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Romance Sad Fiction

Relationships are ships indeed. Sometimes, they sail out to the sea of love, catch the wind and reach the shore safely. Other times, the iceberg that hits not only breaks down the ship, but it also dries the sea and all living things in it.

If you met with Sarah in a shop or on her morning run, you could ask her about sinking ships. If you met with John, you could have asked him about seashores. But since you can’t meet with these two birds, I’ll tell you the story of how they came to crash.

Sarah was a baseball fan. Her eyes could be glued to the TV for hours on end, but one Tuesday, the day before Valentine’s Day, her eyes had refused to keep calm. John could see her nervous darting of the eyes, her fidgeting and worse, her biting of the nails to their ends. If he didn’t stop her, she’d have bled her fingers dry.

“Clearly there’s something on your mind, so say it. Are you finally proclaiming your love for me?” John asked jokingly with the hope that his joke would be taken seriously. Sarah managed a nervous laugh before replying, “Are you saying that you love me?”

The bloody titanic!

You see, Sarah had a little something to confess. It ran along the lines of love and pain. She reached out her hand to hold his with a plan in mind that would hopefully soften the blow. Her fingers run up John’s arm, further up to his neck and finally landed on his cheek.

“I want to tell you something but first, I need one last thing from you,” she said.

“Please explain what you mean by ‘last thing.” He said as he air-quoted that last part.

-The sail

“Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Do you still remember that?” her question begun the poking of the ship but John saved it by releasing the anchor into the sea of what he thought to be Sarah’s wants and needs. He explained to her that he had a slew of surprises that would last for the remaining two weeks of February and that her worries should be dissipated.

“What I want from you,” she began, “is your hands. I want to remember the tracing of stars on my stomach. These long fingers have been mine for a short time but I have not regretted the time I have spent with you.”

Quite suddenly, he got up from the sofa where they had sat facing each other and pocketed his hands. He walked a few steps towards the wall, made his left palm kiss his right and stood there as if facing the Western wall ready to offer up a prayer.

“You could not have picked a worse time to break up with me. I have so much planned for us.” John took in one very long breath and continued to speak with his face to the wall.

“Why now?” he asked but she jumped from her seat and hurried towards him. Her front body made contact with his back and she let herself sink in the hug she gave. Her face brushed against his back shoulders, her nose so taken by his scent that it made her toes curl.

His hands were like metal to the magnet of her touch. There was no way for him to resist her. He reciprocated her hug and they stayed sandwiched in this tiny slice of time where neither spoke a word for a while. Neither could confess what their hearts felt or what their bodies had done against each other.

“I’m not breaking up with you,” she finally said. “You are breaking up with me.” At this statement, he turned around and held her face in his palms like one holds an apple in their hand.

“It’s been two months. Two whole months. Why can’t you see what this has become?”

“What has it become?” she asked, but then he couldn’t utter a word. He let go of her face because the energy to stay lifted up in space had been taken away by her question. How could she not know the answer to an obvious question like that? How could she not call it love?

“Why am I breaking up with you Sarah?” His voice had gone from pleading to demanding, from a soft soothing sound in her ears to a cold and flat thing. It was a few minutes past one am and the tiny living room bore witness to some pain that day. The night welcomed it and gave company to their pain with the resemblance of darkness. They stood facing each other in a room that Sarah once described as a suffocating drawer to which John agreed with a laugh saying, "wait till you see what I have planned for us."

“Why am I breaking up with you?” he asked again. Sarah began with the fidgeting once more but John took hold of her hands and placed them on his chest. For Sarah, the sigh came before the cry and his arms were around her within the bat of an eye.

His love, his ship, his life. Oh my!

“Secrets come out at night because it’s the best time to hide one’s lies in the blanket of the dark. But I don’t want to lie anymore.” Before John could reply with what was on his calculating mind, her lips had found their way to his and how was he to resist this? Of course, his lips found relief in her mouth. Of course, if she tried to sleep with him, he would do so at will. Of course, if she said I love you, he would add the too.

Her dress was so excited that it landed on the floor. His jeans were so tight that they had to come off. Their bodies were so warm that they had to cool off.

Lying in bed, with her head on his chest, she continued where she last left before the carnality of their urges had them sunk deep down in their sea.  

“Have you ever cheated on any of your previous girlfriends?” Her voice was low, almost apologetic as she asked this. John was not much of a poker face man and he thanked God that she could not see his face with the way she was positioned. But his heart, how could he hide that when it began beating so fast? Sarah felt him become warm again but more pronounced was the sudden acceleration of his beating heart. Thank God she could hide hers.

