about an ice-age ago in terms of internet time, there was a site called bittersweet which invited submissions – usually short fictional autobiography or autobiographical fiction. these were a few of my submissions about, i guess, what you could call *submissions*. they’ve been lying forgotten in the fossilized strata of my computer till i stumbled upon them recently and i thought i’d excavate and exhibit them here.
i’m lying there wondering why i can’t get him the hell out of my head. it’s been forever and we live on opposite sides of the ocean now, but for some reason he’s suddenly all i can think about.
the phone rings and the cacophony in my head is shocked into silence by his voice on the line.
”where are you?” i finally manage to stammer.
“on your door-step.”
it’s been over for a long time. we’re both involved in long-distance relationships. he’s come into town without his girlfriend and i’m leaving in two days to meet the new lover whose face i can barely remember because of the old one i can’t yet forget.
after a long night talking and drinking infront of the fire, there is an invitation to share a platonic bed.
in the morning, while my stomach still lurches from what evolved into a very non-platonic night, i turn to him and say, “it was the way we spooned, the way your arm across my body drew me close, the familiarity of it all, that undid me.”
he looks at me with real alarm and says,”oh no, we don’t want you coming undone, now do we?”
in the restaurant he leans across the candle-lit table with that old puppy-dog expression that used to melt my insides, still does, and tells me how beautiful i am.
i shake my head in disbelief and turn away, to which he responds,
“you know, just because i had my head turned by another woman, doesn’t mean that i can’t still appreciate how incredible you are.”
in the morning, he invites me to their engagement party.
on sundays he usually makes the croissant-run – a trip to the local bakery to buy breakfast pastry.
i awake to a paper-bag and a note at my front-door.
at my kitchen-table, with my coffee and croissant, i read the note. it says,
“you asked me to write you a letter. how about the letter ‘I’ with a little bit of ‘LOVE’ in between, followed by my favourite letter, ‘U’.”
at the bottom, accompanied by two x’d kisses, it is signed, “me”.
i read it again while in my mind i can see him sitting down to sunday brunch with his wife and kids. i nearly toss my croissant in the trash, but instead i eat it slowly till all that’s left are the crumbs of pastry-flakes.
i don’t even cry.