Lone Star – Part 3

For Part 1 – Click Here

For Part 2 – Click Here


So much for getting some action.

My flight was a two hours late and to my horror, my ex-bestie was on it.

I scratched my head, wondering how such misfortune could befall me. I’d moved to a pretty isolated part of the country, sure that such encounters could be avoided.

Damn the tourism industry!

She hadn’t spotted me. Maybe the cap and the shades helped.

But I knew her – even though it had been close to a decade that I had last seen her. She was also by herself.

Then I corrected myself. I saw two women walk up to her, the trio started chatting excitedly about something. So, she had made new friends.

Friends. If you could call them that. The person that I knew her to be was someone who couldn’t distinguish a friend from a foe. She always ended up making friends with the wrong people and then acted as if the world had ended. That was one of the reasons that I had decided to drift away. I was always the one trying to buck her up and make her see that the world wasn’t such a shitty place till I realized I was just a therapist and nothing else. She’d stopped spending time with me, citing her career took up all of her free time.

I wasn’t dumb. Let me give you a piece of advice. If someone is too busy for you – all the time and where it seems like interacting with you is just a chore for them on their to – do – list – do yourself a favor and walk away. You’ll thank me for it later.

I walked away too.

Back then, when I wasn’t in great control of my feelings I’d felt blue about it for a long time. Now, well I could look at this situation dispassionately. Did I feel nostalgic? Yes. I did. But I didn’t dwell on it. That’s will power and being mentally strong. I’m not bragging. I’m being honest.

Soon it was time to board the flight. I walked past her, she didn’t even realize I was there. I chuckled softly.

Somethings never change.


To be continued….

 

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Lone Star – Part 2

For Part 1 – Click Here.


I woke up at around 11.

11 AM. Come on, I can’t sleep away the whole day!

Ever since I’d taken to the solitary life, I slept much better. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I didn’t have much to worry about. People complicate everything.

You don’t believe me?

Let’s say you got a new job. Or got promoted. You excitedly share this news with people you love. And guess what – half of them do not sound happy – even if they try really, really hard to. Because we live in a world where we compare our success, our happiness with that of others. It is a constant competition.

It happened with me all the time. I was…or rather still am an ambitious gal. Back in the day, I naively thought that people would feel happy to see me do well but I saw over time, some of my so called best friends look sad or indifferent or even envious. Every time I got a new job or I made a new boyfriend or the time when I bought my first house. Sigh!

Now – I didn’t have to worry about that.

My phone buzzed. Stella, my assistant had sent me my updated work calendar. Yes, I did have an assistant. Unfortunately I could not cut off all human contact. Stella was 30 years old and a hot mess. But she was a good assistant. Once a year, we had a nice ritual of going for a company retreat. Stella & I.

It would usually be one of those plush resorts which weren’t too crowded. I’d swim and work on my tan while Stella would get hammered and then cry about her current fiasco of a love life. It would have been quite entertaining, if it wasn’t so sad.

Also, she didn’t want my advice so I just listened and nodded. Every.Single.Year.

What did I do for a living? Well. I was a virtual life coach.

Sounds funny, right? But you won’t believe the amount of money that people are willing to pay to hear the things that they already know. Throw in some wisdom, make a plan, follow up with them…the job was a breeze. I loved to see people succeed.

Maybe because at this age, I had enough to retire. But I didn’t want to. At the age of 40, I had a house of my own. I had a back yard where I grew a lot of vegetables plus a couple of fruit trees. I had a small coop where I kept hens.

No, I did not have a cow. I wasn’t a farmer. But I liked doing whatever I could on my own. It kept me active, healthy and relaxed.

I had a gardener – Jean. Jean was 21 years old, with six pack abs and a glittering white smile. I know what you are thinking but stop right there. Jean was as gay as they come.

As for me, I’d given up on love. I’d had a couple of casual hook ups now and then because hey – I was human. That was usually when I had to fly out of town for work.

And today was one of those days. I smirked. Hey – birthday girl, birthday sex, right?


To be continued.

Lone Star – Part 1

This is a work of fiction.

—————

I was 40 years old today. And there was no one to wish me. My parents were deceased. I’d divorced my husband fifteen years ago and made the conscious and wise decision not to have children.

I had no friends.

After years of trying to maintain relationships with people who didn’t really care I just stopped trying one day. I removed myself from social media, deleted everyone’s number and put all of those fake relationships behind me.

