familiar nightmare

That dream. Again. She had not had that dream in a long while, and it never failed to leave her unsettled, bothering on anxious. She was breathing heavily, fighting back the tears that were moist on he cheeks. Her eyes were still closed, trying to grab the remnants of the nightmare she had endured and turning them into something else. Something good. But to no avail. The harder she tried, the more her conscious mind took over, until finally, she was awake. Her eyes fluttered open, and she stared into the dark. The sweat was cooling on her skin. She shivered; as much from the vivid memories as from the cold.

She was at work, laughing with her colleagues, when her phone rang. She saw the number and smiled. Usually, she did not pick up when he called, and she was on a shift, but she was in such a good mood, she wanted to hear his voice and tell him that she would get in touch later. He would certainly understand; they hadn’t talked in two weeks, a couple of hours surely were bearable. But it was not his voice that greeted her; it was another man.

“is this Shelly speaking?” The man asked. His voice was slightly familiar, but she couldn’t place it. “Yes,” she replied “who’s this?” She was confused why a stranger was calling from her boyfr…- she didn’t even know how to label him, they weren’t a couple after all.

“it’s Vic, Dave’s brother.” Ah! That was why the voice sounded familiar. Curious, she left the small office to have a moment of quiet and to understand the man on the other line properly. “I’m afraid I have bad news,” he continued. “Dave passed away. He… He killed himself last night.” His voice broke, and her heart was racing too fast. It felt as if someone had put cotton in her head and it blocked a myriad of oncoming questions that washed over her like a tsunami. “What? How? Why? That cannot be.” She refused to believe the words he said. “He left letters for you, an entire box full. He also left a will in which you are mentioned, but we need to have it checked with our lawyers.” Vic sounded so pulled together as he continued to talk without listening to her. It was almost as if he was going through the motions of informing people about his brother’s passing on auto-pilot. “Could you send your address as a text message? I will make sure that you receive everything Dave wanted you to have.”
Shelly felt the colour draining from her face, and the force holding her upright was fading too. “Yeah, no. Will do. I am sorry for your loss”, she said and quickly disconnected the call. A wail left her mouth as she fell to the ground. Uncontrollable sobs shook her entire body, and she heard noises she couldn’t be sure came from her. But they had to; no one was around. She got up from the floor; she was trembling and gasping for air. It was too hot, and too cold. It was too much of everything. She needed to get outside. And she did. Her crying didn’t stop. How could he be gone? How could Dave be gone?

But there were no answers to that question because every time that dream tormented her, this was the moment she woke up. Every time. In reality, she had not talked to Dave in months, and she was pretty sure that no letters or other belongings were waiting for her, and she was most certainly not mentioned in his will either. Shelly pushed the bunched up sheets off her body and decided to distract herself by starting her day. But the bitter aftertaste of that all too familiar dream tinted her mood. She was not ready to let Dave go. And she couldn’t wash the suspicion that something terrible was about to happen to him off in the shower either.

✨✨✨✨

668 words, 20 minutes

the rocking chair

He sat naked in a rocking chair in an almost dark room. The door was closed. Three windows were open. The wind blew crisp air into the room and made the thin white curtains flow into the empty space. Outside, the moon played hide and seek with the clouds in the sky. Their play made shadows dance on the bare walls.

The chair creaked on the hardwood floors with every forward motion. Some panels were loose from years of use. It was as if they had a memory of every footstep that had ever touched them. The man kept moving. The same movements, over and over again. The repetition was somewhat meditative. Soothing. And he needed that for himself. Calmness. Stillness. He wanted to close his eyes and escape the earth and all its noise for a while, but he couldn’t. He was scared. Scared that the demons lurking in the shadows were finally there to steal his soul. No, sleep or rest of any kind was not an option. No matter how tired he was or how much his eyes hurt from squinting in the dark, he needed to keep them open and stay alert. Awake. Everwake.

The man’s mind was at once empty and overflowing. His body was in flames from the heat surrounding his heart, and it was freezing cold the next from the gushes of air, raising goosebumps on his exposed skin. Everything was the opposite of how it was supposed to be. But he kept rocking back and forth on his wooden rocking chair.

