‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

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‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby snaps » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:04 pm

‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA, (Spain), published in 2005, 2,592 words.

originally published on http://people.freenet.de/what-its-all-about/

[Snap’s Moderator Note: a lovely, intimate portrayal of Agnes and Elin, four years on. No dramatic action, just a very well-observed romantic update on the daily realities and dedication to keeping the dream alive. Well-articulated, it has a very natural hint of erotic tension. This proves that fan-fiction can be just as effective by sticking to low-key character studies. I have re-formatted this from a PDF file into Word, but attempted to keep to Marta’s paragraph construction. It reads very easily. I found this a great influence on my own FA/SML fanfiction writing.]


1). Waking Up

She blinked twice before letting her eyes focus on the ceiling of her room. She had dozed off; they both had. She knew that it had only been an insignificant nod, but the micro-sleep had helped her to ease her mind and body from the fear and tension she had felt less than an hour before.

Less than an hour… but it already felt like a decade away, as if a younger version of herself had made the move and pushed Agnes into that little restroom. Now she felt older, wiser, and bigger. Now she knew how to interpret the looks of Agnes’ eyes. She knew that her hyperactivity thrilled Agnes; she could see those brown eyes brightening and growing, as if she, Elin, was special.

How did she do that? How could she recognize something special in her? Also, Agnes’s looks relaxed her, calmed her. Agnes soothed her constant need of trying to demonstrate her difference, to separate herself from the rest. Now she was different, but not alone. She didn’t have to try to call everyone’s attention now because she had already been noticed. She moved her eyes to the right, just her eyes, because she didn’t want to stir the bed, lest she would wake up Agnes. The dark-haired girl seemed to need the rest just as much. She was lying on her side, facing Elin, one of her hands close to her face, but the other just barely grazing Elin’s red shirt.

That tiny, subtle touch stirred Elin more than anything she had ever felt. It wasn’t a matter of Agnes’s knuckles making contact with her ribs. Elin felt a shock of joy when the real meaning came to her, what the gesture really was: Agnes needed to touch her, if only very slightly, to convince herself that yes, she was really Elin, and yes, she really was with her. Together. Again, a new feeling. She had opened her eyes thanks to Agnes, the eyes of her mind, and now it was like an open door through which thoughts and feelings flowed endlessly.

This was her bedroom, the one she had always shared with Jessica. It looked just like it did that same morning, but Agnes was there and it made all the difference. She guessed that any place would be different now if she went there with Agnes. That was what she had longed for, wasn’t it? Elin glanced at the photographs that were stuck to the wall,
specifically one in which she was hugging Jessica from behind, and her sister was glancing at her with her common “she’s crazy” glare. Everything would be different now, after what they had done, coming out of the restroom together, and after she had presented Agnes as her new girlfriend. Really, she felt smart and alleviated, and a burden had been lifted off her shoulders, but returning to school the next day would be quite an experience.

Just then, Agnes began to move. Elin glanced back down, and her eyes collided with the other girls’.

“Hey,” she whispered.

“Hey,” Agnes answered, her voice cracking slightly.

“Are you okay?”

Agnes bobbed her head, but Elin knew that her girlfriend needed to be reassured. Her girlfriend! She would need to repeat the words over and over inside her head to get used to them. Okay, she thought, here is Agnes. And she needed reassurance. What to do? She had the impression that Agnes would know, she would do the right thing that would make her
feel better. Like when she had faltered, when they had to go out but… Then, Agnes had done just the right thing. Could she do it too? Elin frowned for a moment, and then, using the back of her hand and fingers, cleared Agnes’s forehead from a few stray strands of hair. It was an excuse, of course. It was what Agnes had done for her in that locked up toilet. And it worked; now Agnes eyes looked serene, in peace with the world, and Elin knew the feeling because she was feeling it too.

“Do you… want something?” she asked “Another drink… Something?”

The dark-haired giggled and shook her head, glancing at the two big empty cups that stood on the bedside table. She was right, no stomach could possible take one more gulp of O’boy. Elin’s offer was to keep herself busy.

“I’m fine. If you want something…”

“No! I’m fine too.” Elin smiled for a second.

“It doesn’t matter if we stay here?”

“No, my mom’s working. She’ll be back late. I don’t know about Jessica, though. Maybe she’s looking for me. She must think I’m out of my mind,” she paused. “Everyone must think I’m out of my mind.”

Agnes just nodded, and then shook her head and rolled her eyes, a smile playing on her lips. She had expressed it perfectly without words. It didn’t really matter. Elin smiled more fully now; it was incredibly gratifying to know that Agnes would be there to prevent her fall, to hold her in place, and then set her back on her feet. And it would be like that forever.


2). The Road to Stockholm

Elin adjusted her glasses on the bridge of her nose and stared hard at the page before her. She needed to cram this into her head at whatever cost. But it was so difficult… How could they want her to learn all that stuff if she didn’t understand it? It was senseless! She turned the page and read another incomprehensible sentence.