Sure, my so called bestie tried calling me a few times. But then I changed my number and that was it. We had drifted apart and after being treated like a doormat far too often, I decided even she wasn’t worth it.

Are you shaking your head in pity? Ah – don’t.

Did I need therapy? Well. That’s a tricky question.

A therapist or a psychologist would find me and the way I think fascinating and I could one day, be a case study discussed in some well known medical school.

But no – I did not need therapy.

I just liked being alone.

You see, some people saw it as a weakness. As a character flaw. But for me – it was my strength.

I got out of bed and made myself a hot cup of coffee and took out some butter cookies I had baked the day before.

Perfect.

Everyone who loves coffee will understand the bliss of taking a sip, just a tiny one and feeling the flavor flow through your mouth.

From my bedroom window, I could see the sun rise. The sky changed color from black and blue to orange and red and then light blue.

Beautiful.

My phone buzzed.

Don’t get excited – it was just a reminder for my to do list for the day. I told you, I kept human contact to a minimum.

But today was my day off…so I crept back into bed and switched off my phone. I would wake up when my body told me it was time to, not a second sooner.

I loved my life.


To be continued…..

 

 

The Undead – Part 1

This is a work of fiction.


I was a bit annoyed. Usually, I didn’t mind if these creatures created a racket running around what used to be my home but today, I was annoyed. Why? You ask why?

It has to do with a particular star. These creatures call it MACS0647-JD, but for me, this star has only one name – Home. At a distance of approximately 13.3 billion light years away from this planet, it is a bit far. Well, not for me and my kind – but for these creatures it is – heck, they haven’t even developed the technology to explore within their own solar system. I mean, their progress is pitiful barring a few gifted souls. What set these souls apart? Heh. Us. Go figure.

But yes, coming back to the point – today I was pissed because I was told that I had to stay on this planet for another 10 human years. I have been here for almost a 1000  human years and there is only so much entertainment in this so-called pyramid.

Hahaha….don’t look so shocked. I mean, you knew it deep inside you that no human could have built something so intricate, did you? We built it. So that we had a home on this planet and we could track progress of life on this planet. Why? ‘Cos we are trying to manufacture the perfect species…combining the best traits of all intelligent life forms from all over the universe!

But no! You guys had to poke your noses and make this one of the god damn wonders of the world. So well, every day I have thousands of you walking on the roof of my house.

Roof you say?

Well DUH! My home is underground. I had to shift it way, way underground so that your pesky archaeologists would not come poking their noses into what was clearly none of their business.

Once, when I had gone outside around a 100 years ago to collect some samples from a particular human being who I could detect was special, I accidentally bumped into what you called a historian. Well, he was as stunned as I was; seeing my purple skin and red hair. Well – that’s what your limited color vision allows you to see. From where I come from, there are over a 1000 different colors visible to us.

So anyway he saw me and fainted. And hence, began what your media calls ‘conspiracy theories’ about extra terrestrial life.

The funny thing is, we aren’t the extraterrestrials in this case. You are. We found you, you humans on a planet that was dying and brought you here, to make you thrive. We altered you a little bit so that you would evolve into intelligent creatures. Imagine our disappointment when we saw what you were doing to this planet? We decided, this time we would not help you. But secretly, we are rooting for you.

Who are we? We are the undead.


To be continued…

 

3 AM – Part 4

For part 1 – Click Here

For part 2 – Click Here

For part 3 – Click Here


3 PM

I try Bart’s number for the fifth time. A week’s over and there’s been no news from him. I’ve been waking up every other night ‘cos of Baxter’s weird behavior and I’m a bit sick of it.

‘Finally!’  I almost yell into the phone.

‘Norah, I know I am late, I’ll be back in 3 days. How are you?’ Bart sounds unabashed.

‘Your damn dog’s been working the graveyard shift and I DO NOT appreciate it.’

Bart coughs into the phone and sighs, ‘Look, Baxter is heart-broken ok? It has been a few months since her pup died and she always cries at night. The vet told us it would pass and to be frank, it is getting better.’

I look across the room at Baxter, who is currently in a state of bliss, asleep on her back after a big meal.

‘I didn’t know that.’ I mumble into the phone.


5 PM

I walk back to my bed and open my laptop. Today’s the day I start working from home. There are over 20 get well soon messages and e-cards from my colleagues. I scan through them briefly, sending everyone a simple ‘thank you’.


