A tangled web of red.

This is the first part of a love story that I wrote, it isn’t complete yet, I still haven’t decided how to proceed with it. However it’s been floating around on the computer for a couple of years, and hopefully by setting it free, it might inspire me. Enjoy.

“Excuse me” I called out to the red head, dropping the contents of her pockets along the chiller aisle. “Excuse me” I called again, but this time louder. She still didn’t hear me. I stood shivering along side the rows of cheese and watched as her long red hair fell on her shoulders in a tangled web of curls. Rummaging frantically through her pockets she suddenly spun round, searching the floor for her lost possessions. My heart stopped. There was no mistaking her face. I hadn’t seen her in ten years, and yet looking at her now was like rewinding time.
“Clarice” I croaked. Her name echoed across the empty store. She turned to look at me. Her deep blue eyes, searched my reddening face.
“Nathan”
I am sure I heard alarm and shock in her voice.
“I think you dropped these” I replied. I reached out to hand her the phone and keys, I had gathered up from the floor. Hesitantly stepping forward, she took them from my open hand,. She looked older. She had Laughter lines in the corner of her eyes. Her hair was longer, but still had that unruliness to it. She looked almost unchanged.
She was looking up at me, with a look of surprise. I stepped back, to assess the situation and gain some control.
“Wow, how , what, when, I mean how are you?” Clarice asked.
“I’m good, I’m living and working back here now. I thought you had moved away” I tried to keep my voice calm, but my heart was beating so fast I was sure she could hear it above the humming fridges.
“I did Nathan, but that was years ago, I’m back here now”.
I wanted to ask if she was well, happy…single. But instead I made a stupid comment about how she obviously still liked drastic hair colours. She hung her head and looked at the floor, I wanted to tell her how beautiful the red hair made her look. But I didn’t get the chance. She lifted her head, looked straight into my eyes, and said
“I have to go, Nathan, it was nice seeing you again, take care”.
I leant against the chiller cabinet and watched as the girl I had always loved hurried away from me. My mind wandered back to that hot summers day in 1996 when I left to follow my own selfish dreams. I was sure Clarice would be better off without me. We had different paths. She was a bright girl, but lacked ambition. Her rebellious streak saw her change her hair colour weekly. She was wild and out of control, when I was with her, I felt out of control. I loved her more than I was capable of expressing. I was scared. I made the mistake of walking away from her, and spent ten years missing her. I had stupidly let her walk away from me again. I looked down at the floor, at my feet, a flash of bright red hair caught my eye, lodged beneath my empty shopping basket was Clarices work badge. I ran my fingers across the fresh face, and read the details. I gasped, a soft rush of air filled my lungs as I realised that I had been wrong, so very wrong.

I needed to get away. I needed to get to work. Why had he acted so cold towards me, tears stung at my eyes as I considered his surprise when he had seen me, how fast he had been to say he thought I had moved away, and what’s so wrong with my red hair. I reached the doors to the school, and rushed through to the staffroom. My first lesson wasn’t for an hour, but I needed time to get my emotions back in check. I sat in the corner chair behind the old forgotten pile of peoples friend magazines left behind long ago by a former teacher.
“Clarice, someone just popped into the office to hand this in”
I looked up over the magazines at Maureen, the school secretary. She was old and forgetful, due to retire at the end of term. She handed me my work id badge.
“What did they look like” I asked.
“ I don’t know Clarice, I was too busy dealing with the paperwork to look, Sorry.” I watched Maureen head toward the staffroom door, my heart thumping hard in my chest. Had I lost the id in the supermarket, with the other bits, had Nathan followed me over here, and handed it in? I stared at the girl with the red hair in the picture, I had worked so hard to become that girl, but all he saw was the seventeen year old he had left behind. I gathered up my things and crawled out from the corner. Maureen popped her head back around the door “Clarice, don’t forget you have the talk with your class today, he is just setting up in the hall now”. I let out a deep sigh, I had forgotten. “Ok Maureen, I’m just off there now” I replied with a cheerful smile, that hid the turmoil I was really feeling.

Dearest Dear

I have this desire, deep down inside of me,

to rip open your soul, and play havoc in your heart.

To tear open your fucking body, and rip apart your chest

and let the crimson blood of life, spill across my naked breast.

