October 31 Prompt: Eerie
Today is my birthday. The sun tried to poke my eyes sharply but I remained undefeated. I stay buried in bed until afternoon. Even hunger gave up on me. Hours passed grimly by the window and I watched the horizon sliced the sun in half like a melting cheesecake. A tasteful way to turn thirty.
My phone crashed with phone calls and messages from friends and family. I left our humble apartment and booked a hotel to get some peace. Our doorbell has probably exploded by now by nosy neighbors who loved both of us to death. The old couple in their sixty’s and the lovely young couple- both pastry chefs from downstairs. The Salsa dancer from Guatemala and her Italian lover. Lesbians. And Irfan, Ethan’s Arabic barber with a very funny English accent. Last year they prepared a surprise party for me. I pretended I didn’t know. But Ethan was really good. I was still caught off guard when he bent on one knee. Not a clue. We cried and hugged and kissed. Popped a champagne bottle.
I lifted my left hand high, the first movement I made in bed since morning and found my ring finger empty. I can’t remember anymore where I placed it. My engagement ring. My brain cells. My faith in relationships. I misplaced a lot of things out of carelessness.
Darkness eventually fell in my room and the only source of light left for me to know that I was still alive was my open laptop on the corner table with a slide show of me and Ethan. A five year summary of our fairy tale. Arms wrapped around me, in different angles and with variety of facial expressions that I never get bored of.
A little after eight, a voicemail prompted my eyes open waking me up in momentary shock. Blurred circles above the ceiling. The slide show is still running at the corner…
“Alice, take A1 bus and find me.” His voice trailed off almost instantly.
My heart beat waited for the fire alarm before it could launch a stampede in my fucked up brain. I haven’t heard of him for exactly three months since he left and I have been dying inside each day to know where he is. Ethan and I strictly agreed to not rub each other’s wound until it’s completely cured and dried. No phone calls. No messages. No visits. We promise to be each other’s best friend right after this wreckage. If by any chance we wind up on the same road after the apocalypse, we will grab a coffee and a bagel somewhere like we have never met before. But until then, we will have to reset our lives and pretend that none of the five years of living together happened. No memories. No looking back. Just moving forward. Of course all these were never easy. It took several tug of war until the rope finally broke. And here is where we left off… An eerie message from my ex-fiance – who I don’t believe wants to surprise me on my birthday. In fact I don’t even think he remembered.
I rushed towards the hotel lobby and dialed Ethan’s number. His phone was dead. I moved the revolving glass door slowly and there in front of the hotel building parked neatly at the sidewalk was A1.
The sirens in my head begin to wail and the warning lights rotated. What the fuck is going on?