Compelled to Adhere

Compelled to Adhere

A Story by Kees Kapteyn

An excerpt from a short story I am working on


My ex-wife and I are out on the town after she had invited me to help her around the house.  I had gone out to her place in Gunningsville after she texted me.

“Can you mow my lawn for me?”, she had typed.  “Maybe stay for a drink.” 

I considered the text, considered the plausibility of a hint, her incentive of refreshment.  You can’t get inflection out of the written word.  You have to have context and even then you have to give voice to those words.  Whose voice uttered those words in my head?  Hers or mine?  She uses the word drink instead of beer.  Beer is colloquial for a platonic buddy, but drink is more sophisticated, implies cordial company; something of a higher plane.  I had to make an educated guess.  I looked at her text, thought of our most recent conversations, most of which had not been all that recent.  I searched my own feelings on the matter and found that I was okay with it.  I was full of bravado and confidence, in fact.  I wished to proceed, so that is what I did.  I could see that there was some rain in the forecast, and there was a mounting humidity that said there would be some storming, so I told her I would be right over.


So now here I am, here we are, out with our estranged spouses, after a period of absence, progressed from the hurt of our marital breakup; her cheating, my cheating, the fulminating volume in our incriminations and heartless affirmations, the firmative ripped open, the temple of love done torn down into a dusty, divided pile of rubble.  Two years have gone by and our silence has made us quiet, our absence has made us fonder.   The drink turned out to be a beer after all, but there was something stronger than 5% that intoxicated us then, and we reunited.  In her new bedroom, we re-united like long lost lovers.  The welkin didn’t split open and there was no gnashing of teeth that time, though we could hear thunder rising from the horizon, like there was trouble brewing.  That was someone else’s tempest though, maybe out of Maine or off of Nova Scotia across the gulf.  Our own gulf had closed, and it was good.  I took her out for dinner over at the Five Bridges.  We split an appetizer then ordered our own sovereign dishes.


Our separation had never been complete. It was never a clean break. We still kept in contact, never let the other stray too far away. We checked in on each other, on our relationship statuses on social media. We can remain social and amicable. So when we joined tonight, it was not unnatural, more like something correct had fallen into place. It was exciting. It was relieving. When we both yelled out in climax in her bedroom, it struck a harmonic with something else in the room.  It was her guitar in the corner. Apparently our simultaneous orgasms strike a D chord. In the afterglow, we could still see the light in her bedroom coming from between the curtains. The storm had not come yet.  To be honest, I wanted to be with her.  I had been in a state of flux without her and this coupling tonight seemed to calm it all down.  It’s why I had always kept in contact with her, why I was so readily available for her tonight.

Although legally separated, I like to believe we are inseparable.  We are chemical twins, the stuff of stars.  We are God’s children, slapped together by gravity, love and surface tension.

The universe is like that; compelled to adhere. Held together, cells divide but remain linked to each other. Like us. We can't separate without any tearing. 

© 2015 Kees Kapteyn

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great piece of writing. I wouldn't mind reading more.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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Added on August 22, 2015
Last Updated on August 22, 2015


Kees Kapteyn
Kees Kapteyn

Ottawa, Canada

Resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Self-published his zine 'rhododendron' and two chapbooks: 'grubstreet' and 'coffee salt.' Has been published in,, Novella, Corv.. more..

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