Salted

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
If I can just keep her talking, we may have a result.

Submitted: March 04, 2008

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Submitted: March 04, 2008

A A A

A A A


If I can just keep her talking, we may have a result.

My mouth is on a mechanical autopilot. Heaped clich pile up before her, obscuring the plainest view of how I really, actually feel. Which is nothing. I feel nothingness. Deep and wide, rolling far – acres of bored, laboured nothingness. Just a stinging pleasure as we arrive at her collapse. If I keep prodding her with reminders of her failings, if I keep her here whilst I prise everything that she perceives to be great about me into this overlong spiel and cram everything she fears is wrong with her into our parting words, we’ll turn the corner and I’ll win. I’ll win all over again.

Her jaw is shuddering and wobbling on its axis.

Her bottom lip protrudes just slightly. Moist.

I’m looking into her eyes, penetrating her puppy-dog expression until she has to look away. She looks away every time, unable to bear the words that loll from my mouth. Poisoned darts, falling at her feet, one after the other.

Of course, in order to gain the best effect, I’m mimicking her. If I manage to persuade her I feel the same as her, that this is pulling me apart just as much as it is her, then the consequences will double. She’ll have my burden to carry as well as her own. If I can just make her collapse. If I can just keep this up.

Oh!

Oh – that was a good one.

It takes all my energy not to smile at my own genius.

‘We’ll always be friends’ I told her.

‘I’ll always consider you the best friend I ever had’.

Past tense. She picks up on that and her eyes begin to well up. Without warning, a liquid film develops and tiny blood vessels burst around the palespace behind her irises. A glossy sheen over a minute track of red gauze, itself painted over a white canvass. It’s beautiful. I could well up myself right now at the sheer beauty of how that sadness looks.

I’m on the edge of it now. I can feel the banks bursting – that reservoir will swell and we’ll have a wonderful overflow. I can feel myself growing turgid. My pants beginning to strain – turgid matter pressing against reluctant fabric. Christ. Blood rushing from my head to my hem.

I tell her that I’m going to be moving away. Far, far away from here. I tell her that I’m dropping all my friends. I need to start afresh. ‘That will mean us breaking contact’.

Her frown deepens – now a fully-formed trench. I continue the war of attrition with hope in my heart.

‘I’m leaving tomorrow’

We have it now. We have what we pursued. We cornered it. We tormented it and now it finally gives in, yields and collapses.

Bulbous, transparent pearls roll lazily over her lids. If I squint slightly, without making it obvious, I can focus on her tear-ducts which delicately constrict with every pump. Brackish tears flopping over those cheeks and… wait… I think one of them is going to…

Oh God…

My underwear fills as a single salt-tear drops down its track and into the corner of her mouth. Only as she tastes herself does she even notice she’s crying. She was so transfixed by the devastation around her that she hadn’t even noticed her own physical reaction to the heart-break. As she suddenly noticed the dampness of her face, the revelation of her sadness, more tears follow immediately. Her eyes crumple into abandon. I jiggle my leg to shake my erection back into position. I can’t let her notice the pole at my groin.

She can’t take any more. It seems we’re done. She doesn’t even say goodbye as she walks away. Turns her back on me and begins to totter unsteadily towards a night bus.

‘Goodbye’, I say softly.

I plant my hands in my pockets and veer off in my own direction, rubbing the interior fabric against my thigh and making the image of her tears stamp itself indelibly on the blotter of my brain, hoping that it won’t fade by the time I get home and under my covers.


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