In the dark, the red cushions weren’t visible. But he knew that they were there, supporting his weight. There was a tear on the back and a couple of stains under his bottom; he knew every blemish by heart. Like the scars or tattoos on his skin, every stain and every tear, every hole had a story. And he remembered them all. Memories. Remembering meant either torment or bliss. Tonight every flash of the past equalled agony.

The moon kept travelling across the sky, closely followed by a thin layer of clouds. An owl was awake in the tree under his window; it called for someone in the dark night.

He needed a drink, and he craved a cigarette, but he couldn’t leave his chair. He was trapped in his own darkness, not only the darkness of the room but the darkness of his mind too.

The partying shadows on the walls and on the ceiling kept mocking him and his life in captivity. If he were strong enough, he would have tried to fight every single demon. But he was weak and afraid of the dark. He was lonely. Alone.

Another flash of the past made him remember the woman he had loved. He had only loved once. Genuine and honest and raw. He had been able to feel love, to give, and to receive it too. Those times were long gone. There was nothing loveable about him anymore, and if someone tried to be affectionate toward him, he had the unique gift to ruin it every time. No one was allowed to see past the image he had decided to show of himself. No one was allowed to see his vulnerabilities and his weaknesses. No, showing those only ever resulted in pain.

As the middle-aged man kept rocking back and forth on his chair, the voices in his head grew louder and more insistent with each creak of the wooden frame. From soothing to aggravating in a matter of moments. He hit the side of his head with his flat hand. Left hand. Left temple. “Stupid,” he muttered. The ghosts had not left, but no one answered him. Behind him, the curtains made a swishing sound. He stopped moving. He was convinced they were here to take him away, to make him vanish into thin air. He held his breath. He reasoned that maybe they couldn’t see him if he stayed still.

The owl was calling him from the shelter of her tree. And from the walls, shadows tried to catch him. He was paralysed with fear. There was no escape. The sheer terror of all his sins was staring into his pale red-rimmed eyes and tried to pull him under. If he had been able to do it, he would have closed his eyes. But he couldn’t. His body did not belong to him anymore; it did not obey his silent pleading orders anymore. The man tried to scream for help, for someone to save him and wake him up from this nightmare, but no sound got out of his mouth. There was no sound but the wind and the owl. The man was lost in this weird dream, knowing full well that he was not asleep. He was trapped in a cage of fear.

He gasped. For a moment, everything became clear. For a moment, he understood that it was all in his head and that his mind was playing tricks on him. Nothing was real.

His face turned into a painful grimace, and then he chuckled. His shoulders moved along with the sound. And he started laughing until he was scratching at the door of insanity. He was rocking in his chair again. Back and forth. Over and over again.

The moon was slowly fading, making room for the sun. The shadows on the walls began to become invisible, and the owl stopped calling for her lower. The wind had let up, too, leaving the curtains to rest after an eventful night.

He tried to exhale deeply, but because he was still laughing, he only made a wheezing sound. The ghost of the night was still lingering in the sweat covering his naked body. The man was drenched in fear. But he kept moving. Back and forth. Back and forth. In his mind, a film was replaying the worst moments of his life. He was convinced that he deserved the punishment the darkness brought upon him every night anew. There was nothing left fighting for. No redemption in sight.

The man finally closed his eyes. A grin was spread on his face. Maybe the next time, he would start to fight the madness residing in his head. Or maybe… not.

(1044 words, written last night/early this morning)

Flash #1

It’s nothing new, but her spirit is breaking under the weight of an endless string of spiraling thoughts. “Not good enough,” it rings in her head. And the louder the voices are, the more she believes the lies. “It doesn’t matter; you are not good enough.” Her facial expression is hard, stony. She needs someone to help her put the broken pieces back together. And if she dreamed awake, she might be the one.

She covers her ears, but all it does is preventing the words from leaving her mind. She is her own cage. She piles the heavy words one on top of the other, hindering her from breaking free and shine.

###

Listen to March 24 20 by Tom Elliot Morris on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/njHL4

The Busker

Turning off the light switch, Johnny shoulders his guitar, puts on his woolen hat, and leaves his home. He lives above a café in a small apartment he rented from the owner. It shouldn’t be called an apartment because it is so tiny a shoebox would be a better description of his all-in-one living space. But it has a bed, a bathroom, and heating. It is not much, but it is all Johnny can afford. When he is behind with his rent, the owner of the building makes him work at the café, but that is okay, it pays nicely, and he is allowed to keep the tips for himself. Johnny locks the door, turning the keys twice, and puts them in his bag. It’s one of those large bags that you can sling over your head and onto the shoulder. This particular model allows him to carry around all sorts of things and to wear the straps of his soft guitar case on his shoulders. He would love to be able to afford a hard case, they look cool, but they are too expensive, and the soft case is more comfortable to carry around anyway.

