compulsion - final draft

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

Compulsion tells the tale of a man with OCD, and the consequent jeopardy of his relationship. I wrote this as a part to my english a-level course.

I am very habitual you see, nothing more. She implies to me that I’m strange, that I need to speak to somebody. I am more than capable of making my own diagnosis- I am well organised. The world has become a messier place and I am the one who deals with the consequences. I flung another cigarette onto the pavement, watching as the embers flew into a small flurry, intrigued. Three left. The bite of the evening sank into the bones of my fingertips and the street lights amplified the glow of the city sky, exacerbating my coldness with a warm gradient. I scowled instinctively on seeing the litter of school children skidding along the street, the ill-bred youths don’t understand either. I unlocked the door, carefully untied my laces, and aligned a few carelessly sited stilettos, into the row of which I placed my own shoes, neatly, as usual.
I paced up the stairs, two at a time, into my bedroom to sleep. I was cloistered in my room. All was calm, aligned. She had agreed on separate rooms since our first and last real dispute, a month, three weeks and four days after moving in together. I was never really sure about it all. I was never certain I could handle such an utterly messy individual, in fact, I had been considering killing off the relationship; but separate rooms it was. I delighted in the last breath of nicotine and stubbed the cigarette out. Two left.
 ‘Good morning dear,’ she chirped. Her voice had become acidic to my ears. I gritted my teeth and managed something of a smile.
 ‘Good morning.’ I sat and found two slices of toast, golden as I liked it. It lay beside a badly folded paper and a sad, unappetising glass of orange juice. I maintained my plastic smile and ate, watching her try and tidy the kitchen. She turned towards me.
 ‘Is everything okay dear?’ My mouth was full but I didn’t care to reply.
 ‘Has it been a bad week at work?’ I stopped chewing.
 ‘I’m fine Julia; I don’t know what you mean.’ I gulped dryly. I braved another smile. She approached me, leaned over and consciously pressed her chest against my shoulder. I ran my eyes down her back; beautifully curved, a thin navy dress rested appealingly on her slender figure. She spoke playfully.
 ‘Tonight can be special if you like?’ She kissed me softly on the cheek.
Ignorance, resonant, couldn’t but make me smirk; she had just written her own epitaph.
 ‘Sure, you know which meal I like the most.’ I could see the IDIOT’S fate. Laughter grew inside me though I simply manipulated the obviousness of a smirk into thecontrast of a DOPEY GRIN... INHALE! 
She had no idea. I rolled my fingers with enthusiasm. I had structured it with most excellent detail.
Under duress, I finished a cigarette short - the bus had arrived. I obeyed the apparent eye contact ban. One left. My eyes wandered outside the adjacent window, which was grubby and dull, much like my travel companions. I spotted a small flock of birds, neatly arranged in a V shape. THEYunderstood. If the capacity of a bird’s brain can handle the concept of neatness, what does that tell us about modern human society? I could feel my heartbeat, strong and anxious, pumping through my temples. We passed the stop before mine and I rested my thumb on the stop button. It was coated in a thin layer of grease, carelessness and laze. I pressed it and quickly wiped my thumb on my handkerchief. I recoiled.
I lit another cigarette, and tossed the empty packet into a bin. I caught a glance of the others on the bus as it left; all acrid, abhorrent- abject. The nicotine struck my blood stream and my plan unwound, for at least the hundredth time of the day. I didn’t particularly have an appetite, but dinner is important. I approached the house, and saw the lights were on. She was waiting for me. I flicked the cigarette into a drain and listened to it die, a satisfying sizzle.
The door was unlocked. I took off my shoes and placed them next to a line of others, which were nicely arranged. She really had made an effort. I stepped into the kitchen to find a perfectly laid table, with a central candle burning strong. The oven purred and steam stroked the windows in and out of translucency. The smell of steak filled the room, and my appetite returned. Either way, there was no turning back.
