An unflinching short story that explores the darker side of love, contempt and indifference. Don’t live in denial and purgatory. Be one of those who escape the trap.

I tend to attribute these thoughts to my idealistic, romantic nature. It is a deeply engrained aspect of my personality to desperately seek love and companionship from an unreachable other. It is this precondition that has concocted these elaborate fantasies involving confetti, Christmas mornings, dressing gowns and smiling children. I realise that I am sounding sickly and nauseating and it’s not like me, but I just can’t help it, something is happening to me and I can’t control it. So unfortunately you are stuck reading this sentimental bullshit, well you aren’t really, you are free to stop reading whenever you like, but if I have somehow managed to lure you in a little now and you find yourself unwittingly wanting to find out what happens next, you might want to suffer it for just a little longer.

It is always when you don’t have someone to hold that it is so enraging to listen to someone go on and on about how fvcking insanely and deliriously happy they are as you nod and feign a smile, secretly wishing you could pull out their eyelashes. But never fear, it won’t last, it never does. It is sickening and I apologise profusely to the lonely Mister Darcy types who have ever misguidedly watched romantic comedies or read Bridget Jones Diary and think that is how the real world is.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Time is running out my pretties.

Then one morning it all began, just like that, as though it was always meant to happen, just like it was predestined. Eye contact. A smile, with a gentle lift of her carefully shaped left eyebrow. A nervous touch of the hair. A self conscious shuffle of her left foot, the end of her shoe gently scuffs the frosty ground and leaves a little curved indentation. Even the mark left by her little toe looks like a smile. The golden morning light bounces of her hair like the reflection off a lake, smooth and pure like a mirror.

Then, she asked me the time and then politely smiled at my poor attempt at a half joke involving the cheap watch I got from saving up enough vouchers from Rice Krispies cereal boxes. Then came the exchanged smiles in the morning, then came pleasant greetings and then came more extensive, predictable conversation about the X Factor and how infuriating the lateness of public transport can be, then came the first nervous meetings for coffee, then cinema visits and cautiously gleeful hand holding, then the first awkward, bumping kiss in a door way and then more awkward bumping and then lying exhausted, bodies glistening with sweat and drowning in happiness, feeling as though nothing exists outside the bed you share together, lost in the haunting, soaring melodies of your own self-contained universe. In those precious, fragile moments the pillows were our mountains, the sheets were our oceans and seas and all we needed to survive was oxygen and each other. When we would lie in bed together, entwined in an embrace, as one, I would lie awake and worry that my careless, heavy hands would bruise the immaculate surface of her smooth, delicate skin.

I still remember the times when she had to leave for work and I would still be sleepy and she would slip out the bed and the morning light would shine on her luscious caramel skin as she luxuriously stretched and ran her fingers through her silken hair. I never wanted her to go; I wanted her to stay with me where it was warm and safe. I would always try to grab her round the waist as she tried to get up and she would always respond by giggling and playfully swatting my hands away. Then I would lie contentedly and watch her perfect little velvet bottom glide languidly across the room to the bathroom.

A smile would spread across my face as I rolled over to check the time on the bedside clock, which would smile back at me and sigh in jealousy at our happiness together. It was always 7.27am when she woke up for work; we didn’t even need to set an alarm, she always knew when it was time to get up. She had her little routine that she had to follow every morning, just so that she would look as beautiful as the first day I ever saw her. Then my smile would fade as I thought of all the other lecherous, salivating men that would see her today and they would lust after her, like an animal after a piece of wet meat. Maybe I shouldn’t let her go to work, she might not come back if I let her leave, maybe she has always wanted to leave me, maybe that’s why she got up so early. I could tie her up and pretend it was some sort of kinky sexgame.

Then she wouldn’t ever be able to leave me, I could tie her up and leave her under the bed with a gag in her mouth. I know she wouldn’t scream because she knows I would never hurt her. It is them I need to protect her from, these vile men. They want to touch her and defile her and I can’t let that happen, she is mine. She is my property and no one else can have her. Then she walks back through from the bathroom and the almost excruciating sight of the delicious curve of her breasts and their perfectly erect nipples make these thoughts melt away, for now. Please don’t leave me, please.

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