Two lonely strangers on St. Valentine’s day.
One suffering from a broken heart. Her engagement was just called off and her fiance was getting married that day.
The other just found out that his ex was a lesbian and was getting a surgery done to become a guy.
With no loved one to spend the day with, they decided to spend the day together. Drinking ,laughing and enjoying the night .
Nothing serious. Until things become heated.
But the morning after , reality kicks in.
What happens now? Do they go back to their boring normal life with nothing but work; more work or even more work.
Or climb on the wind and soar to where ever it leads.?
But there was one problem.
One night stand was different from a relationship with a stranger you know nothing about.
As soon as it began, it crashed.
And they both went their separate ways. A year later. .they meet again, St. Valentine’s day.
Do they give in to the spur of the moment or just shut the door to things never meant to be..
Just like the people in their lives that left.
Maybe, happiness wasn’t met for them. And love even further away.
But cupid got other plans as he shot the arrow…
It missed. He curses. He grabs another and targets his heart. He shoots. It hits the mark.
He crosses his legs and watches how events play out sipping on cloud-wine.
A story written by Stephanie Egberike
The cloud is thick, blue-white, stretched across the wide sky and reaching beyond and disappearing out of sight, it’s expansion beyond sight.
You hear nothing but thunder claps, whistling and then all too suddenly the cloud breaks to reveal someone coughing.
More like a child… or looks like one.
When he turns you see that it is a man-child.
He has a smoking pipe in his hands as he whistles. He takes a few drags.
He is dressed in nothing but a white cloth covering his genitals.
It has always been wondered if they do have one. They never had shown the world if they had a little peewee to dangle or maybe that’s where they hide their powers… so the stories goes.
The cloud is floating like a hard surface as he walks on it, his arrow slashed over his back…he is peering down.
The mist below clears to reveal a city. Little ants of people going about their business. The blaring of horns. The lights. The city…the music.
“Too much hate in the world”, father said. ..”too much hate. Spread a little love.. give a heart a sparkling jolt” he laughs taking a drag and pumps out air.
A shape of love is formed, dancing away.
He pokes it and it fades into the clouds.
“Now… who would be the lucky bastard” he frowns stretching to look deep into the city.
His head pops out of the clouds. His frown deepens..
He opens his cloth, frowns as he looks within.
“Now… I need something …Aha, this would work” he brings out binoculars…”Inventions inventions, all Technically-advanced invention… knew it would come in handy..” he laughs to himself.
He stretches and grabs the cloud, some pulls out. He folds it and then makes it into a stool. Then he changes his mind, takes some more and makes a dangling bed.
He made slim ropes out of the cloud and then hangs the dangling bed. Satisfied he jumps on it, crosses his leg and then he pushes it.
It dangles from side to side. He has the binoculars to his eyes, he is whistling and then the pipe in his other hand.
“Now… Mini mini mani mor… who is the love-less sucker of them all..” he looks right,he looks left, he zooms in .
He shakes his head. .”Nope. Nope. Hell na. Fxxk no… er… sorry Mama, too old. Oh… no dog love this year sorry bingo. ..er” he looks around to the other side. “Mini mini mani….Ohhhhhh there there…….”
He smiles as he zooms in to what he sees.
He grabs his arrow “I see the loneliest of them all”.
He pulls the clouds lower,to take a closer look at her, fingering his bow absent-mindedly as he listens to her.
“No!!” She sniffs as she holds the phone closer ,shaking her head from side to side so hard you would think her neck would snap. “No Daniel… Please I…I love you. We have been together three years. Three good years and now this?”
She is seated on her bed, her room is dark save from the light coming from the muted screen.
She grabs the picture she has on her bed side table and looks at it. It is a wedding band picture of a happy man and a really really happy bride. It got delivered today to her from him.
The wedding was slated in two hours. Three cities away.
The woman, she has only seen in pictures. She had googled her Facebook page and saw how pretty she was. She was high class, into money. She was it. The girl any man would fight for to marry.
Whether they were marrying her or her money is left to the significant other.
And He? She had known him for over three years.
He was the best thing that ever happened to her since he walked into her office to sign a contract. His smile was to die for, his hands made her shiver and his kisses made her feel as though she was flying.
That same man, He, getting married to the love of his life. The wedding band wrote. They were High school sweethearts since grade school.
He, who had been her fiance for a year was getting married today.
And he only just called off their own engagement like… five seconds ago.
Who does that?
She blows her nose.
