Tag

Short Story

Random Musings From the Girlfriend You Left Behind

At least I remembered to shut off your damn phone alarm.

If I heard it’s stupid “presto” chime at 4:30 AM I think I would have crumbled. As it was, I already felt like death: dizzy, scared, flustered, ALONE.
There was such fear in the pit of my stomach.
The dizziness might’ve been attributed to (or completely caused by) the large glasses of wine- your favorite- that I had guzzled; an effort to forget the circumstances.

That night, I had a dream that you’d texted me.
I love you.
Then,
I loved you.
“Wait, what?” I screamed at my phone. “What are you talking about?” I sobbed. I threw the phone across the room. I woke up with a jolt to the sound of it smashing against the wood floor. Although the screen was cracked, I could still make out our last interaction.

I’m super busy. I love you. I’ll call you after work.

I love you too. Have a good day. Try to take it easy.

If divorce is death by a thousand paper cuts, I felt as though I’d been resurrected, tied down, and sliced across each scar.

I just needed to get through these next few days, weeks, months… It’ll get better with time, I lied to myself.

My mind wandered yet again. Just one week ago, you were laying down beside me. You sleepily asked me to move in closer; to snuggle up. It was so vulnerable and so unlike you- as though you knew.

Instinctually, I checked my phone for a text. I had your phone in my possession, though, so that’s one of the reasons it was not feasible. But I kept on checking. Just in case.

 

Hazardous

I know the way by rote, the way the road curves over to the right after the yellow sign, the way it contours itself to the woods on the left. I move fluidly with it, pressing the accelerator through the turns and tapping on the brake when I notice the speedometer creeping higher and higher…

I’m caught by surprise, then, when the fog begins slithering its way in. At first I don’t notice; perhaps I am not paying attention as well as I should be. The turns ahead are all at once more difficult to see, and I have trouble making out what’s ahead. I slow the car down as the haziness becomes almost too much to bear.

“What are you doing? You have to move faster if we’re going to get there on time,” I hear from my passenger. He had only been in my life now for about a year, but it felt like a lifetime. As cliché as it was, I knew him better than he knew himself, and he me. We worked.

“It’s just a little hard to see with all this damned fog. It makes me nervous. If you don’t like the way I drive, you should’ve gotten behind the wheel yourself.”

“Ugh,” he rolls his eyes, reaches into the backseat and cracks a beer.

“Hey you can’t drink in here! This is my car. No way! Get rid of it.”

“Relax. There’s no one around. I’ll dump it before we get to the real road.”

 

Who was this person that I had thought I knew? Right before my eyes, but without my noticing, he had changed. He had become this. And it scared me, so I wanted desperately to slow down, but feared it was too late. I couldn’t see myself hurtling toward a cliff.

hazardous fog

 

Backyard Bonfire

Wedding dress bonfire

Sizzle.

Crackle.

Hisssssss…

The tips of the flames licked the night sky as I tearfully witnessed the ivory satin turn to ash. He would be back soon, I knew.

“Went to take a drive,” he said, “to clear my head.”

 

Just like that, my wedding dress, and all it represented, was gone.

Sphere of Dreams (continued)

Find 1 Here
time travel

2.

The granules of sand squished between my bare toes and the familiar smell of saltwater filled my nostrils.

The water and sky faded into each other, both a dull grey-blue. A sheet of similarly colored cloud rose up from the horizon, then pieced away into small tufts of cotton overhead. I watched as those smaller clouds faded, however, and the foreboding sheet was pulled up. It now covered the sky in its entirety.

There was a sudden chill causing my skin to feel prickly all over. I stood and grabbed a towel that had been carelessly thrown over the ledge by the cabanas, but it didn’t really help to warm me. I empathized with the brave souls playing in the waves in front of me, knowing that once they decided to get out, the wind would surly cause their extremities to become numb.

My mom stood by the edge of our cabana and gazed at the sky. “I don’t know about this. I hope it clears up by noon.”

“I don’t know. The wind seems to be picking up. It’s not looking too promising.” I was completely ignored.

She looked different, my mom. Her hair was… poofier. Curly. She hadn’t sported that hairstyle since the 80s. I peered closer. I was taken aback when a tall man walked out, carrying a blonde pig-tailed toddler in his arms.

“Dad?” I said in a bewildered whisper. No one looked my way.

It was most definitely him, but he had passed away years ago.

