Short Stories


Another night of dealing with the aftermath of your profligacy. I was sitting patiently on the worn out couch, listening to you struggling with the front door. Listening to the tingling of your keys, to the sound of your key chain.

I take a deep breath and remember a happier day. You used to complain about how you kept losing your keys, maybe because you forgot where you kept them or maybe because you left them somewhere. In light of this, I gifted you a key chain. Not any ordinary key chain, though. This key chain played our favorite song – ‘I’ve Got To Be Close To You’ by Jonathan Clay. This may not have been the brightest solution to your forgetfulness but at least you managed to keep your keys with you at all times.

‘…Maybe it’s the way you get that look in your eye..’

You open the door with mighty force and a grunt. You spot me, your eyes bloodshot. You dawdle into the kitchen, muttering incomprehensibly. My gaze follows your movements. It would be futile to censure your behaviour. You grab a bottle of water and make your way to me. You have left your key inside the keyhole. The music is still playing.

‘…I’ve got to be, got to be, close to you.’

‘How long have you been waiting?’

‘Depends on how long you’ve been gone.’

‘You shouldn’t have waited.’

‘You shouldn’t have left.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘No, you’re not.’

You let out a sigh and sit down beside me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to look. I just don’t know anymore. I adore you, but you aren’t you anymore. I shift my gaze from the floor to your face. I can see the scar on your left cheek, right next to your lips. You got that the first time you flung the glass vase at the wall. I had cleaned the cut and bandaged it with caution, all the while ensuring you wouldn’t notice my trembling lips and watery eyes.

I look further up, above your right eyebrow. It’s still red. It must still burn. That was the first time you tried to hurt me with fire, as if the fiery rage inside you wasn’t enough to burn me.

Isn’t it funny? Every time you tried to hurt me, you got hurt in the process. You can’t hurt a part of yourself and not feel it. You can’t hurt me without feeling the pain yourself. You can’t destroy me without destroying yourself.

‘…I think we know there’s no way to stop what’s in motion…’

You touch my hand. I flinch. I have my share of scars,too, don’t you remember? My right hand still hasn’t fully recovered from the blow it received just last week. Don’t you remember that night?

You reach for my hand, gently this time, and hold it in yours. If this were two years ago, your stench would have made me squirm. Now, it’s just an integral part of this insipid void that you’ve got me in.

‘Your hand is cold. You’re all bones now’, you say, with genuine concern in your voice.

I continue staring at this familiarly unfamiliar face, saying nothing. You gulp down a couple of sips of water.

‘…Doesn’t take a song to say how I can’t stand when you’re away..’

Suddenly, all those routine feelings come whizzing back to me. The trepidation, the fear, the ardent fury, the fervent love. On cue, adrenaline begins pumping all throughout me. I look into your eyes. Your expression hardens. The concern is replaced by an apathetic gaze.

‘..When you’re nowhere around, I lose the clarity I’ve found.’

You strengthen your grip. I whimper as the pain makes its way back into my system. Your eyes are now redder than ever. Your lips are pressed together tightly. You get up with a jolt, pulling me up with you. My hand is now being twisted in the most unimaginable of ways. I dare not let out a cry. Your hold gets stronger, my pain gets more brutal. My vision starts blurring, bit by bit. This unconscionable pain that you are causing me, is it for your pleasure?

Amidst all of this, I manage to look back at you and I see a helplessness in your eyes. Are you sorry for your actions? I smile ever so slightly. You grab my other hand as well, but I see you smiling back.

‘…Maybe it’s the way you get that look in your eye, the way you captivate me with the hint of your smile..’

I know it will be okay.

My vision is now deteriorating at a rapid rate. I look around the loft, my eyes searching for something. The key? It’s still in the hole. The bottle of water? It has spilled onto the floor. The picture of me and you? Ah, yes. There it is, on the wall, right behind us. With whatever strength I have left, I push myself backwards, causing you to crash against the wall. The picture shatters into pieces. Glass flies everywhere. I free myself from your grip with a gasp, and then I look back at you. Your bloody head matches your bloody eyes. It matches the bloody love we share. It matches the bloody rage that is boiling inside of us right now. My hand is throbbing. Your hands are placed on your bleeding temples. But you’re still smiling,

I let out a small laugh.

You stay in place, our eyes fixed on each other. You stutter some words but I fail to catch them.

The glass has covered the worthless carpet. Not caring, I make my way towards you, the glass piercing through the soles of my feet with every step.

‘You still have a lot of blood to lose to make up for what I’ve lost.’, I say with a smirk.

I trip on a large shard of glass and land with a thud. As savage as our love may be, it is just as functional. Your bloody hands manage to catch me somehow and my face is saved. I am now lying with my head on your lap, with cuts and bruises all over my body. This is our happy place. This is why we are still here after all these years.

‘This is the parfait you used to talk about, isn’t it?’, I whisper with the energy I have left.

‘Yes. This is that paradise. This is where we belong. Together.’

I close my eyes with a smile on my face. We are home. Happy. At peace.


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