8 PM

After a few hours, I check my phone. The messages have also stopped. Now that you know that I am on the mend, you’ve dropped all pretense of caring. You scumbag. You…. You haven’t called. You haven’t dropped by. You have vanished into thin air – like you were never there. Fuck you.

I put my laptop aside and hobble to my fridge. There’s an old tub of ice cream which doesn’t smell like it’s expired. I search my collection of CD’s for something sad – ah – The Notebook. I put on my giant flat screen tv, hoping that the movie will evoke some emotions that I badly need to release.

What a dumb girl I am.

But sure enough – after an hour into the movie I’m bawling. And you know what – so is Baxter. The moment she heard my first sob, the dumb dog crawled into my lap. I think it was partly to beg for a bit of ice cream. But also to give me a few comforting licks and whimper and snuggle with me. Damn dog. She’s kind of cute.

For the first time I give her a hug. Here we are. Man and animal. Comforting each other. So this why people are mad about dogs. For being all dumb and cuddly and gooey. Huh. Perhaps I won’t return her to Bart after all.


10 PM

I feel a bit better once the movie ends. I feel like I have a lot of sorrow left in me…but this is good for now.

I look at my phone and yep – true to form not a peep. I take a deep breath and delete your number. I mean – I know it by heart so it doesn’t really matter but I do it anyway. It’s a sign of moving on, isn’t it?

I put my phone on silent and pull Baxter close to me. Something tells me we are not going to wake up tonight, in a long time.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 AM – Part 3

For part 1 – Click here.

For part 2 – Click here.


Bart walks in, uninvited and the fake smile on my face disappears when I see what he is holding.

It’s his dog – Baxter. Baxter and I go way back. He has a habit of waking up at odd hours of the night ever so often and barking his head off. When I had moved into this neighborhood, the real estate agent had assured me that the area was peaceful during the day. Obviously, she chose her words well. Buyer beware!

Bart held out Baxter towards me.

‘Here. Take him. My mom’s fallen sick and I’m going for a week. You OWE me girl.’

I look at Bart…or rather, look down at his bald, tattooed head in disbelief.

‘Say what?’

Bart coughs and forcibly pushes Baxter into my arms.

‘Here.’

‘What the f.’ 

Baxter weights more than what he looks like. I’d never seen a weirder looking dog. A cross between a dachshund and a pug. I can feel his slobbery tongue lick my chin and I try not to shudder.

‘Bart…I can’t look after him! I’m sick myself and I’ve never kept a pet! OW!’ I scowl as Baxter decides to give a nudge to my broken rib-cage. I let him down gingerly and scowl at Bart, trying to keep my cool. Before I can say anything, he hands me a list.

‘Not to worry dear! I’ve mentioned all the things she needs to eat, how often you need to bathe or take her for a walk and the vet’s details…everything is there….plus you have my number….girl I got no one else to ask and you OWE me.’

Bart smiles up at me hopefully.

I sigh deeply. ‘Her? Baxter’s a her? Always reckoned she was a he.’

Bart grins and takes it as an acknowledgement of my acceptance of this strange animal.

‘You better be back in a week.’ I mutter as I see Baxter settle down on my favorite couch. My favorite white couch. I mentally decide not to worry about stains right now, scowl one last time at Bart as he makes his way out of my house and sit down wearily.

In the midst of all of this, I forget to check my phone. I check it again. No messages from YOU.

I throw my phone across the room. It makes a strange sound, like something’s broken. I secretly hope that it has. And then I hope that it hasn’t.

The day goes by quietly. I feed Baxter the food Bart has left with me and take her for a short walk around the block at night, to do her business. I don’t bother picking it up. Bending is painful and not recommended by my doctor.

Baxter gives me a quick lick and we both fall asleep on my bed.


3 AM.

I wake up to loud barks. Baxter’s going nuts. She’s prancing around my bedroom window.

‘Quiet!’

Baxter whimpers but settles down immediately. After 5 minutes, she’s making these weird sounds as if she’s crying. I wonder if I should go pet her, but I don’t have the strength. I make a mental note to ask Bart about it later.

Exhausted, I fall asleep.


To be continued….

 

 

 

 

3 AM – Part 2

For Part 1 – Click here.


3 AM

I wake up suddenly. It’s one of those dreams where you feel like you are falling and about to hit the ground. Bam! I am sure you know what I am talking about. Apparently almost everyone has had this dream at some point.

It has been two weeks since I got hit.

