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His heart is beating fast.
There is chaos just about everywhere and nothing makes sense at all. He feels a hum and he stops. He puts his pen down and looks from his cubicle.
Business as usual.
He picks up his pen and starts to write again.
“I am sorry but I cannot do anything anymore. Love, Donna,” said a note on the door. She left. She left him. One year, five months and a week more. She leaves. And there is nothing he does. He simply picks up the note from the door and slides it underneath his bed to lie quietly forever. He switches off the bedside lamp and the colour of the room changes from orange to black.
He shuts his eyes.
But he cannot sleep. He twists and turns in his bed, pushing the weight on his chest, trying to swallow the sob. He cannot sleep. He just lies there, listening to himself breathe and feels the tear trickle down his unshaven cheek.
He shuts his eyes.
The day breaks. He opens his eyes; he is awake. He doesn’t want to be, but he is, it hurts. He feels the other side of the bed– it is awfully cold. He opens his eyes and pulls himself up. The room is in the same way it has been– she hasn’t come home. There is only one toothbrush by the sink and only a bottle of shampoo and no conditioner. She has left.
Business as usual.
He picks up his pens and writes what he has to. Obituaries, that is what he writes. He writes the sordid footnotes for those whom nobody loves. For those who have been deemed forgotten. Who are unimportant. For the unloved.
“I loved her,” he says to himself.
And six years just pass him by.
His heart is beating fast. Very fast.
She is standing right in front of him. Some new girl, her name is Mary. She is waiting for that kiss. Her heart is beating fast. He feels the inside of his hand sweat and his heart beating so loud she could probably hear it. She smiles at him and he feels nothing but blankness. He closes in, cups her chin and kisses her. On the cheek.
He still lies awake, he hasn’t slept in years. He has shut his eyes to dream and yet remembers nothing. He hasn’t slept. He is staring at the ceiling when he feels a shiver. He gets up, and then falls down back to the bed.
Nothing. Dread as usual.
The next day, he makes up his mind. He is going to quit. Get out of this cubicle and get away. Travel or something. Or maybe just shut himself in his home and crawl up in the corner to lie for dead. He is going to quit. The boss is angry, “Derek!” he screams, there has been no notice in advance. He yells and asks the man to leave.
He is back at his cubicle, he stares at the things on his desk– the pen holder, the scraps of paper, a picture unrecognized, post-its, and withered flowers. The man in front of him tells him he can leave but not before he finishes the day’s work. He is handed a sheet of paper. Only one sheet of paper to finish it all.
He is running.
Faster and more lost by the minute. He has no direction. He is running. It is raining and he is running for shelter. His heart is pounding– not from the run but from emotions repressed. He can’t breathe but he cannot stop. He mustn’t stop. He is shielding, not himself but his jacket. A blue suede, old and unremarkable. He is protecting it from the fury of the rain.
“No, no, please don’t,” he is saying to himself.
The water must not touch the jacket. For then, it would release him. It would set him free of the madness of his love.
The water must not touch the jacket.
The rain would wash it all away, the last of the woman he had once loved. Her scent, woven elaborately into the fabric from the time she hugged him for the very first time. Her tears and her emotions, captured into the threads and buttons of it. Of the woman who disappeared with his heart. Who left him six years ago, with a note to suffice. And who still haunts him like ever.
The next day, the papers came in, monotonous as usual, with the last of it all, his job and his life.
“She was loved and cherished and supported by all the people around her. She had a thirst for life and accomplished all that she believed in. If you knew her, you would tell the same. I knew her, and I can vouch for it.
Donna Kyle, 1987-2013
Obituary by Derek Laine, The Telegraph, Obituaries.”