Part Four.

Part One.  Part Two.  Part Three.

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It had happened so long ago, nobody could be expected to remember who started it. I could pretend like it had all been her, from beginning to end. I could pretend she had been the way she is right now from the beginning and that was what had broken us. Nobody would blame me. I could pretend.

For whose benefit?

 

I had cast the first stone.

I had caused the first crack in our fragile crystal cloud, which until then had floated, oblivious yet still somehow cautious, above everybody and everything else. The crystal cocoon off of which bounced the silver rays of the moon and the twinkling light of stars probably long dead but still somehow shining. I had watched the first hairline fracture spread along one of its sides and taped it up and hid it from her view.

She sang and she twirled and she sang and she twirled and she sang and she twirled inside our crystal cloud, as I ran frantically from end to end, fixing the peeling tape, pouring runny glue into the cracks, sweeping away the shards, anything to let her hold on to the illusion. Anything to make me believe in it again. And I did; after a while it stopped being a simple illusion again. So I sang as she twirled and I sang as she twirled and I sang as she twirled around and around our crystal cloud–her eyes bright and cheeks flushed while a warm content spread slowly out from the exact center of my chest, up my throat and down to my toes.

And then one day while the sun shone and the clouds gathered, longing  to kiss the earth again, she stepped on a tiny hidden crack in the glass and the whole thing came crashing down while I snatched desperately at the air, trying to glue it all back, glue it all back because there was still time–except there wasn’t and then we were on the ground, millions of tiny powdered crystals all around us while she sat laughing in delight at the sunlight reflecting off of them–her broken ankle forgotten, the pain somehow overlooked; the blood on the deadly shards ignored. Isn’t this pretty, she asked and I could do nothing except nod and sit beside her, the shards embedding themselves painfully into my palm as she put her head on my shoulder and we watched the rain begin to fall, washing away the ruins bit by bit until it was just us in the mud.

Continue reading “Part Four.”

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Part Three.

“It’s too perfect. It’s an illusion, it isn’t meant to last.” She had nodded, confidently.

I don’t know why I was thinking about that particular moment right now. Didn’t I have finals or something to prepare for? It was Friday night, I should be out. Perhaps I should call Aiden or Vicky or someone…

…“You know I’m certainly no expert on all things relating to love, but what I do know for certain is it isn’t supposed to be this way. You’re creating this impeccable image and that isn’t what it’s supposed to be about. You don’t want a Superman kind of love. There would be nowhere to go from there, it would already be so flawless–in a boring way, like, it would be a 2-dimensional kind of love; nothing interesting would ever happen! Life isn’t a fairy tale or a movie, and that isn’t just the cynic in me speaking. I do believe in the existence of love. But I think it’s supposed to be ordinary. Not something life-changing, not something that turns your very essence upside down; I think it’s supposed to be so mind-numbingly mundane that you know it’s been a part of you all along. It’s supposed to be simple and effortless–but not easy. It should be something that you know belongs to you. Something normal and extraordinary at the same time. How did you, of all people, manage to end up in this mess?! Are you listening to a word I’m saying or am I just babbling to the trees here?”   

I was slathering jam on a piece of bread as we sat out on her balcony. She was lecturing me on my latest relationship mishap. I was trying not to listen and just focus on the conviction in her voice (which was kind of calming) and the rumbling in my stomach. The irony of her lecturing me in matters of the heart when she was generally the eternal skeptic wasn’t lost on me. Swallowing a laugh, I turned around to find her leaning on one foot, hands folded, giving me a serious glare. “Yes, yes I know. Look, can we just not talk about this for now? I’d prefer to just breathe in this cool evening air and eat with my best friend who never shuts up, but who–if there ever was a time–should shut up right now. Please?”

She didn’t say a word, shaking her head at the lost cause that was me, and simply sat down on one of the chairs as I took the one beside her. We’d spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing about my older brothers and their relationships. My self-destructive one slithered in the shadows–the poisonous giant elephant in the room–momentarily rendered harmless for now.

I wish she would barge through my door right now and remind me I was making a mess of my life like she was so wont to do before, whenever I was in the middle of doing something stupid.

I had tried to apologize to her after practically kicking her out of my house yesterday outside the library, but she had taken one look at me, flashed a watery smile and nodded her head almost imperceptibly, before continuing to walk right past me. Wonderful. She couldn’t even care enough to be mad. And that just piled on to the tower of anger-blocks slowly being stacked one above the other in my gut, wobbly and prickly–generally a great inconvenience to everyday life.

That wasn’t fair.

It wasn’t fair how she got to be a full stop where I was an ellipses.

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Part One.

Part Two.

Yours Truly,

Something Clever

Part Two.

She got up as soon as I sat down, slamming her books shut. “So what, you’re just going to keep avoiding me, then?”, I sighed, unsure whether the thought even bothered me or not.

“I’m not avoiding you. Besides, would that be so bad?”

“Honestly, could you just stop being so damn dramatic for a second and ju–”

“Don’t do that. Don’t make me feel like I’m overreacting and like it’s all in my head. You know it’s not.”

“I–”

“Do you really believe that, though?”

“Believe what?”

“Believe that I’m a cold, unfeeling, manipulative witch who only cares about herself. That I don’t care about anybody?”

“Well, do you? I mean you said it yourself once, right? I just want you to accept it and stop with the charade”

“That wasn’t what I meant. And there is no charade.”

“What did you mean, then?”

“If I answer that, would you even believe me? You’ve made your mind and honestly right now, I don’t think I have the energy to care enough to try to correct it.”

I opened my mouth to retort, but she was walking away already. Ah, screw it.

Continue reading “Part Two.”

Part One

The low hum of conversation in the next room came to an abrupt halt as the lamp crashed against the wall. Great. More fodder for the gab hags to exchange over tea or coffee or, most likely, alcohol. She had terrible aim; the lamp had grazed against my shoulder and I’m certain she’d just meant for it to find its mark a more reassuring distance away from my body. Surely.

I looked to her, annoyance bubbling up, shock and exhaustion and the slightest twinge of regret–quickly stamped out by anger instead–rising to the back of my throat, only to find the faintest twinkle of mirth in her eyes–which of course she was trying with all her might to extinguish. She did always have the most insanely ill-timed, queerest sense of humor.

“I, I’ve never done that.”

“I should hope not.”, I said dryly and a laugh escaped–from her–short but…full. Complete, it was a, uh complete laugh, you know what I mean? Not hollow, not humorless but not entirely light-hearted either, more of a…dark green. It was a dark green laugh. It had been a while since she’d laughed at all, so dark green was good.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was—“, her eyes were wide, genuine bewilderment at that physical lashing out. I wanted to start apologizing right away for everything that had driven the usually stoic, almost inhumanely emotionally blank person in front of me to kick and punch her way out of her usual cocoon of icy, silent, detched anger that normally wrapped around her and hurl a lamp at me.

Instead, all I said was, “Yeah..”

Continue reading “Part One”