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Missing

Sometimes, I miss you so much my stomach hurts. It aches from all the laughter I haven’t laughed.
I miss talking to you. Hearing your voice, when I call to tell you this “amazing, super cool, awesome” thing that neither of us will remember tomorrow.
I miss knowing that if I died suddenly, you’d be one of the first to know, because I wouldn’t be picking up the phone.
I miss knowing that if I died, you’d miss me even more.
I miss hearing about your day. I miss telling you about mine.
I miss embellishing stories for you.
I miss distracting myself from something awful by thinking about how I’ll make you laugh about it later.
I miss hearing your voice when I’m bored.
I miss hearing your voice when I’m excited.
I missing having a “you” and “your side of things”. I’m tired of thinking in “I”s and “Me”s.
I miss discussing old things with you. And finding out new things through you.
I miss feeling like the world could be our oyster – as soon as we got around to it.
I miss asking you what you thought of something, anything – and knowing what you’d say, outrageous and bitchy, because you knew it would make me laugh.

And every time I miss you, I remind myself of all the reasons I must miss you.

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Beep Beep

It sat silent. No lights blinking, no sound. No movement. No vibrations. Nothing.
She stared at the phone. Willing it to light up. Willing a noise. Willing something. Anything.
Willing him to message. To think of her. To reach out and let her know he was thinking of her.
To tell her, by just saying “Hi” that he wasn’t with someone else. That she was important to him.
As important as he was to her.
Even though she didn’t know him. She hadn’t ever met him. She hadn’t ever heard his voice.
All she had, was the loneliness of a dwindling life. The knowledge that slowly but surely, the world was forgetting about her. Forgetting she mattered, in any tiny capacity. Forgetting she existed.

Most mornings, she woke up wondering if anyone would know if she didn’t. She woke up and faced the long, yawning abyss of another day without meaning.
Every night, she messaged him. Wanting him to reply. To say “hi” back. To encourage her in her desperate attempt to find meaning for her life, in his replies. And most nights, she found none.
The nights he did deign to reply, she slept the sleep of the content, weaving dreams of waking up happy, living a life someone else noticed, living a life in which her existence made someone else smile.

The clock ticked on. She checked her phone again. Opened a browser to see if the net was working. There was still time till midnight, when he usually fell asleep. She fell back into bed, wondering what the morning would feel like.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Robinson Cursed

I wake up everyday, to blue skies and sunshine. This island doesn’t know the meaning of bad weather.
It helps to wake up to light every day, unlike England – dark, gloomy and brooding, always making my moods worse.

Mother must be crying everyday – I feel a pang of guilt at the thought. I doubt my Father is crying, though he must feel bad – I think. Selena and Brian too. They must think of me…but I think that their thoughts are spurred by the way in which I’ve disappeared – and less to do with me, myself.

After all, in all the time that I was there, all I ever heard them do was complain about how shiftless I was or how downcast or how pessimistic. What is that new-fangled saying? My glass is always half empty.

Over the years, I tired of it. It’s hard enough being me, it’s hard enough waking up and going through each day and the cumbersome waltzes human society puts in place – but add to that the crushing expectation of having to be like that Pollyanna woman all that time?

When I heard of the ship leaving, I knew this was my chance. I bribed the captain and told him to tell everyone I was lost in a pirate skirmish. When we landed here, his crew helped knock up a house and a garden for fresh vegetables, left me with supplies and a flare kit – and left.

A year later, the captain came by – to check on me. And with him came new books, new supplies and more. I’ve willed my estate in Brazil to him as payment. And his son started the tradition this year.

I’ve been here 4 years. And I haven’t regretted it once.
I wake up, I tend my garden, I read my books, I write. I walk around the island four or five times a day.
No one accuses me of being a fusspot. Or a pessimist. Or unhumourous. Or uncouth.

Here, I am perfect.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Rules of the game

It started like any other argument. I was being flippant, careless with words and saying things that I didn’t mean, that I thought would be funny.
And he was being over-analytical, obsessing over each word and its hidden meanings because he’d gotten so used to that, so used to assuming there must be more behind the puffs of hot air that human beings emitted without thinking.
And all of a sudden, we were in the middle of a maelstrom.
He was screaming. As his voice rose, so did my temper.
I started freezing into stubbornness, its twin sister righteousness welcoming me with open arms. I had a right to have an opinion, even if it was wrong by everyone else’s standards.
He started castigation and then taunting, two tried and tested tools in his arsenal.
I responded with icy disdain and told him to stick his libertarian views where the free-ranging sun didn’t shine.
He said I was the reason children were starving. I told him it was karma, it wasn’t like I was eating their share.
It was the usual fight. The usual corners. And our usual routine.

And just like that, the game changed.
He raised a hand and hit me.
And even though, truth be told, this wasn’t even the first time – this time it felt different.
It felt like he meant it. It felt mean.
It felt…like it was actually tearing my face apart?
I looked down. There was blood trickling down my shirt. I just kept looking.
He’d cut me with a blade. And sliced my cheek open.

I stared at him. He stared at the blood and then his hands.
And then told me it was my fault. I was too negative. I was too strident. I pushed him into it.
I was too full of myself. Too full of hate. I always thought everyone was stupider than me. I always made him feel small. I always did this. And that. And other things too.

