Category Linkin Park
The Story Of Us
Hey to all. I hesitated quite a bit before posting this when I started noticing so many new stories are being posted. Some of them are kind of hooking on to the same idea as mine, so hopefully we won’t run in to the same mess with my other story and this one can go smoothly. This is going to be a chaptered story and all in Rob's point of view.
Oh, and if you can't make sense of this, the parts in italics are Rob's memories.
“That one,” I smile, pointing to the lonely silver ring surrounded by gold ones, imprinted with a small blue jewel in the centre.
He nods and pulls the draw out, picking the thin ring up and handing it to me. I place it on my finger in an effort to see what it would look like, but I frown when it doesn’t seem to fit. I look up to the jeweler and he smiles at me, obviously thinking I’m a complete psychopath but he grins happily anyway, probably knowing he has a sale. He raises his eyebrows in question and I smirk, knowing what I’m about to ask him would only make him think I’m even more insane.
“Could you –uhh, show it to me?”
He only stares back in confusion and I lower my head for a second, trying to hide the flush that comes over my cheeks.
“I mean, put it in a box and show it to me, maybe it’ll be better.”
After showing me at least 10 different boxes, I finally settle upon a blue, velvet covered ring box that’s laced with silver trimming and pass him the ring, watching him carefully incase he drops it as he places it in the slot. He turns it around, the lid lifted and I immediately want to start jumping up and down ecstatically when I imagine how happy Mike will be. I tell the jeweler I’ll take it, hesitating when he asks if I would like an inscription.
“I have no idea.”
“It can be done now, Sir.”
I bite my lip, thinking of something that will make Mike smile. After writing down what I wanted and him definitely deciding I’m a nutcase by now, he disappears behind the office walls for 10 minutes, coming back to show me the finished product and I practically burst out of my skin in excitement. He asks if I want it wrapped and I shake my head, only hand him the money and walk out of the store, smiling from ear to ear.
Slamming my car door closed I grin to myself, stopping in my steps to open the small jewellery box one more time. The grin on my face seems to grow wider as I observe the ring one more time, the warmth from the sun causing the glare in to my eyes but I don’t care, I can’t get enough of it. Let’s hope I’ll be seeing it on Mike’s hand everyday. It isn’t a wedding ring, he didn’t believe in that sort of stuff, it was just a ring for him from me, a sign that I wanted him in my life forever.
Clutching the single rose in my hand, one that I had bought before leaving the shopping centre, I unlock the door to the apartment, locking it behind me before jogging past the art gallery on my left and spinning around to bound up the small flight of stairs. As I reach the front door to our apartment, I stop and take a few deep breaths to calm myself. I grasp my fingers around the door handle and open it as gently as possible, wanting to surprise him with my gift. When I hear noises coming from down the hall, I take a few steps closer only to freeze in my spot when I hear a moan. Mike’s moan. The rose falls from my grasp when the unthinkable enters my mind. I almost slap myself for such stupidity when I think Mike could cheat on me.
I position myself in front of our bedroom door, placing my hand against the frame as I try to convince myself that he wouldn’t do this to me, but the argument coming from the other side of the door seems to win when another voice moans out his name. He wouldn’t do that to me. He wouldn’t throw away a year of a relationship together for another person. He loves me, I know he does. He wouldn’t do it. He can’t, I love him. He wouldn’t hurt me like that.
Throwing the ring box at the door in a retaliation of anger and confusion I curse at myself when the moaning stops and is only replaced by whispers and a loud thump. I take up all my courage and twist the door handle, swinging the door open to see my worst fears realised. Mike sitting against the bed head, the sheets tucked under his chin and his glare as sharp as ever, the only emotion I sense from him being fear. I turn my head to see a slightly older man pulling his pants on and grabbing his shoes, darting his eyes around for his shirt I assume. I think to myself that I recognize the stranger fumbling around the room but I ignore it at the time, taking one last glance at Mike to see if he feels the least bit guilty before I reach forward without a sound and close the door.