It’s cold outside, and Johnny’s breath freezes mid-air when he exhaled. A look up into the sky makes him realize that there will be rain sometime during the day. The crowd will be sparse. People hurry from one store to the next when it rains. They don’t stop to stare or listen to random buskers playing their songs in the street. Johnny puts his scarf around his neck and pulls the zipper of his jacket up to his chin. He blows hot air into the palms of his hands to heat them. Somewhere in his bag are fingerless gloves, but he doesn’t want to wear them yet. One of these days, when he put enough money aside, he will buy a new jacket. One that will keep the cold out of his bones. Not that long ago, Johnny saw one at a second-hand store, with a little luck, it will still be there when he has the money for it. But for now, it has to wait, and he is content with the clothes on his body. Johnny glances at his watch. It is time to hurry up and stop dreaming.
In quick steps, he jogs for about fifteen minutes before he reaches the stairs to the underground. He takes them two at a time,  knowing exactly where to go. He knows which tube he needs to take and how to ride it without paying the fee. Of course, if he gets caught, he will have to deal with paying double or even triple. It happened once or twice before. For today, Johnny chooses not to think about it.
Johnny quickly finds a seat on the train and puts the guitar between his legs. Every day, he waits for the morning commuters to vacant the trains. As soon as they are at work, his customers emerge from everywhere, and it is them who help him pay his measly rent and keep food in his belly. Most people assume that he doesn’t have a schedule or plans when he wakes up in the morning. But he has. Johnny’s day is well organized. It is something he needs to feel safe and protected.

In his mind, Johnny repeats the songs he wants to sing today. He puts buds if his headphones in his ears and put play on his old and battered CD player. It has seen better days, that’s for sure, and the kids who see him with the old gadget never spare their pitying looks or condescending comments. He puts his favorite self-compiled CD in and hopes that his batteries aren’t too weak to play for the remainder of the train ride. Johnny composes a mental tracklist for his day. He will start with a couple of cover songs, those that make people stop and sway along and then, a couple of his own songs to sell maybe one or two copies of his home-recorded, unedited and raw album. That’s the plan. But things never go as planned. Johnny knows that all too well. The rain could ruin everything but, on the other hand, someone important might hear him and make him a star. He shakes his head at his own thoughts. Johnny is not a dreamer. In his life is no space for dreams anymore. And yet, he keeps fantasizing about a career in music. Rain or not, he will play.

Two more stations until his stop. Johnny watches a young mother making silly faces at her child. The child laughs out loud, and the mother kisses its head. Both seem happy, and their happiness fills the cart of the train. Observing the mother and daughter reminds him of his own child that he hasn’t seen in a while. He misses Penny, every day and he keeps a picture of her in his pocket. It is worn and faded, but it is his little princess. She should be five years old by now. He recalls the times when he took her with him to ‘work.’ She used to dance, and people stopped to watch the little, then three-year-old sing and dance along to her daddy’s tunes. Those were happy days. The carefree days are long gone now. Often times, Johnny feels as if he is existing, not living. His girlfriend – ex-girlfriend, has a new life, and she moved them to the suburbs. She has it all now. The car, the big house, the dog, she even has the fucking white picket fence and the model husband who works a regular desk job. Not to forget the conservative clothes and hairdo, too. She has everything they ever mocked when they were together, and the thirty-year-old musician has no justified reason to exist in her world anymore. She refuses to see him, and she refuses to let him see his child. She erased him from her past, and all that is left of them – his own family, are sad lyrics in songs no one has ever heard. He continues to watch the mother with her child, and for a tiny moment, he wishes that his life has turned out differently.
Where would he be now if he hadn’t dropped out of school at fifteen to pursue his dream of making it big as a musician? Where would he be now if he had looked for a ‘real’ job when his ex-girlfriend became pregnant? Where would he be now if they were still together?
The crackling voice coming from the speakers above his head announces the next stop, his stop. He gathers his bag and his guitar and gets up. As soon as the train stops, he leaves. He doesn’t look back at the woman and her child. It takes some effort, but he doesn’t turn his head. If he only had the chance, he could be an amazing dad for his little girl. He wonders if she even remembers him or if he turned into a faded memory mistaken for a dream once in a while.

