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Bluff and Tears

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Bluff and Tears

Post  SYKO on Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:22 am

A short story I wrote in Year 12 for school. Inspired by Haruki Murakami.

The wind was blowing through her hair. Beyond the edge of the cliff the ocean was restless; churning and beaten into froth by the wind. Nanami was sitting on the bonnet of her car and gazing out to sea, thinking. Thinking about where her life went wrong. Nanami had worked in a home convenience store, where she had met her boyfriend for the last year. But he was gone now. She slowly slid off her car and walked over to the precipice. Nanami sat again, but this time with her feet dangling aimlessly over the edge of the cliff, several hundred feet above the tumultuous water. She realized it would be so simple to let herself overbalance and fall. But something held her back. Nanami turned and saw a man watching her from beside their car. She stood up from the cliff edge and walked over to him. His car door was open and the sounds of the Earthquake coverage could barely be heard over the crashing of the sea.

“Who are you?” Nanami asked.

“Shirou. You?” he replied.

“Nanami. Why are you here?”

“I always come to watch the sunset. I find it liberating”

She was silent as she looked out over the ocean to where the sun was slowly beginning to set, turning the sky ablaze. They sat together on the cliff and Nanami felt a single tear roll down her cheek. It wasn’t a tear of sadness; it was a tear of closure. She brushed it away before Shirou noticed and continued to watch the sunset.

When it was over and the bloody overtones had faded to a soft pink, Shirou turned to her and asked “Are you all right to get home from here?”

“I don’t have a home at the moment” She replied

“If you want you can stay at my house until you find your feet. Can you follow me in your car?”
“Out of petrol” Nanami lied, “I had barely enough to get here, let alone get back to town”

Shirou paused, as if sensing the lie, before continuing, “Well I can give you a lift.” Nanami got into his car. The interior smelt of dried fish and there was a bra draped on the back seat. Shirou got in and started the engine. The car was in bad condition, the entire chassis shook and the engine made a disturbing sound. Nanami sat in the car thinking. Thinking about how closely Shirou resembled him. Thinking about how close she had come to falling off the cliff. Shirou shook her out of her reverie by saying, “How old are you, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Nanami told him and he seemed to understand that she didn’t want to talk. Several minutes of silence later and they arrived at their destination. Shirou’s apartment was in a rundown building in one of the seedier parts of town. They went inside.

While Shirou went to freshen up, Nanami looked around his apartment. The entire place was a mess. On top of his TV was a stack of porn movies and on a desk was a pack of unused condoms. His bin was overflowing and inside was an assortment of old chicken bones and 2 minute noodles. Shirou may have reminded Nanami of him but that was as far as the resemblance went. That night Nanami slept on the couch. It was sticky and uncomfortable; she didn’t complain and went to sleep.

The next morning she woke with the smell of burnt toast in her nose and her hair clumped together by something resembling honey. She walked into the kitchen and saw that Shirou was attempting to make breakfast. He had already made coffee and while Nanami generally didn’t drink coffee, she took it out of politeness. When she tasted it, it was all she could do not to spit it out; it was bitter in the extreme and it tasted as is if the cup hadn’t been washed for several days. It reminded her of a time several weeks before while he was still in her life. They had known each other for several years before then but it hadn’t been sexual until the last few months.

They had met while Nanami was working at a café to help pay for an international trip. They spoke for a while and she found out that he went to the same area and so she asked him if he wanted to come over for coffee. While they were talking at her apartment, she found out he had always wanted to go out of the country just for a holiday and together they managed to make enough money for a short trip to America. When they got back, they started hanging out more often and became friends.

But that was all in the past now. It had all been so good and now it was gone.

Something splashed into her coffee and she realised a tear had just rolled off her cheek and sent ripples through the dark brown liquid. Nanami looked around quickly to make sure Shirou wasn’t looking and quickly dumped the coffee down the sink and wiped her face. She made her way out into the living room and was once again struck by Shirou’s similarity to him. She almost wanted to kiss him but that part of her life had finished. She would be perfectly content never to have another sexual relationship in her life again.

Thinking that made her think of him again. When they had first had sex it had been so sudden, so unexpected. He had just arrived at her old apartment. They were going to see a movie that had just come out and it was the middle of the week so the cinema would be nearly empty. But it had been a hot day, they decided not to go and watch a movie on the couch. Half way through the corny romance he had kissed Nanami on the top of the head and before she knew it they were all over each other. It wasn’t as if it was her first time, she’d had plenty in the last years of high school and the first 6 months of uni. But this was the first time she’d done it with anyone she’d cared for. But then he had left, without a word and without a note. Why did Shirou have to remind her of him so much?