The first day Mike and I had met I can remember like it was only yesterday, except that it was a year ago from today. I had been working at the law firm for just over a year, getting the job pretty much straight after finishing college considering my uncle owned one of the largest law firms in the state. I had left some paperwork in my car downstairs and had to run out to collect it since I was in a meeting at the time, and as I made my way through the glass doors and down the path, my eyes glued to the ground as I was running thoughts through mind at a mile a minute, I bumped in to someone and paper went flying everywhere. I raised my head slightly to see a young man now squatting to the ground and picking up the closest papers, the others long gone now after flying down the street.
“Shit, I’m sorry.”
He glanced up and smiled shyly, fumbling to pick up a stray page close to his feet.
“It’s okay. I guess you helped with the advertising a little.”
He stood up and smiled widely, possibly being the widest I had seen. The crease lines along his cheeks seemed to make his eyes squint slightly, but didn’t seem to make me look away from them any sooner. They were deep brown, almost jet black like his hair, showing the slight Asian heritage in his blood.
“Thanks.” He says, taking the pamphlets I had helped pick up from me. “I’m Mike.”
“Rob.” I smiled, taking his hand in mine when he offered it.
I don’t know why at that time he had decided to introduce himself to me so suddenly, but I had no complaints. I looked down at it for a second before taking it in my grasp, observing the way his knuckles bulged out when his fingers curled around my own. His fingers were so slender and his skin so soft, yet so course from who knows what. He pulled his hand away from mine and I tried all possible strategies to divert my gaze from his when I noticed how attracted to this stranger I was becoming. I held up one of the flyers I had helped Mike pick up and scanned it.
“You’re an artist?” I ask, taking the chance to look up when I noticed him shuffling the papers in his hands.
He nodded. “Yeah. I own a gallery just on the other side of town. It’s opening tonight.” He paused, looking me up and down for a moment. “You should come.”
This was when the school crush giddiness entered. I was genuinely attracted to this complete stranger and he was asking me to go to his art show tonight, even though he had probably asked 5000 other members of the general public, but still. Glancing down at the flyer, I thought over the possible consequences yet nothing came to mind. In fact the only thing that was swimming through my thoughts was the fact that his shirt had caught on his watch and every time he lifted his wrist, the bottom hemming of his shirt would lift, revealing his lower stomach. I laughed to myself at my immaturity. Glancing up to him for the last time, I smiled wirily when he bit at his bottom lip, nervously awaiting a response from me.
“I might just.” I shyly looked to the ground, my hands becoming the object of my attention when I began picking at my nails.
“Great,” he smiled, the grip his teeth had on his lip falling. “I’ll hopefully see you there.”
And with that he turned on his heel and walked in the opposite direction while I turned in the direction of my car, tucking the flyer in to my pants pocket for safe keeping. Of course when I turned around to see him walking away, he just so happened to do the same thing and we both smiled shyly to one another, me pushing away the thought that he could have just winked at me when he waved.
That night I had spent over an hour getting ready. I remember leaving work half an hour earlier to miss the freeway traffic on the way home just so I could have more time to find something to wear. I eventually had to have another shower because my hair wouldn’t sit right, but it was probably like I had it every other day. I just wanted to look my best for some reason, even if it took me 25 minutes to find a shirt or trying on endless amounts of shoes, then changing my shirt again because they didn’t match.
By the time I had arrived outside Mike’s gallery it had just turned 7:30pm, and glancing down at the flyer once more I noticed the opening time was 8pm. I didn’t expect to get there so early since I took so long to get ready, but I guess early was better then not at all. Jumping out of my car, I slammed my door closed and checked my reflection in the car window one more time before taking a few deep breathes and making my way over to the apartment building.
Glancing at the building itself, you would never guess that it were an art gallery. If it weren’t for the sign in the window advertising “Shinoda Arts”, then I would have guessed it was just another apartment building squashed in between the rest surrounding it, besides the fact that it was coloured a light cream compared to the other buildings of a deep brown. This one stood out.
As I was waiting for someone to buzz me in, I noticed that there were no cars lined along the street and at that moment I felt a sudden nervousness for this guy. What if nobody turned up for him? Not only would he have felt embarrassed, but I would have felt sorry for him. After the nervousness left, I felt like this may have all been some kind of sick joke when no one had come to answer the door. My gut seemed to rumble even more when the door handle shook slightly but the door didn’t open. I heard a curse behind it and smiled, knowing it was Mike when I remembered his voice from the street.
