Somehow, we’ve ended up on the floor. You and I sit, our backs touching. Your bony spine puts my nerves on edge. I am tense, and we both know it. I don’t see your face, but I know your eyes are dancing with mirth, and that your lips have curled into a smirk that would make my stomach lurch if I saw it. I resolutely decide to ignore your presence. Swallowing, I get to work, and the only sound in the room is the rapid clicking of the keyboard.

When you move, you jostle my body and I grit my teeth in frustration. I feel you snickering. I take a deep breath, and command myself to keep going. To my surprise, you fall silent and become still. I welcome it, and easily lose myself in my work. I think to myself that today, I just might get something done.

With the final full stop, I’m pleased. I read it again, and I impress myself. As usual, I make a few changes here and there, and thinking of what to name it, I save the document.

That’s when you clear your throat; you stand up. Your shadow is big, dark and imposing; fear and anxiety simultaneously grip my throat, threatening to rip it apart. My teeth chatter under the chill of the hand you raise. You point out what I’ve done, and I’m ashamed. I move to improve it, but your silent command makes me freeze.

“I’m not done”, you seem to say, and I cower in fear, knowing but not knowing what is to come. Slowly but surely, you continue. You make me rethink and erase and remove, stab and slaughter until all I’m looking at is one single sentence. The cursor blinks innocently, and my heart sinks, my stomach drops.

It’s all gone, I realize, and the sorrow overwhelms me. You chuckle quietly, and sink down to your original position, moving with the eerie elegance of the phantom you are. You are smug, I sense; in vain, I try to compose myself.

All at once, a blazing rage comes over me and I rise to my feet, teeth bared, fuming; the black coffee mug is within my reach and I hurl it at you with a strength that both frightens and encourages me. It hits your forehead with a dull thud, and the mug shatters even as a loud wail echoes off the walls. I look around for something to help calm myself down, absently stepping over the mess of pages upon pages of messy black ink, ripped out and strewn across the brown floor. I grip the back of the sofa and breathe in through my mouth, and I feel the world slow down to its normal pace. I register the silence, and I know you’re gone now.

A minute, and with a sigh, I make my way to the sink to clean myself up. I turn the mirror upside down when I catch a maddening glimpse of the crimson staining my tan skin. The water drowns out the silence.


This first appeared on 25 May, 2015.
Still swamped with life.

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