Chapter Three

Chapter Three

A Chapter by Ocularfracture
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Miranda waits around a crowded restaurant, hoping for signs of her blind date.

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The ice cubes tinkle inside my water glass as the waiter refills it for the third time.

Still clutching the red rose firmly, I mutter a distracted thanks, to which the waiter nods before heading back toward the kitchen.

The clock on the wall now says it’s a quarter after ten, but I check my watch anyway, just in case their clock is off at all.

Unfortunately, the watch completely agrees with it, and I grunt, looking out over the crowded restaurant for any sign of the jerk who was supposed to meet me here.

Sure, I arrived early, but that was almost an hour ago. My best guess is that he walked in, saw me, and scrambled away as fast as he could.

But just for good measure, I decide to wait an extra fifteen minutes, just to be completely sure that there is no chance at all he’ll be joining me.

Throughout the restaurant, many happy couples mock me by laughing together… Feeding each other… Sharing companionable silences while gazing contentedly at one another.

I mock them back by pretending to be completely happy sitting here alone, even though deep down, I’m cursing myself.

I’m cursing myself for believing that anyone might actually have interest in someone like me. I’m cursing myself for resorting to idiot methods, like the internet to help me find that nonexistent person. And mostly, I’m cursing myself for coming to a restaurant and sitting alone like a fool for so long.

That’s it, I decide. And when Miranda Vasquez says “that’s it,” she means it. I’m giving up. I’m done trying.

Inside, I realize the thing about myself-- I am a desperate wreck, and anytime I say I’m putting my foot down and giving up, what usually happens is I’ll go back to my cramped apartment, shove a pint of ice cream down my throat, and then go to bed, where I’ll wake up in the morning, realizing that things aren’t as bad as they seem and decide that maybe I shouldn’t give up after all.

Not this time, though. This time, I tell myself, I’m really giving up. I don’t need anyone else in my life. It’s just one more person I’d have to strive to appease.

Blowing a huge sigh all over the table, I finally unclench the rose, which proves to be both painful and slightly difficult.

Apparently, I didn’t realize just how tightly I had been clutching it, and I watch as tiny drops of blood begin to fill those indentations left by the thorns.

Microscopic oceans of blood in the palm of my hand.

I groan and reach for the napkin, letting it soak up the blood, slowly. As I crumple it up and set it aside, I see a man walk into the restaurant. A tall, handsome man with jet black hair and a bright red rose.

He looks out across the floor, as though searching for someone. Before I notice what’s happening, my stomach is fluttering and I’m straightening up, pushing my hair back out of my face. I’m grinning like a moron, my cheeks burning. I reach again for the rose on the table, as the man draws nearer.

But even as I pick up the rose- as we make eye contact, he suddenly collapses into a chair across from a pretty little blonde girl, handing her the rose, which she takes blissfully.

Any smile that may have been on my face melts off in the same instant, as I let the rose slip out from between my fingers and flop limply back onto the table.

That’s it, I tell myself again.

Although the disappointment is nothing new, something which I, instead, should have expected, I can’t help the burning in my cheeks as I fight to keep the tears from leaking out of my eyes.

I lift my glass of water and take a few large gulps, warning myself not to cry, especially in public.

The rose man reaches out and touches the cheek of his gorgeous date. They both look sickeningly happy.

Digging into my pocket, I pull out a few one-dollar bills and lay them on the table, next to the empty water glass. If that isn’t enough to pay for a few glasses of water, then they’ll just have to deal.

I gather my things in a hurry and rush out the front door and into the cold, spring night, where I bring my rose to the nearest trash can.

I look the rose over one last time, a sickening reminder of all the time I wasted, sitting alone in a restaurant, looking like a fool.

Shaking my head, I extend my arm to drop the rose in when I’m distracted by another red rose lying at the bottom of the can.

My stomach churns as I look down at this sight, shivering slightly against the wind. I shake my head slowly at first, then gradually more vigorously as I finally take in what I’m seeing. Scoffing, I chuck my rose in after it before storming off to my car.

