It's all going down to the dusty ground

Submitted into Contest #148 in response to: Write about an apartment building being demolished.... view prompt


Sad Romance Coming of Age

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

As the sun is raising, its light shine through the window, paints the orangish four panels pattern on the white boring blanket with Marianne underneath. Its light itches her eyes a bit, but she lies still, watching where it goes. For a moment, it’s look simple and beautiful, she thinks. It’s so simple that somehow finds it hard to understand why it happens and what it is really.

Marianne decides, at last, to get up from the bed. She never hates the bird chipping as much as she does today. It reminds her that it’s the new day already and she has a chance to live for another day. Or it’s hurt her that they are sound so happy that she can’t be one. No time to whine, she splashes the cold water to her face to wake up the energy that left inside her. Combs her hair carelessly without brushing her teeth, or even looking at the mirror to check up. What the point to be pretty, anyway.

After cleans herself up, Marianne heads to the kitchen down between her bedroom and the living room. She brings out meals she brought home last night, the fancy one in a while actually, and the cake she made. It’s a white simple strawberry short cake which she always made at this time of the year. Not taste as good as the one in a bakery, but it is the one she good at. On the table, there’s a flower-patterned fabric covering how cheap and ugly the table is. She arranges the foods neatly, puts the cake in the central. Fifty-six must be too many for the one pond cake, she thinks. So, she just put only one candle on it, avoiding not to mess up with flossing.

Happy Birthday to you…, she sings. Happily. Clapping, bouncing from left to right as the rhythm goes, and smiling at the place where the birthday holder supposes to be. Happy Birthday dear David. Happy Birthday to you.

Marianne is clapping so hard, and then closes both of her eyes tightly. Then a while later, she opens her eyes, and blow the candle off. She is looking around as if hoping something to happen, something to change. It’s such a child tricker, she thinks. So stupid to believe such a thing.

Without touching any of the foods in front of her, instead, she tosses them down the garbage. Marianne begins to clean the place starting with washing plates in the sink first. There are not so many of them as Marianne not eating many foods lately. Then she moves to clean the guest room where it is never welcome one. she remembers it was cleaner and more loveable when she brought this RV from a couple who own this before, she thinks. However, sometimes she ate in here, leaving stain on the couch and all, sometimes she was so drunk that she slept in here as well. So much to clean, she just slaps the couch and cushions for a couple of time to banish dusts and leave it like that. No need to be neatly anyway when she is not going to be here again, she thinks.

Marianne spends so little time cleaning the place once called a house, she is ready to take off now. She gets into the old car of hers which the key is already in the ignition hole. It might be the first time in the past few weeks that she is driving it sober. She knows it was wrong and not the ideal type of person she always wants to be, but lately she does not feel like doing what good anymore. What is the point? She thought. But this time, she does not feel like to drunk either. In several weeks she had not been in her store where she supposes to be every day. It’s a bookstore with a mini café in it where one time was the most popular place in town. She does not want to show up like a mess to her employee or answering more question rather than where I have been. So, sober it is.

Marianne parks her car in front of the store. Suddenly she feels so selfish and ashamed as she sees her employee preparing to open the store. Sarah, the store manager and Marianne’s best friend, is making a serious face that Marianne finds it funny while typing something on the computer. Marianne takes a deep breath in and open the front door. Sarah lifts her head up intending to tell that the store is not open yet if it is a consumer walking in. She seems so surprise to see Marianne face.

Oh my god, where have you been? Sarah asks.

Not far, says Marianne. Busy?

Sarah takes off her glasses and come out of the booth. She gives Marianne a big hug, squeezing hard that Marianne finds it hard to breath. You stink, she said. They both have a bit of laugh before Sarah bring Marianne to her office at the back of the store.

Tell me everything, Sarah says. Are you okay?

Never better, Marianne answers. She sips her water Sarah gave her. You?

Worst without you here. I almost fired one of the employees this week. Fortunately, the sells are not so bad, and we got the new barista to keep the café going, so… Sarah stops when she realizes that maybe she talks too much. You didn’t answer me yet, Mary. You know how much I worried about you? Sarah asks.

I know. I’m sorry, Marianne says. She sits back on the chair like it is so comfy. I just come here to just…visit. How is thing going?

It’s the same as usual, actually. Oh… and two weeks ago, there was a women left you a letter. Sarah says while searching something in her drawer. She said she could not reach to you in anyway, like I did, so she gave you this in case you will come back here.

Marianne gets the letter Sarah handing to her. It is a white plain paper that seal shuts. There is no stamp or name on it. She opens it up and read it.

It is a notice from the old apartment that she owns. It says that the apartment is going to be demolished soon because of the land developing. The apartment is an old building with not so many levels above twenty on the precious land. Since there are so many tall offices, shops, and a mall, and also near the train. It makes the value of the land higher than it used to be when Marianne brought it. No wonder why the landlord sells this land to the developer.

There are your things in there. Sarah says. Maybe you should go and takes a look.

Marianne leaves the store with the heavy heart now. She comes back here to clear things not to collect things, she thinks. She says goodbye to Sarah and get in her car again.