“Daniel, you told me you were going away for a job. Be away for two weeks you said. We had the amazing vacation during Christmas. You proposed to me this day a year ago and we planned to get married this day too. We planned to go to vegas today and get married. You and I. But you postponed it. You told me you had to go on a trip and you just wanted to backdate the date. But… you were going away to get married to her..?” She sniffs “You are getting married to another woman Daniel. What happened to me? I have done nothing but given you the best three years of mine life and you were cheating on me with her?” She cries over the phone.
Frowning as she listens to him talk, her eyes enlarges.
“You were cheating on her with me???” She is shocked as she wails in tears. “So I was the side chick? Oh God!!” She cries into the phone “but I love you Daniel…I. .I already got a dress and picked out your suit and… the house we both looked at… I already …’ she pauses.
Then she begins to wail as she hears voices in the background “Come groom, don’t keep the bride waiting. Go dress up”
She is shaking her head and holding her chest… “Dan? Daniel… don’t go. Don’t leave me please. I love you”
The next thing she hears causes her to freeze..
Her lips trembles, her eyes filling with water. She repeats what she hears.
“You never loved me. You… were testing waters. You… you don’t want me to ever call you again. You. …” she blinks.
The end tone of the call could be heard.
He had cut the call.
She blinks, and let’s the phone slip as she slips with it. Curling herself into a ball she cries her heart out.
She needed to purge the pain threatening to choke her out of breaths.
She pulls the ring from her finger and tosses it.
She stays on the floor crying.
Today was supposed to be her wedding day. She was supposed to be the most happiest person on earth today.
She was supposed to be marrying the love of her life on this day of love.
Very significant right? Now, she would remember this day for the rest of her life.
Today, February 14th.
St. Valentine’s day.
Her love-day turns to nothing but shattered dreams and pain.
And it would be so for a long time.
“Awwwn” He, pulls back from the cloud and wipes a tear from his eyes.
“Oh, poor girl” he shakes his head. “See, that was a horrible horrible heartbreak” he pouts.
Fingerings his bow, he moves it before him, letting go of the pipe as it floats in the air.
“She is really really sad. What do I do to make her feel better? ”
He taps his jaw tentatively ,..
“What is a heart of pain, where there is love? What is love where the ground is fertile to be groomed.? What is a lonely woman without her boo? What are missions without a shot from the moon?” He gets up from his dangling bed” and what is an arrow without a lonely heart too..”
He turns away from the girl crying in her room and peers down to earth, pushing the cloud away from his eyes. His arrow in place, the bow ready to shoot.
“Find me the one who is as lonely as she is too. And let love begin spiraling in both lonely hearts”
Then he hears it, he turns grabbing his binaculars, and looks at the direction from where it is coming from.
“Interesting !!” He exclaims…
“Interesting !!” He repeats.
He leans in closer from the clouds and tries to listen in to the scene below him..
The shock vibrates through his body and leaves him speechless for a few seconds before he is able to find his voice and understand the scene before him.
Oh my God!!!
“What the hell! !!!” He exclaims standing just outside the door that leads into his bedroom.
He had just walked in on his girlfriend having sex with another.
She jumps off from the bed grabbing a cloth to cover herself. “Darren… I… I am sorry” she looks to him and back to her lover.
Darren looks at her shocked to his bones… he staggers back in shock.
“What the actual hell?” he looks at her and her lover who is still on the bed. Barely bothered about him walking in on his girlfriend with a lover.
“Natalie? How could you do this to me and with…with…oh God I need..I need to breathe” he chokes blinking rapidly.
“Babe…Babe I am sorry I…I didn’t know you were coming ” she comes to him.
“Don’t, don’t you dare… touch me.!! How could you Natalie?” he holds his chest as it suddenly constricts in pain. He backs away from her.
“Baby… Darren I… I didn’t want you to find out this way. I..erm”
Darren looks at her in disgust. He wants to express his anger at her. But he would never hit a woman, even if she were the cheater.
His eyes darts to the naked lover on the bed. No remorse. Nothing. Two pairs of eyes staring back at him, mocking him, laughing at him.
Just like the cold hearted ones of his girlfriend! He looks back at her, pained, betrayed, cheated.
This was his world. His love. Why?
“Why Natalie?” he asks as he folds his fist. “Why?”
“Because… because I have always been this person babe and ..”
“No you haven’t always been this person. When did you start this… cheating on me with a..a ” he let’s the words trail off. He runs his hand over his head and then punches the wall in anger.
Natalie winces, her lover didn’t move an inch.
