I moved in two days before Christmas. It was cold and raining; The kind of weather you hope against. I expected worse. It could have been worse, but I hate that phrase. I hate that I think it as much as people say it to me.
The movers leave at 3:00p.m.
I am sitting on the floor engulfed in a city of boxes. My head draws cardboard windows so I can peak inside without having to enter. Some boxes remain unopened for years, a population of dust mites in a prison of failed greatness. I close the windows now. I should erase them. I want to.
I take my first shower there. It’s unbearably cold. I stupidly didn’t test the water first. This is how I learn. I think about the times he would shut off the hot water to teach me a lesson, a lesson I now teach myself. I laugh at the irony. There is nothing else I can do. In the corner of my eye, I see something move slowly up the bathroom wall.
“Aw, My first spider,” I say out loud.
I smile before I slam my fist down on it leaving it a mangled blob of gut and legs. I left it there on the wall for a year as a trophy to my aloneness, freedom and loneliness.
Steam rises. I feel an aching heaviness coiled around my spine.
I question, “What burdens are worth this weight?”
I plug the drain and the let shower water slowly pool up. I want to wash the dirt from my skin and then float in it. The tub is small, so I use a washcloth to block the emergency release. I lie down, submerged. My hair unravels in to a web on the surface. My eyes are stoned in thought…
There are two…His and He. Two main pronouns. Two loves.
When I was. His.
I was fascinated by his flames, like a mindless insect. I flew towards my own death and landed in hell, but the fire gave me feathers to soak up his rancid spit. It took so long for me to see that they were really wings I could fly in.
Then came. He.
He carefully planted and nurtured me; I was alive again. I was growing. Finally, I rippened, only to have my newborn face shoved in the mud he grew me in. He wanted me to swallow, but I choked. Nothing seemed to go down well. I was not well…
I feel droplets of water roll up my belly and soak into my ribs.
The second pronoun; He is water. Deep, blue, light and dark. I am weightless in him…
And now I am sure.
He is the weight that was worth it.
(Excerpt #3 from Short Story Fiction)