White Sheets – a short love story

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White sheets

By Isobel Mahony

We were completely silent. He stood there in the doorway, his tan muscular arms gently resting in the pocket of his jeans. He was so beautiful, his long body at rest; slightly crooked as his shoulder and head nudged the crumbling doorframe. What was once vital ancient pine is now a stifled doorframe covered in creamy flakes surrounding him in a nimbus of artificial life. He was tired. I could feel the defeat he emitted, seeping along the floor in an invisible fog. It was like the smoke produced in a fire, filling the room like a hot air balloon. Smothering us both, it was all we could breathe in. I ignored the instinct to crawl on my hands and knees, the logical necessities to be taken when one is stuck inside a building on fire.

He wouldn’t look at me. I couldn’t look at him. I remained in my place, no eye contact. I was a damned mess, entangled in soft white sheets, pulling them around me tighter, finding comfort in the suffocation. I seem to always run into pain’s open arms, I cannot help how I crave it.

Afternoon light fell onto the sheets, soft splotches scattered across the bed, surrounding me like ocean surrounds an island. Another day was coming to a close, and we were closing with it.

Carefully he lifted his head and looked straight at me, his eyes were not cold they were soft like dirt. “Please say something,” his voice like warm honey, stung me, pain trickling down my throat.

I can’t.

“For god’s sake, Anya.” He removed his gaze on me, lifting his eyes and chin up to the ceiling. Looking away he sighed, “Anya, what the hell do you want me to do,” looking down at the floor, “I love you okay. What else do you want me to say.” It wasn’t a question, his voice closed at the end to suggest he was talking to himself more than talking to me.

Quiet and stone hard, not meeting his gaze, “Just go Henry.” Through my peripheral vision, I could see him hesitating as he turned to go, but abruptly he turned back around, anxious and excited, “Anya, please don’t send me away, don’t, don’t push me away.” I flinched as he dove onto the bed next to me. In an aggressively tender manner he grasped my small slender hand, which once clung to him so desperately now inanimate and stiff. His eyes flickered up to my face, his voice was animated and open, “Anya, we can, we can work through this.” He is breaking now, “Tell me what I can do, please, please…” He nestled his head into my chest, his strong long arms holding a corpse with so much pressure and emotion, in hopes that she would resurrect, once again.

I sat there, a statue waiting for him to disperse, to disappear back into the darkness. And he did. I do not remember when the weight of his arms enfolded around me but eventually the pain became a dull thumping underneath my chest and I was able to move. So, I crawled underneath the soft white sheets, and curled my knees up to my chest and waited for the pain to disappear forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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