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Short Story- Apr/May 2021

Empty spaces

Empty spaces

Dear Daughter,

I write this to you because I am saying goodbye. And before I leave, I want to explain why I disappointed you, my love...

When life started for me, I was not comforted by the safety and security of a caring mother or the hug of a cheerful father. No, my story started on the doorstep of my grandmother’s unattended home, where I lay screaming until the wooden door creaked open and my grandma’s contorted face was revealed. As she picked up the note beside me, clouds gathered in the sky and a rainstorm erupted.

At birth I was left on the doorstep
of my grandma
With simply a letter
“Mother, take the baby, because I have to leave.”
With a lack of love and an absence of hope...

But hope was found later in life. The tar-black clouds became insignificant, because a slither of sun finally penetrated when I went to high school and discovered the love boys granted me. There were plenty of them – muscular, skinny, blonde-haired, dark-haired, tall and short – but they all had one thing in common: they helped the loneliness, which gnawed inside me for years, to depart.

There was one boy, however, who approached from the darkness, like an assassin, silently and horrendously ruining my life. I was merrily dancing in the crowded club when his gaze caught my eye. The perfect jawline, muscular body and long brown hair seized me. The music corrupted my thoughts and the alcohol controlled my strings like a puppet master. I leaned closer and closer to him, Dean Norwick. His blue eyes melted my world.

And soon he melted my brain as he slowly popped a pill into my mouth.

He showed me comfort
he showed me drugs
and we did them together
always high
always happy...

He lured me in, calmly and slowly, like a professional fisherman. He waited for me to bleed out and surrender to his control.

“I love you,” Dean whispered in my ear many a time as his fingertips stroked my body. Of course, he was not my first, but he was the most memorable.

And as I finally discovered a touch of warmth
He burst into flames
Scorching the last light inside me...

But Dean did not merely provide me with love and drugs. He left a bigger gift behind.

And then I discovered you -
And confusion -
Along with addiction.

“No, no, no, no! This cannot be,” the thought perpetually ran through my head as I stared with trembling hands at the positive test.

“I...I’m pregnant,” I muttered, running to Dean, but he silenced my words with a fierce look.

“Baby, forget about that. It will go away soon. You trust me, don’t you?” His gaze burnt into me, but I fearlessly surrendered to him, my fire. And together we escaped into our old ways, abstaining from thoughts of raising a child.

I did it all for him
The drinking
The drugs
The neglection of me
And you

But the past haunted me. When the excitement faded and the action was over, Dean left. Without saying goodbye. I searched for you, my only hope, but was merely met with an empty womb and a damaged liver.

It was done to me
And now I did it to you

I left you
And hurt you
I abused you
and, ultimately, killed you
And as I lie here
scattered across the empty floor
I beg you
Please forgive me, my love
For all I ever wanted was safety and security
And you, my only chance I burned, alive

Therefore, I must bleed alone

By Sareez Basson

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