Monday, 24 October 2011

Heartless (Short Story/Songfic)

When I woke up this morning, something had changed. The air felt different. I felt different. Actually, I felt nothing. I laid in bed for the better part of an hour wondering what reason I had to get up. When I thought about anything, I felt nothing. I thought about you and I thought about him, and I wasn’t even upset. I just felt empty. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so emotionless. It didn’t last, of course. Because then I got up and all the feelings came back, not all at the same time but gradually.
I took a shower but although I’m sure I made it hot, I just felt cold. Then I came back into the bedroom and I saw your jacket lying on the bed where I’d been sleeping in it. That’s when the feelings really came back. Because I held it close to my face and I realised that your smell has almost gone from it now. And I realised that before long all of you will be gone from me. I still see you in the corridors and in the common rooms but I can’t look at you because all I see is the night you left me. And I know you’re never coming back.

I was scared of going out today in case I saw him. Your... well, I guess you could say replacement, even though nobody could replace you. But you left me there so broken and hurt and the things you said were so terrible... and he was there and he just made me feel so much better. When he’s around and being sweet to me then the pain of losing you disappears just for a few hours. I need that to survive. But I’m scared of him because he hurts me too. I’m starting to think that pain is all there is now. Anything that touches me hurts. Of course, that’s probably because it’s hard to find a patch of skin on my body that isn’t bruised or cut. That’s him again. But I can’t just leave him either. I know it sounds stupid but I need to feel loved. I know he doesn’t really love me but when he acts like he does it’s so convincing, it’s like our little game of make believe. Still, I was afraid of seeing him, so I stayed inside, where we’re hiding out. Me and the one person I can still rely on. The only one who really looks out for me and tries to protect me from him. Instead of going out, I stayed by the window, trying to think about everything that was happening. The outside world seemed different too. When I stood outside with you, everything was different. The trees, the flowers, the lake, everything was beautiful, everything was alive and the air resonated with the loveliest birdsong. Now... everything seems... fake. Pointless. And the sounds that had appeared so sweet before now sounded harsh and far too loud. Everything’s been different since you left, everything’s been worse.


Everything feels different still, and I realise like you he has the power to change the world around us. The air is thick now and I can’t breathe properly. I can barely stand, clinging to the windowsill to remain standing. He stands above me, looking at me angrily, no trace of remorse for what he’s done. It hurts. Everything hurts. There’s a burning and stinging sensation in the areas he’s been beating me tonight, new bruises forming over old ones and any remaining clear skin. I wonder if I’ll ever look like myself again. Then again, I wouldn’t be myself without you. I don’t know why I wanted to come and see him tonight, I regret it now. He was angry at me for disappearing. He wants to know where I was but I won’t tell him. Next time I’m not leaving at all. I try to reason with him, but every time I try to talk my mouth fills with blood. When I finally manage a few words, he won’t listen. Instead he attacks again and I fall to the ground.


He’s gone, left me to my injuries. I don’t know where he’s gone and I don’t want to. I just want to leave. I just want to get back where it’s safe. I can barely walk by I make my way through the building slowly, struggling to keep moving. I need to get back. People walk past, see me, but nobody offers to help. Sometimes, after a couple of people pass me, I hear them whispering or even laughing. I know they’re laughing at my pain and my situation. They find it funny that I allow myself to be used and abused like this. It makes for good gossip. I feel like they’re happy about my pain.

When I finally get back I’m alone. I go to the bathroom, trying to wash away the blood and cover up some of the worse injuries. When I look in the mirror, I’m shocked. The bruising covers half of my face now; the area around my mouth is still stained from blood. My eyes look almost empty. I feel older somehow, like I’ve lived a million years in this misery.


I see you in the corridor and I call your name, hoping that just once you would speak to me again. Your name sounds different to me as it leaves my mouth, possibly because my voice is still strained, it comes out rougher. It almost hurts to say, and I’m sure that’s not just because of my injuries. Your name used to be to me a word meaning love, and life and the whole world. And now it just... it just represents loneliness and sorrow. Pain. And you don’t respond. Well, almost. You stop for a second, look at me, refusing to look into my eyes, then turn and walk away without a word. I could go after you, but there would be no point now.

I want to scream and beg you to come back, but I know you won’t. You say you don’t love me anymore, that you don’t want anything from me, so what could I do? I need to be with you, but I don’t want to be with you if you don’t want to be with me. It wouldn’t be fair to you. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need it.

I need you to give the world and life and everything in it meaning. Without you, it doesn’t seem to have any. It’s just a big mess and you’re the only one who can fix it, but you won’t. I don’t blame you; they’re my problems after all. I shouldn’t involve you, especially if you don’t want to be involved. But I wish you would. I know it’s selfish but I need you. I need you back. Because everything is so much worse without you and everyone and everything in it seems so much crueller. I need you back to prove to me that the world’s not heartless.

[Note: My friend and I have these characters and I wrote this story based on the song 'Heartless' by Jim Sturgess because I thought it suited their situation. I thought I'd mention it in case anyone noticed the similarities with the song, or in case anyone wanted to listen to it as well.]

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