I jam my key in the lock and fling the door open, slamming it behind me.

Starting the engine, I ask myself again why I had the audacity to think anyone would even want to have dinner with someone like me, much less get involved. I’m no one’s type.

I’m not one of those tall, stunning blondes, like Alice, or the recipient of that luscious, red rose which I thought, for one fragile moment, was for me.

No. I am a short, curvy Mexican chick with disgusting, curly black hair. My blonde highlights probably just scream that I’m insecure.

My huge lips resemble that of a fish, and my skin is dark, despite how seldom I expose myself to the sun.

Tears cloud my vision, as I attempt to enter the freeway.

Although Alice and I have been friends since I was 5 years old, not a day has passed where I haven’t felt some sort of resentment toward her for being everything that I could never be. I love her like a sister, but jealousy doesn’t stay bottled up very well.

She has always been much prettier than me, with her soft, pale skin and long, golden hair.

Every boy I ever had a crush on was always more interested in Alice than me.

But it wasn’t enough that she was a million times more gorgeous than me. She always managed to get perfect grades in every class, with little effort, and everyone thought she was brilliant.

And, because she didn’t spend all her time studying, like I did, she was able to devote the rest of her time to doing volunteer work at animal shelters and the like.

Yes, Alice was everyone’s perfect little angel. And even though I know that none of it was done to spite me in any way, I can’t help but feel like I always get the s**t end of the stick.

Gripping the wheel tightly with my right hand, I use the left one to wrench my window open and yank a cigarette from the pack in my pocket, stuffing it between my lips.

The air coming in the window is cold and blowing my hair into my eyes. Reaching up, I tuck a lock of sticky, salty, tear-soaked hair behind my ear before pressing the cigarette lighter in.

I wait for it to pop back, but it never does. Every inch of the way back to my crappy apartment, I bite the filter of the cigarette, waiting for the lighter, which never pops back out.

I end up tossing it out the window once I return home, realizing that I hadn’t pushed the lighter in far enough for it to work.

It’s stupid little things like this- unfair little kicks in my a*s that all come pouring down on my head like individual drops of rain, every time I have a bad day.

Each day is either a good day or a completely s****y day. There are no neutral days. No days where it balances out and I’m neither happy nor sad. There are never any days where I get to experience contentment, or apathy.

It’s one of two extremes, and I hate it.

Slamming open the door of my apartment, the first thing I happen to see is the vase of wilting flowers from god-knows-who. Someone who wanted to thank me for something or other, but was too chicken s**t to leave a name so I actually know what the hell I’m being thanked for.

The deep, desperate centers of my brain will try to tell me it’s just a gift from a secret admirer. Someone with feelings for me, too shy to come right out and say it.

But I know in my heart that no one has or ever will have any such feelings for me.

I kick off my shoes, closing the door behind me, and cast myself onto the mint-green loveseat, where I flip on the TV, simply for background noise.

If I close my eyes and hug a pillow with the TV on for a long enough period of time, I’ll eventually find myself in that cozy little nook between sleep and consciousness. It’s in that nook where I forget who and where I am. The sounds of the television become the comforting sounds of a room full of friends at a party, or a relaxing beach excursion, or… whatever.

It’s not where I go in that nook that matters.

The only thing that truly matters is that… in those moments… in that small crevice between consciousness and sleep…

I’m not myself.

I’m not alone in my apartment, hugging an inanimate object for comfort, like an infant with a teddy bear.

I am someone completely new and different, leading a random life somewhere else where things are somewhat better, even if only by a fraction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



© 2012 Ocularfracture


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Added on April 10, 2012
Last Updated on April 10, 2012
Tags: psychological, trigger song, music, vision, premonition, friends, mental, crazy psychosis, therapist, blind date, restaurant, rose


Author

Ocularfracture
Ocularfracture

Bennington, NE



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I've been writing since I learned how. I'm not saying that 5-year-old work was any good. All's I'm sayin' is that the passion has been there as far back as I can remember. My mother always read me sto.. more..

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