I was still staring at him. My lips seemed welded together. I couldn’t speak.
My cheek burned, blood dripping down.
Was there any point speaking? All the words hovered around us like moths.
Could we even go back from this?
If he started cutting me and I retaliated, what would be left of us?
There’d be no kiss and make up now.
There was no way backward.
There was just the blood on the floor, a reminder of how he’d suddenly changed the rules.
There was just forward, without each other.

I grabbed a towel and held it to my face, staunching the blood.
He stared at me. I stared back.
I picked up my bag and left for the hospital.
They would stitch up my cheek.
My heart, however, was another matter.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Cats are bastards

“And? What happened?”
I sighed. “What else? In the cesspit that is my life, I’ve just met another turd.”
I could practically feel her smile across the phone lines. “Dramatic much? What exactly do you mean?”

I stared out the window. “He likes rough sex, we’ve never met, I’ve never heard his voice, he keeps posting pics of cats and he disappears unless he wants to talk dirty.”
Silence. Then, “Yes most of that would qualify him as a turd. How do you meet these people?”

I smiled. “It’s the homing device in my head. They can’t resist the signal of the mothership.”
She laughed. “And how do you know he likes rough sex if you haven’t even heard his voice?”

I said, “When we sext. It’s always rough. It’s always him in control.”
She paused. “Sweetie, I thought you said you weren’t going to do this to yourself anymore…”

I sighed. “Yes I did. I said I wasn’t going to let someone else do this to me. But I gave in because it felt so good to…even if it is sexting…have someone take control. You know?”
“I know.”

“I’m going to die alone aren’t I? Die alone and be eaten by stray cats.” I said quietly.
Silence.
Then, “Why is it always cats that are supposed to eat dead people?”
I smiled. “Cats are bastards.”

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Years

She turned in her bed, wincing at every movement. Carefully, she shifted from right side to left side, feeling the pain change sides as well. She couldn’t remember what it felt like to be pain free any more. It had been too long.
It was her birthday today. She hoped everyone would forget. It was just plain embarrassing now. She hated birthdays, always had, since childhood.

She raised her left hip a fraction, her body adjusting to the slight freedom and let it down, the flesh cushioning her hip better now. She wondered if she should put on the TV. Or maybe listen to some music. Get her mind off her agony.

But which programs? And what music? She no longer knew any of the latest bands or songs. She had no idea what was on TV or who the actors were any more. Everything seemed to change every day. With the exception of terrible programs that is. Two and a Half Men was still on, apparently – that was one thing that could cause more pain than her injury.

She sighed. Old music, old books, old programs, old movies – the keyword was “old” wasn’t it? She was old. She felt old. She wondered how old she looked. And it was all just going to get worse. Or older, depending on what word you used.

She lay on her left side, staring at the wall. And heard whispers.
Just in time, she stopped herself from snapping her head up – that movement promised hours of pain. Instead, she carefully tilted her head this way and that and raised it, slowly.
Only to see her sister bearing a cake – and her parents singing “Happy Birthday” to her.
Her eyes filled with tears. She had to be grateful – but she really wished everyone could just forget about her birthdays and her. And she really was happy they hadn’t.

She looked up and slowly started to raise herself up.
“Happy 34th birthday baby girl,” crooned her mother.
She smiled. 34. Was so deceptively young.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Rock-a-bye-baby

She turned to her left. And then her right. She could hear dripping. She just knew a tap was broken. What if all the water in the house drained out? What if she had no more water? How would she bathe and get to work? Drip. Drip. 
She got up and opened the bathroom door. No sound. She switched on the light and ran her hand under the taps. Nothing. Switching off all the lights, she went back to bed. 

A door creaked in the house. She’d forgotten to fix it. “I can’t get up to oil doors at 2 am,” she thought. Creak. Creak. “Fine, I’ll just do that so I can get to sleep.” She got up, hunted for the WD 40. And sprayed all the doors in the house. She turned off all the lights and got back into bed. 

A dog barked in the quiet of the night. She realised she’d forgotten to add dog food to the grocery list. “This is ridiculous. I can’t keep getting up again and again. I mean, I’ve got to drive to work and back and to the doctor’s and back. Oh God, I forgot to confirm the appointment with the doctor. What if its cancelled? I better make a list of things I need to do tomorrow. And add dog food. NO. NO. I’m going to concentrate on sleeping. I’m not getting up again. I’m not. I’m not.”

She turned on her back and crossed her arms. The dog in the distance howled. The sound was full of pain. “It must be hungry. Why would it cry out like that otherwise? I didn’t add dog food to the list. What if our dog starts to howl like that? What if our dog dies from hunger?”

She felt something running down her cheeks and clapped a hand to her face immediately. Bugs? “I need to add bug repellent to the grocery list as well.” She realised her face was wet. “Am I crying? Maybe I should just get up and add this stuff to the grocery list. I’m just getting stressed for no reason.”

She got up again and padded into the living room. She turned on the light and started to hunt for the notepad in which she’d written the grocery list. 
“What are you doing baby?” said her mother from behind her. 

She turned. “Ma. Sorry I woke you. I’m hunting for the grocery list. I just…I can’t explain it, I just know that our dog is going to starve if I don’t add dog food to the list. I’ll just do that and we can go back to bed.”
Her mother came up to her and put a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie. We don’t have a dog.”
The girl stood still. “We don’t?”
The mother shook her head.
The girl said, “Are you sure?”
The mother nodded. She took the girl’s hand to lead her back to bed. 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Fiction

 

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