An Evening Thing
There are about to be changes to what I do with my short stories.. I am starting a zine that will come out every month with a story. It will be reliable and hopefully this will improve the quality of the stories. But this also means less stories.
That does not mean I'll quit writing here, but things will change.
The first issue will be available on September 8th and will be available on iBooks and hopefully on Amazon too. But until then I have a little thing for you. It's not a short story, it's more of a poem. Or Flash Fiction. You decide which...
FALLEN FOR YOU
I can hear your whispers through the darkness. “You’re not waiting for Godot still?” you ask, but I don’t answer. I know it’s useless. You’ve never heard me before.
The two men that were here before left holding hands and today they have been replaced with two women who aren’t yet talking to each other, nor anyone else. I can hear them breathing, can see them, each standing underneath a candle that hangs on the brick wall. Why they don’t stand underneath the wishing tree is beyond me. I used to stand underneath the wishing tree. These women look lonely and as the thought of loneliness comes to me I start thinking of you again.
A light appears in the distance.
I’ve seen it before so it doesn’t startle me, but the two women both look at it. First with such hope in their eyes, but I can see the hope dying as they notice the man in black. He walks up to one of the women, leans up against the wall, crosses his feet and hands and says something. I can see he’s flirting, charmingly telling her something insignificant about who he is or how she looks.
As if she doesn’t know all that already.
I turn to the wall and fall asleep.
When I wake up again the women and the man in black are gone. I’m relieved. It fills me with melancholy to see him around. I remember being that woman by the wall waiting and when he came with his confident walk and misty eyes I thought that I had found what I was waiting for, found what I had been hoping for.
I regret nothing.
That’s a lie. I do have regrets, but the regrets aren’t what I thought they would be but something else entirely, something I couldn’t have anticipated, couldn’t have warded myself against.
My chest itches. A tenacious feeling of doom seems to live a good life within it. As if it’s a thing of its own. It’s been there for as long as I can remember now, though I do almost remember a time when it wasn’t a part of my life. As a child I used to wonder over the life I had been given, wonder in awe why I came to be. A question I will never get the answer to and as time grew, that feeling grew with it, transformed like everything into something dark, deep and hidden. I remember this, but only intellectually - not emotionally, and that’s all that counts unfortunately.
I can hear a couple going at it somewhere near me. He is declaring his undying love for her. She is reluctant, tells him she has a life beyond him. I can hear in her voice that she doesn’t quite believe in him, but that doesn’t stop her from making love. The noise from their activity is overwhelming, uncomfortable and loud and when they’re finished I can hear them giggling and talking in low confidential whispers. I know what they’re saying, I don’t have to hear the words.
I find myself envious of her.
I wish there was some privacy here to ward against this feeling, but I know that the kind of privacy you get in this place is wrapped up in death and I’m not ready for that. Not yet.
“You’re not still waiting for Godot, are you?” you whisper.
“Aren’t you Godot?” I whisper back, but I know you can’t hear me.
A whiff of roses suddenly overwhelms me. I take a deep breath and let the smell of amour fill my senses. Then I hear a strange noise. The roses suddenly come within my line of sight. They are growing all around me, beautiful, thorny and the smell is so intoxicating that all I think of is you and the fact that you’re not here.
I will not get up today either. I will spend this godforsaken existence doing mundane things I really would rather not do while my consciousness is wrapped up in this dire darkness that rarely seems to subside. I resent myself for being who I am, for not being enough in my own quiet existence, like the other women seem to be.
As if on cue the woman moans again. I can’t take it. I get up and start walking. I need to find you. It can’t be this difficult.
“Hello, are you there?” I’ve tried to make contact with you so often. Why can’t I just make contact with the people who show up in my surroundings? Why does it have to be you? The next time someone appears by the wall I will make contact! I will not just turn the other way! I will talk, make an effort. Be human.
I sit up in anticipation. The darkness seems to tick away, tick-tock-tick-tock and I can hear my hair turn grey. I can hear the roses bloom and crumble, can feel new thorns on the stem grow into my spine and become one with it.
Then, when I’ve almost given up hope someone arrives.
It’s a person not quite like the others. I don’t know if it’s a man or a woman. I don’t really care either. The person is wearing a black shirt with text on it. I can’t read the text but the shirt is hugging their body quite fashionably. I get up, exalted, excited. I walk towards the wall, knowing very well that first timers always end up by the candlelights and not by the wishing tree, like I did. When the person gets closer I see the text on the shirt. It says: “I am not Godot”.
I can’t help but to laugh.
“Hi,” I say.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“My name is G.” G says flatly.
I’m quiet for a while. I don’t know where to go from here.
“I’m Elle,” I say.
“Been here long?” G asks.
I nod my head, feeling the air slowly trickle out of me. The thorns hurt and I just want to go back to the way I was.
“You?” I ask.
“Just got here,” G says. “Have you been waiting long?”
“Forever,” I say and smile. G isn’t like the others so I show him or her, whatever the case might be, to my place in the big, dark, empty room and I invite him or her to sit down. G sits down on my bed and smiles at me.
I sit down too, try to make myself comfortable but it’s hard with the thorns sticking out of my back.
“There are roses growing out of your back,” G points out.
“I know, does it look horrible?”
“No, quite charming actually,” G says and takes my hand. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Life was hectic.”
I smile and say that it’s alright. Of course it isn’t, it never was but I can’t tell G that. There are some things you just don’t say out loud. Some things you keep inside for them to mould your insides just enough for the roses to keep growing.
“Is it really you?” I ask.
G doesn’t answer, but kisses me on the mouth. It’s a familiar kiss, like coming home after a long trip to a foreign country and yet there is such passion in it. Suddenly the creek is babbling around me and I can hear the wind whisper in the trees. The moon is wading in dark clouds and whatever is left of my melancholy seem to wash away with the first rays of the morning sun.
“Are you still waiting for Gordot?” you whisper in my ear.
I shake my head, insecurely and when you pluck one of the roses that are growing out of my back and get stung by its thorn I find myself growing scared. But you just suck the blood from your finger and smile at me.
I feel relieved.
There is a wishing tree by the road that grows out of an otherwise infertile earth. It has beautiful, small leaves that hang on its branches like wishes. I’ve only plucked one, and then I waited.
The darkness is thick and cumbersome at times. I can hear your voice through it. “Are you still waiting for Godot?” you ask.
“Never-no-more,” I answer quickly and grab your hand.
It’s warm and comforting.