“No!” she cried, dropping the pencil on the table and emitting a warrior-like wail. But that wasn’t enough. She slammed the hard-cover book shut and threw it behind her back, not caring what happened to it. It came to fall on the bed, its weight making it sink slightly.

“I don’t understand,” she said to no one in particular, since she was alone.

Her eyes scanned her room aimlessly, searching for some distraction. Finding none, she tore her glasses off and slumped on the bed, kicking the book so that it tumbled on the floor, where it should have gone in the first place. She had much more space in the room since Jessica had moved out, and all of the posters and Winnie the Pooh stickers had been
removed. Still, she envied Jessica’s relative independence. Jessica was living with Johan; he was an electrician, and she had achieved her goal of being a hairdresser. Elin always found it funny that Jessica and Johan’s relationship had been an outcome of her relationship with Agnes, but her sister had never acknowledged or even accepted this.

She could envy Jessica’s virtual freedom. They lived in a tiny flat, but they were alone, and everyone said that they made such a nice couple. Markus was still a little bitter on the subject, since he felt he was the loser of some competition, but he had immediately hooked up with some other girl, and he still spoke to Johan, and they went out sometimes. Not that Elin cared much about Markus’ boring self.

However, she wasn’t completely jealous of Jessica’s situation. Her sister was still stuck in Åmål, would always be stuck in Åmål, and her life would be just another boring life led in the tiny town. Long ago she had already sworn that her life wasn’t going to be like that, not like her mother’s. She wasn’t implying that Johan would abandon Jessica, but that was almost beside the point because the boredom was there just the same. She wanted greater things for herself than vegetating there.

Stockholm was once more her goal. But she wasn’t imagining a crazy escape like the one she and Agnes had attempted years ago. No impulsive hitchhiking this time. She was still determined to be a psychologist, and she was sure that she was going to make it: her dream, her real-life dream.

Grinning the characteristic smile of those that remember a cherished memory, she picked up the phone and dialled Agnes’ number. It had all happened thanks to her. The darkhaired girl would shake her head and say that the merit was all Elin’s, but that wasn’t true. Both of them had worked for it, but she couldn’t have done it without Agnes. Hell, without Agnes God knew who she would’ve ended up being. Camilla, she thought with a shudder. Agnes had helped her, had studied with her, had forced her when her will wanted to surrender, and had made enormous sacrifices.

“Ahlberg.”

“Hi,” Elin said, recognizing the brunette’s voice.

“Hey,” Agnes answer was almost undistinguishable, as a yawn covered it.

“Were you sleeping?”

“No, it’s okay, I’m just tired. I was listening to music.”

She squinted her eyes and listened. The music was audible through the telephone, although it was obvious that Agnes wasn’t playing it too loud. After all, it was eleven PM. It was classical music.

“How was your day?”

“The usual… lots of work. And yours?”

“I think I’ll burn all my books if I have to read another sentence. It’s awful!”

“What is it, chemistry?” Agnes asked, with a twinge of humor.

“Biology. Mind if I kill myself?”

“You know, I really wouldn’t like that.”

“Okay, you can save me. If you aren’t too tired, of course. I was thinking about going over to your place. I want to see you.”

“Suddenly I feel less tired.”

Elin smiled, hung up, and put her boots on. The perspective of seeing Agnes was enough to make her endlessly happy. It had been that way for four years. Now she was eighteen, and Agnes was just twenty. Agnes’ sacrifice always left her without oxygen. They still wanted to study Psychology but, since Agnes was a grade older, she was waiting for Elin to finish her last school year so that they could go to Stockholm at the same time. It had been Agnes’ mature choice to get a job during that year, saving every coin for their future.

She rubbed her shoulders while crossing the bridge. Since there were no buildings around to muffle the wind, that was the coldest place in town. However, for her it wasn’t that cold. It always brought a thrill of excitement and warmth to her heart, remembering the crucial things that had happened here. Just for the kick of it, she leant on the freezing metal railing and spat heavily. Now she was a bit taller, but the feeling was the same.

One day they would follow that road, and it would only count if they left together. Agnes had understood that too, that was why she was waiting for her.


Agnes’ house came into view soon enough but, instead of going to the front door, she circled it until she was standing under the dimly-lit window of Agnes’ room. She bent down, grabbed a handful of pebbles, and threw them one at a time so that they made a scraping sound against the windowpane.

Another light was switched on, and the window opened. There was Agnes, like so many times, looking down at her. Elin smiled, waved, and then circled the house again. Less than a minute later, Agnes opened the front door, and Elin couldn’t help herself. She kissed her right away, placing her hands on her shoulders. Agnes smiled, her eyes shining. Could it be that she still felt that way after four years, as if this was just a beautiful dream-fantasy of hers?

“Hey,” Elin said, kissing her again.

“Hey,” Agnes answered, weakly, moving aside so that the blonde could get in.

