Inhale, hold, exhale
In my pale boxers, I lean on the railings of the balcony, a can of pineapple juice in one hand, a lit cigarette burning a hole through me in another. My cellphone is lying facedown on the chair beside me. Inhale, hold, exhale. I close my eyes and try to remember how you and I stood here three days ago. I haven’t heard much from you since then.
I rush to check my phone. It’s just Corina, commenting on my earlier message. I don’t reply. I close the door to the balcony and turn off the lights. It’s useless though – the headlights of tricycle drivers and the glare of the streetlights do not give much mood here. Huh. Drama queen. I wonder how you’d think about that. There wasn’t much hustle when you were here. I feel the wall to my right and the image of you pushing me there comes to mind. Inhale. Hold. Exhale.
I put my cigarette down and pick up the phone. Still just Corina. I still don’t reply. How can you ignore me? I blink twice then inhale, hold, exhale. The loud laughs of the passing children cannot distract me. They do annoy me though. Would they have annoyed you? I remember when we had to stop kissing because people were passing underneath us. It was funny then. It’s less funny now. Inhale, hold, exhale.
My cigarette is out. I open my pack and get the last one. Huh, wish stick. A wish when I don’t need a wish. Alanis was right. I lit it, wondering if I should wish for peace on earth or to surpass my hell week or, and this is mindnumbingly sentimental, to forget you. I go for the last one. Inhale. Long hold. Slow exhale. I watch the smoke dance through the railing of the balcony. Inhale, hold, exhale. I remember the phone and I look at it. It’s you. I don’t even need to read it. I don’t want to read it.
“Enough. Enough now,” I whisper, quoting from Love Actually. I put out my barely used cigarette and enter my room.
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