Posts tagged fiction

Rewind

On the day you died, you asked me what time I’d be coming home. I sort of made an irritated sound as I put on my jacket and said that I wasn’t sure. I ignored the way you looked at me then, like you were just on the verge of crying or asking me to give you a definite time, a definite anything. For a minute, I wanted to say that I’d be back by ten, but I changed my mind because I didn’t want to have a longer conversation about what time I’d be coming home or whether I would be coming home. So I shut up, grabbed my phone, and mumbled something about seeing you later. Just before I closed the door behind me, I thought I heard you say goodbye, and that was the last thing you would ever say to me.

On the day you died, I went out without telling you what time I’d be back or even where I’d be going. I just said I was going to meet some friends, which I actually did. I didn’t lie about that, at least. I met up with my friends and we had dinner, a few drinks, and then a long conversation about how I felt that things weren’t working out as I hoped they would. They told me I should talk about it with you, as if words could fix whatever was wrong between us, because they didn’t know that words were causing most of the problems in the first place. Words we would say and not say, words screamed, words whispered, words we’d spit out and bite back, words that cut at us like knives until I walked around feeling like I had been skinned alive. No. I told my friends that more words wouldn’t help.

On the day you died, I remember wanting to ask you whether you wanted to come with me. But I knew that if I did say that, you’d just give me that sad look that made me feel like you were accusing me of treating you like an afterthought. So I didn’t say anything about you coming with me because the truth was I wanted to get away to some place where I wouldn’t have to see your eyes even for just a few hours. And I left and shut the door behind me without acknowledging your goodbye, then I went out and tried to forget about everything and how the world was falling apart all around us and, for a few hours, I could pretend you didn’t exist and I was just fine with that.

On the day you died, I knew you wanted to ask me to stay and I wanted to ask you to leave with me. But we both said other things instead of what we really wanted to say and I left while you stayed behind. Except now I think maybe I’m just telling myself that was the case so I can pretend there was a part of me that felt that way. But it doesn’t really matter now, does it? I just put on my jacket that day, grabbed my phone, and said something about seeing you later. Then you said goodbye, and I pretended I didn’t hear you, and I walked out and met up with my friends who told me I should have talked to you about everything that was wrong between us.

On the day you died, I had the chance to keep you with me. But I didn’t do that. So I wonder now if you blamed me for not saving you as your skin grew paler and the bathwater grew redder while you maybe hoped that I’d come home early. And I’ve got nothing to do now but wonder what I could have done differently.

the turning of dreams

…once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a dream. she spent all her time sleeping so she could be with her beloved. but, one day, the dream disappeared and she woke up with her heart broken. no matter what she did, she couldn’t go back to sleep again. so she set out to look for a way to return to dreaming. she traveled to the ends of the earth where she found a flower with a scent that made her fall into a deep enchanted sleep. as soon as its fragrance overwhelmed her senses, she closed her eyes and found her love again. then the dream began to tell her a story: once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a dream. she spent all her time sleeping so she could be with her beloved. but, one day, the dream disappeared and she woke up with her heart broken. no matter what she did, she couldn’t go back to sleep again. so she set out to look for a way to return to dreaming. she traveled to the ends of the earth where she found a flower with a scent that made her fall into a deep enchanted sleep. as soon as its fragrance overwhelmed her senses, she closed her eyes and found her love again. then the dream began to tell her a story: once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a dream. she spent all her time sleeping so she could be with her beloved. but, one day, the dream disappeared and she woke up with her heart broken. no matter what she did, she couldn’t go back to sleep again. so she set out to look for a way to return to dreaming. she traveled to the ends of the earth where she found a flower with a scent that made her fall into a deep enchanted sleep. as soon as its fragrance overwhelmed her senses, she closed her eyes and found her love again. then the dream began to tell her a story: once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a dream…

the distance between worlds

He tries not to think. When he thinks, he remembers, and he doesn’t want to remember. He wonders if she does the same thing. He knows she doesn’t. He thinks that things are getting better now. He has always wished for her absence, and now he has it and things are just fine. He’s fine. He wishes she could see just how fine he is, how relieved at the fact that she’s gone. He wonders, though, why he has to keep telling himself that every day. Maybe, but no. Everything is all right. He’s okay.

___

"Are you okay?" she asked, looking at him curiously. There was a strange intense expression on her face as she studied him. It made him uncomfortable.

"I’m always okay," he replied lightly.

"Really?" she raised an eyebrow at him skeptically. "Then how come I get this feeling like you’re pissed off or something? You look like, I don’t know, like you’re upset with me, I think."

"I don’t have any reason to be upset with you," he told her.

She still looked doubtful, but she nodded. “Okay. So we’re fine?”

"Of course." He wouldn’t meet her eyes, though.

Finally, she looked away from him. “Okay.”

___

He likes to pretend that he never knew her, that she never existed at all. So he turns a deaf ear when other people talk about her. He feels glad when he hears them say things about her that aren’t exactly flattering. He wants to tell them that he completely agrees, that she’s an insane bitch and they’re all better off without her in their lives. But he has noticed to his annoyance that whenever someone talks about her, no matter how hard he tries to ignore it, he listens anyway. He wants to know how she’s doing, wherever she’s gone. He wants her to be okay.

___

"What the hell did I ever do to you?" She was so furious that he could see she was practically shaking with the effort to keep some semblance of calm. "Why does it seem like you’re trying to deliberately piss me off?"

