General Fiction posted February 13, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
little diddy about growing up.

This Isn't Tag & You're Not It

by Shenelle Coplien

Hate to love Contest Winner 
I'm shivering in the corner of this near empty apartment of mine. I see this stranger, this old lover, this old friend, this man who is better without me, staring from the other side. The candle in his hand keeps dancing between his breaths.

"He's going to keep on kissing you forever, babe. Don't be afraid," he promises.

I wrap my arms around myself and slowly slide down the wall, in a slow, dramatic, and passionate sort of way.

"I can only give you the best, if I can't give you myself." He runs his hand through his dark, thick hair, assuring himself that he is telling the truth.

This empty room is covered in boxes. My life, my single life of so many years, has been nicely packaged up and ready to be added to another set of single life boxes.

When he introduced us, it felt less like a fluke and more like an uncertainty. To come to the conclusion to leave one for another, meant coming to a conclusion that this man in this empty room, was not what I had taught myself he was.

"How can I be so certain that this is right?" I ask.

He keeps going, "You two are too perfect together. Your boxes will mesh together like something you dreamed of when you were a little girl. Not someone like me."

The floor is cold, the room is dark, and my bare feet are finally clean. I wiggle my legs out in front of me, then wiggle my toes some bit, just to make sure this isn't a dream. I was just a nightmare a mere year ago. You couldn't drag me out of the bar without getting another scratch mark on your bedpost. I didn't know anything about being a woman; I only knew everything about being the other woman - Exactly what I was to this stranger across the room.

"We were no good for each other, honey. You will thank me some day, you really will."

I always thought I would find what I wanted in life in a skimpy little dress and a bloody Mary waving in my hand. My body would flow through those bar doors, the way his hands would flow through my hair; not a damn care in the world. Being depressed isn't any easy art to accomplish. No one else ever made it look this good, this tempting, this Hollywood-like.

"I hope you tossed away all those dresses, burned all your glitter, and washed away your glam. You won't be needing those sorts of things anymore," he smirks.

I run my hands into my bra and fling the leftover glitter into the spot of floor between the two of us," I guess it's not worth sneaking it out with me."

The sparkles dance their way to the ground. So many beautiful sparkles, they never got their proper chance to shine.

"I got you a going away gift," he smiles. He places a small black box in front of him, sliding it in my direction," I don't dare get any closer to you than I am now."

I unwrap the golden colored ribbons from side and remove the lid.

"I just wanted to give you a little something to remember me by. To remember me, and the glitter you can't make shine. And the glam you can't make glow. And the drinks you can't chug. And the boys you can't ruin. Just a subtle little reminder. Everyone needs a ghost."

The box is empty but I know exactly what he is trying to say. He stands up, clears his throat, and rubs his hands clean of me., "You sure treasured the idea that I couldn't live without you. You also treasured the idea that you weren't going to live without me. But I forget about you every time I walk away from you. It's not for some romantic ideological theory you would say, but merely because you're not someone worth remembering."

He walks out of the room. I look back in to the box and with a squint, I see one piece of glitter shining up at me. I whisper to myself," Ghosts always shine in the dark."

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