Johnny takes the stairs two at a time again. At the top, he stops to take off his hat and rearrange his baggage. The streets are still empty, but it doesn’t bother him, not yet. He sees familiar faces and greets some of them, making small-talk. It’s good to have allies on the street. It’s not always as romantic as it may appear to be. He has his corner, and others have their corners too. As long as no one plays on the other’s territory, everything is easy, but overstep the invisible border, and you and (or) your instrument will suffer severe damage. Johnny prefers his world to be peaceful and stays out of as many brawls as possible. His corner is a good one, though. It’s close to a fountain, and in summer, when it is hot, people sit on the steps with an ice cream cone or cooling their feet in the water. In the colder months, it’s a bleak place, yet it is his, and it is across from a well-frequented coffee house. His back is turned toward an expensive boutique—the kind where one pair of jeans costs more than two months of his rent. The people going in and out are not the type of people to stop and listen to his strumming, but it’s okay. He is realistic enough to know that he can’t win them all. Unconsciously, it bugs him more than he will ever let on.

He sets up his little workspace and tunes his guitar. He opens his case for people to throw in some money and decorates it with his homemade CDs along with a sign that they are pay-what-you-want. Most people give a Euro or so, it’s nowhere near as much as they are worth, but it’s better than nothing, and Johnny is not the type of person to complain. He takes what he can get, but never demands more.

He clears his throat and starts to sing into the microphone. The first songs are always hard to sing. Every day he needs to find the courage and the voice to sing in the street for the passing people, and that from the top of his lungs. Three songs in and the first group of people stops. It looks like a class on a day trip. The young girls giggle. He knows it’s because he is handsome. And he has to admit that he likes to look good. Enough of his fellow buskers look like bums, and he sees how people look the other way when they see them; he wants to stand out with his good appearances. He takes care of his daily hygiene, and he doesn’t walk around in holey, grubby clothes. In his mind, success and looking good go hand in hand in the music industry, and he wants it more than anything else.

Johnny winks at one of the girls. That small acknowledging gesture always works, and she starts to rummage in her purse. Before he knows it, she put a 5 Euro bill in his case. He smiles. It’s a great start. The song stops, and he thanks the young girl. She blushes and asks for a particular cover. Johnny is happy to oblige. He isn’t able to take on every request because he doesn’t know every song, but he knows this one and starts singing about seeing fire inside of mountains. The girls clap, and because of them standing in a half-circle around him, more curious people stop to listen, and more money is thrown into his case. At one moment, he closes his eyes and almost forgets that he is only a street musician. Almost. He imagines standing on stance; professional equipment makes him sound better than ever. The spotlight heats his cold fingers. But as soon as the song is over, he is back in the cold reality too, watching as the crowd disperses. Another song finished, and this time, the girls buy one of his disks and ask him to sign it. Johnny has to laugh out loud, he has never signed a CD before, but the girls insist. He poses for pictures with them, and for the minutes they share with him, he feels like a rock star. One of the girls asks if she can share the video she took of him on her Facebook page or Instagram account. He agrees. Usually, those videos are shaky, and the sound quality is terrible anyway, but he is also aware that they put his name out there. They make a little small-talk about this and that, but the conversation dies down, and the situation becomes awkward. Johnny excuses himself to play some more songs, and the group of girls leaves. And while the city is fully awake now and the grey clouds moved on to reveal patches of blue sky, Johnny continues to play. The day announces itself to be a good one after all. He plays for money, yes, but he also plays for his tormented soul. To ease the pain, that threatens to drown him some days. He plays to fill the hearts of every listener with love and gratitude, and he plays because he is grateful too. Maybe one day, his heart will be filled with love again too, but Johnny is a cynic, and he doesn’t count on it.

