Three weeks later, Allen still couldn’t think of her without his stomach rolling into a tight spiny hedgehog of a thing. The solution, he decided, was to live in a world where she didn’t exist. After all, she was content to live an Allen-free life, and without Allen wanting the same, he felt like a ghost hovering invisibly in Cecily-world. He had to erase her as she erased him in order to have balance, according to his increasingly desperate post-breakup-mind-logic. But in the real world–the world of cellphones and social networks–such a thing was impossible. Technology, it seemed, was wholly against him. For example, since Allen (used to) chat with Cecily so much, she appeared at the top of every one of his contacts lists. After all, wouldn’t he want that convenience? Wouldn’t he want to be able to talk to her above all others?
He would. He would. But he couldn’t.
So, last night, he made a plan. A drastic plan, perhaps, but he was resolved. This morning, he was less resolved, and his stomach revolved as he held his cell phone in his trembling hand and clawed his way to her with a thumb. He looked into her pixellated eyes, possibly, hopefully, for the last time. Three more turns of the stomach, he bargained. Just three more.
“One turn-o’-the-stomach,” he counted, out loud to himself, in his empty bedroom in his empty apartment. Her hair was short, auburn, messy. Allen took the photo eight months ago when they were camping together by Long Lake. They had just stepped out of the tent for some fresh air and Allen remembered that he didn’t have a photo to accompany her phone number. He couldn’t think of a better moment.
“Two turns-o’-the-stomach,” he said. The thumbnail image was so small, but he could still see her flushed cheeks, the colour almost blending right into her lips, her hair. The sky was overcast, but the photo was bright.
“Three turns-o’-the-stomach.” And her eyes. A pixelated memory among so many others. Soon to be even less than that.
His thumb punched the delete contact key on the screen hard enough to warble the graphics. He felt utterly triumphant for all of .37 seconds before the popup asking him if he was sure made his grand gesture impotent. Sheepishly, he hit OK, even though he was not sure, and he wondered how often he had done so in his life. Perhaps, he thought to himself, that was what life was about. Hitting OK when life asks you if you are sure. Never yes. Just, OK.
Day 242’s three random writing prompt categories were, “A bad breakup,” “A hedgehog,” and, “A grand gesture.”
More “Blind Eye Turned.” One day it will be a full story. Like many many others.