Mineshaft II

Reads: 183  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story based on the song Mineshaft II by Dessa

Submitted: July 06, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 06, 2019

A A A

A A A


Fifteen years from tonight you have to make a decision. The greatest love of your life is going to call during dinner from the home of the girl he’s living with now. He’s going to start off small - ask how you are, say how he heard you’d moved back in with your dad and were drinking something awful, then he’s going to come out with it. He’s trying to do better, an honest to God fresh beginning - he knows how badly he acted before and that he can’t have you back but the guilt he’ll say is killing him. He’s wilted in the middle and can’t be happy when you’re angry, and you’re so angry. You stayed so mad. He’s going to want forgiveness. “Maybe this time you can let go?” He’s going to ask all nice, smiles and sugar practically oozing through the telephone wires but you’ve been here before. You know where it goes. It’s a dance you’ve both done many times. You leave, he apologises, says he’ll better himself, you take him back and it all happens over again. You chose this freedom. This time it was supposed to be over, it was supposed to be done. 

He hung up the phone before you say anything back. You listen to the dial tone and stare at the stove until the beeping starts, thoughts racing across your sluggish brain too fast to hang on to, too emotionally numb to comprehend. Before you’re even aware of making a decision you’re digging under your bed and pulling out fistfuls of paper. You unfurl them and drink in the words - some love letters, some threats and some you can’t tell apart. And then you did what he asked you to, your opened your heart up right there on the carpet. Reached inside and pulled it out, cradling it gently in your hands before settling it on a half used napkin you found buried in your bedside drawer. 

You look at your heart critically. Part of it was frostbit, the blood black as pitch. Valves had gone stiff, veins and scar tissue, four chambers - just a standard issue. But none of them had room because forgiveness is huge. It takes so much heart and courage and you’re not even sure if you want to do this. There was two chambers full of ice water and one full of salt. The last was packed with coal, eager and ready and willing to find fault. How was any of this going to help? All it did was make you see how inadequate and messed up you were. 

Then with your heart in your lap and your head in your hands, suddenly you had a plan. You uncurled your legs, stiff from sitting so long, gathered up the napkin holding your heart and went downstairs. The heart was starting to bleed through the napkin so you surveyed the kitchen for something else to use. Your eyes fell on yesterday’s Star Tribune so you wrapped the mess up in the newspaper before pulling your coat on and leaving the house with a bang of the door. 

You headed west on Hennepin Avenue, heavy with a huge favour for a kid that just turned ten. The flag-chested gap-toothed girl was the best that I’ve been so far. I’m too big to forgive him now; I’ve seen too much and been through things you haven’t. I need just a moment with me, a moment when I was still little and naïve and forgiving. 

I used to sing on the roof outside my windowsill and I came hoping some ghost of me would be here still, and here you are in the dying sunlight - stick figure and a busted grin, still ignorant of the trouble Imma get us in. It’s hard to believe that you once existed, that you turned into me - this borderline alcoholic mess who can’t hold a job and has terrible taste in men. I start talking, feeling vaguely ridiculous but also like this is the only way, my only chance at getting rid of this anger I’m carrying. 

“I was hoping we could trade, just for tonight? Like I could borrow your heart and I could leave you mine? I know it’s not much for collateral - tattered and battle-scarred - but I can promise you solemn that I will be back for it tomorrow. I only need hours this evening so I can call an old friend and tell him that we’re finally even.” I hold out my bloody newspaper packet and you take it, settling it gently into the satchel that hangs off one shoulder. You plunge one hand into your chest and pull out the pulsing organ that is buried there. You place it in my outstretched palms and I slot it into the gaping hole in my chest. I take a deep breath. After all these years I can finally breathe.


© Copyright 2020 Mx Bramble. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments: