The doorbell rang. Well it was more of a buzz really. The loud, high-pitched squeal brought him crashing into this next episode of torment. He opened his eyes and heard the soft jangling of keys and rustling of bags from outside the door. It did not take him long to realise that he was standing in the hallway of his own flat. To his right was a kitchen, to the left the living room with the table from which he ate his meals squatting in the corner and straight ahead the closed door to the bedroom from which he was currently dreaming. He looked into the kitchen to see the perfect tidiness that told him that this was before Emily had moved out.
The door clicked open and he turned to see Emily, shopping bags in hand, stepping across the threshold, her golden hair bouncing of her shoulders and her smile radiating from her face. She looked straight through him at the closed door of the bedroom. He remembered after a brief puzzlement that she could not see him here, this was a memory, a dream, he was only an observer, helpless to stop the inevitable that he knew was coming. He did not need to look at a calendar on the wall to know what day it was, to know what was about to happen.
He was as helpless as one in the path of a hurricane. He knew the storm was coming and that it would be devastating, but he was helpless to stop it. He felt like grabbing her and dragging her of the flat, instead he just stood there, staring at the beautiful face that he loved, waiting for the gathering storm.
“Honey!” she yelled into the flat, “My meeting was cancelled tonight, so I went and did some shopping and came home early. I got some Pizza, and that film you wanted to see. I thought we could sit and watch it tonight.” She paused, her eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement. “Honey?” She shrugged, walked past him into the kitchen and started unpacking the shopping.
He watched her, expecting to hear the bedroom door open, hoping that it would not and dreading to see the scene that he’d played in his mind over and over again daily for the last few weeks. He watched her, her perfect features gleaming in the dim light as she put away all the things that she’d bought and that he hadn’t even known they’d needed. She had always know exactly what was in the house and what needed buying, always thinking and planning meals days and weeks in advance. He watched her silent labours and wondered how he could have been stupid enough to throw it all away.
The bedroom door clicked open and Emily walked into the hall, packet of Cheerio’s in hand. He turned his head to see himself in the threshold to the bedroom, clad only in a dressing gown. He wanted to shut his ears and walk away, but he just stood there, Emily beside him, suspicion and puzzlement painted on her face.
Why are you naked?” She was trying to suppress a laugh as she spoke; her voice was almost musical as the question reverberated around the small flat. She shook her head and her hair danced.
“No reason” the man in the doorway lied. The lie was punctuated with silence. He never had been able to lie to her. “Did you say something about pizza and a film?”
She smiled a smile that he would never forget. It was the last she had given him. “Yes, but if you’re naked I could make other plans.”
The man in the doorway smiled. “Pizza and a film sounds good, I’ll go get some clothes on.” He turned and stopped dead.
“Is there something wrong dear?” she craned her next, trying to look past him.
He spun again, fear on his face. It perfectly reflected the frantic heart beat and trembling hands that he could not see but knew were there. He opened his mouth to speak, but has he did so slender arms wrapped themselves around his waist. His expression changed to dread and he closed his eyes, trying to wake himself. A face, framed by dark hair, deep brown eyes gleaming, appeared over his shoulder. She placed her chin on his shoulder and rested her long, slender face against his. He shrugged her off, but her arms remained around his waist, pulling him closer. He could see from where he was that she was naked, but he knew that already.
“Who the hell is that?” He heard a crunch as Emily’s slender hands crushed the cereal box she still held. Rage and hurt swam in her gorgeous green eyes. She spoke with barely a whisper; he could see her hands trembling.
The women opposite smiled a cruel, satisfied smile. “I’m your boyfriend’s fuck-buddy.” She purred challengingly, “who the hell are you?”
The man in the doorway still had not opened his eyes. His voice trembled as he spoke. “Emily, I’m so sorry, I–“
“Shut up!” Emily’s voice betrayed barely withheld tears. The crunch of the cereal hitting the floor was the only sound and she turned to the door. She wrenched it open, almost pulling it from its hinges and left, muttering something about collecting her things tomorrow. There was dead silence after the door slammed shut.
He looked at himself with the disgust that he had felt for the past few weeks. He just stood there, eyes shut, barely breathing. The woman still stood behind him, arms around his waist, her grip firm, faint satisfaction danced in her eyes and radiated from her smile. Any spite he felt towards her was drowned out by the anger and disappointment he directed at himself.
“Are you still here?” he asked after a while. Pausing, he wondered if he meant him and if this was where the dream diverged from reality, but the soft reply reminded of what came next.
“I’m waiting for you to finish fucking me.” The woman replied in a soft, seductive tone, as she spoke her slender fingers worked at the knot in his dressing gown.
“Shut up and get out.” He growled, wriggling from her grip and pushing past her into the bedroom.
“Oh come on, you might as well, you’ve lost her, so why lose me too?”
“I said get out.” He shouted from within the bedroom, throwing a pile of clothes at her.
Calmly the woman dressed herself in the hall, the bedroom door still open, unaware that he still stood by the door, unseen, watching the tall woman pull on clothes silently and calmly. He looked at her and tried to wonder how she could possibly be better the Emily. No matter how beautiful she was, she did not compare to the woman he loved. He asked himself as he watched the woman dress why he had done it and came up with no answer that did not make him shallow and stupid. He leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes, regret raging through him more than it had at any point since that night.
His eyes opened. The voice was silent. He knew it smiled knowingly. He knew what he had to do.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The Voice part 3
Remember a few weeks ago I wrote parts one and two of this story? Well here's part three. Sorry this is so horribly late, but I've had a busy week.