some fall in love. i shatter.

Love Is Like A Timebomb (#3)

In Stories Volume 1 on March 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

Annabelle’s auburn hair fell past her shoulders and tickled the bare skin between her shoulder blades.  Her slight tan picked up the subtle tones in those lustrous strands and curls, complimenting the cascade.  Each lock was a frame for the smooth constellations of freckles birthed upon too-frequently sunburnt shoulders.

White skin and black hair, Cheryl was Annabelle’s negative.  Cheryl had a practiced thinness while Annabelle’s body screamed of appetite, a body that lived and embraced what the world offered.  Cheryl was ogled by fetishists; Annabelle made many mouths drop.  Beyond appearances and beyond public views, they maintained their differences.  Cheryl almost always fell asleep following sex, on her stomach, her face turned to the side so that she wouldn’t suffocate.  Annabelle remained awake, thinking about the other things looming in her day, what clients she was meeting with, what deadlines approached, what designs needed completion, what shopping needed doing.

She looked at Cheryl, asleep, the white bed sheet pulled as high as her lower back.  Her face was turned the other way, toward the same clock that Annabelle looked at on the bedside table.  The small, black hands hovered near the 11 upon the ivory face.  Annabelle’s appointment with her new client wasn’t until noon.  She had already completed the prep work, had reviewed their desires for the room, studied the photos her assistant had taken during the walkthrough.  She always prepared various options for her customers.  Interior design could be such a personal thing.  They turned to her for her expertise but time and again they let indescribable and unreliable emotion block the way of the certified professional.

Her laptop and folders sat atop the olive wood dresser across the room and were reflected in the bureau mirror that also captured the nearly still image of the two women.  Annabelle had a soft spot for olive wood as a working material.  It wasn’t the sturdiest, it wouldn’t last the longest, but her great-grandfather had kept an olive grove in her ancestral Balkan home country.  The things in his home, those same things that had been handed down to her and various family members, were often made of olive wood.  Annabelle smiled every time she encountered the material no matter where it came across her path.

Cheryl coughed and stirred.

Annabelle had a lunch appointment with her husband at 1:30.  In the time between seeing Cheryl and seeing him, she could exist without wearing any masks.  So many illusions, she thought; even in this room that I’ve created for myself where I know all of the secrets, all of the flaws I try to hide or the good things I try to accentuate.

The olive wood that blatantly plays upon my emotions.

The wallpaper of glimmering gold and rich red, imparting a cozy warmth and homeyness by mimicking my own hair and flesh tones.

The thick stripes of the wallpaper that run in solid vertical lines from the floor to the ceiling and create a grandeur in a room no more ten feet tall.

The custom designed floorboards running in such a way to continue the lines of the walls and stretch everything out.

The mirrors that catch the windows and the longest parts of the room to make it all seem more expansive.

A sweeping and warm comfort that stretched on for miles around her, making her feel instantaneously at home in a place that she and her husband had bought only seven months earlier.

Everything was an illusion and it was becoming a part of her nature.  Her work was practically built upon a foundation of illusion and her home continued in the same way.  Particularly in the bedroom because of all the time that a new wife would spend with her new husband; because it was the most intimate and most important room in the house; because those who lay with her there included Barry, her husband, and Cheryl, her lover.  She loved neither one of them and had learned this too long after the fact.  She was an illusion to herself, she couldn’t understand her own emotions or motivations, otherwise she wouldn’t have found herself with a husband not two hours out the door and another woman inside her head and between her legs.

So maybe she loved neither one of them, at least not at the moment, but which one could she love more, which one would she rather spend her time with?  Either, neither?  The well-manicured walls were crumbling around her.  Cracks showed and let the sunlight through but it burned and blinded like she was a vampire.  It left her more confused and vulnerable than anything else.

Cheryl stretched and yawned – she was barely tucked away in the pocket of sleep and the nervous, crumbling energy that Annabelle was exuding must have been buffeting her.

Annabelle breathed heavier and in short, rapid bursts.  She could count on nothing.  Her work, education, love… it was all out of orientation, she had no bearings.  The hands of the clock moved in their gradual circle and she could feel a ticking inside, like a bomb.  How much time do I have, she wondered, as Cheryl opened her eyes.


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