She sat on the couch and watched TV for 20 minutes then said “I’m tired. Do you mind if I sleep on your bed?”

“Go right ahead” Shirou replied.

She made her way into the bedroom and sat on the bed, stripping down to her underwear and slipping under the covers. As she slid down her feet brushed past something. She pulled it out and found it was a used condom. Nanami threw it across the room into a pile of unwashed clothes. She curled up and went to sleep.

Nanami dreamt. She saw her mother, scolding her for dropping out of law after only 6 months. She saw him as he had been on the night when they’d first had sex. Then, she saw him on the last day she had seen him. He had been angry but she couldn’t remember what about. She had tried to console him but that just made it worse. Then suddenly, he was calm and he said he was going for a drink at the local bar. She had never seen him again.

When she woke her pillow was wet. She glanced at the clock on the wall but its face was splintered and the second hand was feebly trying to continue its journey round the clock. She found herself transfixed by its motion, seeing her own pathetic attempts to move forward mirrored in the clock. At first she was almost overwhelmed by sadness then a fierce anger rose in her breast. This clock was mocking her! She was about to find something to smash the clock into a thousand pieces when the door opened and her anger immediately subsided. With the light behind him, Shirou looked even more like him than before. “Want some coffee?” He asked.

“No thank you. Something to eat would be nice though.” Nanami replied.

“Alright. I’ll make some toast if you don’t mind.”

She agreed and when he left to do that she got out of bed and found a dressing gown. It was filthy but then again, everything in this apartment was. She went into the kitchen and found some burnt toast on the chopping board. Shirou was just stepping into the shower. “Help yourself to anything I have to drink in the fridge.” He said.

Nanami took a can of beer out of the fridge and opened it. It was warm and flat but she needed something to wet her throat.

“Are you single?” Shirou called from the bathroom.

“Yes. Why?” Nanami replied.

“I was wondering if, since you’re single and I’m single, we could have sex?”

“Sure. It’s not as if there’s anyone to cheat on.”

Several minutes later the bathroom door opened and Shirou stepped topless into the room. His pants were bulging from his obvious erection and there was a towel draped over one shoulder. Nanami walked over to the bedroom, slipped off the dressing gown and lay on the bed. Shirou walked over to her and leant over her, putting his face close to hers. She could smell vodka on his breath and see cigarette stains on his teeth. One of his hands moved down to her breasts and the other felt around her groin, sliding into her panties. She slid her hands underneath and unclipped her bra.

20 minutes later she was back in his car and Shirou was driving her back to her car. Nanami couldn’t go through with it. She’d tried several times to have sex with him but she couldn’t get over Shirou’s resemblance to him. Shirou had sunk into a silent brooding state after the events and Nanami had thought he was going to hit her. She thought she would have welcomed it.

When they arrived at the ocean lookout, it had started raining, but the sky over the ocean was clear. Shirou let her out and drove off without a word. It was an eerie sensation, the rain falling on her and yet the sky being so clear just a few hundred metres ahead of her. Rather than get into her car, she sat and looked up at the stars. The rain got in her eyes and made them sting but she still sat and watched the sky. As she watched she thought back; back to before he had left. She hadn’t been the smartest person, but when he had been there she had been happy. But he was gone now. Instead of feeling sadness, she felt empty. As she watched the sky, she felt small and turned away from the ocean, got into her car and slept.

When she woke, she was damp and shivering all over. The first rays of sunlight were streaming through her window into her eyes. She got out and stretched, her damp clothing sticking to her body and making her nipples visible through the wet fabric. She realised she must have left her bra at Shirou’s apartment. She wasn’t going to go back to get it, Shirou was too much like him; in appearance and in bed. Nanami wondered what her mother would say; first she had dropped law for no real reason and now she was standing on a bluff with her nipples shining through her shirt for the world to see.

Thinking of her mother made her realise something. She knew what it was she had to do with the rest of life. Nanami turned so that her back was to the precipice and the light of the sun was shining directly into her eyes. She closed her eyes, inhaled and took a step backwards.
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Re: Bluff and Tears

Post  annastarlight on Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:05 pm

That's a pretty awesome story you got there! I likes! Its really good :P
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Re: Bluff and Tears

Post  SYKO on Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:09 pm

thanks :P

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