He knew it would push her over the edge, but he chose to say the words anyway. “So, it’s working?”

For the first time that he could remember, she was rendered speechless. He walked away knowing that he had won their battle. It served her right for thinking that she could manipulate him into doing what she wanted.

After that encounter, she was the one who tried to reach out to him, the one who tried to act like they were friends. It always gave him a perverse sense of pleasure whenever he could show her that he didn’t want her to be his friend. She pretended that it wasn’t a big deal to her, but he knew that it hurt her every time he ignored her. He was glad that he could hurt her.

___

He doesn’t ever want to see her again. He wants her to be completely gone. So he’s not exactly sure why he keeps looking into the faces of people he passes by on the street, half expecting that maybe it would be her. But, of course, it’s never her. And of course he’s glad. Now he just has to keep repeating that to himself until he begins to believe that it’s true. It has to be true. He doesn’t want to think about what it could possibly mean if it isn’t true.

___

"You ever think about parallel universes?" she asked him once.

He was a bit taken aback by the question. Just a few seconds ago, they were talking about cartoons, and then this abrupt change in their conversation happened. He found it amusing. She was so unpredictable sometimes. “What about parallel universes?” he replied to humor her. He wanted to hear what she was going to say next.

"Well, people say that there are many universes that exist at the same time in the same space, but like on different wavelengths or different dimensions. So, for example," she suddenly took his hand and placed it palm to palm against hers. He was startled by the unexpected contact, but he allowed it. In fact, he had this curious feeling that he wanted their hands to stay linked like that for a long time, maybe forever. She looked into his eyes then. "So, we could actually live in different universes and hold out our hands like this, and we would never even know that we were together because of the distance between our worlds."

"That would be weird," he said, "that we would be so close together without even knowing it."

She smiled. “You know what’s even weirder?” Her voice had dropped to a whisper, like she was telling him a secret.

"What?" All he could see were her eyes.

"Though we live in different worlds, our worlds exist in the same space. So the distance between worlds," her hand closed around his hand, "is really no distance, at all."

___

He sees her one day across the street. For a moment, they just stare at each other. Then she turns away and disappears into the crowd. She never once looks back at him. He turns away, too. They never see each other again.

confessions

version #1

hi. thanks for agreeing to talk to me. i know i’ve been weird the past few days and i don’t really have a good excuse for acting like a crazy person. but it’s just that, well, actually, i do have an excuse. i’ve realized recently that i may have misunderstood certain feelings that i had that i thought were one thing but are actually a completely different thing. i mean, what i’m trying to say is, i’m being weird because, well, you’re weird too. and really this is all your fault. i don’t even understand why you’re acting this way, like we’re complete strangers. and you are being a total asshole about the whole thing and it’s like you’re making it seem like it’s somehow my fault, which is totally not fair! and you are seriously starting to get on my nerves and—let me start again.

version #2

i don’t understand why things suddenly seem to be awkward between us. i thought we were becoming friends and maybe, i don’t know, but i feel like i may have done something wrong somehow because you seem to be acting that way, like you’re blaming me for something. why can’t we just laugh about stuff and talk like we used to? i am completely lost here because i had just started to get used to you being around and i like spending time with you, but now it’s back to square one again, like we don’t know each other again. and i know i’m being really pathetic and whiny right now, but i just—no, too desperate.

version #3

what the fuck do you expect from me? we become friends and, suddenly, i have to act completely out of character and do whatever the hell it is that you seem to expect me to do. what do you want from me? what the fuck am i supposed to do? i can’t read your fucking mind, you know. you can’t look at me like you expect me to do something that i have no idea what it could be, then you treat me like i’m wallpaper because i didn’t do it. you talk so much all the time, so why can’t you open your mouth right now and tell me upfront what you’re really thinking? god, you make me so mad i could—fuck. this isn’t gonna work.

version #4

i just want you to smile at me again. that’s it.

3 a.m.

anything is possible at 3 a.m.

you can go out of the house and take a walk, then run into a mugger beating up on an old guy, so you shout and rush to help, and your slayer instincts kick in and you give the mugger a sound thrashing, and the old guy is so grateful that he gives you a magic amulet that endows you with cool superpowers, and a brief training montage occurs with ‘eye of the tiger’ playing in the background, then once you’re all ready to fight crime and supernatural evil, there’s an outbreak of zombies and you kill them all, and a cute mysterious guy shows up too late to help you out, and there’s instant sparkage and some major flirting goes on, but the old guy appears again and reveals that the cute guy is actually a vampire with a soul but thankfully he doesn’t sparkle so you get all stubborn and agree to date him anyway, but then you meet another supernatural warrior who’s arrogant and annoying yet he is somehow so compelling, and you get torn between the two guys, but you don’t have time to choose between them because a primeval evil is rising and threatening to destroy the world, so you ride off into battle and the two guys you like are almost killed during the fight, but you step in at the right moment to save their asses and they live, then the villain comes out of nowhere and deals you a death blow, but with a last heroic effort, you manage to slay it and the world is safe once more, but you’re dying, which totally sucks, however you know you did a good thing and so you say something really sad yet profound as your last words and you breathe your last in the arms of the one that you really love, a fact that you only realized at the last second, but everything is too late now and you die.

hmmm. i think i’ll stay in bed.