“Yes, one” he finally said.

“Did she know?”

“Not until I told her.”

“And have any of them ever cheated on you?” she asked again after a few seconds. “Not that I know of.”

Deep furrows were born out of the sadness that curved his brow. The iceberg of secrets had dented their ship and love begun sinking. His face grew hot, his eyes could not contain the salt. He pulled her closer to him as if to imprint her body on his and she, in turn, let him do the pulling as far deep as he pleased. The pillow soaked in wet stains marked with Sarah’s name from the well of his eyes that would never again dry. This squeezing motion put enough pressure on her heart for Sarah to hear the sound of her name in his every beat of his heart’s drum.

- The sink

The next morning, Sarah woke up to an empty bed. It had been months since John went for a morning run. He was more of an evening person who preferred the view of sunset to sunrise.

What could she do but run? How could she face this man?

When he came back, he took a shower with a clearer head than the day before. He would tell her how he felt that day, that very morning. He would push start on the button of their new life if she accepted him because he had already accepted her. No matter what had come or what was to come, they would deal with it together because that’s how relationships work.

He rushed to grab a t-shirt and found half of the closet empty. He rummaged through drawers looking for signs that Sarah had not done what he was thinking but soon came to a halt when it finally hit him that his slew of surprises would remain hanged where they were.

That would be the first Valentine’s he spent alone since he was sixteen. At twenty-eight, his heart could not handle the kind of damage Sarah had done.

And so, he too hanged.

-the drying of the sea

You see, he had planned to tell her of his love and she had not planned to break his heart but there they were with two souls in love with each other, betrayed by the body and now with broken hearts.

Have you ever seen a nervous cow? Neither have I but I bet if I saw one, it would look something like Sarah when she turned on the news to find his house displayed in the nine pm news.

This time, fidgeting was too little a way to help calm her nervousness down. She would have to bleed at her fingertips to get through that terrifying minute. She rushed towards the TV and turned the volume up, her face just inches away from the screen she might as well have made out with it.

Who said wells don’t dry? If you have no eyes, where is the well? If you have no heart then you’re going to hell and Sarah knew that hell was the only place that would accept her after what she did to him.

She was frozen for hours after she saw the paramedics come out of his house with a body bag. She would have been frozen for life if her friend didn’t walk in through the door. But what was life to her at that point if not that blanket of darkness that she had hinted on earlier? What?

Those words you keep to yourself,

afraid that you will hurt someone else,

you might be hurting them

by not revealing them.

I hurt myself

for John was the mirror of my soul.

I hurt myself

I have to pay.

Your silent mouth is your grave

your secrets should not be your pride

speak to your lover while you have them

I have gone to be with mine

-         Sarah

-the dying of living things 

January 14, 2021 23:34

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12 comments

16:52 Jul 29, 2021

An excellent way to present a story, I just loved the structure. Your first paragraph is a powerful thought. Nice work!

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Angel {Readsy}
04:44 Apr 19, 2021

Magnificent, poetry "your secrets should not be your pride " , remarkable, story , keep writing sister.

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Kendi Karimi
15:16 Apr 20, 2021

Thank you so much. I will. 🤗

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Angel {Readsy}
15:22 Apr 20, 2021

Welcome sister

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12:40 Jan 29, 2021

I loved the poetic feel of this entire story! You really made such a simple story elevate to an entire epic, really. The only complaint I have it the comparison to the cow; it kind of felt a little awkward, after we were talking about ships, and had this entire breakup scene. I did love the add in about not being able to see his face though. Great job!

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Kendi Karimi
12:58 Jan 31, 2021

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the story. The nervous cow bit was to paint a contract image to the normal peaceful state cows are usually in. Personally, I think sea creatures all look a bit nervous/perplexed hence their exclusion from the comparison. Otherwise, thank you again for such amazing feedback. 🤗

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Angel {Readsy}
04:44 Apr 19, 2021

Well said sister,

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11:56 Apr 19, 2021

OOp, I'm a guy... unless you were replying to Kendi...

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Angel {Readsy}
14:39 Apr 19, 2021

Okay, well said brother,,,,,,,,,,, hats off,,,,,,,,,,,,,,cheers

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Kate Reynolds
15:12 Jan 27, 2021

OH MY GOD. THIS WAS SO GOOD I AM NOMINATING YOU FOR A SHOUTOUT ON OASIS. (Check my bio for more info!!)

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Kendi Karimi
09:25 Jan 28, 2021

Thank you so much. I appreciate it a lot. 🤗

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Kate Reynolds
12:52 Jan 28, 2021

Ofc! :DD

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