Hearts Can’t Catch

“I love the sculptures are they yours?”

Wow. This is why Emily was special. Not one other person had noticed my sculptures and I had put a lot of effort into them. I buzzed with excitement.

“You look beautiful.”

She had always glowed at my compliments, but refused to take them. “Still a charmer, hey? I know you say that to all the girls.”

“Of course, but it’s true with you.”

How could I make her see I meant it? I wanted to ask her if she still felt the chemistry between us.

“It’s still there isn’t it?”

“It’ll always be there,” she assured me.

I watched her deep purple lips as she said it, banking the moment and the words into permanent memory. Her hair was caught in her earring, an oversized pewter black rose, and I reached to untangle it for her. She stiffened and looked nervously towards the door. The door through which her new boyfriend would soon emerge and crush all my hopes of getting her back.

I took a bathroom cubicle shortly after that, where I could let my pure panic out by punching the cistern until I bled. Things started getting weird then, and I don’t know, maybe I blacked out for a little while because what I remember next is very loud and very close and tequila

and tequila

and tequila

And Danni wants to talk, but talking is the last thing I want to do and I wonder what is the first and I decide that would be crunching this bottle of beer into pieces with my fist.

And then Danni is screaming in my face about the diary she found in my backpack whilst looking for god knows what. She’s glowing bright red and mascara is running down her face and she has rage in her eyes. She’s screaming ‘you’ve written a whole fucking book about her!’ And I know she’s talking about Emily because she’s right, and then I just want her to get the fuck out of my face but never leave me.

The book about Emily gets its pages ripped out and I watch them floating off towards the sea, then the cover and the spine are tossed thoughtlessly over the balcony and I feel like they are parts of me being dispersed and rejected from life and I want to follow them so I climb onto the railing and get ready to die for this, only to be pulled back down by a heavily perfumed arm with a pentagram tattoo that is spinning



and I know she would rather have seen me as a mess on the pavement below than risk breaking off her black plastic talons and more of her pride and yet there she is. But then she is gone and I am alone with the breeze and the fog without my diary and without anything to hold on to.

For a moment I stare at the shreds of paper still within reach and my heart leaps out into the salty air to collect them up, in place of a mind that should be thinking and telling the limbs to do it before Emily or her new fool sees what I wrote. But hearts can’t catch and it only puts me off balance so that my face comes crashing down to meet the floor, and for a moment my hot cheek relishes the cool linoleum but only for a moment because from here I can see down to street level again and Dr Pascal is there collecting up all the fragments and stuffing them into his jacket and the shock of it makes me think I’m going to throw up and I hope some hits him in his smug face when I do. But I don’t, and instead I wonder what the hell I’m doing here and why I can’t get it together and why I can’t fight whatever it is that is being done to me and I can’t.



Then Lisa is buying me coffee from the pizza shop and telling me to sober up like its a choice and I can’t see Peterson but I can hear him slurring something about that doctor of mine being a secret chief for sure and Danni being a slut that didn’t deserve me and Emily not being my type anyway. Then being on the floor watching someone’s bathroom ceiling throbbing and suddenly remembering I took 40 paracetamol in the cubicle back there and not being sure whether to tell someone about it or hope they take effect. ‘Yes’ says the voice of my psychiatrist, and I try to formulate the words to describe how unhelpful that is but I don’t quite manage it before the world goes black.

12 thoughts on “Hearts Can’t Catch

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  1. Wonderful. Just wonderful. I completely agree with The Perilous Reading Society on this one: the pace was perfectly in keeping with the subject matter. You could feel his desperation, his sense of being overwhelmed, his numb detachment in the end. Is this also part of your novel? I noticed the return of Dr. Pascal, so either this psychiatrist gets around a lot or this is the same protagonist 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gah… As inelegant as the typed word is (electronically), the thought that someone could read and react, or destroy, my work is why I don’t often write my words down. That part was a horror, and an brilliant metaphor for losing Danni. I loved this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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