Gone (short piece)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Waking up to the acceptance of someone lost

Submitted: May 20, 2009

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Submitted: May 20, 2009

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The alarm is screaming into my ears as I physically try to wrench myself from sleep; the alarm that screams “she’s gone, she left you.” While I hear the words echo around my empty shell of a body, causing me such physical agony I feel I’ll never be able to leave my bed again, I hear the buzzing of my alarm clock. I open an eye. My eyes are swollen from the dry tears I didn’t cry last night. I tried so hard to cry; pathetic yelps that only made the ache worsen. 
 
It’s 06.45. I set the alarm last night in determination to continue with my life just as normal, to get up and go to work, to pretend that everything is ok, that you didn’t go. 
 
In an attempt to free myself from this dark cage you have built around me, I struggle free from the bed covers which are wrapped like wire around my body. The bright white sunlight is streaming in through the open window. The cold damp October air wraps itself around my body as I leave the bed. My skin objects, the hairs on my body stand, and goose pimples cover me like some virus. I welcome the feeling, and I stand naked in front of the window, allowing the icy breeze to envelope me. I raise my hands from my side, they reach for my chest, and lay flat over my heart. I’m surprised to feel its beat, as though my heart is trying to defy the rest of my body by continuing its rhythmic thud. It doesn’t make sense; what’s the point in having a heart that beats, when it feels like this?
 
I turn to face the mirror, and I study my face, as though I have never seen it before. The face either looks too familiar or too alien to me, I can’t decide. I feel I’m watching myself from outside my skin. “I love you” are the words that I watch escape from my lips, but it’s your voice that I hear say them. Words that I have heard leave your lips a thousand times, words that I used to take for granted, words that I used to let pass me by without a thought. Words that I won’t ever hear from you again. I think of the last words I heard you speak. “Goodbye" you said, and I swear I caught a half smile forming on the left side of your mouth, and the lights faded in your eyes, and you were gone.
 
I curse myself for allowing these words to enter my head again, I watch my face, it has become hard and cold, almost as though it is being controlled by someone else. “Pull yourself together” I scorn. I turn on my heels, grab a towel from the bed post, and wrap it around myself. I am not thinking of the last time this towel was used, it wasn’t you; you no longer exist. I walk to the bathroom, and switch on the shower. Not bothering to check the temperature of the water, I step into it. It takes a few moments before I feel the water scald my skin, I don’t care though, it’s all a form of punishment, for letting you go. I allow the water to flow over my face for a few moments, concentrating on allowing the water to burn my skin, almost enjoying the feeling of a different form of pain, a change from the dull ache you left inside me. I open my eyes, the steam is clinging to all the cold shiny surfaces of the shower cubicle, I feel my muscles relax, I feel enveloped by the warmth, I feel the steam enter my lungs and gently free my airways from an invisible obstruction. I watch as the water streams down my body, over my breasts, my skin turning red from the heat.  I curse myself, I don’t want to relax, I don’t want my contorted muscles to unwind. I don’t want this pain; the only thing you left me with to go away.  I turn and flip the shower lever, so the hot water is replaced by ice cold water. My body flinches.  I reach for the soap, and I scrub myself clean again. Washing you away. You no longer exist, so why should I carry your fingerprints on my body?


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