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Fiction Sad

It wasn’t a good day to walk home. It was already dark outside, with big clouds hovering in the sky anticipating a storm. It was so cold she could see her breath, but she wanted to feel the wind on her face.

Heartbreak can feel like the end of the world, it can make you feel like there’s a hole in your heart and you’re suffocating. But sometimes it just makes you numb, as if you’ve taken so much pain your body and mind refuse to acknowledge it anymore. After so many days of crying her eyes out, she felt just like that. She just wanted to let her mind wander.

She started walking as it drizzled until something caught her eye: across the street, a white cat with green eyes was staring at her. She crossed the street and walked towards the cat, half-expecting it to run away, but it stood there as if waiting for her. As she reached out to touch it, the cat took a few steps forward and then looked back at her expectantly. She realized the cat wanted her to come along, and she followed it in her numb daze.

They walked until she noticed a familiar corner, it was there that she and her boyfriend had their first kiss. They had been walking down the street, her hands were sweating and she was terrified of not knowing what to say the moment he stopped talking, but he kept telling her stories and making her laugh the whole time, and when they arrived at that very corner he leaned in and kissed her. It felt like time stopped, and the world went quiet. Then he grabbed her hand and keep walking, continuing with the story where he left off. She loved that about him, how casual he was, and how he could talk for hours and she didn’t need to worry about knowing what to say. He always knew what to say.

The cold wind against her neck brought her back to the present, and she noticed the cat was still waiting for her. She continued following the cat two blocks down, and suddenly the cat stopped next to a closed newspaper stand to lick its paws, forcing her to stop and look around. She remembered a time she and her boyfriend walked by and saw a big headline about a famous couple getting married. He said he would marry her one day. No one had ever made her feel truly wanted before, and there he was, saying he wanted to spend his life with her. It had been a beautiful summer day, and the newspaper vendor had smiled at them. Now the stand seemed almost abandoned, too mundane to hold a moment so precious.

They continued walking, the cat always making sure it was being followed until she stopped again. They were in front of an apartment complex. The paint on the walls was coming off, it was clearly in need of some maintenance. Yet the day they had moved in together to one of those apartments the place seemed perfect. They were moving all the furniture up the stairs because the elevator didn’t work, but the couch was so heavy it fell right down the stairs when they were almost at the top. They laughed and went back to carry it up again.

The cat was still waiting in front of her, so she took a deep breath and kept walking. They walked through streets and alleys while the street lights flickered on top of them, and she started to wonder where were they headed. They passed next to an old office where she used to work. She worked there for 4 years before she was laid off without warning. When she broke the news to her boyfriend he was furious, it hadn’t been fair, and they had spent their savings on the lease of the apartment. He reassured her they could survive with his salary for some time, but she was unemployed for 6 months.

She took a rock and threw it at the window in an uncharacteristic act of revelry, but the rock just bounced off and she didn’t dare to throw another. The cat waited unbothered, and they continued their walk.

They passed in front of an old Irish pub, and her heart froze. She stopped abruptly and the cat sat down, now used to the repeated stops. This was the pub her boyfriend used to frequent. They started to have discussions about money more often, and he needed a drink to clear his head after every argument. Then the discussions turned to fights about his drinking habits, which led to him drinking even more. The nights in which he wouldn’t come home became more frequent, and she stopped waiting awake for him. Then he started to sleep on the couch, the very couch they had dragged up the stairs.

Until finally one night she came looking for him at the pub, worried. She had been standing in that same spot, staring from the outside. Inside the place was crowded, and in the middle of it all, familiar arms holding a beautiful blond girl. Familiar eyes looked directly into the blond girl’s eyes, and a familiar mouth kissed the blond girl’s mouth, while her own arms trembled and her own eyes teared and her own mouth twitched at the sight.

That was almost 3 months ago and it was over after that. The memory of it was still a stab to the chest, shattering it into a million pieces she hadn’t been able to put back together. Because despite it all she still loved him, but he didn’t want her anymore.

The cat waited while she cried silently. After a few minutes, it rubbed itself on her leg, signaling her to keep going. She cleaned her tears with the sleeves of her sweater and started walking. This walk had been full of beautiful and painful memories, and she wanted to know where it would end.

The cat turned to an alley next to the pub, and when she turned around the corner it all made sense. Next to the wall, there was a cardboard box with three small kittens inside, huddled together to keep warm. The cat walked inside the box and laid down to feed them, still looking at the girl.

It was a tender scene, and it reminded her of the life that was growing inside her. She put a hand on her belly, embracing it for the very first time. She hadn’t been able to think of it as anything else but a reminder of her pain, a reminder of her loneliness and how abandoned she felt. But right now, it felt like a new chance. A chance to love again with unconditional love, a reason to keep going, even if it meant doing it alone.

She picked up the box with the cat and the kittens and grabbed a cab to go home. They had been abandoned too, but now none of them needed to be alone. Looking at those big green eyes, she finally allowed herself to feel a little hope.

February 27, 2023 06:42

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3 comments

Joice Njeru
13:41 Mar 09, 2023

Great story. It's interesting how the cat leads the character to discover the brighter part of their own life story. The plot would have been more engaging with a bit of tension. The author could also have made better use of the setting (time and space) to make the story more compelling for the reader.

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David Sweet
20:23 Mar 04, 2023

I enjoyed this story. In some ways it kind of sucks for this cat to drag her down this heartbreaking path. I loke the fact she throws the rock and can't break the window, almost as if this all is some kind of illusion that she can't free herself from. I am happy, however, that she will find happiness with her new cat family.

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Aran Saguri
22:02 Mar 04, 2023

Thank you so much for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the story :)

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