After three hours of singing and playing, the tips of his fingers hurt, and his throat is as dry as the desert. It’s time to take a break. He sits on the steps of the fountain and looks at the busy crowd. He rummages in his bag to find something to eat, and when he looks up, he sees her face, and it feels as if time slows down. She vanishes into the forest of legs and bags. He jumps up to search for her in the crowd. Was it real? Is his mind playing tricks on him because of the mom and girl he saw on the train? People move in slow motion, but then her face appears again. Her hand is embedded in a larger one. Johnny’s gaze travels up the arm, and that face is familiar too. They come closer, and he straightens his clothes, runs his fingers through his hair to smooth it down, and, with a racing heart, he waits for their reaction.

To his surprise, she stops in front of him.

“Hi,” she says, looking down at the little girl he would recognize everywhere in the world.

“Hi,” he answers, rocking on his heels and burying his hands in his pockets, not to reach out and touch the child’s blonde locks.

“Remember Penny?” She asks. Of course, he does. How could he forget his child? He nods, and then he has an idea. He takes one of his CDs and scribbles something on the case. ‘For my dearest Penelope. You will always hold the biggest place in my heart.’ He hands it to the girl with a smile, and she looks up at her mother as if to ask permission to take the gift. He hasn’t much to offer and doesn’t have the money to buy her toys or anything. Instead, he gives her something that comes straight from his heart. The moments between Penny asking permission and her taking the gift stretches, and Johnny releases a shaky breath.

“So. You’re still playing then?” His ex nods at his worn guitar, and it makes him feel small, like a failure. She wears an expensive coat, and even her perfume smells expensive.

“Yes. Every day. Always here.” She looks at him with a longing expression on her face. Is that remembrance? Is she thinking of all the times she sat here with him? She looks down at his worn boots and up again. Her face has changed.

“Take care, Johnny.” She pulls at the girl’s hand, and they move on.

“Who was that man?” Penny asks, looking over her shoulder at him. He wants to yell, “I’m your dad,” but the girl’s mother is quicker with her answer.

“Nobody, honey. Just a busker.” Johnny turns away and grabs his guitar. His heart is heavy, and his voice hoarse. His eyes are moist, and his pride a little bruised, and he clings to the only thing that ever offers a hint of security to him. A hint of normalcy. His break wasn’t long enough, his fingers still hurt, but he starts to sing again. The physical hurt is not as bad as the hurt he feels inside. Until then, he only assumed that Penelope wouldn’t know him. The assumption became true. And the truth hurts. For the remainder of the day, he sings songs of lonely hearts and broken dreams. Passers throw some money in his case, and he wonders what they see when they look at him. His ex’s voice reverberates in his mind. “Nobody. Just a busker.”

untitled_20200306

She was glowing from an unexpected bout of happiness, and for a brief moment, the world did not matter. At that moment, nothing mattered. Just the peace she felt within. Every interaction with him made her happy, and she wasn’t sure if he knew. He made her happy. Thinking about him made her grin. Browsing the pictures he sent on her phone made her heart race. Nothing was perfect about him, and it was those imperfections that she loved the most. He was not hiding, not holding back. He was real, raw – there. He was a unique man, and somehow he had found her. And she couldn’t imagine a life without him anymore. He made her feel safe and understood. He made her feel loved.

Their call had ended moments ago, and like a lovesick teenager, she sat on her bed, thinking about the way he made her comfortable, the way he made her laugh, the way he had succeeded in getting her out of her shell. She was a woman in her mid-thirties, she had a job, kids, a home, and yet, he made her feel young again. He reminded her of how it felt to be in love.

Some days, she was scared to be hurt, but that fear was meaningless compared to the fear of hurting him without intent. Her past had been hard here and there, but she was able to handle it most days. Did that make her strong? She preferred not to think about it, not since someone had called her weak in every aspect of her life. He had a past life too. He was damaged and bruised, sometimes even bleeding. There wasn’t anything she could change about it; she could only be there and hold him through the bad times. Both of them were broken, but somehow, together, they were whole again.

Next to her, her phone was ringing. It was him again, and the butterflies in her stomach spread their wings again. It was his second call in the same hour.

“Me again. I just forgot to say, I like you. A lot. I like you.”

Before she could reply, he had disconnected the call. And the smile on her face grew even wider. She shook her head. Had this really happened? She laughed out loud, a bubbly happy sound she couldn’t prevent from filling her empty room. She held her phone close to her heart and waited a moment before sending a text message to him.

