The Psychological Disease of Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a psychological, dark, romantic (as in the time period, and not the emotion) short story written from a man's point of view. It was originally titled "Crazy In Love", but I guess the title is popular these days. It is a bit on the longer side, but I think you'll appreciate that. I hope you enjoy this story as much as i enjoyed getting it off my chest.

Submitted: March 20, 2010

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Submitted: March 20, 2010

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The Psychological Disease of Love
an awk hint
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As I passed through the sharp iron gates, I came upon the entrance to my new eternal home. I had several objections with this place as soon as I opened my eyes to see it. It raged with the heat of what felt like a thousand fires; the air around it reeked of burning sulfur and death, and the guard dog out front was a monster. All of these I could have dealt with, but the aspect that bothered me the most was its placement. Realtors had always told me when acquiring property, it’s all about location. The environment here felt like it was at the bottom of an abyss, and for all I knew it could have been, but I had no choice; this was where I was sent.
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As a child I suffered from amnesia. My mother never told me where the damage came from, but it stopped getting worse once my father had left us. I never liked losing my memory, so I would occasionally try to flash back to a certain period of my personal timeline. I would retreat to the earliest point I could remember and relive my life up to the present. Having recently gotten out of a disastrous relationship, I sought now to be the perfect time to relapse into my past.
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The beginning of my recent year starts in January, a month that was as cold and dull as the season it inhabited. I had recently been employed as an accountant at a bank called Queen Elizabeth. I found this title to be very suitable, for, like Elizabeth I of England, my employer ruled successfully, but alone. Working there was like a beehive, and I was a mere drone. I woke up, organized figures onto a spreadsheet, punched out, and went back to my one bedroom apartment alone. My coworkers were courteous, but that was all. The only time I ever interacted with any of them was during the workday and that was only to talk about work. As soon as five o’clock came around, I was invisible again.
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I brought a briefcase to work every day, but not because I needed it for my job, simply because it made me look more respectable. It was of average size and was completely covered in jet-black leather and a handle molded to bond easily together with the owner’s fingers. Just below the handle was a small, four-digit lock. The wheels of the lock were gold and had black numbers on them ranging from zero to nine. I never opened the briefcase aside from the night I bought it and, more importantly, purchased its contents. Because of my fleeting memory, I found it much simpler to remember some type of meaning within the numbers rather than numbers sporadically chosen by the manufacturer. Seeing it easier to remember the end of my memories rather than their beginning, I chose the number 5144.
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The winter continued on exactly the same all season and things did not brighten up until it came to spring. Not only was it tax season and I could actually contribute to the office, but because it was also the first time I had met her. I usually took the stairs up to my fifth floor office, but luckily (or maybe now, unfortunately) they were being painted. I walked sheepishly to the elevator and was relieved to see that it was empty, but sure enough as the ride to the top was about to commence, she stepped in. I did not look at first, but my head slowly turned. It sounds cliché, but it truly was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Her long hair helped shape her perfectly rounded head, but did not cover an inch of her vibrant face. Her teeth gleamed in the light of the small elevator, and her open shoulders directed vision to her chest and torso that almost demanded attention, and fought with her uncovered legs to get it. I knew from the moment her welcoming eyes stumbled upon my unworthy set that I wanted to be with her.
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Not wanting her to notice my stare, I panicked and reached for the five on the elevator at, by mere coincidence, the same time she did. No amount of amnesia on the planet could ever erase the sensation I felt at that first touch. We were complete opposites and at our first interaction on top of the elevator button, a spark (I presume was the result of static build up) was given off from my finger to hers. The pain was short, but the impression it left was permanent. Her soft skin was the lightest touch I had ever felt and suddenly my dull life seemed to fill up with meaning. It was as if every problem in the world was suddenly solved. My heart yearned for more, but my conscience resisted for fear of coming off as too presumptuous to my new acquaintance.
