Contemporary Fiction Sad

5. I miss you.

He is a silhouette sitting on the railing of the balcony overlooking an island. His island. He takes another sip from the half empty bottle of wine then shouts:

"At least I own an island!"

He is an island of grief in a sea of happiness, resilience, normalcy. That one thought, "I miss you" is an island in his mind, surrounded by the tepid waters made up of all the other mundane thoughts he has; thoughts of beats and lyrics and female fans, so many female fans, so many willing female fans...

His fingers drum an impatient beat onto the balcony railing. He wishes he could turn back time.

4. “Enjoy the little things."

That's what she used to tell him. One of her favourite quotes was by Galileo Galileo, the one about how even though the sun has planets depending on it, it still has time to ripen grapes, as though it had nothing else in the universe to do. He lifts the bottle of wine up to the sky.

“Happy anniversary.”

He takes the first sip and swallows the wine and the overwhelming urge to weep. It takes him a while to get back control. The sun is setting as he leans on the railing of the balcony and takes another sip; then he takes the hundredth, thousandth, millionth sip of the wine that is his memories of her. He misses the little things about her. Her smile. Her laugh. Her voice. He misses the big things about her. The way her smile anchored him. The way her laugh threw him overboard, making him get lost in her sea of laughter. The way her voice could both make him feel small and insignificant in the presence of her brilliance and also make him feel like the king of the world and more importantly, the king of her world. She was the sun, brightening up the whole world, yet shining on him as though she had nothing else in the universe to do. The solar-powered garden lights come on.

3. No man is an island?

Alone again. The refrigerator light illuminates the darkening kitchen. He grabs the bottle of wine and removes the foil from the top of the bottle. He swallows down a sudden urge to weep. He inserts the corkscrew into the center of the cork and twists the top handle to insert the corkscrew farther into the cork. He blinks back tears. He uses both hands to press down on the levers of the opener, downwards towards the center of the bottle. A rogue tear makes a break and runs down his cheek. The levers go down, the cork goes up. He impatiently wipes the tear, grabs the bottom of the opener with one hand and the bottle with the other and wiggles out the rest of the cork. He takes one deep breath, lets it out, takes another deep breath, lets it out and regains a modicum of control.

He walks past one of his many drum kits and out onto the balcony. The view is spectacular. Sun, sea, windmills, trees for days. He can’t see the forest for the trees he planted in memory of her. Mango trees and avocado trees and orange trees. She had always been a nature person, always concerned about the environment and Mother Earth in general. She used to say: "We are all connected. No man is an island." Today, at this moment, he feels that she was wrong. He is an island that lets the many, willing female fans surround him, drown him, like a Tsunami. Yet he never connects with them where it really matters. He makes sure of it. He lets the movement of the windmills hypnotize him for a few moments. She was like a windmill. Tall, majestic, powerful - the quiet, gentle, pure kind of power. She taught him a lot of the important things he now knows and also some things that he did not want to know. She thrived during storms… but even the strongest windmill cannot withstand the blast wave of a toxic workplace nuclear explosion.

2. After the fireworks

This one is talking to him. He can’t hear her. He doesn’t want to hear her. He wants wine and her gone. She is making the bed, destroying the evidence of what transpired. If only life were an unmade bed that could be straightened out in a few moves. She shyly asks for his autograph. He can’t remember her name so he writes: "To my favourite fan". She squeals in delight, goes into full fan-girl mode. Another happy customer. His heart hurts. She wants more of him, more from him. He just wants wine and this one gone. She persists, pouts, begs, seduces, threatens, blackmails. He pretends to give in, convinces her to start the shower running and he would join her shortly. He glares at her silhouette as she chats incessantly while showering. She is mapping out a detailed future of their lives together, complete with twins, dogs, cats and a horse. He switches on his phone. Several missed calls from the band’s publicist. He sends him a message assuring him that he is okay so that he doesn’t have a meltdown. The shower stops running; her mouth doesn’t. He calls security and organizes for her to be flown back to the main land. A few minutes later, she is carried away, kicking and screaming, yelling at him her invitation to call her any time he wants. He just wants wine.

1. Another notch on the bedpost

He misses her.

He hides that feeling, that time-bomb, in the beautiful body of this one who isn’t her. He uses experience from his previous job to convince himself that it's no big deal, that it's just skin and bones and hormones and blood rushing where it's needed. His current job ensures that there is a steady stream of no-strings Someones. They get their fifteen minutes of intimacy with a famous person. He gets fifteen seconds of forgetting her. 

Her shadow paints every touch, every kiss, every sound, every memory, every…thing.

May 07, 2021 22:55

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Louise Coley
22:59 May 10, 2021

Beautiful work! Packed with emotion with fabulous imagery throughout. I loved the structure and the transitions between the sections- it felt very cinematic to me


Mildred Achoch
11:25 May 11, 2021

Thank you so much Louise for taking the time to read and for your encouraging comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)


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