“Just a sec! Hold on. I’ll be one second. Just- Fucking door!”
As soon as the door opened and I saw the frustration on Mike’s face, my giggles seemed to grow and infect him, his smile widening when he stepped to the side and opened the door wider to let me in.
“Have a bit of door trouble, huh?”
He shook his head and smiled, walking around me to pull my coat off. I smiled to myself when I thought that he was already trying to undress me but pushed all my dirty thoughts aside, him probably thinking I was a lunatic if he noticed me grinning the whole time I was there. He hung my coat up by the door and guided me in to the gallery, a large plain white room with numerous paintings decorating each of the three walls. To each side of me were two large couches with side tables while the rest of the room was emptiness. My footsteps echoed when I took a few steps closer to the left hand side, studying some of the paintings.
“You did these?” I ask, my mouth a gape in awe.
He stepped up next to me, his arm delicately brushing along mine as he spoke.
“Do you like them?”
I nodded my head in disbelief. “They’re amazing.”
He laughed softly. “Thanks. I don’t even know if this whole idea of mine is going to work out, though.”
“What idea?” I asked, following him around the room as I studied more of his art work.
“I used to live in Japan with my parents, working in my Dad’s software company. I told him I wasn’t really interested with the job, so he asked me what I wanted to do and I told him I loved art, so he sent me over here.”
“How long have you been in here?”
“Uh,” he paused for a moment. “Since I was 19. So, about 7 years.”
“And you’ve only opened your gallery now? You could’ve made millions with this stuff in all that time.”
I ran my finger along the edge of a canvas that has been slashed with bright oranges and deep reds.
He laughed at my comment. “I had to actually go to some art college or he wouldn’t have sent me here and paid for everything.”
“So he’s rich, huh?”
He shrugged. “I guess you could say that. Owning a computer company can get you some cash.”
By this time we had sat ourselves along one of the couches, both his legs crossed under his behind and his body turned to face me, while I leant against the wall, picking nervously at my shirt when he started asking questions.
“So, how long have you been in L.A?”
I cleared my throat before answering. “All my life. I completed law school and now work in my uncle’s firm. Where I met you.”
He smiled as I poked his thigh. “You look pretty young to be a lawyer.”
His eyes widened. “Really? I would have thought around 22.”
“Should I take that as a compliment?” I ask, feeling my cheeks burning from embarrassment.
“But of course.”
A somewhat uncomfortable silence fell between us and at that time I spat out the only thing that could come to mind.
“I like your last name.”
He laughed. “Shinoda?”
“Yeah. Mike Shinoda.”
“It’s actually Michael, but no one calls me that.”
“Michael Shinoda. You see? It rolls off the tongue.”
I saw him shiver slightly when I said ‘Michael’ and I found this quite strange at the time. I thought I had offended him in some way, but only later on in our relationship would I find out that he found it to be the biggest turn on when I would say his name in full.
“I bet yours is something simple like ‘Smith’, right?”
I shook my head, laughing softly. “Bourdon.”
“It’s still simple. But simple is nice.” He smiled and checked his watch, standing up to brush himself off. “I haven’t even offered you a drink or anything. Sorry.”
I shook my head. “It’s fine.”
“Do you want anything?”
“I’m alright, really. Thank you anyway.”
He smiled and took a step back as he spoke. “I have to go upstairs anyway. You can come up if you want.” He yelled, walking out of the room.
I could do nothing but follow the then man I had definitely fallen for. He was the most entrancing person I had ever met, and he had been living in the same city as me for over 7 years. I couldn’t seem to get over the fact that we both had been living in the same city for so long and I had never run in to this guy. Even though we had just met and I didn’t even have any idea if he were gay or not, I still seemed to see myself back in high school with one of the schoolgirl crushes on the famous jock.
I followed his footsteps out of the room and to the left, only to have found myself at the bottom of a staircase. I was about to climb them when looking to my left I saw an opened door. Cocking my head to the side, I tried my best to peer through the crack but only noticing a wall splattered in paint when I heard Mike call my name from the top of the staircase.
