Sunshine & Chocolate & Everything Writing

Writing as if I have something to say.

Fictional Fiction #3

Posted by Line Larsen on September 26, 2008

I wrote a short story today. Feel free to leave comments, but it’s merely general practice at writing English.

Proceed to read.


It was with mixed feelings I let him follow my descent into madness. – Hold on, he said, and I took his hand. – Hang in there, he said, and I clung on to him as if he was life itself. In many ways he was. – We’re in this together, he said. That isn’t true and it can never be true. We’re together, from a general perspective, but I am alone in this. I always will be.

– Yes, I said. You can be there for me, I said. He smiled.

– But how, I asked, do I know what to hang onto and what to let go?

– You hang onto me, he said.

– What if you’re madness too? I asked.

He shook his head and laughed at me. That very laughter is why I find myself sitting on the curb outside in the rain at midnight eating creamy cake from a plastic container. I picked it up from the shop on the corner. We love that store, we have gone there ever since he and I became us. We also love old movies, listening to jazz and Asian cooking. Just so I know. We rarely disagree. No, I rarely disagree. He disagrees all the time.

– I’m Gregory, he introduced himself those many years ago. What I saw in front of me was a handsome man with a pointy nose and spiky hair. Who wears their hair spiky any more, I wondered, and was intrigued.

– And I’m Margareth, I replied, with an H.

– Does anyone ever call you Maggie? he asked innocently. I shook my head vigorously and he grinned; – Well, I will.

So now I am Maggie, it really did catch on. Maggie and Gregory, people would say, are they coming? I called him Greggy once and he chuckled it away, out of mind.

– I love your red hair, Maggie, he said half way through our first conversation. Never change your red hair or your full, pink lips. – How can I change my lips, I asked. – Just don’t, he said with a smile, always with a smile. Soon after he said that I’d changed them. – Your lips look stressed, he accused. – Tight and pale. They never used to.

– It’s because I am going mad, I explained. – I cannot sleep, I wake up at night and hear voices. They whisper to me, innocent really, but it keeps me up.

With this I invited him in. I believe it was the fall following the summer we first met. I called it the summer of love in a miserable attempt at making it bigger. It was just the timing, that is all it was. Timing and kisses and spiky hair, and soon he shared my apartment. Real life was popular right then and I needed him to fit in. He is a very tangible person, Gregory. Greggy is not, Greggy does not exist. Not even Greg. Gregory is what I was offered and Gregory is what I accepted. I could lay awake at night and know what I was touching if I reached out to him. He could snore louder than the voices could speak.

– I think the voices you hear are misplaced guilt, the Therapist said with a thoughtful expression.

– Guilt? Why should I feel guilty?

– About the abortion, she said.

I can potentially have guilt about a lot of things. The environment, for example. Or that friend I once lied to. Or my parents, who I disappointed many times, I know because they said so. Maybe I should even feel guilty for being with Gregory. But the abortion, I don’t feel guilty about the abortion.

– No, I said.

– Yes.

– No, I persisted. – If anything, I felt relieved. At least when I took that pill and it made me bleed in that disgusting way, I knew it existed.

– Knew what existed? she asked and chewed on a pen. I wanted ink to come out and stain her face for asking such a question.

– It. The baby, of course.

She nodded and made some notes. I stared blankly ahead of me, as I always attempted to do when I was in her office. Straight ahead and no expression. I did not wish to clutter up my words.

It was Gregory who wanted me to go. He also paid for it. Because we’re in this together and now there’s three of us and soon it will be sorted. Except it’s just me and there is little hope.

– Imagine… I started, but she cut me off with a hand gesture. I waited until she was done scribbling. – Imagine having something inside you, growing, beating it’s heart, and not knowing if it was real or not?

– I have two children, she said.

– Do you ever wonder if they’re really there?

– No…

– Then you see my point, I concluded and gathered up my stuff. – We’re out of time, I said as a goodbye.

For a while I pretended or believed there was someone watching me. I looked in the mirror and saw myself doing it. I stroked Gregory’s stomach slowly and teasingly, thinking someone else’s thoughts about how we loved each other with such ease. I walked to work and watched my every step. It made me a better person and then they called it madness. Both Gregory and the therapist. They were in it together.

Naturally I could not have a child. It was a given, yet Gregory hit me. Just like that, a slap on my cheek. Not that it hurt much else than my pride. I often bring it up to give him my guilt. He would have carried the beating heart and the growing body if he could. So he slapped me for not feeling how he did.

– Seriously, Gregory, I said with a sadness in my voice that he had never heard before. I had saved it for an occasion worthwhile. – Seriously.

His tears were real. I could dip my fingertips in them and smear them across his face. I could feel them sting my chapped lips and taste their salt on my tongue. We had sex while he cried over a long lost lump of cells. I blamed my madness afterwards and he believed me, which proved yet again that he will never understand me.

– You feel like home, Gregory whispered softly shortly after.

Home is where your heart is. Home is where you prosper. Home is the end of the voyage. Home is people. A person. I am his home.

– We’re not even friends, I replied viciously and saw the pain appear on his face like a storm appears on the sky. Slowly, then suddenly. Realisation slapped him like he slapped me, and like me, he pushed it away.

– I love you, he said instead. – You are clearly struggling and I’ll love you through it.

That was then. He went ahead with being real to such a degree that he grew tired. Slowly, then suddenly, yet again. For a while it amused me to watch him get there, but as he approached I hit desperation. Like a wall – smack. Despair. I got reckless.

– Chris, he said and extended a hand. – Chris. Not Christopher, if you please.

– Maggie, I said and shook a finger, dainty and smiley.

It was palpable enough. The bitter pint I threw down in one quaff, his gropes on my skin like clumsy pinching, a wet and lazy tongue in my mouth. He brought me right into his home, just took me there without a care. I pretended not to notice the flowery curtains and nightdress thrown on the bedpost. He pretended not to notice how I laid completely still until the end. How we were not together. I reached out to touch his clammy skin afterwards. I laid my flat hand on his chest and felt his heartbeat before I left.

– You ought to tell him, I think, the Therapist said deliberately.

Of all the terrible advice she had given me the last year, this was one of the worst and thus one of the best. Perhaps she noticed the checks were signed by Gregory. She saw it all unravelling in front of her, I bet. If she advised me not to, he would never forgive her when he found out.

– He’s in the waiting room. Let me get him now, we’ll tell him together, I said with sympathy in my voice and smirked as I opened the door and requested his presence. He looked surprised and somewhat pleased. I took him by the hand and led him straight into my insanity. A badly decorated room with an uncomfortable sofa.

– Amanda has something to tell you.

I wandered off.

Cake is both elusive and touchable. It is made up of so many ingredients only experts can distinguish one from the other. Once put together, it can never be taken apart again. I enjoy ruining it’s shape before I put it into my mouth. Somehow it tastes better that way.

I lick my fingers with pleasure before I look up.

– Hi Greggy, I say and read his face. – Want some?

No, he doesn’t, a voice whispers. Something hurts somewhere and he smiles.


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