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We withdrew our hands quickly and could not help but chuckle at the small incident. The conversation started light at first and I began taking the elevator daily. Talking to her gave me a new lease on life and she became my only meaningful part of the day. What started in the elevator soon moved to the coffee shop after work, then to various restaurants around town, and eventually to her front door. At the conclusion of every date I longed to confess and spill my soul out to her, but the fear of rejection paralyzed me every time I opened my mouth to start. So I would leave with nothing more than a solemn goodbye and scurry home, like a child after school, to my personal prison.
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The time spent with her was cherished by me no less than a mother cherishes her first born. I enjoyed being with her so much that it was the only time my briefcase was not within an arm’s reach. I felt I did not need it. She surrounded me with care and her melodic voice only spoke words of comfort. She was my fallen angel, but I was too caught up to see why God had cast her down from his throne in the first place.
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Summer flew by once she was in my life, but before I knew it, fall swept in and its hand of death passed over all the luscious vegetation and landed directly on my heart. I told her I was leaving for a business trip and she offered to take me to the airport. I agreed, seizing every opportunity I could to spend time with her. I packed a small bag because I would only be gone for three days and opted to leave my briefcase locked away at home (security was on high alert this time of year). She accompanied me to the ticket counter and went as far as the entrance to security before we said our awkward goodbyes.
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Just before she turned to leave, my wildest fantasy had suddenly sprung to life. She swung me around, planted a short, hesitant kiss on my lips, and left without another word. The silence was perfect and everyone except for her seemed to fade away. I wanted to call to her, but I forgot how to speak.
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The immense joy that had filled my heart stayed with me throughout my entirely unproductive trip. It was also the same joy that would eventually lead to my complete inner destruction. After waking up in the middle of the night calling her name, I decided to disregard my fear of rejection and tell her the truth. I dialed her number straight from memory and proceeded to make pointless small talk before I took the giant leap.
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My mind was a circus. She was every act, and I was the ringmaster. She was every clown entertaining the children. She was every concession stand selling peanuts and cotton candy. She was every person shot out of a cannon for the grand finale, and I was convinced that she was the only one for me. The three words I had kept secret from everyone else in the world finally emerged. With every bit of emotion I had in me, I told her I loved her.
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Then, silence. The same silence that had flooded my heart with joy now blew it sky high like the Enola Gay had on its fateful journey out west. A silence so mute, I could hear the sound of my own eyes as they produced tears. It was only broken by the dial tone, which was the kill switch to my heart. The Purpose of my life was dead.
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Going back to sleep was not an option. No amount of cough syrup in the world could have quieted my racing mind. My circus had transformed into a mad house and it was only getting worse. The Angel and Devil in my head raged war back and forth to try to explain the cause of my newfound depression.
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Maybe her phone died?
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No, too much of a coincidence.
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She drove through a bad patch and we were disconnected?
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But if that were true she would have called back by now. She panicked when you told her because she did not feel the same, and she never will. She was probably with someone else when you called.
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It was clear the Devil was winning.
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I left a voicemail and by the time I had finished rehearsing and recording it, it was time for checkout. The plane ride home was tragic and I actually hoped it would have crashed just so that she would have felt guilty for not calling me back before I died. I stared at my phone and anything that was not from her was immediately disregarded. I left my terminal, claimed my bag, rode home, and failed once again to sleep, all in desolate solitude.
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My lack of sleep was beginning to have its effects.I would lie in my bed and occupy every one of my thoughts with her. Even off topic ones found a way to somehow relate to my love. Every creak in my old apartment sounded like her name, along with every breeze howling through the night and every tree branch tapping on my windowsill. I once again failed to reach her as her voicemail inbox undoubtedly held messages in the double digits. I would wait for her outside the elevator every day, but she stopped coming to work. I decided to satisfy my curiosities by taking a journey to her home. She lived ten miles away and noticing that I had misplaced my car keys, I resorted to march on foot.