I am home now, on sick leave…it still hurts when I more around but I am on the mend…well at least as far as my broken bones are concerned.

My heart and mind…not so much. I check my cell phone. There’s a shitty message from you from last night : ‘Hope you are feeling better.’

I snort loudly to myself. Hope I am feeling better? I wonder where you are. I wonder, why when I was sick all of this time – you couldn’t find even five minutes to come and see me? How about calling me?

No, all I get is one shitty message per day, asking me if I am better. At 10 PM sharp. Well done boy, you’ve done your duty of expressing your concern. Thanks but no thanks.

Exhaustion takes over and I fall asleep, despite my determination to stay awake and feel sorry for myself.


11 AM

My body hurts. I get up slowly, trying not to stretch anything that would hurt more. As always, I’ve forgotten to take the painkillers. They weren’t supposed to be good for the liver, were they?

I check my cell phone again. Not a peep from you.

I slowly make myself a cup of coffee and call my mom, who lives a million miles away. I reassure her in my fake peppy voice that I’m okay and no, I don’t need her to fly down and take care of me.

I end the call quickly.

I feel a lump forming in my throat and I have a split second to decide whether to bawl my lungs out or to swallow it with another sip of coffee. I choose the latter. For now.

I run my hands through my hair and realize that I haven’t washed them for over ten days now. Yikes. Maybe I could go to the salon across the street…if I could hobble across in my current state. I dismiss it as a bad idea.

My door bell rings. Pidiiiiing! 

Half of me is hoping that it’s you. But it’s not. It’s my neighbor, Bart.

I see his ruddy red face through the peephole, trying to contemplate whether I want to deal with his annoying cheerfulness but he doesn’t leave me with much of a choice.

‘ Sandra! I know you are in there! Open up.’

I take a deep sign of exasperation and put on a fake smile, ‘Heeeey!’


To be continued.

 

 

 

3 AM – Part 1

This is a work of fiction. I don’t know how many parts there will be. Let’s see, shall we?

…………………

3 AM.

A year ago you would have been by my side, snoring softly. I would have gently nudged you and the snoring would have ceased, long enough for me to drift back to sleep. And I’d wake up to your head on my shoulder, somehow you managed to make your way to me every night through your dreams, across the distance of two feet that initially separated us on the bed. I was so content.

3 AM.

Two years ago we would have been talking into the wee hours of the night. That initial phase where you know, you want to spend all of your time with that ‘someone new’. Where being a zombie the next day is something you look forward to. It’s like a battle scar that even two cups of black coffee cannot cure. Ah. New love is bliss.

3 AM.

Today.

I’m lying on a hospital bed, trying not to panic. I’m alone. Where are you? I don’t see you as much as I used to. You don’t smile like you did in my company.

But for now, I’m scared. In this big city I’m all alone. The doctors told me to call for someone to sign a consent form. I’ve been hit by a motorcycle and have apparently fractured my ribcage. They want to fix it. I don’t know why it’s not hurting. Maybe the pain is numbing me out.

3:15 AM.

Today.

They decide not to wait any longer and operate. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, but I can’t feel anything, can’t move anything.

Everything goes black.

 

Revenge – Part 3

This is a work of fiction. I swear.

For part 1 click here.

For part 2 click here.


I waited till it was 2 in the morning. I parked a few blocks away from his house and took a deep breath…I was in a dingy lane with no street lights. I reached out under my seat and took out the steering lock. It was old,heavy and rusting –  a hand-me-down from my father who thought I could use it when I was driving home late from work.

What a joke. My father did not know that I had a gun. And that I was a pretty good shot. Nope, the less he knew the better. See, I had inherited his foul temper and a gun in a hot- head’s hands is never a good idea.

Why was I talking about guns? Was I going to shoot this chump? Nope. Like I said, I didn’t intend to go to jail for a person like him. It wasn’t worth it.

I put a scarf around my face, covering it completely apart from my eyes and my hoodie on top. I was quite sure no would recognize me. I walked up to his apartment complex. Complex…it was more like a stand alone building which should have gone for redevelopment a few years ago. It was a miracle that it hadn’t collapsed so far.

The watchman was snoring at his post…like always. I carefully went over to the side and chuckled. There it was, the same hole in the wall…through which he used to smuggle me in. But I wasn’t going to crawl. Nope. Like a boss, I climbed over the wall (it was barely like 4 feet) and made my way to the back, where his apartment was.