As I reached the top of the stairs, I was immediately welcomed in to a small room that looked like a living area as I glanced around and saw the furniture and bookcases surrounding me. There was a small fireplace along the wall beside the television set that was slowly dissipating and I felt a cool chill run up my spine from the temperature falling. To the left of the fireplace was what turned in to a long hallway, guessing then was what connected to Mike’s bedroom and bathroom.
A door slamming from down the hallway made me jump slightly but I took control of my nerves just in time to see Mike had walked in. He smiled once more and asked me if I wanted to sit, so I did. He breezed past me to take a seat in the opposite lounge chair and I got the brief smell of his cologne, a lingering scent that would burn itself into my senses for the next year that we were together. I could see the nervousness building in him when he leant forward to mindlessly straighten the magazines littering the coffee table sitting between us and I began giggling quietly to myself.
“What?” He asked, glancing up at me in question.
“Don’t be so nervous.”
He smiled softly, clutching his hands together in his lap. “You can tell, huh?”
“Why are you nervous?”
He shrugged. “I guess because everyone is going to be judging my work. It’s kind of an invasion of privacy. People can knock it at any second.”
“And they can also compliment it.”
He grins, leaning back against the chair. “Do you live around here?”
“Not really,” I answer, lifting my leg to cross over my knee. “I live in an apartment in the city with a friend.”
I nod. “One of my friends from law school, Brad.”
“Does he work with you?”
“So,” He continues, picking at the material of his pants. “You’re pretty close, huh?”
I just laughed and shook my head. At this point I was thinking he thought that Brad and I were a couple, and I tried my hardest to reassure him that we were nothing of the sort without making myself look like an utter imbecile or let him know the fact that I was falling head over heels for him. I was about to tell him that Brad and I had slept in separate rooms in college but the door bell interrupted our conversation and he jumped out of his seat, pacing around frantically. I rose from my own chair and stood in front of him, raising my hand to rest it on his shoulder.
“You’re going to be fine.”
He smiled shyly, lowering his gaze from my eyes to my chest.
“I know. I’m just nervous.”
I gave his shoulder a small squeeze instead of pulling him closer to attack his neck and walked out of the apartment.
It was the third time that night our gaze had locked with one another and I had looked away to save myself the embarrassment of smiling crazily back at him. The night was winding up and most of the guests had gone home, and when I say most I mean there were only two people left out of around twenty that had shown up for Mike’s opening night. He was in deep conversation with whom I assumed to be a future customer when he passed Mike a cheque and shook his hand gratefully.
Once he walked out of the room, I watched Mike carefully as he took a few deep breathes and ran his hand through his hair before attending to the last person left in the room, that was, besides myself. At that point I chose it best to sneak out and go home, cursing under my breath when I checked my watch for the first time that night and realising that it was almost 11 pm. I was pulling on my coat when Mike’s voice caught my attention and I spun around to see him standing in front of me, his hands tied together by his fingers in front of his stomach.
I nod. “Yeah, I have an early meeting tomorrow.”
“Oh.” His focus dropped to the floor for a second, but as he raised his head he took a few steps forward till he was only inches from me and at that moment my breath seemed to have caught in my throat. “I want to see you again.” He murmured, his hand brushing along mine.
I let out a soft giggle, lacing our fingers together while my other hand fumbled around in my back pocket for my wallet. I pulled it out and asked him to take one of my business cards that had my number on it. He seemed to love the fact that I had my very own business card. That was when he decided he would get his own. After returning my wallet I took my hand from his and stepped back, reaching behind me for the door handle.
“I’ll call you.” He said, observing the card in wonder before looking up at me.
I gave him a small wave and reached for the door, feeling my cheeks burn and hearing him chuckle when I tripped over my own feet from walking backwards. I almost slapped myself as I walked away from the apartment but waited until I got into my car and wasn’t in sight of him anymore.
