On your stoop.

On your stoop.

A Story by J. Elsie

Was it coincidence or destiny that brought me there that night?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Times past, forever waiting on your stoop, searching for too-bright headlights, turning around the bend, allowing their glow to advance on my pose like a bodyguard who walks ahead, shouting back at you "Intruder alert!"

I always hated that you could see my disappointment and squinting eyes before the lights angled away and my pupils readjusted to the darkness surrounding and focused on the darkness in your face.

How often were you happy to see me?
Why beckon me, if you'd rather die?

But loneliness gets the best of even a most egotistical mind. Better to lie in the arms of someone who loves you than to lie in the arms of night's deepest hour, cradled by blankets and pillows that would rather be comforting someone else. And I did love you. You always knew.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She and I had been friends for less than a month, and this trip, just a quick stop off for some jeans she left at her boyfriend's place, carried me back to a familiar street. A neighborhood on the edges of town, and most certainly on the edges of my memory. Pulling into the driveway of 1601 gave me butterflies and acid reflux. I knew you no longer lived there, (we were going to see her boyfriend after all), but still, I thought of vomiting on the stoop once wet with my tears. And I should have.

Maybe then I would have hobbled back to the car before you opened the door and greeted your new girlfriend with kisses and vacant eyes (always vacant eyes). Maybe then I wouldn't have been re-introduced to a man I knew so well. Casual handshakes and strange awkwardness could have been saved from both our evenings. More to regret.

Stepping on the brown carpet you must have laid well after you laid me two dozen times, I noticed nothing else had changed. Same sofa (i sucked on), same kitchen counter (we fucked on), and same damn c.d. you overplayed in the last decade.

I was shaken by the sameness, by the reality of "nothing's changed", but I calmed when I saw you looking at her the way you had looked at me. Loathing, and longing, loneliness of your love. You want desperately to care, but you are cursed by your own force-field.

She had her jeans, she wore a smile, and you hugged her, your arms barely determined to meet one another around her backside. And you looked over her shoulder, and just for a moment I saw something. A sparkle. Your eyes glittered and shined in the reflection of a light over my shoulder. And I wondered how many times your eyes drew attendance when I wasn't looking. And I wondered why they attended me in that moment.

I caught a tear on my forefinger and took a carefully even breath. Your gaze was eternal, embedding, but your hug was over sooner. I left with her that night, but left a piece of my heart with you. I don't miss you. But I do wonder if in all my desperation, sadness, aching... I may have missed something in your eyes.


© 2008 J. Elsie



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Featured Review

Jenn..
You do an excellent job of bringing the past to now. I love your begining recollection,and the headlight lines were so imaginative.
But loneliness gets the best of even a most egotistical mind. Better to lie in the arms of someone who loves you than to lie in the arms of night's deepest hour, cradled by blankets and pillows that would rather be comforting someone else. And I did love you. You always knew.

Great lines. It was a bit confusing, as Jonathan pointed out, the other girl. But, you have a unique style. I like it,alot.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

It's a startling moment, when you realize that the one you loved and lost, The one you thought you would never get over was probably not worth all the time and tears. And, if in the process you get the added bonus of realizing it wasn't you, it was him, I say that's a good day. Excellent story.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

moments of brilliance:

"darkness in your face"

"Better to lie in the arms of someone who loves you than to lie in the arms of night's deepest hour..."

She had her jeans, she wore a smile, and you hugged her, your arms barely determined to meet one another around her backside.

Your gaze was eternal, embedding, but your hug was over sooner.

This is a heartbreaking story... and I enjoyed reading it for the new ways you commicate heartbreak. Unique images... phrases...

...a common emotion... told in an uncommon way...

The story hangs together... it really does...

I like it!

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

I agree with the previous poster, it's the sadness of love lost that gets you with the story. I'm just so sad after I read it and I think of all those relationships gone wrong. This was a good part too: But loneliness gets the best of even a most egotistical mind. Better to lie in the arms of someone who loves you than to lie in the arms of night's deepest hour, cradled by blankets and pillows that would rather be comforting someone else. And I did love you. You always knew.

Keep it up!

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Thanks for all the reviews. I've made some necessary tense changes and hopefully that increases the quality of the piece. You all rock! :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

As with much of your work I've read this one grabbed me, but in a different way. This one grabbed at my heart for love lost, and perhaps a chance for redemption lost as well, the eyes being the windows to our souls seems to take on new meaning for me now. I love being one of your biggest fans :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Jenn..
You do an excellent job of bringing the past to now. I love your begining recollection,and the headlight lines were so imaginative.
But loneliness gets the best of even a most egotistical mind. Better to lie in the arms of someone who loves you than to lie in the arms of night's deepest hour, cradled by blankets and pillows that would rather be comforting someone else. And I did love you. You always knew.

Great lines. It was a bit confusing, as Jonathan pointed out, the other girl. But, you have a unique style. I like it,alot.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

powerful. so simply you captured 'that' moment. a sad, empowering piece because...you know, it's a lie when we say, "i don't miss you". but it feels good to think we don't.
good write.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

lot of steaming passions here and i like the interplay of the eyes. however rational we are we are all pray to these basic insticts which roil us around! and never entirely happy it seems.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I can appreciate the view of your story, and it is a good, if sad plot. Truth is always better than fiction to me.

As for the what if? It appears that you can confirm that you got the better end of the deal, no matter how much it hurts for a while.

The transition from the first part of the story, into the part where you introduce your friend, is a bit abrupt. I would use more of a transition sentence to flow into the next part of the story. It would also read better if you addressed who "she" is, because it is an abrupt introduction, that is confusing.

I read through it and I understand your story, but it could be improved just a bit.

Thank you for sharing this story,
JBD

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 10, 2008

Author

J. Elsie
J. Elsie

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About
10/31/2017 My contributions to this site began in 2007 and mostly ended in 2011. I made several close friends here, but life took me elsewhere and I thought writing was a pasttime. Recently, while .. more..

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