She liked him too. A lot. She didn’t want to admit it out loud, but he was her last thought at night and her first in the morning. She missed him when he was not there and worried when he was not well. She broke out in internal happy dances when he sent texts or pictures, and with every call, every meaningless and every meaningful conversation, he got a little deeper under her skin.

With a deep worried breath, she realised that a piece of her heart belonged to him, and she had no idea how and when it had happened.

Welcome to Eternity (repost)

And so it began. Her reflection in the mirror faded with every time she dared to look. Her skin became grey, and her eyes had lost the living spark. Color was a distant memory she only vaguely remembered. Grief had taken over the moment he had passed on. She rubbed her face with bony, wrinkled hands, trying to find the person she once was. But she was gone. He had taken everything with him, and he had left her with an old and worn shell.
She shuffled to the bedroom and closed the windows. The evening breeze was crisp; winter was lurking around a corner. She shed the last pieces of her clothing and laid on the bed, folding her hands on her soft stomach. Then she closed her eyes and conveyed the images of him that she had stored away in her mind. They came and took her away. Away from the grey. Away from the grief. She felt her feet touch the ground, and her eyes sought out details to understand where she was. She was in a strange land where no age and no pain existed. A land between life and death. But she didn’t know that yet. Her vessel was still inhaling air to fill her lungs and making her heartbeat on.

She could hear his voice; Henry’s voice was teasing her, asking to come see him. But whenever she turned toward the direction of the sound, nothing was there. No one was there.

“Henry?” Her thin voice reverberated through the nothingness — the uncertainty spread inside her body. The soles of her naked feet felt a change in the surrounding before her mind was able to catch on. Where the ground had been of sand and gravel before, it was now cotton-like and soft. Walking became more like floating. A burst of familiar laughter made her walk on with a smile. She was where she wanted to be. For a moment, her chest had felt constricted, but it wasn’t anymore. Panic that had threatened to arise was pushed back down. She knew that she would be fine because he was near.

There was no way to describe what she saw around her. There were no shapes, and yet everything was of different shapes. There were no colors, and yet everything was so very colorful. There were no sounds, and yet, it wasn’t quiet either. Everything felt familiar and well-known. Almost intimate. Even the smell of the air reminded her of a place she had loved once upon a time.

“Henry?” she asked again. She felt the touch on her bare arm before she saw him.

“There you are, my love,” he replied and kissed her forehead. “I missed you, what took you so long?” She needed a moment to answer. She took his cheeks between her hands and exhaled sharply. “Henry, is this you? This can’t be you.” The man looked familiar, but he was young. So very young. Her Henry had been old and sick, marked by his age and everything he had seen in his lifetime. His hands covered hers. The heat of him seeped into her. His smile was contagious and familiar. “It is you,” she whispered, stepping back and bringing her hands to her lips. If this was Henry, what did it mean? How could it be? The blurry shapes and colors changed around her. She was on the farm she had grown up. The grass was green; the shade of green it has after a recent summer rain. The sky was blue and cloudless. The barn that had burned down and had killed livestock stood tall and was painted in red and white. Looking down, she realized that she was standing on a wooden porch. She was wearing a thin dress she had loved because of the flowers on it. She turned around. Everything was familiar. Young Henry sat in a rocking chair, looking at her.

“Did the other shoe finally drop?” he chuckled and reached his hand out to her. He was engulfed in light. The glow was so bright, she almost had to look away, but she couldn’t. She took his hand, and he pulled her toward him. “Oh, Henry,” she sniveled. “Are we…?” She didn’t finish her question.

“Yes, Vera, my love. Welcome to eternity.”

Dear stranger…

Holy fucking hell; I miss you more than I ever knew. I saw someone crossing the street today; he looked like you: the same curls, the same pale skin, the same walk, the same posture. My heart went like mad. Eyes wide and wild, I had troubles to get my car in gear again. But, fuck me, I began longing for you; for your voice.

The moment I could think straight again, I reminded myself that it had not been you, crossing the street. You are in the UK, sound-checking for your upcoming show.

But man, I miss you. Most days, I don’t. Most days, I am indifferent, because yearning for your touch makes me feel empty and numb. Other days, it feels as if I cannot breathe because you are not here. You weren’t here for a long, long while.