“I’m sorry,” Elin whispered “but I couldn’t wait.”

The dark-haired shook her head, discarding her apology. Elin knew that the neighbors had told Karin, Agnes’ mother, about Elin’s late-night visits more than once, but Agnes never dedicated them a minute’s worry. The only thing that took Elin by surprise was why a sixtyyear-old couple spent their nights spying on Agnes’ door. Didn’t they have a life or something? Hell, did they never sleep?

They tiptoed to her room, and once there, with the door closed and locked, they fused into a hug, the music playing in the background. Elin stepped back and looked at her girlfriend. Her hair was straight and long, hanging on her back, and she wore baggy, grey pants and a dark-blue shirt with very long sleeves. Also, like always, she was wearing the necklace and ring that Elin had given her on two of their anniversaries. Similarly, Elin wore a bracelet and another ring. Her hair was longer than Agnes’, and was dyed a dark shade of blonde.She wore jeans and a cream-colored top.

“Do you want something to drink?” Agnes asked, while Elin sat on her rumpled bed.

The blonde smiled dangerously and lunged for Agnes’s waist, circling it with her arms and pulling the girl down on the bed.

“You,” she whispered, placing herself on top of her and playing with a strand of hair.

Agnes tilted her head slightly and captured Elin’s lips with her own. The kiss was interrupted by a sneezing fit that overcame the blonde.

“When will you learn to carry a jacket?” Agnes asked, sitting up and picking a sweater from her chair “Here.”

Grudgingly, Elin put the red sweater on before returning to Agnes’s arms. They lay in silence, stroking each other’s hair, Elin enjoying that her senses were at their apex: Agnes’ scent, her softness, her heartbeat, the taste of her lips, her peaceful face that brought peace to her in return.

“I saw Jessica today.” Elin said, out of the blue, which was her habit “She came by to steal our toaster.”

“How is she?” Agnes asked, quite neutrally.

“Getting fat,” Elin answered, puffing out an exaggerated moan “Really.”

“Really?”

“No, she looks good. She looks happy. But it’s always the same story, she will hardly talk to me, she doesn’t say my name, she doesn’t look me in the eye. I’m sure she thinks I’m wasting time, that the Psychology thing is just a fantasy I’ll get tired of. Her longest sentence was: ‘I don’t know why Mom doesn’t kick you out’, like I am some kind of parasite or something. But Mom is the only person that doesn’t bug me with the subject!”

“I’m tired of hearing the same things over and over. I tell her to mind her own business, but…” Agnes rolled her eyes.

“… But she say’s that you’re her business too,” Elin finished off her sentence, nodding.

“And then my dad knocks on the door and he wants to talk. So I talk. I tell him that I am doing what I want to do, that I don’t care what the rest of the people say.”

“If they want to talk…”

“That’s what I say. Let them talk, no one bugs me anymore. But my parents insist and they don’t get tired. But when I talk they don’t like what they hear.”

“We’ll get out of here and do whatever we want, ‘cause we’re nothing like them. And those kids at school will stay, have more kids, and they’ll be just as boring as their parents.”

Agnes nodded and slid her hands under the sweater Elin was wearing so that she could touch her back.

“Did I ever thank you? Thanks to you I won’t be a hairdresser in Åmål,” she paused for a second “And you also saved me from becoming addicted to my mom’s heartburn pills.”

The dark-haired laughed good-naturedly and Elin hugged her tighter.
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby fish » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 am

Åw, that's just so beautiful.

Now if you'll excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye. Sniff. *:)* *:)* :D
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby DMt. » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:22 pm

That is a really nice piece of work. No murders or melodrama, just believable feelings and deep affection.

I remove my hat.
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby Cheevers4ever » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:51 am

Wonderful work Marta, simply the best Fucking amal fan Fiction i've read so far. Touching especially The Road to stockholm, I love that everything is so believeable and not forced the saying "less is more" works well for these two well written mini works of art. I might be going OTT with my praise here but if Moodysson wrote these two short stories into the fucking amal script i doubt it would have took away from the films greatness. I loved that Marta tied up the main characters and the side characters stories up very well and that Agnes and Elin reltionship is actually very real even in a short story like The road to Stockholm(which is my fav of the two) and that it seems more fitting of the characters we knew from the film. Its really lovely ending with Elin and Anges in love.
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby Ian » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:54 am

How have I not seen this before?

Beautiful. Really beautiful. I loved it. *:)* :D
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby Cheevers4ever » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:30 pm

Ian wrote:How have I not seen this before?

Beautiful. Really beautiful. I loved it. *:)* :D


I can't ever seen this one been topped really, it seems Marta put her heart and soul into this one. The Road to Stockholm especially is a piece of genuis up there with Kant's Essay on Fucking amal for must read for any Fucking Amal fan.
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Re: ‘Waking Up, and The Road to Stockholm’ by MARTA

Postby Ian » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:11 am

Listened to this today, very nice. *:)* :D
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