Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
A one shot story of a man passing by idly. Devoid of any ambition or emotion, he has already lived all that life had to offer. The story has a trance like feel, due to the loss of feeling of the ch...
I somehow feel like the story is soap opera-ish. If you get that feeling, please confirm. After you read, please be so kind to review. Simple one liners are fine, but I'd love if you can give me any constructive criticism to make this better. Anything would be appreciated!
The lighting was purposely dimmed. The kind where upon entering, eyes squint trying to adjust to the near dark ambience. Of course, this was to set the mood. The band played softly, soulfully, as if their numbers are up and they're trying to persuade the gods to take pity. No one paid attention to one another. They're lost in their own thoughts. Eyes rolled back; some are sleeping. Perhaps they just took a really good hit.
It wasn't unusual for the club's patrons to behave this way. They all came exactly for this; a lazy environment where no one can be bothered to give a fuck. Oh, they weren't society's outcasts. Some are famous, some have a good pile stashed somewhere. Could be legit, could be stolen. Some have wives. Good homes. Some are burnt. Some have records, some have never even evaded a parking ticket. But they all wandered in, some more nights than others, and they all sat in their favorite chairs. In their favorite lounge. And listened to the same singer.
Dolly was her name. She was a dirty blonde and she was 46. And she looked her age. She never once tried to pass herself younger. She doesn't play mind games; she never really had to. The patrons didn't interact with her, and she never cared enough to try and rouse their attention. Every night, she dons her mauve lipstick and croons Suzanne Vega's Caramel. Except, much slower.
Here, there was no such thing as boredom. Everything is lethargic. Everything is done slowly. Breathing becomes a production. Taking a drag becomes a show, every movement is calculated. Done up in a dramatic flair, but without enthusiasm. Boredom bears no meaning. Everyone is bored, yet they revel in it. The sound of Dolly's husky voice becomes a blur of notes forgotten just as soon as she hits them. And no one cared. When she finishes a number, Dolly leaves the stage, takes her seat and receives the blunt. She takes a hit.
Everyone, without a doubt is shit-faced.
And this is the club that Alexandre owns.
He was handsome once. He was full of it. Once. But he's getting older and he has a feel for theatrics.
Yes he tried to make a name for himself. Yes, he worked hard, and yes, he did enjoy the good life once. That being owning a house in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs, had a lovely petite young brunette for a wife, with a dog they cared for together. They did all the mandatory newlywed things. They devoured each other often, made many breakfasts-in-bed. Alexandre even cooked for her for birthday celebrations. Anniversaries they went away together. First year they went on a Caribbean cruise. Second year, they flew to Paris and walked under the Champs d'ElysÃ©es. Third year and their marriage was over.
And it wasn't because Claire was unfaithful. She was. She really was. She was attentive and thoughtful and considerate. All the good qualities. She made him happy.
It was because Alexandre came across a piece of scrap paper that had Claire's handwriting all over it while he was cleaning the attic. Apparently it was ripped from a journal Claire kept, meant for the garbage pile, but slipped between some other papers instead and moved to the pile they were going to review later. This junk they moved to the attic when they moved in the house. Except Alexandre had nothing to do one October night, three years in their marriage, and decided to clean it himself.
The date on the paper was May 11th. The day after he asked her to be his wife.
It had said that Claire meant to say no.
But she didn't have the heart to reject his proposal. The look on his face, the pure happiness he radiated that day when he got down on one knee. The earnest way in which he spoke; the sincere way he said "you would make me the happiest man on Earth" swayed her. She couldn't tell him.
And the sad truth is she never did. Never once in all three years. Never even hinted at it.
But he read on still, pouring through Claire's neat handwriting, absorbing sentences that truly broke his heart.
I am torn and I've cried so much but I know I'll be happy with him. He loves me. He loves me with everything he has. Everything he is. I have no doubts about it.
He did. He still does.
But I am haunted by the image of what could be. I can never truly give my heart to Alexandre, though I try. I want so badly to love him like he loves me. But I find that I can't.
That was all that he read.
He folded the sheet of paper neatly, tucked it in his pocket, went downstairs and stood behind the kitchen counter. He gazed at the girl he vowed to love till his death. She was fixing dinner.
She turned around, met his gaze, and gave him one of her charming smiles.
"Dinner will be ready in a minute!" she said.
Alexandre smiled back.
He never told her why he left. He never divorced her. He couldn't really, no matter how much he wanted to.
He just picked up all his belongings and left.
From time to time, he wonders of course, why he never formally approached the topic with her. He thinks about it often. In fact, he thinks about it all the time.
But he knew there was no fucking way he would be able to handle that conversation. What would he say? "Honey, do you love me?"
She didn't. And every time she said I love you to him was a lie. He thought of the possibility that maybe her love for him grew over the three years since she took his hand in marriage. Some nights, that was all that he could hang onto.
But the truth is simple. She didn't love him when they got engaged. She didn't love him when she walked down the aisle. She didn't love him when they exchanged vows.
And that was enough for him to leave. He couldn't bear to look at her and go along pretending that all was right. He couldn't be a part of this charade once he learned where he stood.
Moreover, the best part of this story, is that she fooled him. Alexandre truly thought that Claire loved him.
So he sits in his favorite chair, in his own lounge, and takes a hit off the blunt before passing it along to Dolly.