by The UP Medics
This “story” was written by UP Medics members and applicants as a humorous exercise. Each member wrote two or so lines and passed the “story” to the next member. The story may not make sense. Please read at your own risk.
If promises are ever so ephemeral that they are made to be broken, then does it mean that, as much as you had promised me that I could have faith in you, there will be a day when it would be better for me to die?
What is love?
He’d been a red-faced, drunk, giggling mess just an hour before, but he’d left the party to accompany me in the front garden, and I’d never heard him speak as earnestly and eloquently as he did now.
Trying desperately to lighten the atmosphere — and to cushion the awkward minute of silence I’d already given him — I blurted out, “Baby, don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more?”
As if it was some kind of cue, the party fell silent with as a chord was struck on a synthesizer.
All eyes (mine and his, no exception) darted to tonight’s host, an eccentric man of German and Trinidadian descent.
“An original?” I wondered out loud.
“Probably part of his act, stirring up the crowd with some typical bit of dramatic flair,” he replied.
The host grinned at his captured audience, nodded to the young lady with the synthesizer and began to sing.
Or, at least I think he was singing; the sounds leaving his mouth would never qualify as melodious, but I was grateful for the distraction.
It was nice not having to think about everything – the awkward conversation, accidentally thinking out loud, and the many things my mind was able to sneak in between.
I had hoped it would last longer, this much-needed respite; but of course it was too much to ask for, and I was soon back to my present, overthinking self.
Not one to use words liberally, I tried to think of the right words to say. With these words, I engineer a reality for you that hurts you not, yet draws a line.
“Let’s give it another chance, you still—” he starts, but I know what I want to say.
“I do love you, but I love me more” and without a word, he leaves.
Self-love is something that I’ve found is the most important kind of love. I couldn’t love and be with anyone else if it meant not being okay with myself.
And that meant someone like me could never love him in the ways he deserved to be loved.
“I love me more, huh?” I whispered to myself, half chuckling and three-sixths choking on tears that were jailed for far too long.
It stung to throw away the romantic musings, the lustful delusions of a mind both tainted and naive; but I couldn’t but wonder what could have been if I wasn’t this much of a trainwreck.
My gaze followed him as he walked away while the evening breeze numbed the the trails left by tears flowing down my cheeks.
And I soon wiped them away, knowing that tears do not bring back a wilted rose scattered in the wind. With heavy steps, I headed homeward, all the while thinking where it all went wrong.
Nothing feels like solitude. The night felt colder, inner warmth of the heart gone.
Mindlessly walking, I was roused by the gentle taps of the light rain that seem to have started a couple of minutes ago. I lifted my head and feeling every single drop like it was seeping into my skin and into my soul.
As the pitter-patter of this empathic drizzle turned into a roaring rain, I stood still, never running, never turning, never moving. Rainwater ran through me without restraint as every molecule in me defied all impulses to flee, I could finally admit: I am tired of running.
I stood still, a statue frozen in time with nowhere left to go. Then I felt it; my resolve slowly crumble like I gripped my heart with my own fist too tight and it shattered before I had the chance to release it.
Suddenly, a flash of light from the heavens surrounded me whereupon my very being was sucked into a vortex, into the unknown, and as my eyes adjusted after an unknown interval, I observed that I laid bare, restrained and reclining on a cold metal slab in the midst of blinking lights and purring gadgetry. In my struggling, there made present to my person, creeping from behind a bubbling purple vat, some grotesque plutonian creature, what I daresay looked an ape of man, for it had legs exactly as it were of men, but six of them connected to the same torso; a man’s abdomen black as old hardened soot and distended as though intestines were embossing through the skin, and where the navel should be, a thick oozing tentacle emerged; where the arms should be, there where four on the right and only one on the left each arm exactly as the arms of men but appearing as though from different people; and as I drifted my eyes to the head, I counted five eyes of different sizes all arranged at the mandible, and where the other orifices should be, there were crab-like mouth pieces.
An incredulous laugh found itself escaping my mouth. I always did have the penchant for laughter in moments of such fantastic despair.
“Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?”
Until that moment, I had never thought of myself as someone so cynical that I’d resort to humor in the face of the morbidly strange — perhaps I had seen it all, and now I no longer cared whatever form death took, as long as it came knocking when I needed it to. As if prompted by my words, the creature suddenly uttered a high-pitched noise that made me shut my eyes, the squeal felt like needles were boring into my ears – NO, they were real, I opened my eyes and in the periphery of my vision I saw metallic rods whirring into my skull. The pain was too much to bear and I as I lose my grasp on my consciousness, I see my monster moving closer, its tentacles reaching for my face, and then darkness.
There was no way to tell just how long time had passed before my consciousness returned. Groggily, I rose from what appeared to be my own bed, which, upon further inspection, was not quite the same bed I knew.
I felt the yellow heat licking through my thin cotton shirt. To my left, I stared at the balcony of the same dingy three-story apartment, realizing that none of the words might fit the parade of monsters after monsters I have seen. As much as I wanted to chalk it up as some deranged fever dream, the cynic within me knew that whatever brain matter I had was neither imaginative nor disturbed enough to have produced such grotesque images. I thought back to the previous night—a night of catharsis and pain—and chuckled, amused at how petty human feelings start looking once you’ve seen things that are both above and below human at the same time.
Removing my cotton shirt, I sat back on the bed in frustration, almost naked in my spaghetti-strap pastel pink Hello Kitty lingerie and stocking set that ended exactly 5 centimeters above my knee perfectly showing off my modest sluttiness; I felt the soft satin sheets that I bought from Walmart on sale, pondering, and asked myself for the first time, “What am I supposed to feel about this? Confusion? Anger? Resignment?” I gingerly stood up, my legs wobbling like the legs of a frail, bullied Daddy Longlegs spider, uncertain of how to execute my plans but fully certain and rightfully determined in my goal– I want to fuck that monster.
I found myself walking towards the full length mirror in the corner, every step taken as if I’m in a stupor. I stared at myself, my bloodshot eyes staring back. I stripped off the lingerie and there, naked, all I see is my gaunt, pale frame testament to many years of self-neglect.
But as I inched a little closer to the mirror, I caught sight of a reddish glimmer seemingly radiating around my head, as if I were surrounded by a halo. Perplexed but horrified, I slowly turned my head around, and soon enough, by instinct, I let out a sheer cry of fear—-
Nothing came out. The cry for help desperately wanting to claw its way out of my throat was held hostage by the sight before me.
The door to my room dissolved into pink and yellow syrup on the floor and my polka dot nightgown-clad mother, along with the cloud of suffocating cigarette smoke that always followed her, entered. She acted as she was alone and began jumping up and down on my bed screeching like an alley cat.