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Soundless subsistence


“I need to take a break.”, i depressingly uttered, as i was sitting on the ground at work. People were looking at me like i was some kind of attention-seeking beggar, but i didn’t care. A hand holding a can of soda popped right in front of me. It was cold to the touch. “Here!” As i looked to my right, i noticed T. looming above me. “Thanks. Are you a magician or a stalker now?”, i asked surprised. “Neither. I was just passing by towards the lunch area and thought i needed a soda.”

“Where’s this soda from then?”, i asked, tossing the can from one hand to another. “From the vending machine you are leaning against.”, she replied in a monotone. I turned my head and looked up at the glass panel and buttons. “Oh! I didn’t see it was there.” She began to giggle. “What’s up with you?”, she asked concerned, as she was dropping more coins into the vending machine. “Things are looking better for me, but i feel so tired lately.”, i replied, opening the can. “Is this some kind of post-sex depression?”, she smilingly asked, grabbing the second soda can from the machine. “Ha, ha. Funny, but no. I think it’s because of the constant thoughts i’m having about June and E. and how the story should unfold.”, i replied. “Come with me to the lunch area. I could use the company.”, she offered. “Fine. Why not?!”, i replied, picking myself off the floor.

As usual, she chose the farthest table from the entrance. I turned the chair around so the back support was towards the table and sat down. “Do you want some?”, she asked, opening a square glass container which held what seemed like homemade cooking. “Nah, i don’t eat during the day. This soda can is enough.”, i replied. “Mhh… That doesn’t sound healthy.”, she pointed out. “Do i look to you like i’m preparing to run a marathon?”, i asked smirking. “No, you look like you’re running towards your grave.”, she replied with a serious expression on her face. “Sheesh! Your bluntness cuts deep, Ms. Sunshine.”, i said with a somewhat annoyed voice. “I don’t like to be this way, but as they say, if you push a kitty into a corner, she will scratch.” I realized that we were sitting at a table closest to a corner of the room. “Or it might be that you prefer to place yourself into a corner just so you can scratch unknowing lovers.”, i said, raising and lowering my head as to point to the corner behind her. She turned her head slightly, catching with the corner of her eye the subject in question and smiled. “That may be, but considering that you are sitting at this table with me, it makes me wonder…” She took a sip from her soda can and looked me straight in the eyes: ” …do you miss being handcuffed to my bed?”

I immediately felt the need to look around me. A colleague at the neighboring table was starring me down. I turned away. “Could you say that louder? I think the guy close to the entrance didn’t hear you.” She stood up. My eyes went wide as i knew what was about to happen. She cleared her voice. “Don’t…”, i beggingly whimpered. And she shouted: “I asked, do you miss being handcuffed to my bed?” An eerie silence settled in the room as she sat down. I didn’t dare to turn around and look. I was already feeling gazes stabbing me in the back. “Are you crazy? Now colleagues from other departments must be thinking that i’m some kind of…” I was interrupted by a man’s voice in the distance who shouted: “Did you at least fuck her good?” I quickly turned around, trying to rectify the situation: “No, no. It’s not like that. We were talking about a…” “He did!”, she shouted behind me. My head turned on its own towards her in an instant. My eyes were filled with terror. My words, missing.

“Don’t look at me like that. With those cute puppy eyes of yours, you might make me all wet.”, she said as her eyes oozed seduction and her lips a devilish smile. I let my head fall into the palms of my hands. “Remind me to never ever engage in word play with you again!”, i demanded. “Why not? It’s fun.”, she said as she took another sip. “For who? Only you maybe.”, i replied with a frown. “Don’t act as if you don’t like being exposed out in the open, you perv.”, she said, running circles with her index finger along the rim of the soda can. “I don’t.”, i replied. “You do.” “No, i don’t.” “Yes, you do.” I remained silent, shaking my head. “Giving up already?”, she asked with a smile. “What happened to that happy-go-lucky woman, who used to just pass me by every time she went on her lunch break?”, i asked saddened. “She got fucked, by you.”, she answered, placing one of her hands upon mine. Confused by the gesture, i asked: “What is happening? How can you be so detached from this incredibly embarrassing situation? Plus…” I leaned in and whispered: “…technically, you were the one fucking me.”

She leaned back in her seat, pulling her hand away from mine. Her expression became cold and serious. “Why does it matter so much to you what all these people around us think about you or us? Because you want to be appreciated, loved, cared for? Or is it because you lack the mindset to overcome and pull through when nobody is around to help you? Social etiquette? Code of conduct? Please… you might as well call them leashes for the sheep or screenplay of the weak. You instinctively already know what is right and what is wrong, yet you still prefer to subject yourself to needless pleasantries just to fit in, even if you never will because it’s all an illusion.” She stopped and sighed. “Tell me something, do you want our love to become just as fictional?”

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