The distance from the store to her apartment is not so far. Just a couple blocks away. When she first brought this apartment, she was so happy that she did not have to sleep at the back of the store anymore. Finally, she had a place of her own by her sweat and tear. Or so far from her store. However, she has not been here quite a while. And it is the first time that she regrets now not to buy the one that so, so far since it takes so little times, and she cannot make up her mind just yet.

At the front of the old brown brick building where her apartment belongs, there are a lot of boxes along the way causing some jam on the walking path. As well as the hallway. She expects that this place might change in some ways, but it is the same as she remembers it to be. It is kind of annoying and upsetting for her to look at.

Marianne goes up to the tenth floor using the stair to prolong the time longer than how it should be. While her panic attack starting to kick in, she finally reaches the floor where her apartment is located. She breaths in slowly. Takes out the key from the same key chain as the car key. The room number 112 is in front of her. She inserts the key in the keyhole and twists it open.

Mrs. Watson? A middle-aged lady across the hall speaks. Marianne turns to where the voice comes from and then realize it is Miss Swan, her neighbor. Hello, she says.

Hello, miss Swan, how are you? Marianne asks politely.

How are you? She points at Marianne. How have you been?

Good, thank you.

You got my mail, right? I left it at your store a couple weeks ago.

Yes, I got it. Thank you very much. It’s so kind of you.

That’s not a problem. I come here to collect my last boxes myself, you see. There are not many people as it used to be anymore. You should hurry.

Well, I just grab a couple things and then got off.

I am sorry for your loss. It must be hard for you. Miss Swan comes closer and hold Marianne’s hand tight.

They were not talking much before Miss Swan excused herself because her cab was waiting. As many times went by, the more hesitations Marianne gets. What if someone broke into her apartment before and left her with nothing, or what if everything is still there where they were before she left. She is not sure which is worse.

Marianne opens the door, the hand-painted white door which have some scratch on it and walks inside. Like she remembers it to be, the light purple wall, the Nordic style furniture. Except for all the plants that turn from green to brown. She takes a little tour like she did not live here before. Her paintings, her books are neatly place. The picture of two people smiling at the camera placing on the cabinet. The woman is wearing white dress holding her hand with the laughing man wearing black tux. Along side with many other frames with they were in it. She remembers it too well how everyone of these were made and how happy they were.

It is hurt so badly to see all these things at the same place and with the same feeling again. She never would have thought to come back here alone. She promises herself that she would come home with her husband, David. We were mend to live together, she thinks. Without one another, this is not a home.

Marianne picks those pictures up and embrace them to her chest. Even though she tried so hard not to attach to anything. To not let anything hold her back on this earth. She cannot help herself hold these pictures like she is holding David. She wishes them to be David.

Marianne starts gather things she thinks valuable to her. Pictures of David and her. The diaries. She goes to the bedroom to find a bag to carry them all. There is the big black leather bag lying on the bed. It was the hospital bag that she used to pick her husband clothes. Looking closely, there are still David’s clothes in it. Marianne cannot help but pick them up and dig her face on to them. To smell David’s scent.

Oh, David, she says. I miss you so much. How can I live with you? she cries. So hard as if she wants to express all the feeling, she had been pushing them back inside her heart. As if she cries and pray hard enough, David would be here, holding her, kissing her, or telling her everything going to be okay.

Please wait for me, Marianne cries. I’m coming.

Marianne breaths every scent on Davis’s clothes one last time. She moves his clothes to the other side of the bag to make more room for things she gathered before. While she is doing so, she finds a white sheet of paper folding under the pile of clothes. She unfolds it and recognize immediately that it is her husband’s handwriting.

I know I promise you that we will stay together forever, not even the death can do us apart. It’s my fault not to take care of myself like you always told me to.

I’m lying here on the hospital bed thinking how wonderful it is if I could lay beside you and holding you close at our home on our bed. I might miss this when I’m gone, too.

Not blaming yourself like I know you will do.

You know I never asked you anything, but this time I’m writing this to ask you to please…

Please live. Move on from me as soon as possible.

Please be happy.

You know I never asked you anything, but this time I’m writing this to ask you to please

I’ll wait for you at the end. Always. Don’t be hurry. If you love me, just let this pain I cause goes.

I love you.


The crying from Marianne is so quiet. There are not any sounds out from her mouth. However, it is so loud in her head, mind and soul. It is shaking every path of her body. He knows that she will end it all. Today she planned to end it all and finally meets him at the end. Leaves this miserable life on earth and join him at some places death might bring. But why, Marianne asks herself repeatedly. Why now.

Or should she move on as David require? She thinks. But how? No one tell her how. As this apartment is going down to the ground, when the wrecking ball hits the wall, so as her life, her memories, and importantly her husband parts would go with it. This place is full of him and us. How can she going to make it through? Marianne thinks. Letting go is not easy as it sounds.

Maybe she has to leave part of herself here, going down with the bricks of this apartment. Maybe David wants her to find this letter at when she needs to let it go from everything. Like she must let this apartment goes. She cannot help it. She could have done something, but she cannot. Like David.

Maybe all she has to is move on.

June 03, 2022 22:27

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Graham Kinross
06:27 Jun 26, 2022

Great story, really drew me in. I hope you keep going so that I can read more like this. Let me know when you upload your next. Never stop writing.


07:22 Jun 27, 2022

Thank you so muchh :)) This really made my day!


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