C’est La Vie (First Short Fiction Excerpt)

Winter

Note to Reader: היא means she and הוא means he

C’est La Vie

a short fiction written by Alexandra Suh

:היא

I have always believed that life is balanced like the yin and yang. That every bad event, individually significant or not, sets in motion an equally good event. And vice versa. Little did I know, today would be the day when my ignorance finally caught up with me. Resulting in the complete obliteration of my haphazardly constructed reality, leaving me helpless in the chaos I had inadvertently created.

Raz, my darling Raz. This was a very rare name here in America. He told me once that his name meant “secret” in Hebrew. At the time I had laughed lightly, effortlessly flirting with a handsome stranger. His facial structures were comparable to the sculptured busts of Greek gods, with chiseled chin and sharp angles. But it was his eyes that attracted me. Those eyes, which at first glance appeared to be a plain brown, were oddly intense. On rare occasions, if I looked at him without him noticing, his gaze would cloud over and expose a carefully concealed expression that I had only seen twice. I would be filled with an unexplainable, overwhelming sadness. And pain. Yet at the same time, those eyes managed to stir desire in me. After all, that was the basis of our relationship. Drugs and sex. We were such ignorant fools. Grasping at love to fill the emptiness inside of us. And it was our mutual acceptance of this delusion, of love, that led to our inevitable demise. But I try not to blame myself for everything. After all, the devil has a reputation for being elusive and I never would have guessed that I was staring right at him.

After a semester filled with racing cars, shoplifting, and an abundance of drugs, Raz and I were inseparable. The happiness that consumed me during that time was phenomenal. Life couldn’t be more perfect. But everything changed once winter arrived and the nights grew cold.

I woke up every morning that winter break scared to death, left with no option but to pretend that everything was normal. That everything was going to be okay. Ever since the end of the semester, Raz had been living with me since his parents kicked him out of the house. He told us it was because he failed all of his classes. But so did all four of us.

Yet in the moment, it seemed as though fate had brought us all together. A miracle of sorts. Each one of us acutely aware of some strange bond forever sealing our friendship. But the reality was that we were four lost souls using each other as an excuse to justify our reckless behavior. The time passed so quickly then that days blurred into nights. It was an anomaly if we weren’t high on something or another every single day. That was a time of experimentation for me, with both adrenaline rushes and hard drugs. Our bodies willingly succumbed to our growing addictions, which were easily compensated for by flipping drugs.

Hoodrats. We were goddamned hoodrats.

“My parents hate me,” I remember Raz telling me. I didn’t believe him until he half-heartedly divulged his mother’s crazy e-mails to me. Normally, Raz exuded an air of confidence, but that day he broke apart. He confessed that he was still on probation from a previous drug charge. How his wealthy and influential parents constantly moved, never staying in one place for too long. How they controlled his siblings hoping to mold them into their image of perfection. How it was easy for him to make friends, but despite his popularity, no one knew the real him. He admitted to being a whore who fucked to forget. The man whose carefree attitude and chronic optimism I had been so envious of, faded into that of a small child who just wanted his parent’s love and approval.

I skimmed over the e-mails. Certain phrases jumped out at me. You’re dealing again? No more chances. Go to jail or hide in Israel. Your friends don’t care about you. Can’t be trusted. All lies.

 

Raz looked at me with a sad, defeated look. “They won’t stop. All they care about is their reputation. And right now, they see me as a threat. The longer I associate myself with you guys, the higher the chance that my ass ends up in jail and I tarnish the stupid family name. I can’t let anyone else get involved.”

:הוא

It was hot. Israeli summers were always unbearably humid. In my new pitiful home, remarkably smaller than a freshman dorm, the heat was so condensed that the fan served no purpose other than to trick the mind into believing the room would cool down. This tiny dump was supposed to be an upgrade after living in the local hostel. I had to find a place fast; those bitches only left me 40 bucks. And they’re supposed to be my fucking parents! Not that they deserve that title. By the time I even found this pathetic hellhole, I had to sell my iPhone to literally meet life’s most basic needs: shelter, food, and cigarettes. At best, during these horribly long days, I was able to budget a loaf of challah to last me for the day – sometimes, for even longer.

I stared at the computer screen in front of me. Just end it, don’t think about it! I’ll only hurt her more if I prolong this. Come on… what’s taking me so long? Why can’t I forget her like the others? My mind was racing. The same ominous thoughts had been relentlessly taunting me. Sweating and frustrated, I got out of bed and turned on the lights. I stood there for a few minutes quickly trying to adjust to the harsh glare that flooded my vision. I read the typed messages in front of me one more time:

“Hey! It must be so good to see all your friends in Israel.”

“How are you? Haven’t heard from you. I miss you, my dear.”

“Are you going to answer my skype calls?”

“Answer me! You can’t be busy all the time for this long!”

“…Dump me already. Just stop ignoring me! Please!”

And on and on the messages continued following the same passive-aggressive pattern. My mouth was dry. I felt desperate and gripped the water bottle next to me. Relief flood through me as I immediately drained the contents of the bottle. My anxiety had passed and I regained some semblance of self-control.

It took persistent willpower to stop myself from responding to her, but that still didn’t manage to stop the ruthless onslaught of memories of us together. Everything was a trigger. Everything was a reminder. So, I did what I did best. Pretend she never existed and ramble on. Instinctively, my emotions had shut down and I had resorted to any form of instant gratification. I became addicted to tattoos. The pain and beauty of needle penetrating skin engrossed me. My diet consisted of black coffee and stale cigarettes. And sleep was a foreign concept, consisting of me laying in bed staring at the ceiling.

Life was simple; I worked to live and drank to work.

As time passed, insanity slowly monopolized my reality.

Leaving me stranded

in a fucking

war

zone.

First Love

you are my first

and only love.

 

it kills

how our happy memories

are just painful twists

from the knife you hold

to my heart.

 

you haunt me still.

when the sun wavers and

falls from view

and i am alone

with my thoughts and

my lonesome and troubled self,

hating each moment

when i wish you were still mine.

 

your washed-out memory

following my every move and

reminding me of

the blissful past and

all that we had

together.

 

i would be lying

if i said

i do not love you anymore.