Sleeves

Sleeves

A Story by A.J.

     He stood there on the porch in the early morning, watching the fog stretch down from the heavens to choke the cool air for as far as he could see. He took his time with his cigarette, reflecting on the night he had had. It had been quiet, lonely as usual, altogether uneventful until the phone lit up with a text message.


Hey.


Yeah?


Lol. Ok. Forget it.


What?


Nothing. I was just saying hey. You don’t have to be rude.


I wasn’t being rude. If I wanted to be rude I wouldn’t have answered at all. I just don’t know what you expect of me, all things considering.


It was a mistake. It never should have happened. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better, he got what he deserved.


     He took another drag amidst a disappointed laugh, shaking his head towards no one but the dog, who gave him a confused, cocked look. It had been his ex, who he had been working hard to get back until the events of the past couple weeks. She, and his best friend worked together, along with the girl his best friend had been sleeping with for a time. In order to ‘spite’ that girl for whatever ridiculous reason, the two of them had decided to f**k, with no thought towards he. His friend hadn’t even the decency or the courage to speak with him since the onset, which was probably the wisest thing anyways.


Unless it was a month or two of syphilis and a fiery car crash, it doesn’t make me feel better. It doesn’t get me my girl and it doesn’t get me my best friend back.


Well that’s nice of you, she had responded after a pause. They had spoken a little more, but the rest of the conversation was of little consequence.


     Had this of all taken place back when they had first split, who knows what the news would have done to him. He had nearly killed himself over her anyways. But were the truth to be told, now, he wasn’t sure he felt anything at all. The news had largely brought a sense of liberation above all the other feelings one could justify. No longer did he have to hold her in any angelic light above himself. No longer did he have to tolerate a ‘best friend’ that had largely been a nuisance and the equivalent of a beggar, but had been fun enough to have around on Friday nights.


He noticed he had somehow gotten some ashes on his shoulder and brushed them off like the feelings he had expected. He had expected to have been infuriated beyond control, to have hunted his best friend down and beat him into a broken, toothless, spineless pulp. He probably still would, given the chance, but he hadn’t gone chasing, nor would he. He had expected to drink himself into a love-betrayed stupor every night, even harder than he had become accustomed- but he hadn’t reached that point either.  

     There was, however, something else to this detachment, and he wondered if it was healthy to feel this way. There was a feeling sitting at the bottom of his stomach like a bad virus. He wondered if he was just putting on a strong face to stave off another breakdown, one that was likely just beneath the surface. He wondered if the isolation he had dealt with for so long was finally growing on him in a way, cultivating a desensitization of sorts, and if that was a good or bad thing in the long term.


     He decided he wouldn’t think about it until it became a further issue, and he flicked the remainder of his cigarette into the spring across the yard. The butt would travel down the spring, beneath the half-burned bridge and into oblivion before long. He laughed again as he and the dog went inside to the warmth. For once, the room didn’t look so unwelcoming, so cold. For once, the place felt like some small semblance of a home again. He poured himself some coffee and considered his day. Today might be the day he finished burning that bridge. No one ever used it anyways. 

© 2014 A.J.


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Added on December 30, 2014
Last Updated on December 30, 2014
Tags: short story, fiction

Author

A.J.
A.J.

Ft. Gibson, OK



About
My pen name is AJ. As far as writing, I enjoy finding the beauty, the tragedy, the strength and the reality of everything, right down to smallest, seemingly most insignificant details. The world as I .. more..

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