The Last Few Hours Of Yesterday

The Last Few Hours Of Yesterday

A Story by sivan

Short story attempt... please read and review and let me know what you think!


I grab the seat next to a woman with hair screaming for a condition, sure that the seat isn’t taken-she must be alone. From this angle she looks damaged, but that could just be a combination of this half-lit bar and constructs of my intoxication. The beer, my chosen form of medication, has started to warm from the fifteen minutes it spent idle between my thighs, the aftermath of the song “Baby it’s cold outside”. A duet I remember from so long ago that once had my heart beating so fast in my chest I thought the love I had for that woman might jump right out and smother her - A duet that now renders me paralysed. But… that is a short story I’d rather not tell.

I ask the barman for another round. He glances in my direction and after a moments’ pause he makes his way to the draught fountain and pours me the usual. The woman must have noticed his hesitation for almost instantaneously she takes her eyes off his darkly handsome features and turns to look at me. Her eyes are piercing. The kind that make you want to retract into yourself or turn from her gaze, but the faint presence of tears neutralises their intensity enough for me to study her for a fleeting moment before the banging of the beer glass on the counter steals my attention and I turn to grab a sip.

I feel the blood rushing through my veins, sort of like a thousand ants crawling in uniform lines just below the surface of my skin, the combination of cigarettes and beer - A feeling not often felt due to my predisposition to chain smoking. I find myself unintentionally scripting the initials of a past lover on my glass and staring proudly at my handiwork I realise this, but not before I get the feeling that I’m being watched.

Discreetly, perhaps more creepily I glance around the room all the while keeping myself oriented toward the glass so as not to arouse suspicion. As I reach my destination, the woman, her eyes slice into my composure once again however she looks uninterested and her glare holds in it an air of disapproval. But she’s looking at me and I can’t shake the curiosity of wanting to know her thoughts.

I allow myself to gaze upon her broken physique. Eyes set deep and dark from lack of sleep perhaps. A face of intricately networked wrinkles-I’m sure she has a few stories to tell. The way she holds my eyes in her own unnerves me but, I keep staring so as not to be the one to break rhythm. I see the corners of her mouth form a distant, half-hearted smile as the song changes however it is short lived and her face retorts back to its previous exhausted expression. I am not consciously aware of what is playing but I have to wonder what sort of song can ignite such joy, however small, in the heart of a woman who by all appearances seems to have removed herself from emotion for a very long time.

The way my cigarettes sit lonely on the counter tempts me into submission and I pick up the box to have another. I look at the clock on the wall behind the bar, 11.37 AM, so that puts me at smoke number seven in the past thirty five minutes-I stop wondering why my box is left with two. As I light the cigarette my lungs cough up a resistance but persistently I take another drag and they seem to quiet down on the third or fourth or so.

The woman is wearing all black as if in mourning. There are rips in her pants and holes in her t-shirt. Her clothes are faded, the colour of ash and it looks as though she hasn’t taken them off in years. I notice too that they are too small for her and I recall an experience much like this. She looks dirty but perhaps she has a logical reason for this attire. I do.

She left me, the love of my life, the one, and any other clichéd name you can think of.  She left me for a man she hardly knew, for a life that I couldn’t see being any good. All she left me with was my memories, a few of her clothes and an earring. So I wore the earring and the clothes every day. The clothes were mismatched and didn’t fit me so at 25 I looked more like a 5 year old child who had dressed herself. I wore them without fail until I myself forgot why I was wearing them and then proceeded to wear them as my own. I wasn’t always dirty just always the same. Much like a character in a movie, always in the same attire and stuck on repeat but I didn’t care because the clothes still smelt of her and even when I lost all memory of why I was wearing them, her scent gave me a subtle comfort.

