Drown With Me

“What does your tattoo mean?” she asked shyly. She was observing my lower left arm with interest. To her, it looked like an unfinished circle with some kind of Chinese symbol in it. Her head turned upward and she looked at me with big blue eyes, full of wonderment and a hint of nervosity.
“It’s the Japanese symbol for water. And around it is a zen-circle,” I replied. I guess my voice sounded a bit harsh because she made a step back and looked at me in a startled manner. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound annoyed. It’s just that I’ve been asked that question so many times already.” With these words, I pulled the sleeve of my sweater back over my arm and turned away. I had only made two steps when I heard her voice again.
“Oh, because you can’t live without water, right?” She laughed heartily. That fucking joke. Everyone made it after I explained what my tattoo means. And I had actually had hope for her.
“Exactly,” I answered without turning my head.
She was still laughing. Slowly, the joy over her by then obsolete joke was fading and she calmed herself. “No, but seriously. Why water?” she asked with sincere interest.
“It’s personal,” I said while walking away.

A couple of weeks later, as I was making my way through the city, I heard a familiar voice. “Hey, water boy, hold up.”
Godfuckingdammit. Her again. I stopped walking and turned around. There she stood. Scrutinizing me with her big blue eyes. Huh, she’s pretty. I could see her eyes quickly glancing at my left arm but she composed herself and said: “Hello.”
“Hi,” I answered dryly.
“Whatchu up to?” She had her hands folded in front of her stomach and was bobbing up and down on her feet. It was making me nervous. Overall, she looked like a little girl. I really wasn’t in the mood for talking but with the weight of western politeness on my shoulders, I forced myself to utter some words:
“I’m on my way to get coffee.”
“Oh, is this an invitation?” she asked with a cheeky smile.
It’s really not. “Sure,” I said, resuming to walk.
“What’s your name, by the way?” I asked when she caught up to me. I witnessed her face taking on various expressions. First confusion, then a slight hint of anger and finally realization.
“Huh, I guess I never told you,” she said astonished. “I’m Cindy.”
“My name is…” I was interrupted.
“I know what your name is, you dummy, you told me already.”
“I guess I did,” I answered. We spent the rest of our short walk in silence. When Cindy and I had drunk our coffees, I paid and we said our goodbyes. She’s actually quite nice. 

During the following two weeks, we met up quite a lot and I actually began to like her. And, well, she liked me too. So, the inevitable happened. On a rainy night after dinner, we kissed. It was cheesy as fuck, like a movie scene: movies, dinner, rain, kiss. Absolutely fantastic. We spent two great months together and hoped it would hold on for much longer.

However, one day when she was over at my house, I was not being very talkative.
“Are you okay?” she asked with a concerned undertone.
“Yes.” That’s a lie. Shut up. Do I really want this? Shut up. What if I don’t like her as much as she likes me? Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

For two weeks, I kept lying, telling her that everything was alright. I must have put her through hell. She had to live in uncertainty for such a long time. I finally decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to end it for the sake of us both. The lies had to stop.
So, I told her to meet me somewhere quiet where we could talk. I guess she already knew what was going on. “I have never told you what my tattoo really means,” I said calmly.
“Huh?” she was visibly confused about that opening statement.
“Well, let me explain. Water is my element. Not because of this whole zodiac sign bullshit. I have chosen my element based on the way I deal with bad stuff. Now, imagine a rock, that’s some shitty thing that happened to me. Picture this rock in the middle of a river. The water is flexible, adaptable, it flows around the rock and continues its way. The water is me. With time, the water will have turned the big rock into nothing but sand. That’s the good way of dealing with the past. And I sometimes manage to do that. However, more often than not, the water comes rushing down so fast that it take the rock with it. And wherever the water goes, the rock will be there too, somewhere in the dark, scary depths. When this happens, I can’t forget the past. It follows me wherever I go. And sometimes it gets so huge that it completely stops me from keeping on going forward. I guess you might say that I’m drowning in myself at these times.
Now, I have two choices: I can make you into a rock that’s slowly turning into sand. Or we can keep going and eventually, I’ll make you drown with me.
I have chosen the first option.”
She understood. Without a word, she looked at me one last time with her big blue eyes. I remember them well. Then she turned away and started walking.
I remained, chipping away at that big rock I had just thrown into my river.

Ugly Bench

“Hi, my name is -. I am a self-loathing asshole who likes to think he’s the poorest bastard on this entire planet. You know how bad I am at talking so I’m writing you this letter. Right now, I’m sitting in the dark, typing words on a digital piece of paper. The only light I have is the screen of my laptop and the illuminated keyboard. I can see the smoke of my cigarette in this feeble light. I don’t really know what I want to tell you with this. I guess throughout the past week, I’ve started to have doubts about us. My emotions have gone on a rollercoaster that just doesn’t seem to end. I am pure confusion and cannot grasp a single clear thought. There’s this one question in my head that wakes up from its unstable slumber every time I see you. It’s strong and powerful and it controls every one of my waking hours with you. It’s rendering me reserved and quiet. To be fair, I never talk a lot but now I’m doing it even less. The question’s name is „do I really want this?“. And every time it wakes up, it screams its own name and punches me repeatedly in the face. When this happens, I probably look like I’m sick because you always ask „are you okay?“.  With a broken nose and bleeding teeth I then look at you, smile a crooked smile and tell you everything’s alright. I don’t think you believe me. And I hate myself so much for doing this. Because everything’s not alright. Not at all. I can’t live this lie any longer.
I know this phrase sucks ass but believe me when I say that it’s me and not you. I’ll take the blame and I’ll take your hate. I want you to hate me. Because that will make it easier for you.
I’m sorry but this is the end.
I’m sorry.”

She was reading the letter out loud. At some point, her voice broke. It was nothing more than a faint murmur. I could see how the paper slowly got soaked by little drops. After the last sentence, it seemed like it was raining from her eyes. She cried and the paper was shaking in her trembling hands. She didn’t make a sound. She just cried in silence. I let her have her pain. I couldn’t even look at her. I could feel a tear roll down from my own eye. It was stopped by my tongue. The taste was salty. I felt weak. After about five minutes that had felt like years, she turned her head and her red, puffy eyes met mine. I could feel the cold blue color of her iris drilling into my soul. She stared me down with such contempt and hatred that I grew scared. Then I heard her voice. It wasn’t soft like I had known it to be. It wasn’t weak either. It was ice-cold. Calm. Almost apathetic. She spoke just one word. But this word pierced my heart like a sword. It filled the hole with gasoline and lit it. I was burning from the inside, slowly dying in terrible agony.
“Why?”
She was still staring at me. My mind was racing. I knew that I had to say something. And I wanted to. My mouth opened. I could feel slimy worms making their way up my throat. I wanted to puke them out. But I couldn’t. They just got stuck in there, making it impossible for me to breathe. My mouth
closed again and was sewn shut. I looked at her. She spoke again.
“I see. You’re pathetic.”
With these words, she got up, made the letter into a ball of paper and
dropped it on the ground in front of me. “Fuck you,” she said. Then she walked away, leaving me alone on this ugly bench.