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The horrendous walk only aggravated my current situation. Every person that strolled by seemed to whisper her name. The conversations I heard along the way only caught my attention when the incoherent mumbling seemed to sound like her own. The letters on street signs and billboards even moved and disappeared only to torture me more by presenting the title of my nightmare.
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It was nightfall by the time I had camped out behind her neighbor’s hedges. On this particular night, her house was completely illuminated and parked cars stacked far beyond the limits of her driveway. I assumed she was having a party, and I was left off her guest list by no accident. She did not love me. There was no other explanation. She was probably in there with another man who was hoping to get further with her in one night than I was ever able to in six months. I would have called and asked why I was not invited, but her voicemail had been full for quite some time and I knew none of her relatives to contact.
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My stakeouts continued on for a week, but the only thing my sleep deprived eyes saw was a bouquet of flowers left on her doorstep every morning and then taken in by a stranger at sunset. The whispers in my head finally pushed me to confront her for the first time since my confession. I nervously wobbled up to her doorway, briefcase in hand, and walked inside. To my surprise, it was empty. A barren desert had more to offer than the contents of her home. I searched every room and not a single thing was found. I told her I loved her and then she packed up and ran away without me.
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When I arrived home, I looked at myself in the mirror to get ready for work. I was not in any shape to perform any job, even standing in the unemployment line. My eyes were sunken into eyelids of quick sand, and my personal hygiene had been lacking since my last shower, which was before checkout a week and a half ago. I fixed nothing and walked to Queen Elizabeth.
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My delusions of her had intensified and had brought me to my breaking point. I sat closed eyed in the business meeting that morning, that she was once again absent from, for fear of every word posted on the projector looking like her name. The words of my boss already sounded like her name being repeated over and over again. A cold sweat covered my body, the same sweat a serial killer cherishes when it covers the body of his unsuspecting victim. I pried open my eyes with the crowbar of curiosity and I lost it. Not only was every word in the presentation mirroring her name, but also every coworker reflected her appearance. I was surrounded by twenty of her, with all of their eyes fixated on mine. I felt as if they were staring into my soul. I fumbled for my briefcase and for the first time in nearly a year, I recalled the meaning of my combination. 5 was for “E”, because Everything around me was doomed. 14 was for “N”; No one could escape what the case’s contents had to offer. And lastly, 4 was for “D”, because Death was the only thing that would come from the case. And with the final number in place, the tomb’s opening marked the beginning of the end.
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I reached in and pulled out the handgun that had been patiently waiting for use and flipped off the safety. The only thing louder than the sound of the gunfire was my laughter. I laughed because I knew I was now free. I escaped the grip she had on my mind and lit up the small office room. Bullets ripped through the bodies of my coworkers and left nothing but blood as a result. When I finally let up on the trigger I was sure that I had one bullet left. I opened my eyes and saw only dead bodies, all with her eyes staring at me. I could not take the stare of her once welcoming eyes, now with a torturing glare. I reached for the ceremonial sword displayed on the wall and preceded to peel the faces off of all the dead coworkers that looked exactly like her. I was relieved to gouge out every eye that stared upon my own.
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My madness was over. The last evidence of her had been tossed to the corner of the room and I stood there in silence. It was only then when I noticed that the sirens of the police cars racing toward me sounded exactly like her name being projected through the streets like Nazi propaganda. I stared at the wall in front of me in utter disbelief. The blood that had been splattered on the wall as a result of my mayhem spelled her name out perfectly in red, dripping letters. It was only after I noticed this that my plan had backfired. The faceless, eyeless bodies rose up from the dead and came toward me. They slowly crawled, all chanting her name in a low toned unison. Their bodies on top of me whispering her name into my ears was all that I could take. I took the gun and, without hesitation, buried the last bullet deep within the ringmaster of my circus.
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And as we resurface to the present time, and I pass through the iron gates of hell, to my surprise, my love had already been waiting there to greet me with a kiss.


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