Broken Dreams, Broken Bodies

‘Tell me what you want me to do?!’ He screamed, holding his head. ‘I can’t read your mind Clara.’ My lips, dry, cracked. Thirsty. They want to tell him. But they don’t know what to say. My tongue, hides in the comfort of my mouth. It’s scared it will say the wrong things. Tangle and twist the truth. Spread its venom like a snake. For its vicious bite will be the end of this. This. Fragile, fucked up shit show we are still calling a marriage.


I don’t know what I want. I know what I need. I need you. On my skin. On my lips. On my body. I need you. To notice me. To hold me. To want me. I need you. To tell me you me. To tell me you love me…to tell me you need me like I need you. Around me. Under me. Inside me.
I can see your lips moving. Your hands gesturing frantically. The frustration creeping onto your face. But I can’t hear your words. You’re pointing at your ears, asking if I’m listening. I shake my head slowly. Left to right. Right to left. You throw hands in the air insinuating you are done. Giving up on me. My face. Blank. No expression. Nothing to express. My doe eyes blinking at an even pace. Not leaving his.
You avert your eyes. The guilt would consume you. Eyes still lowered, you proceed to empty the chest of drawers filled with your possessions. Pushing it aggressively inside. A duffle bag. I’m watching you. You look over your shoulder subtly. Not realising I was behind you.
‘I’m not going to stop you.’ I finally hissed. He stops. Turns to face me. Stares into my soul and whispers ‘You don’t love me, you should let me go.’ His words sharp and salty. Burning my insides.
He sighs. He slips his hands under my hair around my nape, his thumb caressing my cheek. ‘What am I waiting around for? You don’t see a future with me. You don’t want to see.’ He’s trying to read between my silence. Peering into each eye. Analysing my body language. I don’t even flinch.
He sighs. He gently pushes my head forward so our foreheads were touching. We close our eyes simultaneously. Synchronising our breathing. His hand slides down my arm intertwining with mine. I reciprocate his actions. There was nothing romantic about this. But the feeling of his skin on mine had a domino effect on my body. I want to collapse in his arms.
He sighs. His fingers found my wedding ring. He twisted it until it was at the tip of my finger. He slid it off. Taking his head off mine, breaking our trance, to examine the ring. ‘You don’t need this anymore.’ He allows it fall like butter onto the ground near us.
He was right. I felt a weight being lifted off me. Everything was better before. Before the commitments. Before the responsibilities. Before all the shit. Back when we could sleep in someone else’s bed and not feel betrayed. But it’s not like that, anymore.
Like a reflex action. I retrieved the ring and put it back in its rightful place. ‘It’s not as easy for me to take this off as it was for you.’ I snapped. He’s at a loss of words. He mutters angrily under his breath. Moves away from me. Paces around the room. Then walks towards me. I retreat backwards until my back hit the wall. He’s inches away from me. He’s not the same man I married. He slams his hand onto the wall near my face. Flecks of paint fly onto my face. No. He’s an empty shell of a man.
He pounds at the wall again. My eyes squinting, my face turned away. Again, he thumps at the wall. And again. And again. Spots of red squeezed through his pores. He winces in pain. ‘I said I was sorry!’ He pokes my head aggressively. ‘Don’t you get it?’ His hand grips the lower portion of my face pushing my lips out. They crack and scarlet liquid oozes out. ‘I still fucking love you!’ He drops his hand, swinging my head against the wall. ‘I made a mistake.’ He whispers.
He calmly walks to the other side of the bed and sits. Back towards me. His face in his hands. Was he ashamed? Did he feel remorse? Of course not. What’s that saying? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…there will be no twice.
I lick the salty blood off my lip. Crawl up the bed until body is pressed onto his. I lower my head and kiss his neck. I’m the nicotine and he’s the addict.
I leave. Wrap myself in a blush satin robe, stained with last night’s blood. After a while you don’t notice it. I stand outside on the balcony. I could hear his stirring in the kitchen. I sigh. I light my cigarette and smoke it like it’s my last. The sky is red with soft pink and yellow hues. The sun was leaving.
I hear footsteps behind me. But I don’t care enough to turn. I feel his icy breath on my neck. ‘You can only love me. No one else will ever love you.’ Light reflected off something, attacking my eyes. I lower my gaze. His fingers were coiled around a butcher’s knife. I lock my eyes with his and smile softly. For the first and last time. ‘One last kiss?’ I asked.
I put my cigarette down on the railing. I grab his face and pulled him into a kiss. He loses himself in our kiss. He doesn’t feel me manoeuvre our bodies so his was pressed against the railing. I pull out of the kiss and push him off the balcony. I watch as he fell. The horror on his face. Then his lifeless body encrusted the roof of our car. The railing under him.
I sigh. Pout my lips, upset. What a waste of a cigarette.
Paris. The city where my love came to die. Along with my lover.
I pull out another cigarette and light it. I didn’t even hear the screams of pedestrians below or the sirens. I didn’t even feel them restrain me, handcuff me and take me away. I didn’t feel the revolver on my temple either.

by Ripa Begum

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