how to write a happy ending

[a follow-up to the previous post, with the legs, i hope, to stand on its own]

Utter darkness.

And a foreboding awareness.

I stand and wait for his approach. I can sense his movements as if he were a twin I never had. And when he is in range, I thrust an invisible knee at an invisible groin, and there is a satisfying thud as he hits the ground.

“You bitch!” he gasps.

I find the light switch on the wall, flick it on.

He squints.

I kneel next to him on floor. It is never fun to see someone in pain.

“I just need to tell you something, first,” I say.

A knock on the door.

“Hey, are you okay in there?”

“Everything’s fine,” I call back, fibbing a little.

The person on the other side of the door is the first boy I’ve ever kissed. He has long, lanky legs and silly, feathered hair. But he also has this way of looking at me that makes me feel as though he sees something there.

I hear him set his head on the door in misery, and then his palms.

“Don’t be like that,” I call out to him. “I promise you: everything is going to be okay.”

But I can’t be with him right now. Because there are other things that are going to have to happen.

I turn to the boy on the ground, hands clasped between tight knees.

“I need you to know something,” I tell him.

The right side of his mouth twitches.

“What is about to happen is going to accelerate the direction my life is already taking. With or without you, I’m going to self-destruct for a while. It’s just the way things are going to go.

“So you are not special, what you are going to do is not unique. If it weren’t you, it was just going to be someone else.”

“Fucking slut,” he mutters.

I lift the lid of the toilet tank, and remove a cigarette from the pack conveniently taped to its underside. The lady of this house has some secrets she keeps, and I like her for it.

“Mind if I smoke?” I ask, almost comically.

Lighting up with the matches next to the potpourri dish, turning on the bathroom fan, I inhale.

Follow that with a long exhale, the smoke pulled beautifully skywards in serpentine strands.

“Here’s what I’m trying to say, ” I start again. “This is going to happen, but I won’t always be a fuck-up. I have a whole, long life ahead of me.”

I make a wide sideways arc with the cigarette to encompass the length of my story, and the smoke loyally moves with it.

“And you, here, this moment, are like this in comparison.”

I snap the fingers of my opposite hand.

The boy on the other side of the door drunkenly moans my name, and I hear his body slouch dejectedly to the floor.

“And okay, you’ll fuck things up with me and him,” I concede. “I’ll give you that. But it’s going to be about twenty years before I can even begin to hold his gaze, anyway.

“So we’ve got time.”

I give myself a moment to let that sink in.

“And besides,” I continue, “if not because of you, there would just be some other reason that we leave each other’s lives.

“That’s just the way things work.

“And at least if it’s you, we’ll have that in common.”

I sigh now, turn to look at myself in the mirror. Capture the moment.

“You’re going to find this hard to believe, but one day, a long, long time from now, I’m going to lie in his arms and tell him all of this.

“And he’s going to be quiet for a while and then he’ll say, ‘Do you want me to beat him up for you?’

“I won’t be expecting that, and it will make me giggle.

“And then he’ll start giggling too.

“We won’t be able to stop, and he’ll make it worse by pulling it together enough to say, ‘I’m serious, I’ll do it.’

“Which will make me laugh so hard that I’ll get stomach cramps and I’ll have to leave the room just to be able to breathe.”

I drop the cigarette in the toilet, nudge the boy on the floor with my delicate foot.

“You know why we’ll be laughing?” I ask him.

He doesn’t answer. But I think he does know.

“It’s because , at that point, the idea of your holding enough importance to bother with will be hilarious.”

I smile now, just thinking about it.

Then I walk across the bathroom, and turn the lights back off.

“Now let’s get this over with,” I say.

And I lie down next to him on the floor.

*    *    *

this post is dedicated to Asmira, who is teaching me that it’s never the end

2 thoughts on “how to write a happy ending

  1. “It’s because , at that point, the idea of your holding enough importance to bother with will be hilarious.” I love that part.

    “I thrust an invisible knee at an invisible groin, and there is a satisfying thud as he hits the ground” – how many times have I done this in my head 😀

    You are simply amazing Delusia. 🙂 And thank you for dedicating this post to me 🙂

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