I want to ruin you, own you, to destroy you in the crumpled sheets

of a single bed, beneath the incessant rumbles of a thunderous sky.

Why must I always feel like you are waiting to say goodbye?

I want to taste your blood against my tongue, to chain you in a darkened room with no where to run.

I want pleasure and pain,

and multiple orgasms to drive me insane.

The ticking and tocking, of the eternal clock,

Is a fucking cunt and needs to stop.

I wish to end this unforgiving battle, and taste the bitter tincture

that will cease this ebbing flow,

and reunite our defiled and ravaged soul.

I’ll do anything; everything, all that must be,

to have you before me,

on your fucking knees.

 

The shopping list.

June sat helplessly in the corner of her living room whilst her daughter Sally cried into a large pile of Junes clothes.  She hadn’t been inside this house for 365 days. She looked around the room with fresh eyes. How she missed it, she thought to herself.

‘You wore these the day before you left.’

Sally said holding up a pair of dark jeans. She didn’t expect a response. But still she said it out loud, hoping something might have changed, somehow. Sally reached into the pockets and retrieved a crumpled piece of paper. A shopping list. Her throat burned as she held back tears. There had been so many tears over the past year.

‘My shopping list. I was going to make lemon squares.’ June whispered into the room.

Sally continued to look at the crumpled list. You never did make the lemon squares, Sally thought. June edged closer to her daughter. She wanted to hold her, to apologise for leaving her. She moved her soft fingers across Sally’s tear soaked cheek. Sally reached up her hand and placed it where her mothers fingers had been.

Sally knew today would be hard. She carefully folded the shopping list and tucked it gently away inside one of her mothers journals. She continued to carefully fold her mothers clothes into bags. Acceptance was the hardest thing. She lay down on the floral sofa and spread out her legs as she had seen her mother do so many times. June crouched on the floor beside her.

‘I can’t stay long Sally. I’m sorry.’ June whispered softly to Sally.

‘I miss you mum.’ said Sally, as if in response.

‘Sally what are you doing.’

Sally turned toward her dad. Tears rolled helplessly down her face.

‘Oh dad, I miss her, I miss her so much.’

June watched as Sally effortlessly hugged her arms tight around her dad.

‘I have to go Sally. I’m sorry.’

June softly kissed the top of Sally’s head and gently squeezed her arm.

June walked out through the front door, tears toppling down her face. They say it gets easier; she thought, that each year you grow stronger. How can it, she thought. She always wondered whilst growing up what hell might feel like, and now she knows. Hell is being dead, whilst the people you love continue to live.

June

January, February, March, April, May

Then i’d like to skip a month,

and sleep away the days.

 

Fresh life, beginnings, chances and love

the atroscities of envy

sent from up above.

 

January, February, March, April, May

Then i’d like to skip a month,

and sleep away the days.

 

Promises, lies, fantasies and fate,

The creation of an invalid world,

that leads to Satans gate.

 

January, February, March, April, May

Then i’d like to skip a month,

and sleep away the days.

 

Sacrifices, loss and loves that have been,

the past is long behind us,

but my heart always see’s.

 

Mummy, what is love?

One day my precious daughter will ask

‘Mum what is love?’ and I will say,

Love is everything and love is nothing.

Love is a trust that reaches beyond our

Realm, far into another universe. Love

is a respect that runs so deep constantly

Changing, growing and evolving. Love

is loyalty when the money is gone and

The nights are cold. Love is energy.

But most of all love is your reflection,

In the eyes of your partner. Love is equal

The scales never tipping, love is complete

Without regrets. Love makes you strong

Not weak. Love is pure not tainted.

Sacrifice

I love you so much, but, I cannot say

the words, for you don’t belong to me

Instead I’m left with hope, and clichés

But even that is not a guarantee.

So I wait in line, with all my patience

Ignoring the imperfections of life

And the stirring emotions of my adolescence

So that no one can sharpen, their sinful knife.

I sacrifice for you, for them for everyone

My love, so you can live out your life, happily

Till the eternal breath of life leaves my dying lungs

I will linger in shadows of the dreams that cannot be

Unless, this is our path, and our destinies will meet

Again someday, perhaps when we are dead, and free.