By the time I was parking my car in my drive way I had had over a million arguments with myself to decide if he were going to call me or not. As I entered my apartment I had had over one hundred thoughts of what it would feel like to have his hand running down my chest. The ignorance I showed Brad when he asked where I had been didn’t seem to recollect in my mind when the thought of Mike’s body rubbing up against mine seemed to invade my imagination and take hold of all my senses. By the time I had stripped off my clothes and gotten in to bed, my hand had traveled down my body to wrap around my hardened length as I thought of Mike’s sweat dripping on to my chest as he hovered above me. I moaned out his name when my toes curled and my body tensed, the sweat gathered over my chest and face as I came. The feeling of loneliness settled in when I pulled the covers higher over my body and I turned on to my side. I hoped that night would be one of the last ones I would be sleeping alone. Oh, how wrong I was.
I stand dumbfounded in front of my bedroom door I closed moments before. The image I opened the door upon still burns itself in to my brain as I try to figure out what’s going on, why this is happening to me. Shaking out of my daze when I hear murmurs coming from the other side, I turn and walk down the hall, through the lounge room and take my usual seat at the head of the kitchen table, Mike normally seated beside me at dinner. I wonder if we’ll eat together again. Hearing the front door slam, I lean to my side to see Mike trudging down the hallway, a curse escaping his lips when his foot lands on a thorn of the now wilted rose laying there, his body encased in the deep burgundy sheets that I was once able to call our own, now they’re just rags to me.
“Rob?” He asks, stopping to glance around the lounge.
I take a deep breath as I answer. “In here.”
He makes his way from the lounge and in to the kitchen, hitching the sheet higher up his body as he takes his normal seat next to me, hesitating slightly before resting his hand on my wrist. I don’t flinch away, I can’t be bothered doing anything at this moment. I can’t even get up the courage to scream at him for the amount of guilt he deserves to feel.
“What’s going to happen now?” He whispers, his voice slightly shaky as he seems to choke back a few tears.
I shrug lightly, resting my head in my free hand. “I guess I should go.”
“No,” he says, raising his head as he shakes it. “Don’t go.”
“I can’t stay here.”
He nods softly. “I know. I’ll go.”
“Mike, it’s your place.”
I can only watch as he rises from his seat and walks the same path he took mere minutes ago, disappearing in to our bedroom. Raising my other hand to my head, I rub fiercely at my face, trying again to comprehend what’s going on, why all of this happened to me. Before long Mike had packed his bag and was now waiting at the door, for what, I don’t know.
“Can you at least say goodbye?”
I scrape my chair along the surface of the tiles, knowing that if I say no, he wouldn’t leave. Do I even want him to leave? I know my life is going to be complete torture without this man in my life, but after what’s happened, I don’t think I could live with him either. Making my way to the door, I stand a few feet away from him. He takes a step towards me, my body tensing when he reaches his hand out to brush along my arm.
“We’ll get through this, right?” He asks, his eyes shinning with regret.
I clear my throat, choking back a whimper. “I don’t know.”
With that, he hesitantly takes another step forward, his hand sliding from my arm to my cheek and delicately lingers his fingers over it as he whispers.
I slide my eyes closed, whispering just as softly. “I know.”
He positions himself on the tip of his toes, his height never lenient enough for him to reach my lips but this time they don’t help him when I turn my head away, his lips landing on my jaw instead.
“You should go.”
I feel his hand fall from my face and open my eyes to watch him turn around, bending down to pick up his bag before resting his hand on the door handle. He turns around to look at me one last time.
“I’ll call you.”
A single tear escapes as he turns around and walks out the door, calmly shutting it behind him. At that moment I take two strides towards the door when I see him leaning his body weight against it, about to open it and tell him that I don’t care what he did, that I want him back but I don’t, I simply let go of the door handle and let my body slide down the wall beside me. Only now as I rest my head in my hands do I cry.
I’m kind of nervous with this story. If I get more than 5 reviews (which I highly doubt) then I’ll keep going, if not, then I’ll drop it.
Claire – I didn’t want to put this in here considering everyone can read it, but I tried emailing you and haven’t got a reply, so hopefully you get this. I was reading your profile and saw that you’re from WA, so am I. Small world, huh? If you have MSN, add me.. firstname.lastname@example.org