Teaser Tuesday

P&X Teaser #1-7

I hold my breath and then I venture inside. A latex bubble floats in the center of the bowl. I lean against the wall, watching it twist. My survival rule about always doing the scary thing was not created with condom-clogged toilets in mind. Maybe it’s a metaphor. Maybe it’s a sign. I stare closer but then I start gagging the same way Josie was. And I realize that it isn’t the universe trying to test me or send me a message. It’s a condom in a fucking toilet and this is my life now.

Suddenly, I’m sliding down the wall. I land on the floor with a thud, my back pressed to the hard surface as I try to keep everything inside me from collapsing too. My lungs are the first to go, the smell of the stagnant toilet water making them clench. The dam in my tear ducts and the back of my throat goes next. The rush forces my lips apart and I cover my mouth, not letting myself make a sound. I barely sniff, shaking as I try to cry as silently as possible.

Because it hurts to feel it all over again—losing the restaurant, losing my father, losing the only purpose I had for anything.

And because this is where David said I’d end up. And then I challenged him to a duel. A duel I’m in very serious danger of losing if I can’t stop the storm inside me.

But maybe I don’t want to stop it.

Maybe this time I want to be swept up, torn apart.

Maybe that’s what I need.

Don’t listen. It’s lying.

I close my eyes, imagining the sounds of the restaurant, the smell of my food coming out on steaming plates, the tastes resting on people’s lips. On my own.

That’s the truth. That’s who I am.

Not this. This pathetic puddle.

You are fearless. You are strong.

You are fearless. You are strong.

I steal my breath back, chanting the words over and over in my head. Until it’s not such a fight to remember, to believe it’s true.

It is true. I am fearless. I am strong.

I am fearless. I am strong.

I rise to my feet, catching my reflection in the bathroom mirror as I scrape the tears from my cheeks. Then I stand over the toilet, staring down into the bowl. At a fucking condom.

I take a deep breath, reaching for the plunger.

Because this is my life. And. I. Can. Do. This.

 

Pen&Xander.v9

Available here!

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