Nova knows better than to stay up late, and yet she does. Whiny moments ensue, but everyone is entitled to at least one.

 

Nova couldn't sleep. She hated when she couldn't sleep. What she hated even more was being left in the darkness, alone with nothing but her mind to keep her company. After midnight, her thoughts turned dark and unfriendly. Nova sighed quietly, watching her puppy pace about the room.

 

She'd been so close to sleep. So very close, when out of nowhere, a lone memory appeared. The boy that had been on her mind lately reappeared, a phantom that only brought hurt tears when he visited. Unable to stop herself, she remembered the first time he'd kissed her. They'd been in a hotel bed together, slowly giving in to the need for sleep. His arms had been around her and she'd known, even if she wouldn't admit it to herself for fear of jinxing it, that there was something there. She'd felt him prop himself up on one arm. Simply remembering the sound of his voice made her heart clench painfully in her chest.

 

Oh, uh, before we go to sleep. There was something I wanted to ask you.

 

She'd turned over, her face inches from his. Her heart had pounded in her chest. As Nova remembered this moment, her heart begged her mind to stop, that it would only make the night worse. She could remember studying the profile of his face as he playfully tried to remember, looking out into space.

 

Now what was it...It was on the tip of my tongue. Ah! Yes.

 

And then he'd kissed her. Not forcefully. He'd gone the 90, leaving her the 10 to take if she so chose. Nova buried her face in her blanket trying in vain to forget. It wasn't fair, leaving her with memories like this. As much as she resented him, she blamed herself. It was a vicious cycle. She'd opened the dam and suddenly memories flooded through. She didn't have much, and frankly, she found it a bit ridiculous to care this much. But she did, and not a day went by that she didn't regret going back to the hotel with him.

 

Clutching her blankets in the dark, Nova dug for her phone blindly. She had to reach out to someone, and he'd reached out to her when he was hurting. So why couldn't she return the favor? Fumbling with the buttons, Nova typed simply “My heart hurts...God it hurts.”

 

Moments later, she turned away from the phone, mentally kicking herself. He was asleep. She knew that. Nova simply justified it as needing someone to know. She played it off as fine most of the time but sometimes she just wanted to scream I'm hurt! Please, someone, help. Make it stop hurting. Please. She tossed and turned under the covers, her thoughts fighting with one another. It wasn't fair. It simply wasn't fair. How could some people go around and hurt others and never feel a twinge of guilt about it? She wanted to find him and cry and yell and tell him You hurt me. Why on earth did you hurt me? What did I do to deserve it? It's not fair!

 

Another part of her, a quieter part, sat in its corner, repeating to itself, it's your fault. You always force people away. No one wants to be around you. No one. It's your fault.

 

Still, she asked herself, What did I do? Could I have changed it? Could I have done something different?

 

There was a gaping hole in her that hadn't been there before. That shouldn't have been. There was no reason for it. She hadn't loved him. He hadn't loved her. But she'd found a joy in him that she'd hoped to keep. Now it was gone, and when it became late and everyone else was asleep, she was left to wonder Why? Why had the force behind existence decided to throw someone like him at her and then take him away? What lesson was there to learn? The only lesson she'd taken from it was that love was exhausting. Love wasn't worth it. Those worth loving would never love her and those that did love her didn't love her enough. Love was a filthy curse. She'd been cursed with too much emotion, too much love, too much caring. As soon as it found out, the world always spat on it. Her love came unconditionally, but always took far too much out of her. She was exhausted.

 

Still, she thought as her puppy stretched out beside her, it can't be all bad, can it? She may be furry, but this dog is something to live for. Now if only she could find a man with the same cuddly qualities and level of loyalty.


Submitted: November 27, 2013

© Copyright 2022 Nova Bell. All rights reserved.

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