so, i've never shared any of my fiction with y'all, but i do write. i'm certainly no james baldwin, but i do a little something. this piece happens to be old & was born out of a writing workshop exercise. the first line had to be used either at the beginning or ending of the piece. i have progressed somewhat as a fiction writer, but i do like this little vignette. let me know what you think.
There is always murder at the heart of love. He wanted to choke her. He wanted to wrap his hands around her neck and squeeze until his fingers etched plum-colored marks into her amber skin; the same color as the hickeys he once planted from her nipples to her navel. He wanted to squeeze until every bit of life God ever breathed into her body had been rebuked. He wanted her dead. Wanted to stuff her in a box, or a closet, or something, anything so she couldn’t taunt him any longer with her happiness. How dare she? How dare she smile as if nothing has happened? As if she didn’t spit on his deepest emotions and stomp on his heart. Bitch. Yes, she is a bitch. A vile whore who tricked men into loving her, trusting her, only to leave when they are most vulnerable and need her most. Such cruelty deserves death, he thought. Yes, he said to himself, yes, she deserves to die.
The phone rang, snapping Derrick out his murderous thoughts. Who the hell? he asked himself. It was nearly 4am; no sane person would call at this hour. This could be one of two things, bad news or bullshit. Not wanting to hear either, Derrick decided his machine would answer the call. After three rings, his black cordless went silent, and his cell phone began ringing. Damn, he thought. This has got to be some shit.
“I can’t believe this. Wha—“
“Please don’t hang up. I know it’s late but—“
“Damn right! What the fuck do you want?”
She swallowed. He sounded different, angry. He never cursed at her, never raised his voice even in the middle of their biggest arguments. Hang up. Hang up the phone Mina. She wanted to hang up, but couldn’t. She was in shock. She knew she hurt him, but she never imagined how devastated he was. His face was still burned into her memory. His eyes still searched her for answers. Why? Why didn’t you tell me, Mina?, his words sliced into her. She never meant to love him. Never wanted anything more than a great fuck, but he made her laugh. He was too silly, too nice, too smart, too much of everything her husband wasn’t. No, she never meant to love him, but she couldn’t help it.
“I…” she stuttered, “called to tell you that—"
“The fuck you call to tell me at 4 in the morning? What? You wanted to tell me you’re sorry that you’re married? Save it. I don’t want to hear any bullshit apologies, Mina. I want to know how could you…how could you? You never answered that. You never told me how you could make love to me, pretend you love me, then—"
“Pretend? I’ve never pretended with you, Derrick”
“What the fuck you call it then? We were fucking playing house for a year. A year!” He screamed into the phone.
“I know, but it’s…complicated”
“Complicated?” He began laughing—harsh and throaty. His tone lingered somewhere between agony and amusement.
“Is that the best you can do? Complicated? That’s some bullshit. Was fucking me supposed to uncomplicate things, Mina? What was that supposed to solve?”
She winced, rubbed her temples and closed her eyes. She did not want to have this conversation, but she couldn’t sleep. She struggled with this for the last week. Should I tell him? No. Will he understand? Will he be happy? Will he believe me? Will he even care? She began crying, softly—barely audible. It was dark. Mina sat—lights out—trapped by the words that wouldn’t leave her tongue. How could she be so stupid, she thought? She loved a man she did not deserve. He was not her husband; he was her lover, her friend—her soul mate?
“Well?,” Derrick exhaled, angry yet weary. “What was so important that you had to call at 4 in the morning?”