12:00 PM. Noon. I look to the woman. Her piercing eyes are glazed over �" watery and she seems to be humming to the song that I put on the duke box as though it were a lullaby reminding her of youthful innocence. My beer is close to half empty so I order another not wanting to run dry for even a minute, impatience is a talent of mine. This looks almost like a scene from a film without the humour and detachment of fictitious creations. All that hangs in the air is a sense of sadness and lost souls. The stench of cigarettes and alcohol infused with sweat and last night is a fragrance of which I’ve become accustomed to so that I cannot tell the difference between this and the faint freshness coming in through the cracks in the walls.

The dim lights and smoky air are enough to deceive the wanting mind into a belief that it is not too early in the day for such blatant disregard of morals. Three people enter the bar. The first to join this woman and I since the bar opened and as the door opens a slit of sunlight pulls me momentarily into reality but I’m too far gone on the beer to feel anything.

Staring into the distance, into the eyes of a bottle of gin I begin to miss the girl whose clothes I possess. I wonder where she is and if she’s happy with that scum or if she’s even still with him. Wherever she is I hope it’s far enough that she won’t be stumbling into this bar and me in the same spot she left me all those years ago �" It has been tradition to come here nightly, sit in the same spot and drink the same amount of beer (sixteen draughts to be clear) as the day she said she was leaving. I think to myself how long it has been since I even heard her name but oh how the heart remembers. The smell of burning cotton and flesh slowly brings me out of this dream as I look down and realise my cigarette has been burning into my arm for the past 30 seconds.

Pain �" a word remembered from a long ago English lecture but void of any meaning now. I pick up the cigarette place it carefully in the ashtray and dust off my arm. It will probably get infected somewhere along the lines but I am not disturbed as long as I have my beer and a few cigarettes.

13:56 PM. She hasn’t stopped staring at me for 3 hours now. At this point I have 3 scenarios playing in my mind. One, she’s an escaped asylum patient, committed for her complete disregard for people and inability to engage in normal human interaction. Two, she remembers me from a night I myself cannot remember (this is not entirely impossible as I have blacked out most of the past twelve years) and is trying to trigger my memory. Or three she is intrigued by me, finding common ground in the fact that we are the only two, minus the barman and a few kitchen staff, who have been in the bar since it opened �" the only two drinking at this time of the day without shame �" the only two with nowhere else to be on a Tuesday morning.

The last option sparks my interest. Why is she here? I wonder, were I to ask her would she answer in truth, in lies or in defence. A little too drunk I attempt to down my last beer but fail at the three quarter mark and return it to its position on the counter. She’s still staring. My mind flashes with possible reasons and I decide I must ask. The beer sitting in my peripheral vision gives me a vague idea of the source of this instant courage and so realising the volatility of this new found power I offer out my hand to the woman in black but as I reach over I stumble off my chair and my hand hits her hand in the glass so hard that it shatters. Sobered both physically and mentally by the fall, in the broken mirror, I see the woman is me.

A thousand images stare back at me and in them I view who I have become. A thousand pictures each portraying me, my mistakes, my own worn out physique. I stand up aware of the people surrounding me and for the first time in a long time I feel ashamed. I grab my house keys and leave. All that remains of me, today, is a half smoked cigarette and a beer three quarters full.

Tomorrow I think I’ll have some tea.

© 2013 sivan

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I absolutely loved this, I can feel the pain in each word that was penned. The way each sentence was created, you can feel the sadness leaking through, the ending tore apart my heart for I have been there, I think we all have and sometimes i still wonder if i am. Im in a happy relationship but sometimes I wonder what would have happened if i had stayed with that one person you'll always love. That one person that caused you to have so much pain in your life and caused you to be so hard on yourself in almost every aspect of your life. My god this piece of work was just downright amazing. I absolutely loved it, I felt like I became her. The character. It's like that moment in life where you see yourself but your mind convinces you its a different person but then all of a sudden it hits you, it's not someone elses life that's messed up, it's your own. And that is the moment in which you decide to change for the better. Wow this was really good!

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on September 17, 2013
Last Updated on September 17, 2013



Durban, South Africa

I am a student of computer engineering... very technical yes but i like to get lost in the creativity of poetry and writing. Im an out and proud lesbian and if anyone doesn't like that well then that .. more..

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