I am fine without you. Seeing your doppelganger threw me for a loop though. And so, I did what I can do without calling or sending a text. I checked social media channels for your face; I listened to old interviews, and I floated in a serene mindset listening to your music. It is all I can get; it is all I am asking for. At times likes these, I am glad that you are visible and that I can get my fix (like an addict) without you noticing.

Of course, I also write these letters. Not that you will ever read them, stranger, but my thoughts can soar free like an eagle like this, instead of being trapped in a cage.

I don’t like to be trapped, but I want to believe that you waste one or two thoughts on me too, once in a while.

When we spent time together, life was good. When we went our different ways, I was devastated and wanted to die. I am not writing this to put pressure on you, and I am sharing this to show you how dependent I was on you.

You made me, and you broke me.

It’s been a long while. And these days, I look back on what we had with a smile. You were there and showed me what passion and love is. You told me that I am worth to be loved – and I believed you; still do.

There are moments like today, when I wish we could be together, but then, a couple of hours later, I remember that we are too codependent and that our deep emotions are dangerous for our sanities.

Maybe I am in advantage because you are a public person and if I want, I can see you.

I want you to be happy – I know you are not because you still think that you don’t deserve it, but you do.

Still and always yours,

Sweetie

Heatwave – mature content

The heat, it got to her. She had always had a healthy sex-drive, but this here right now was a lot, even for her standards. She felt insatiable. Always in the mood.

Naked as she was, she let the light breeze, that found a way into her bedroom, caress her skin. It was as if her lover was gently tracing her nooks and folds and crannies with his tongue. She closed her eyes and arched her back. This felt good. Her hands knew where to go on their own. No explanation needed. One hand massaged her breast and played with her nipples, while the other hand traveled south. Legs spread wide, she didn’t waste time. Too good. She was wet. Not moist; no, dripping wet. The sound her body made as her fingers entered her spurred her on. She needed it. Right then. Right there. The smell of her own sex engulfed her and laid a thin veil over her senses, blocking out her environment. Sweat was covering her; droplets rolling down and pooling between her breasts. She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue moaning deep within her throat. Almost there. She didn’t take her time, didn’t prolong the explosion that was at the tips of her fingers. Her legs were shaking. Ragged breath. She bit her bottom lip, her eyes were closed. More. More. More of this. Her hips moved on their own accord, trying to find more friction. The tingling that had started inside of her was spreading fast. She threw her head back with another moan. Her back was arched, her hair was drenched in sweat. Pulling her legs back to reach more; to enter herself deeper. It was there, she felt the wave coming. Ready to let her lose her mind.

Another touch startled her. Not her own hands. They ruined her orgasm. Calloused, male hands. Asking for permission to continue what she had started. She took her hand from her pussy, tasting her own lust with a sly grin. Eyes meeting eyes. Dilated pupils didn’t hide their carnal desires. The sensation of his hands on her was too much to bear. He knew how to push her buttons. He knew exactly how to read her body. What had started slow and casual was building up again. She was biting her hand to keep herself from screaming out her lust, but he didn’t allow it. He demanded to hear her. And there it was. The right touch. The right pressure. Too fast. Too soon. Her entire body tensed. She stopped breathing. And the heat swallowed her from within. Sensitive to his touch, she tried to move away, but he was not done. The night was young and it was too hot to sleep anyway…

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6:37 in the morning. Tears and shower water mingle. It hasn’t been this bad in a while. No way of getting her thoughts straight and too many responsibilities to rest. Nowhere to hide, just in plain sight. Getting dressed. One task done. Getting the kids ready for school. Another task done. Did not cry for an hour. Success. Husband didn’t notice – or hasn’t said anything. Success. Driving to work. Another task done. Working on autopilot. Smiling, singing. Out of body experience. She wishes she wasn’t there. Nowhere. No one notices. Success. She’s winning. Not this battle, not this fight. One task at a time.

don’t move on

No amount of positive words he read could change the heavy feeling inside his chest. If he didn’t have all these responsibilities, he would probably leave everything behind. But on top of being a responsible man, he also cared. And he was a coward. If he ran, he didn’t know where to. And the unknown scared him more than anything else. And so, he stayed inside his bubble, breaking to pieces with every breath he took, and falling apart with every thought that flooded his mind. He kept reading every inspirational quote on the internet. It made him angry. But there was nothing he would or could change. Trapped inside his own inability to move on.