An Apple

I amdetached and distant as my crude fingers fumble with the key. They are oafishand numb, as if the bones have retreated inwards. Eventually I manage to unlockthe front door, enter the house and slowly close the door behind me. I havelived in the first floor flat for two years and yet barely know the peopleliving above and below me. Before me is the communal hallway, cold and heavywith gloomy neglect: a no-man’s land with a light bulb that died over a yearago. The floor is awash with glossy take-away menus; a montage of luridfleshy-red pizzas and mangled doner kebabs. I lean back against the door andclose my eyes.

Behindme the main road growls with the rush hour traffic of a thousand people; athousand people who are not you. The taunting hum of their engines parade pastin the fade of dusk light - none will stop here. The glass in the front doorvibrates against the back of my head as a bus rumbles past outside and thenstops a little way up the hill. The pneumatic doors hiss open to spew unseen,anonymous people onto the street. I try not to think, I kick and punch thethoughts away and for a brief moment it works, for a moment I’m absent and nothinghas happened. But the mind is a masochistic beast; it picks at new wounds withan insatiable fervour.

I openmy eyes and urge my legs into action, to trample across the leaflets and upstairsto the flat. Once inside I stop still, stunned by the silence, the sheerabsence of you is overwhelming. I am unable to move, unable to think. Then Isee it. On the kitchen counter is a piece of paper, tucked under the fruitbowl. I instantly recognise the handwriting:

 

‘Hiyasexy bum. You were fast asleep, so thought I’d catch the bus into town insteadof waking you. Be back late afternoon. Maybe you could take me out for thatmeal you’ve been promising for months?? Hint hint! Love you xxx’

 

Atorrent of despair and disbelief rages through me like a river of razor blades.I run my finger-tips over the piece of paper and say your name. Sorrow pushesand crushes through my body. I need noise, distraction. I turn on thetelevision. The news reader’s voice is sombre and grave, he speaks directly tome, as if he is somehow personally responsible. And then comes the footage, theaftermath; the confused terror of blood streaked faces that stagger from theravaged bus. I look for you. Though it is impossible, futile, I look for you. Thebulletin ends and I turn off. Exhausted and empty, I gaze at a ripe green applesitting alone in the fruit bowl; an apple you will never eat. 


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Synopsis
A little piece of flash fiction :-)
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