“No babe… I have always been this person but you never saw that. Because I only showed you what I wanted you to see. This is me, you were a past time, a covering for my parents so they can stop asking me about a man. But other than that… you were nothing but… a side man to me. But… look at it this way. We had fun. I mean you were great and all but… come on, now that you have seen me I don’t have to pretend about it. And besides, I was going to tell you soon”
“A side man? What are you saying and… tell me when? When Natalie? We have been dating for over three years. Three!! When were you going to tell me. ?”
“Soon!!” She bites her lips.
He shakes his head, the disgust overwhelming him. He backs away from the room and leaves. She follows after him to his living room.
He doesn’t answer her as he goes to his bar, takes a bottle of red wine and pours it into his glass.
He takes a glass, gulps it down and takes another .
“Easy babe!!” She seats in front of him.
“Easy? How am I supposed to react to that… that… what I just saw. How? I am angry. I want to punch someone. I want to run someone through the wall. But I can’t… because… your lover is… is” he shakes his head taking another glass of wine.
She smiles “You know you can say it though. It is not an abomination ”
“Are you high? It is. What the actual hell Natalie. On my bed. Our bed.. in my house. You have been cheating on me in my house with a …” he takes another glass “Aren’t I enough. Didn’t I love you enough… Am I lacking? I mean I got a good job, I treat you right, I love you right. You are my world Natalie. All the plans we made together…everything . Only to find you cheating on me with a…with a..” he points at the door. The lover is standing there staring at both of them, a sly smile played along the lover’s lips.
“A girl okay, you can say it!!” Natalie smiles “It’s not such a bad thing. In fact, it is thrilling really.” She bites her lips.
He takes another glass, winces as the spirit hits his head. He shakes it.
“You think? Because you are twisted to leave a man whom you are supposed to only have sexual intercourse with to frolic with the same sex. What the hell did I do wrong Natalie? I want to spit fire but I can’t. Your lover is a woman. How the hell do I attack a woman for having sex with my girlfriend in my house. I can’t hence… I am trying to calm my nerves by drinking but all I want to do is slam my fist into a face” Darren exclaims bitterly.
“I am sorry Darren. Really I am. But.. I am in love her”
He spits out the wine choking “You love her. You are in love with her? God!!”
‘”Yes I am and I know you don’t buy into this new generations love but come on, freedom of who to fxxk right?”
“God Natalie!!” He exclaims looking up “leave my house” he tells the girl who is resting by the corner.
“I know this isn’t what you planned coming home to meet but… really I am sorry” Natalie gets up.
“Not you. Her. I need her out of my house Natalie” He stops her pointing at her lover.
They needed to talk. He and his girlfriend alone.
They just needed to talk about all this because it wasn’t making any sense.
“Actually, I was already leaving.” Natalie gets up going to her lover who links her hands in hers.
“To?” Darren turns to, he frowns “we have to talk about this. We have to make sense of all this”
“Sorry babe. This was long over due. I was going to leave next week but I might as well. ”
“What… what do you mean leave. Like travel?” He leaves his bar and walks to her but stopping away from her, he eyes her lover who blows him a kiss. His anger hovers.
“This has been fun and I know first hand you are a sweet guy but… we can’t do this anymore”
“Are you breaking up with me?” Another jolt of pain strikes his heart.
“Yes I am.”
“You are throwing away the years we have had together?” He can’t believe it. “But I love you” he chokes.
Yes she was cheating and with a woman but still, men found that exciting to watch girls go at each other sexually.
He has always liked to have his woman by himself. He has always been the loyal and the committed one. But to find this? It was heart wretching.
What is he to make of this.,?
“I know you do babe but… I love her and we are going to travel the world together after my surgery” she looks loving at her girlfriend. They good hands.
“What surgery? ” Darren blinks ..
“I need to get a dxxk. D—o’s and strap ons are great but.. you want to take charge when you are there.”
“I want to become a man. Chest, sex organ. .you know. Got a good doctor. Got me a tone but hey? My baby is sponsoring .”
The shock leaves him speechless. .
“Darren?” she calls his name a few times. He blinks
“You have me Natalie? You instead preferred a woman to bask in sexually. Now you want to become that thing you rather not be with?”
“You won’t understand but that’s fine.. but her.. see you around” she beckons on her girlfriend.
“Natalie… I love you, I have loved you for so long. What am I supposed to do. How am I supposed to go on. What do I do with my life now that you are leaving me for.. for her” he still can’t believe it. He walks closer to her and stops her. “Let’s talk about it. U can even tolerate it just so-” he trails off.
