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Writings > Short Story > Love

Part TWO: This Is Lara

Previous short story:
Forgive me
Next short story:
Chapter V (the sequel): THE PLAN

Arrggh damn…I really have to find another curtain. I’m so not ready to wake up now. Stupid sunlight. Stupid singing love-birds. Stupid morning gust on my window. Stupid beautiful day.
Lara lies on her side, looking over the window, eyes blinking. If only there is someone next to her, she would say Mornin’. Do you need coffee?. Instead, she blinks, losing her thoughts beyond the rays. The cellphone rings. It’s probably Venice, trying to make a wake up call. Just can’t wait for Lara to put on a misery coat, for the day. “Are you awake? It’s 9.30. You need to be at the gallery in 45. You can’t afford to be late again today”, Venice says. Did I dream it, Ven?. Late answer from the other side of the phone. Lara hears a mild sigh explosion. Venice says, “Do we have to go through this again, honey?. Yeah, seems like it. Everytime I open my eyes or when this rings. Your early words of the day, Ven…answer me……did i…dream everything?. Venice says with trembles,“Just…try to be there on time, Lara. Don’t be square”.

Oh Lara, Venice thinks. Sipping her warm milk, like it’s a coffee.

Venice dials the phone. Her right hand plays with an apple, rolling it back and fourth on the kitchen table.
“Hello, sweetie. Are you awake?”
“Oh good”
“Yes, I just did”
“She’s uh…she sounds fine except when she starts to crash again. I couldn’t go down with her, you know. I’m her bestfriend but someone needs to be strong and pull her out here…(sigh).But I’m not sure if I am that person, Hec…”
“I know, I know. Thanks, love”
“Okay, okay. I know. I won’t be too hard on myself”
“Uhuh, I love you too, I’ll see you”

No. Again, this is reality. Yesterday wasn’t a dream. Lara, still on the bed, looking at the ceilling. She turns to the side, to find that her Teddy sits still at the side of the bed. What?...stop staring at me. Stop!. Lara drags her body to get up and then she grabs her Teddy by the left ear. That’s it, you little piece of pretentious heart-warmer freak! I’m gonna teach you some pain today!. Lara, holding on a hanging Teddy in her right hand, makes her way out of the room, walks through the kitchen, to the backyard, and stop in front of a tree. She dumps Teddy on the ground and run back inside, looking for a hammer and a nail. She rushes back to the tree, grab Teddy and press him against the tree. Lara presses a nail on Teddy’s ear and start banging the nail with the hammer. Then there it is: a hanging Teddy on a tree.
***********
Who knows what she’s doing; sitting on the park bench, all by herself. Looking over the lake, where winds are welcomed.
Venice walks slowly towards the bench. She looks at Lara and her sick-day sweater and pants. And her sick-hair-day is on too. Venice thinks to herself, oh my…why Lara…why.

“This place feels like the oldies’ gateway to dreamland, like in some grandma’s dream”, Venice says, trying to change the awkward mood. And for a moment, Lara keeps it awkward, then she gives a fake smile and looks away again, staring into the water.

“Ah good! You’re writing again!. I’m started to worry about you not writing anymore”, again, Venice makes a second attempt.
“Ven, I won’t stop writing. Don’t worry”, Lara’s voice is flat and full with emptiness. Venice knows, but she’s denying it.
“That’s good to hear, Lar. Hey, guess what, I know someone who is a publisher. Think he might be interested with your stuff. You wanna give it a try, babe?”, Venice smiles.
“No”, Lara replies.
“Huh? No? Am I hearing this right? You said you were looking for a publisher”, Venice pulls out a higher tone of voice. Maybe she can’t stand it or maybe she can.
“Stop trying to find me anything. I’m not looking to publish anything right now, all right!”, Lara says it straight, bitter and short. Venice is almost filled with anger. She holds herself, trying to calm, then looks at a piece of paper on Lara’s hand. She grabs it, like it’s her own business. She reads it out loud. It’s written,

Fallen leaf, from its tree
When spring is over, you’ll be
The circle of love, for you and me
That is what you and I believe

Fallen leaf, I can’t wait
For another season to pass by
So I choose to just be
Hanging leaf, at its tree

“What is this, Lar…?” Venice starts to get serious.
“Give me that!”, Lara snatches. “It’s not finished yet! How many times I have to tell you about my work-in-progress?”, Lara tries to hide her real emotions behind this bitterness. No doubt about it. Lara knows it, Venice knows it.
“Oh Lara…what’s happening to you…”, Venice says with a long sigh.
**********
Another day, at the same lake. These two best friends get together. This time Venice really wants to talk about it. Whatever ‘it’ is. She plans to make her best friend let it all out, she is prepared for tears, pain, anger, she’s prepared for Lara.

“The thing is…I’m not even mad at him anymore. But I’m still fucking pissed!”, Lara
“What is it then?”, Venice
“I don’t know, but I guess it’s the whole ‘love’ thing you know. The whole bunch of it!. I’m really hurt, really really do. Not just by him. The one before him. And the one before that. It’s the like a whole of a package!”, Lara
“..’Package of Love’…”, Venice. Lara looks at Venice who is now developing a blush on her cheeks.
“What?”, Lara starts to laugh, looking at Venice
“Haha! I know. It sounds really different from what I really meant”, Venice says, sheepishly.
“It sounds like a wrapped hard-on penis, Ven!”, Lara jokes and they both laugh off. It’s been a while since Lara has that kind of laughters; ever since him.
“Just…don’t be mad for too long, Lar. Even if you do, just…don’t do anything stupid. Like you used to. With the drinking and the drugs. Okay?” says Venice.
**********
Some nights, things are broken. No matter how hard she tries, she breaks them.
“Let go of me, you sick dumb-fuck!” Lara shouts at a guy who tries to help her out.
“Maybe you shouldn’t walk around like this in this condition. Girl, you had too many” says the guy.
“What do you know!” shouts her again and Lara begins to cry.
“Damn girl, you’re whacked” says him.
**********
Some nights, more things are broken.
“Hey, go check on her, man!”, a stoned guys tells his stoned friend.

Lara sits by the balcony, mildly hallucinating
“Oh no, lady! Not here. You better get inside” says the guy
“Leave me alone! I’m not gonna jump okay. I’m not as high as you are”, she says with much annoyance.
“Just get in, bitch!” shouts the guy. He’s losing his patience (even when he’s stoned).
“No! No! Let me go!” Lara pulls herself back and falls from the chair.
**********
Some nights, things are broken. And Venice would come.
“Baby, wait here. I’m going inside alone”, Venice tells her fiancée and kisses him on his cheek.

“Where is she?” Venice asks the guy
“You’re the girlfriend huh? Nice…”, the guy says
“Shut up”, Venice
“Hey don’t be mad, darling. You girlfriend is a bit outta control y’know. You need to learn how to control your partner”, guy
“Who the hell are you anyway?”, Venice
“No one. No one. Just a guy”, guy
“Exactly. Now take me to her”, Venice

Lara lies on the couch in the VIP room. She isn’t moving. She’s totally out this time.
“Jeez…Lara…”, Venice.
**********
The rest of the nights are left unsaid. So, this is Lara.

Previous short story:
Forgive me
Next short story:
Chapter V (the sequel): THE PLAN
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Nina Chezter Sarif

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