first time in a long time he has laughed. He cannot even remember the last time he chuckled, which saddens him. He shakes it off, opening the door, and walking through to…
…the Electric Castle Spirits, a tavern near the University of Michigan. The tavern was your typical bar filled with 20-somethings, letting loose after a day’s worth of classes, studying, and brainwashing.
“Remember that band we formed when we were teens? Bodine Vengeance!!! That’s how we first met! I remember you were the leader of the group! You were looking for a singer! I brought my guitar, auditioned, and you said I sucked! But ended up hiring me anyhow! Then, of course, you decided to be the singer instead, douche!”
Tears started rolling down Anthony’s cheeks.
“That was so long ago! We were two maniacs, indulging in the pleasures of the world!”
The older James takes a seat at the bar. He watches his younger self, wooing the beautiful young Marcela, his future wife. With everything that was going on in his life recently, he had forgotten how spontaneous he was, and how much he loved Marcela even from the very second he saw her. Cliché as it sounds, he did feel an instant connection with her. He knows the feeling is mutual.
I still love you, Marcela.
Young James and Marcela continued to dance for hours. Their romance spanned for days, weeks, months. After a year, James proposed at the very spot they fell in love and they were married a couple of years after.
Older James thinks back to it all, wishing he had a clue what went wrong. He needs to fix this…
Anthony is startled from his reverie as James, seemingly without even a moment’s thought, walks up to the jukebox, picks a song, and approaches Marcela. As he nears her the beginning of Ivy ‘Worry About You’ can be heard.
“May I have this dance?” James asks nervously. Marcela has been picked up before in bars, but not like this. She’s taken aback by the romance, and couldn’t say no. She steps forward, he steps forward, and they’re close enough to kiss. James’s left hand touches her back and his right hand holds her left. And with that, they start dancing, despite the guys at the bar cracking jokes over his choice of music.
Back at the table, Anthony sits clutching his drink with jealousy. Why is he jealous? Is it because of Marcela? Maybe. But perhaps Anthony’s jealousy is really about the fact that once again, James gets everything he wants.
Young James whispers in Marcela’s ear:
“On this perfect day, I am in…”
Marcela interrupts him by saying: “Don’t ruin it by a corny one-liner you don’t even mean!”
James looks disappointed, and is about to push away from Marcela when all of the sudden without hesitation, she kisses James, sweet and simply. A kiss with promised new beginnings.