I found this while looking for a different file. It was titled “breakup story.”

She hunched over her lap as if to shut out the world. She slid her arms under her thighs and pulled herself smaller, chin resting on her knees. With burning eyes she meticulously examined the green tiles, looking for patterns, hunting for uniformity, dissecting flaws. She was multitasking; it helped her concentrate. Attention deficit lead her thoughts in a thousand directions like a shepherd-less flock of sheep; but if she allowed her attention to be split between the physical and mental, some semblance of a coherent thought could find its way through the recesses of her mind. Her mind wandered from the tile to the carpet which had preoccupied her fidgeting mind not ten minutes previous. The hills and valleys and hundred muted, ugly colors that mingled to form a nondescript gray had suddenly become her refuge. She had focused all of her mental energy into the act of investigating that comfortless square-inch of carpet to hide from the words that had filled her ears.
She unwrapped herself and stood up slowly. She could feel the tears that had lingered just behind her tongue for several weeks now silently creep towards her burning eyelids. She needed to cry, it would be a relief. The tears might be able to wash away this frozen dullness that had taken her heart in its fist. A good healthy sob would be welcome. She stared in the mirror at the face that was not her own. Two black tears carved silent avenues down colorless cheeks. She inhaled. And exhaled. The conversation had broken like an expensive vase, and now the thousands of pieces were spinning around inside her head; a hurricane of neon signs with jagged edges cutting and slashing and reminding. She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes. When she took them away she saw the black smudges through a dim black haze and wondered absently how the black tears came to be on her face. The pieces of one phrase suddenly found each other and united like thunderheads,

….But you know I’ll always love you…

She jumped at the sudden sound that had escaped from her lips, and turning quickly like someone coming out of a trance, she turned the shower knob all the way to the left. While the water heated, she busied herself with menial tasks refusing to acknowledge conciousness.
She craved the scalding water. Standing amid clouds of steam, she savored the sting as though the pain in her skin could draw the ache from her heart like poison. Filling her hand with something white, probably shampoo, she began attacking her hair. Mercilessly tearing out tangles and clawing her scalp, she sought cleanliness as though it were an elusive ideal she could never achieve. She rinsed, letting the water tingle coolly in its intense heat over her head and face. She washed her hair again with the same fury, becoming blinded by the splashing foam. her hair began to feel soft as the suds became white and the knots and tangles slid off the ends. She let the water pour over her head again, washing down over her whole body. She leaned weakly against the wall.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I started this whole thing. I guess I just got carried away. A-and carried you with me. Um, I’m sorry? But, the fact is, I need to get back to real life now….

A little moan took form from the remembered words, and spun out of her heart to dance on her lips for an instant. She slid down the wall till she was sitting with her knees up on the tiny square floor of the shower stall.

I mean, you knew this was going to happen… You told me yourself, ‘You’re too logical for me.’ Remember?

He had fumbled clumsily for another reason to lay the blame at the feet of the burning silence on the other end of the receiver.

I thought you would understand…. I mean, this really doesn’t make sense…

His voice trailed off like a retreating traitor.

…You know I’ll always love you…

A sob shook her thin shoulders. Another took hold of her small frame, hunched beneath the pelting stream, and she couldn’t tell if it wasn’t her tears that kept her from drawing breath, threatening to drown her. They poured down her face, ran down her back, pounded her arms crossed over her head, streaming from the ends of her hair. Her whole world was crying.

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~ by ifindthisamusing on January 17, 2005.

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