“It’ll be fine. Don’t panic. Here comes our first guest now.” He motioned to the end of the court, where a 3-year-old, clad in a peach one-piece bathing suit, walked down the concrete sidewalk with the all the confidence of the Beach Club Queen. She carried a bottle of sunscreen as her scepter.

The little girl in my dad’s arms jumped down and began running toward her royal guest. “Lo-waa!” she squealed. For the first time I saw part of her round face. A sense of familiarity washed over me, and I suddenly warmed.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More to come!

Sphere of Dreams

Time Machine

1.

My eyes stared straight up to the ceiling widely, so I shut them ludicrously tight and tried counting as high up as possible. No luck. Sleep seemed like a far-off destination from where I was currently. I shushed my brain as it conjured up various stressful scenarios and the horrific consequences that could be definite possibilities. Stupid brain.

I sighed audibly and switched on the TV, clicking to The Nature Channel, which was currently showing a documentary about a lion’s diet and was showing the male of the species tearing apart an antelope to eat its flesh. Pleasant.

Where were the reruns of “Golden Girls” when you needed them?

I settled on channel 48, SyFy, one of the only stations that wasn’t presenting infomercials about ShamWows and Slapchops and knives that could cut through quarters. The movie was midway through, but the plot didn’t seem too abstruse that I wouldn’t be able to grasp it.

A man, tall and wiry, thinning grey hair atop his gaunt face, looked tired and sad as he climbed into the steel orb, a giant silver marble nestled within the mature trees of the forest. With great difficulty, he pushed a few buttons on the console in front of him, then pulled a lever.

All at once, I took his place inside the machine, which shook violently, causing me to lurch forward and accidentally press a few of the unmarked buttons myself. Instantly, the engine quieted and the shaking came to a halt. The door opened automatically and I stepped outside, seeing colors for what seemed like the first time.

 

More to come; stay tuned…

2

Storytime Sunday

Hum

The monotonous hum of the bathroom fan seemed intolerable at first, as I tried to complete the work I’d set out to do; yet, as time wore on, it became less noticeable. Thinking back to that inauspicious day, however, all I can hear is the droning sound of that fan.

Candice was showering. In fact she had been in there so long, I began to imagine how unattractively wrinkled her fingers must be. I considered several disparaging remarks about her “old-lady hands,” said with love, to hit her with when she appeared out her pleasant little spa. In reality, her hands were beautiful: soft, youthful, not an imperfection on them, save for a tiny freckle in between her right forefinger and her thumb. God, how I had once been so infatuated with that diminutive marking

But I needed to focus.

The finance world was abuzz with talks of mergers among several important companies. This could mean big money, or huge losses; I had to play my cards right.

Hum

A crash coming from the other end of the house interrupted my concentration.
I leapt up, a feeling of inexplicable foreboding suddenly running rampant at the base of my stomach. “Hun? Candice? Everything okay in there?” I could not hide the urgency or panic in my voice.
There was no answer. There would never be an answer.

The most difficult part about losing someone is the knowledge that you will no longer share in the memories to come. When Candice left me, however, she took with her the memories we had once enjoyed in the past as well.

I don’t hate her, I just don’t understand what happened, which is the feeling that the doctors at the hospital say I need to suppress. “There is nothing to understand,” they incessantly, yet patiently, explain.

I recall the exact moment when I knew my life would never be the same. The door to the bathroom was unlocked. Always demure and extremely modest, Candice secured any entry, as though we may be under attack from an army of peeping toms. As I opened the door, the sound hit me right away: the dull hum that would never escape my psyche. I called to her again, my voice echoing in the small, windowless room. Pushing the shower curtain to one side revealed a torrent of lukewarm water being consumed by the ravenous drainpipe. Unsure of my next move, I called out to her again, shutting the water off. Moving through the hallway of the small ranch in a matter of steps, I scanned the bedroom. Empty. The other rooms in the house were unchanged also. How could this be? To this day, I wonder the same thing.

The rest of the experience is somewhat a blur to me. That phrase, “Who is Candice?” repeated by people who I thought were my friends, the skepticism in my parents’ faces as I tried to explain my hurt and confusion, and, finally, my admission into the hospital that I now call home.

Although everyone persists that Candice was never more than a figment of my over-active imagination, I know that she is real, and she’ll come back for me. We will prove them all wrong.

If only that damn humming would stop.