“You know you Darren, and this has always been spent in your desire. Hence my hiding. But it’s okay. You would be fine. You would find someone and you would love and she would love you. Just it wouldn’t be me. I would leave in a few minutes. Take care of yourself Darren. ”
Without further ado she turns and leaves. Darren watches them exit the door a few minutes later, bags and suitcases in hand.
He sinks to his chair. His head in his arms..
“What am I supposed to do Natalie? How do I go on without you. How, how can I stop loving you… How?” he gets up abrupt, grabs the empty wine bottle and flings it. It shattered.
“Never again. Love hurts. People always leave. They always leave. Enough. I am done !!” He exclaims.
“I am done” he wipes the only tear that drops. He sniffs.
He places a call “Yes, this is Darren Bloom, cancel my dinner reservation for tonight. And the flowers and then the tourist tour.” he cuts the call.
Today, he had had the best day planned for her.
Today, it would have been beautiful with her in it.
Now… it was nothing but a sour taste in his mouth. He gets up walking to his window overlooking the city. Tonight, the city was awake. The lights, the cheeriness. The love in the air was felt as it was obvious.
Today, February 14th… was going to be an amazing day for him. Now all he wants to do is shut down the street lights and tell every one that love is nothing but a mirage and that those who fell for it were mere fools. And he was done being one.
He goes back to sitting on the chair and resting his head.
Never again. Love wasn’t for him. Screw it.
He pulls away.. “I see two hearts, broken, in need of a blended fix. I see the black and white. I see the tears within those eyes. I see the pain, and I may have just the right inside.” He fingers his bow and pulls at it fixing the arrow to it..
“Too much hate in the world… spread a little love, let two hearts blend as one.”
He shoots the arrow upwards and watches it kiss the overhead cloud, makes a U-turn and goes down below, passing hard clouds and going to earth.
“Find the hearts. Blend it into one, make a heart sing a merry-happy-tone”
He watches it hit the surface of her roof. Then he shoots another one and watches it hit his door. He turns away happy, whistling a song he dances on his feet.
“Cupid!!! Cupid!!!?” The voice is thunderous.
“Yes… father?” He looks up and then back and then everywhere.
“Did you spread a little love?”
He smiles walking deep into the cloud that opens like a door and swallows him in.
“Oh, yes I did. You just wait to see the lonely hearts I have quicken”
“Ah… tell me about it”
Cupid chuckles …
” Are you okay? You want to come over?” The phone is lying on her ear as she laid sideways on the floor.
“Yes Lucy. I would be thanks. ”
“You can’t stay home… it’s going to hurt and stuff.”
“Cried to my heart’s content.”
“Okay, I tell you what. Go out’!”
“Don’t want to”
“Do it Anna. You would feel better.”
“The streets is filled with love and lovers. I don’t want to”
‘”I know. Okay to the the Mac and Tees out on the 7th street. Less crowd. You can breath there. Okay?”
“No” Anna tells her friend.
“Do it or I am coming over and-”
“Good. You be good okay. Don’t cry over that bastard. Good riddance to bad rubbish. ”
“Yeah! See you later .”
The line dies.
After contemplating it, she packs her hair in a ponytail, rushes a bath, gets dressed and leaves her apartment.
Live a little right?
She sighs in the cab.
“It’s crowded Sir, should I go in?” The cab man asks Darren.
Sighing Darren turns to the window.
What was he doing in fact, coming to a place like this that would remind him of her and love? He needed some place he can just gaze into nothing and not be asked anything. Home was too quiet… too her too… argh!!
“Where else can I go to and not be swept away by this kind of happiness?”
“You don’t like Valentine Sir?”
“I used to until today” he rubs his chest mentally.
The man nods “Well, Mac & Tee at the intersection is quiet. You want to go there?”
Darren turns away from a happy couple kissing . “Yes, anything but here”
“Ma’am, we are at Mac & Tees” she pays him and alights. Her bag falls from her lap causing her contents to pour and scatter.
“Oh dear!!” She exclaims picking up items as the cab zooms away.
Another cab stops at the entrance, the passenger alights and begin to walk towards the entrance when he saw a lady on the floor, picking up items and cursing.
He walked on only to hear her exclaim in pain. .
“Owww! God dammit !!”
Out of curiously he turns to see her placing her index finger in her mouth, a frown on her face and all her items still scattered from the bag.
Shaking his head and turning, he goes to her.. “Need help!?”
Her eyes accesses the man before her.
And that is how they come.
“I am not interested!!!” She blurts out.
He was taken a back.. “Excuse me?
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