I wasn’t sure if the building had any security cameras…looking at the shape it was in I doubted it. I stood outside his bathroom and sure enough, I could hear the shower running. He was always one for taking long baths. I held on to the iron tightly, a wave of anticipation rushed over my entire body.

I walked a couple of steps towards his kitchen window and gave it a little push.

He never bothered locking up. His logic was, there was nothing worth stealing. I climbed into his kitchen, quite pleased with myself.

I turned around and then gasped.


His place looked terrible. He’d always been a bit untidy but this was something else…dishes were piled in the sink and by the look of it, no one had washed them for a few days. There were old pizza and burger boxes stacked untidily in a corner. I steered clear of them, the odor from them would have knocked out anyone with a strong sense of smell.

I walked into his bedroom, which was in a similar state. His guitar was lying in a corner, gathering dust. A dozen odd whiskey bottles were strewn on a table and …’ What the…’

I picked up a packet with what I knew very well was heroin. Don’t ask me how. I heard his bathroom door open and I scrambled and hid behind an old wooden cupboard.


I could see him, from where I was hiding. See him all too well.

He’d lost weight. A lot of it and not in a good way.

He sat down on his bed and poured himself a drink. And then another. And a third. And then he reached out for the heroin packet. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the state that he had reduced himself to. I waited for twenty more minutes to the point where was sprawled on the bed, snoring gently.

Loosening my grip on the iron, I walked over to where he was sleeping. His arms had marks all over them, he evidently had been using for quite a while.

Suddenly I felt pity and oh I don’t know…sad? This was after all someone who I had loved and to see like this…I left the same way I had crept in to his house.

When I finally sat inside my car, I started crying. What an idiot I was. I cried and cried and cried. I felt angry at myself, for trespassing and invading his privacy. I felt sad at seeing what he had become. And also, I felt guilty that karma had finally caught up with him. In a terrible way.

Revenge…what revenge…he needed help. I would call up a mutual friend and tell him to get him checked into rehab. That’s all that I could do. That’s all I would do.

I started my car and drove back home. Something inside had changed. Maybe all the hurt and anger had subsided. Hopefully for good. I’d been holding on to this for too long and it had almost turned me into a what…an intruder? Someone violent? Maybe more? I didn’t want to think about the monster inside me.

Not good. I shook my head. Things had to change. But for now, I could do with a good night’s sleep.


 

Revenge – Part 2

For part 1 click here.


I followed him for 15 – 20 minutes and as I did I realized two things. One, this was a familiar route. I’d walked down this path, many times with him…many years ago which meant he was still staying in his dinky excuse of an apartment.

Back when we were kids it wasn’t so bad, but now…I smirked to myself. At least I’d moved up in life, even if he hadn’t.

The second thing I realized was that since I knew he still stayed at the same place, there was no need for me to follow him…I needed to go home and think.

I stopped abruptly in my tracks and turned around. I walked all the way to my car and put the AC on full blast. This hot head needed to cool down first.

After a few minutes, I allowed my mind to wander back to him. I winced. Again, that stupid pain in my chest. I swear, I could give my self a heart attack just by thinking about shit like this.

I still hated him. Oh how I hated him.

But what did I want to do about it? What could I do about it?

There were a lot of erratic thoughts running through my head. Some of them involved taking a cricket bat and breaking into his home and wrecking everything to breaking a few of his bones.

Physical violence. I took a deep breath. That was a new low. To despise someone to the point where you wanted to see them bleed. And not literally.

I dismissed that thought from my head. I wasn’t going to do something like that, even though I really, really wanted to.

An old memory flashed through my mind, the sight of him on top of his colleague from work, in that very apartment… one day after we had celebrated our first year anniversary. Surprise!

I’d flown into  rage then, but he hadn’t faced it…no. I had a mini meltdown in a shady alley behind his house and then I’d walked home in a daze – never to hear from him again.

A part of me wondered…why didn’t I ever go back to his house? Why didn’t I accost him? Why didn’t I do anything? Why didn’t I slap the shit out of that whore?

I guess I was in shock. Believe me, I was. I’d spent like a week crying in bed and then I switched off….and started working my ass off so that I didn’t have time to think about him. Your cliched heart – broken girl. What a joke. He never tried to contact me. And I never asked why.

What could I do? What should I do?

I knew what I would do. I knew what I needed. I slowly turned my car around, in the direction of his house. He wasn’t going to like this one bit.


To be continued….