Contemporary Fiction Sad

I was in a dreamy state of mind. Almost dreaming. Overly warm. The sun had left its mark on me, though I did not ask for it. The heat moved between the top layers of my skin. My thoughts floated lazily through the darkness before colliding in slow motion with a dull flash in blue and white. It was then that I heard the tapping. A sudden fear jolted me halfway from my semi unconscious state and I grappled sluggishly with wakefulness for a few moments. I strained my eyes and was rewarded with a bit of moonlight lying around on the floor, left out in the same casual purpose as tomorrow's old shirt. The tapping started again. Someone at the window. I heard a murmuring voice hiss my name and I sat up, and then nearly dove back into bed. I was nearly naked. It was summer.

"I'm coming," I hissed back, quietly, afraid of waking my parents a couple rooms away, and the tapping stopped.

I dug about my blanket for some pants and a shirt which had wormed their way downwards and got dressed quickly, keeping the blanket huddled around my shoulders.

With a few grunts of annoyance I got the screen off the window and you tumbled in.

"Why are you here," I demanded, still a bit embarrassed.

"It's happened," you said. I stared at your eyes, looking for tears in the darkness, but there were none. You were never one to cry. At least not to me. I stared at your face, wondering if it was beautiful. It might have been. I had always been too close to tell. The moonlight played in your curls gently. I suppose it knew it had to be. You were so fragile that night. I feel as though the moon did you a favor. You could have been shot, transfixed by a beam and stuck to my floor like a butterfly to a pin. I like to believe the moon is kind.

"What happened?" I said, already knowing the answer. It was obvious really. You had always come to me when you had no one else, your eyes brimming with stories you would never fully shed. And I suppose I had listened. I suppose that is why you were in my room that night. If there was any other reason I didn't know it. I still don't know much for sure.

We sat together, the bed a refuge from nightmares. The knowledge we held bowed our backs with crushing suffocation. Our spines seemed to crack, bone by bone. It seemed real and unreal, like we could laugh it off and brush our hands through it. We might giggle the next day about how foolish we were after the sun finally rose, painting the walls red with the blood of Adonis. It would drip, drip through our fingers and we would laugh derisively at our pain of the night before. And yet the stale air hung heavily, and could not be cleared by the most gasping of windows. The cool breeze would turn aside, seeing the sides and top of the entrance marked for tragedy, keeping us from the sweet release of a cold breath rushing through our stiffened teeth. I tried to wave my hand through the fog, thinking it might help, but found it trapped under your leg. Perhaps that was our undoing.

Too many seconds ran through our hands as we tried in vain to think of the words we could not find but desperately wanted to hear. Silence was our only companion, no matter that we touched as we sat still.

It would have been interesting if you had cried. I would have drunk up your tears, gotten drunk on them, as they fell glittering off your smooth, round face. If you had cried, I would have dug through my sheets the next morning, carefully extracting every single pearl tangled in the folds of the fabric. They would have been saved in a jar for all time, perhaps just to remind me of the truth of that night. I'm sure they would have gleamed like silver as they were suspended momentarily between heaven and earth, your eyes and my blankets that were too thin to put away but too thick for summer. 

Maybe I would have held you. Maybe you would finally tell me all that was on your mind; your true stories, unobscured by your many well spun webs of vaguery, and the infected desire to protect the guilty. And I would have listened as the waves came from your mouth. I would have stood firm as the water flooded over me. To taste the bitter salt would have been sweetness to me, its sting like a honeycomb in my mouth.

But you did not. We stayed like statue guards, motionless, seeing all, and doing nothing. As the hours rolled over us, our transformation took hold like paint to a canvas. The stone poured over our eyes and we toppled like giants into the clouds below, screaming so softly no one would ever hear.

We woke indifferently entangled, our limbs like fallen trees waiting to be taken away, touching by mere chance and taking no comfort from the other. I pretended to stay asleep as your arms slid away from mine. If you looked back you would have only heard the breath of sleep flowing from my face as I fell for nine days and nights in an instant, the sound of the angels' fading voices making me wish that I too had wings.

I don't know if I saw you again after that. My memory sifts uselessly through pages and pages of lost noise. One thing I am sure of, the changes of day. The sun shone harshly on me, and I slept on, disturbed, as I felt the night roughly scrubbed off the walls and swept off the ceiling by unyielding powers. I waited for the moon again. But it never fully returned; it's pale rays were forever dimmed. I lost you that night, I think. Sometimes I used to wonder where.

June 23, 2021 22:51

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