Short Story: ‘Comfort in the Chaos’

Short Story:  ‘Comfort in the Chaos’

I sighed. I was in for a long night. It was dark and stormy. I could hear the wind moaning and the leaves in the trees rustling. I shivered. I dared not go outside, but I was beckoned to the door. It was rattling on its hinges wanting me to open it, begging me to turn the knob and find what was on the other side. I felt myself rise from my chair and slowly made my way toward the door reluctantly. I placed my hand on the knob and it turned freely in my hand. The door swung open and I was swallowed into blackness.

She woke up laying on her back. The sun was streaming through the windows and she groaned, pulling the covers back over her head. She willed time to stand still so she didn’t have to get up. She didn’t want to face him again: him in all his glory and her the biggest disappointment. Rolling over, the covers fell away and she glanced at her phone. It was time whether she wanted it to be or not. Pulling herself out of bed, she managed to get dressed and apply a coat of make-up, hoping to create a barrier between herself and reality. It was working. She left her house in a aroma of floral perfume and mint toothpaste. Please don’t notice me, she prayed as she melted into the sea of people on their way to work.

She was walking among the crowd, unconsciously scanning faces, looking for his. Half hoping that she would see it and half hoping it was nowhere in sight. She stopped dead in her tracks. There he was. She tried to blend in, but it was too late, he had already seen her and was trying to weave his way through the people toward her. Ducking through the crowd, she ran. Her heartbeat was pounding in her ears. She ducked into an alley hoping to evade his eyes and catch her breath for a while. She was bent over resting her hands on her knees, breathing heavily when an unknown man strolled past. Looking concerned, he stopped and asked her if she needed any assistance. He reached out his hand and touched her arm. She immediately recoiled, “No, I don’t need your help, thanks though.”

He replied, “I can offer you so much that will make you happy in this world, but fair enough if you aren’t willing,” and continued on his way.

She slunk down the ground, ashamed and afraid of anyone seeing her this way, so fragile, scared, and small. She wanted more than anything to be happy, but at what price? The world around her buzzed non-stop with vibrant life when all she wanted to do was hide from it all.

She heard footsteps drawing near. She glanced up and saw him with his arm extended out toward her offering her a hand. Rejecting him once again, she said, “I can’t accept your help, I’ll only drag you down with my burdens.”

His words touched her heart, “The number of burdens you carry can’t phase me. I will always love you.”

Through tears, she reached up and took hold of his hand. As they embraced, they were immersed in a blast of pure light.

I smiled and opened my eyes.

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