Videotape

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


I used to walk with my eyes half closed, until you came along and pried them open with your fingers. I could feel your nails digging into my eyelids, but I believed that to be the cost of growth. Maybe I needed to feel discomfort before I could truly see. And so, for a while I saw the world clearly. You taught me, step by step, how to look inside your heart. In there I saw a garden wherein you had chosen to plant a seed, and you told me that one day, this seed would grow to become our tree. An unexpected smile crept over my face. Eyes closed, I fast forwarded to a future where the world had already met its end. There I saw our tree, untethered and free, like the earth’s very own signature upon the cosmos.

Rewind to present times. My smile has faded. We are sitting together on your couch. You are quiet and so am I. When I look out the living room window, I can see the only tree in the backyard bending beneath the weight of its burden. It is a sad sight to see the tree bowing its head to me. Is it trying to speak? I cannot tell, but I do not need to so long as I have you by my side. I do not need to speak and neither do you. We can let the echoes of our dreams drown out the white noise; we can let the silent promise of a perfect tomorrow lead our actions of today.

I look into your eyes now and see everything: every failure and triumph condensed into one quick glance, but you blink before I have a chance to preserve it all. In its place there is nothing, yet I know that somewhere inside, you are still holding on to my life, the life that I willingly gave to you even though you never asked for it. What is there to blame, then, but my own actions? I alone planted this tumour inside you. I alone infected the garden with my words. I alone plucked the tasteless fruit. I can taste my own poison on your breath. It must all be me, I cannot put the blame on anyone else - that’s what a coward would do. But it is too late now. There is nothing left to preserve. What can we do, then, to save ourselves? You once told me that, no matter the problem, you can work on it if you truly love someone. Perhaps, then, I am the one who hasn’t tried hard enough. Maybe I need to learn how to be a better builder. Maybe you are too tired of building all on your own. Maybe I need to crawl to you on hands and knees and apologize for my actions. Or maybe these concerns are just static.

So, let us keep our lips closed. There is no need to speak if our words will only destroy. We have built something beautiful and must let it be.
 

Let us keep our eyes closed, then, and dream of our tree, untethered and free, travelling through the endless space.

Outside in the backyard, I hear a tree branch break and fall gently to the ground.


Submitted: March 18, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Mahan1372. All rights reserved.

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