One More Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

I am very much aware that the art writing does not flow in my blood and what I wrote here is complete and utter garbage, there is absolutely no reason you would want to read this. However, this is something very personal to me that I just had to put into words. Perhaps I should've just kept it to myself, but for some reason unknown to me, I just wanted at least one other human being to read this.

One More Time

by John Henwick

 

It’s been over a year since he last set foot in this building. He tried to simply focus on his studies, but the boredom and solitude of weekends got to him, so he came back as soon as the opportunity arose. Same old small hotel, same old tedious uneventful job. Nothing’s changed while he’s been gone, maybe a couple furniture items moved here and there, but nothing of relevance. He was home.

Reception was not the most glamorous of jobs, obviously, not very well paid either, but it was something to keep him busy during the weekends, something to take his mind of everything that was troubling him. That’s what he was hoping for, at least, but things never work out as planned. It was late April now, off-season for the mountain resort. This meant no hotel guests, no boss to look over his shoulders either on most days. Just a single maid in the early hours of every morning coming to make sure all the rooms are kept tidy and letting some fresh air inside. A couple of hours later she was gone as well, leaving him all alone again until the next day.

He worked in 24-hour shifts, so he slept there at night. He had his own private room in the back of the reception where he spent most of his time. He could watch TV, read a book, spend some time online maybe; but none of this interested him. Nothing interested him anymore. For over a year now he found it rather hard to feel joy, sadness, curiosity, to feel anything at all as a matter of fact. It’s as if he was emotionally numb. Has been for a while now and nothing in his power could help him get past this anymore. His past grabbed hold of him tight and refused to let go. “Others have been through much worse”, he often told himself, “this is silly”. He kept trying to convince himself of this almost every second of every hour, but even so, it wouldn’t stop torturing his mind. It wouldn’t go away. So what if it wasn’t as terrible as other people’s troubles? This was eating him alive. What was left of him anyway.

He was going to marry her. It was the only thing that he ever wanted so badly. He cared for her, more than anything else in this world. More than money, more than friends and family, more than himself. He met her by chance, a complete stranger online. Can’t even remember what made him talk to her in the first place. They both lived in different cities, but as they talked more and more, they ended up using all of their resources to bring him to her as often as they could.

From the first day they met each other face to face, they both knew they were perfect for each other. How could feelings so strong ever be broken? No, this would last forever.

A little over a year later it was already over. They became so addicted to each other, so afraid to lose each other that distance was tearing them apart. They fought more and more often, more and more intensely, neither of them even knew why. They couldn’t spend time apart and feel the least bit happy any longer. The miles separating them were eating at their souls more and more every day until they broke him. In a snap decision he couldn’t take it anymore and ended it. He regretted it the very next second, of course, how could he ever live without her?

But it was already too late. How could she ever trust him again after this? How could she live with him toying with her feelings like this? No, it was over for them and she was much stronger than him, not giving in to the temptation of trying to patch things up. Him on the other hand, he suffered intensely every day, trying everything in his power no to break down in front of his friends or family. He didn’t give up either, he kept trying to make it work, he kept trying to change her mind.

A couple of months later she already belonged to another. That’s when everything stopped. He wasn’t suffering anymore. He wasn’t happy either, of course. He didn’t feel anything. Something broke in him that left him without emotions.

Night finally came and it was time to lock up the hotel. He took the keys, locked both entrance doors, checked every window in every room to make sure everything was closed tight. He was aware of his paranoia, but it didn’t bother him. Better safe than sorry. He then printed his daily report after which he locked himself in his private room for the night. Everything was all silent except for the occasional cracking sounds in the walls from the heating pipes. He couldn’t stand silence. It kept leaving him alone with his unbearable thoughts. What was there to do about it? Music? Music brings with it an abundance of emotions. What use would that be to someone who can’t decipher them? Perhaps he could watch a show or a movie and simply fall asleep doing so. No, not today. Just let it be.

He was afraid of falling asleep. No different than every other night, no, but it would be painful again. He would fall asleep and he would dream again. They weren’t bad dreams, no, on the contrary. They were the only place where he could feel again, the only place where he could be happy. She was there. But every time, without fail, morning came making him think that waking up is one of the worst crimes he could ever commit against himself. Why did he even bother waking up at all? To what end?

But he was all so tired. He had no choice, he had to go through all of this again and again. He closed his eyes in the silence that surrounded him and slowly started to drift from their world to his own.

He could no longer hear the cracking of the walls and he could no longer feel the bed that he was lying in. He was back where he belonged all along.

There she is.


Submitted: April 25, 2015

© Copyright 2022 John Henwick. All rights reserved.

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