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If you’ve been reading my recent posts you’ll be aware of the big changes in my life at the moment. There has been a big shift in focus, I’ve been pouring my energy into things I enjoy and of course one of the things I enjoy most is writing.
A lot of you related to the feeling I had of being bound by blogging and writing to meet other people’s expectations rather than fulfilling your own needs. Keeping this in mind, I decided to try writing something different this week to challenge myself and keep things moving forward and exciting.
In grade 7 I wrote my first short story, I can barely remember what it was about but I remember feeling great writing it. My teacher loved it and asked me to be one of three students in our grade to undertake extended writing classes. No little kid wants to do more school work but those writing classes never felt like work, they were something I looked forward to. The story I wrote was entered into a state-wide short story contest and I won. As a little kid, I was proud as punch to have won something and it made me realise how much I enjoy dreaming up stories.
This week, as a throwback to my grade 7 beginnings and finding new joy in an old activity, I bring you the first littlegreybox short story.
It’s different to anything I’ve posted on littlegreybox before, I hope you enjoy it. I haven’t included images with the story as I want you to paint the picture in your mind, not be fed with imagery. That’s the beauty of words.
The idea is to break a longer story into short segments which I will post individually. After all, I’ve got to keep you wanting more. If you like what you read today, leave a comment below and let me know if you’re interested in finding out what happens next.
If you want to find out what’s been happening ‘spiritually’ this week, jump over to The Little Sage Blog on Thursday and check out my latest guest blog post. Matt and I had some fun with clearing out mental clutter this week.
Enough of that, let’s get down to business, or bloginess more appropriately. I hope you enjoy the first installment of this littlegreybox short story.
A lot has led to this point, this moment, more than I am proud of and more than I can explain.
I look into his eyes, those crisp, blue eyes and see the past two years flash through them. Everything good, everything bad and everything terrible has led to now.
“Will you miss me?” I ask him. “Yes, of course,” he says.
His words are the right ones but the feeling behind it is familiar. Void, aloof and filling me with doubt.
My left hand finds his and we tangle our fingers together, he gently tugs on them pulling me closer, our bodies barely touching, our eyes locked. I look down briefly, overwhelmed with sadness and relief. He softly kisses my temple, I close my eyes and savor the touch then lift my head to his, a moment, a breath. He kisses my lips softly, firmly. It is a kiss that says more than either of us has been able to in the past 10 months and for a split second I am lost in the moment.
We are both overwhelmed. We kiss for today, we kiss for tomorrow and we kiss to apologise for all the things we’ve done and said in the past.
With all my energy I break away from him, “I have to go. I’ll see you in three months.” His eyes, those eyes, search mine for something I cannot say and cannot give. His eyes are piercing mine, “I will miss you,” he repeats. “Me too,” I reassure him, though some part of me knows it isn’t true. He kisses my temple, my cheek then my neck.
I pick up my bag and sling it over my right shoulder, my left hand still tied to his. He kisses me once more, afraid as I am that once I walk away he will not see me again. “I love you,” he says. I pause, my throat suddenly tight, “I love you too.”
Quickly I free my hand from his, feeling his fingers trace my palm as his hand trails from mine. I turn away from him and take one deep steadying breath. This is it. Walk, now.
I focus all my energy on putting one foot in front of the other. Each step takes me further away from him, this man I love so much, who hurts me so much. My body aches to be near him and my heart aches to be free of him.
My feet carry me onto the escalator and I grab the rail to anchor me, it takes me down to the departure gates and my three month refuge in Europe.
I cast my eyes up to him once more. I’m determined not to run back, not again. I wish he would chase after me, drop to his knees and beg me, but this is not a fairytale or a movie, this is my life and I have no other choice but to walk away from him now.
As I step off the escalator and round the corner I feel him leave my sight. My body takes over and forces me to keep walking, I place my jacket and shoes on the conveyer belt to be x-rayed and make small talk with the customs office at passport control. If I stop moving now, I’ll crumble.
Finally I am in the departure terminal and my feet carry to me to the first empty waiting area. I choose a seat with my back facing the rest of the terminal and place my things on the floor. I sit down, wrap both my arms around my waist tightly and take a deep breath in. My chest is tight and the air bumps into my lungs, struggling over the anguish I’ve been holding onto. As I breathe out I can’t contain it anymore and I begin to sob, I can smell his aftershave on my shirt and hair.
Warm tears are rolling down my cheeks in a slow, steady wave and a constant hum of sadness sits in my chest like lead, constricting my breathing. I press my lips together, close my eyes and tense my body to try and stop the pain. I want to let out a sound and try to purge my body of this deep ache, but I can’t. I open my eyes and blink out the last of my tears, wiping them away with the back of my sleeve.
I have loved this man for two years and given him everything I have and it still wasn’t enough, I am empty and broken and the only way I can put myself back together is to get as far away from him as possible. He is my poison, my weakness and despite this I love every part of him, I have loved him until he has destroyed me.
With a huge sense of relief I let myself collapse, my chest is hollow and my stomach is twisted in knots but as I take another deep breath in, I feel myself unwind slightly and melt into the peace and numbness of being alone. My flight to Paris leaves in three hours, I scrunch down into my seat and close my eyes, “Get me out of here,” I whisper, “Get me as far away from here as possible.”
If you enjoyed reading the first installment of this short story and are interested in the next installment, let me know by posting in the comments below.