She appeared in the doorway. She wore her long brown hair down and it lay lustrous on her shoulders. Her deep, brown eyes were filled with affection as she peered into my own. She was wearing a red dress, which hugged her figure, curvaceous yet petite. Her bare feet pointed slightly together, a modest and shy stance. Her nails were painted dark red, deep red, a red ocean - bliss. With her arms to her sides, her hands looked so delicate, so small. Her skin didn’t bear a single blemish or imperfection. She looked truly beautiful, in every sense. She saw I was lost for words and smiled modestly, looking down at the floor. I felt like I was melting inside. I wasn’t sure I could continue with it.
I sat at the table, across from Julia. I couldn’t help my eyes wandering up and down her body, but it had to be done. I ran my index fingernail up and down the steak knife by my placemat. Adrenaline pumped through my veins.
 ‘Hello! How was work darling?’ she said, in a cheery tone.
 ‘Not bad thank you. You look lovely,’ I said. It was true. I knew I would feel bad if I never had the opportunity to tell her.
 ‘Dinner will be ready soon.’ Silence. “Is there anything that’s bothering you these past two weeks? If there is I’d like to make up for it.’ Silence.
 ‘Everything’s fine. I’m just a pessimistic person I suppose.’ I shrugged.
 ‘I know you like things to be tidy and everything, I’m not oblivious. I want to make you happy.’ Eyes fixed on mine. ‘I love you.’ She gave an understanding smile. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t believe her. She didn’t understand. She is the same as them. She makes mess. She leaves mess. She doesn’t see mess. I do. My head spun, WHIRRED with theories. I sat quietly for a while, panicking and going in and out of wanting it. Do I? Don’t I?
 ‘Time for steak!’ she beamed.
 ‘Time to...’ She opened the oven. A plume of smoke poured from the gap. She sighed heavily, took the tray out and placed it on the counter, looking at the overcooked meat like a lost child.
 ‘I’m so sorry,’ she whined. She knew I’d be annoyed. She’d just proven my annoyance to be relevant. I clasped the steak knife, slid it into my back pocket. She turned towards me for sympathy. Cleverly, I held back my anger, and smiled.
 ‘It’s fine, don’t worry about it.’ I stood up and walked over to her. I put one arm around her and pulled her towards my body. She put both of her arms around me and rested her head on my chest. I was afraid she would hear my heart thudding. I grabbed the steak knife from my pocket and lifted it towards her back. She looked up at me, tears streaming down her face.
 ‘I really wanted this to be a special night, I’ve ruined it, I’m so sorry,’ she spluttered. My heart pounded faster and faster, LOUDER and LOUDER. My hands shook harder and harder. I couldn’t keep hold of the knife. It fell on the floor and it bounced on its handled end.
 ‘My fault, I’ll put that in the dishwasher,’ I said - quite brilliantly disguising my reasons. She was still oblivious but I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to end it, she understood me… Nobody else understood me. The guilt scuttled up my spine. I yearned for her nightlong company. I opened the dishwasher but it was running, I hadn’t noticed - arrant panic. Water sprayed across the tiled floor for a few seconds, and I pulled the lower draw out. I put the knife in the dishwasher pointing upwards, as I liked them to be.
 ‘I’ll get a cloth to wipe that up, darling,’ I said. I walked out of the room to get my breath back. The swell of tears in my eyes, I couldn’t hold back. I felt such sorrow and realisation. What is WRONG with me? What have I done? Will she still live with me? I love her. I wiped my tears away. I had to tell her how I felt.
I opened the door, and saw her standing by the dishwasher. Still open. I walked across, smiling with utmost debonair, true. I positioned my hand on her shoulder. Determination. I would tell her how I felt, she had to know. Her bare feet lost their grip in the puddle on the floor.
Metal bends under weight. Points pierce under pressure. Doors bend, permanently open; doors close, perpetually shut.

Submitted: March 23, 2008

© Copyright 2020 sheldonstones. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Classy Peach

Am I to assume she died?
Very NEAT (no pun) story. Clever little intricacies like 3 smokes left, the shoes lined, he LOVEd her red nails made this read flow quickly and seem effortless on your behalf (which I'm sure it wasn't).


Sun, March 23rd, 2008 8:03pm


Sorry, it took me ages to figure out how to reply! Thanks for the niceness :) And no, it wasn't effortless. This story took AGES to write. And yeah the implication is that she dies.. But it would be kinda tacky to do anything other than imply, that death's kinda... Clichéd... HMM!! :) I need to write something new. x

Tue, May 20th, 2008 5:15am

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