Pink couch in scene set for the story

Silhouettes of Sadness

The door opens, and bright light floods in from the halls as a woman’s silhouette enters, the door closes, but the room remains dark. I feel her weight, just on the edge, her face in her hands, elbows on her knees.

She shudders, I know she’s crying. At first she tries to contain it, the faintest quiver from her small frame is felt through my velvet and sponge. Now it’s rhythmic sobbing coming from deep within her. These moments make me wish I could wrap my arms around her. When it’s dark, this is the only way she comes in here – broken, small and lost. During the day, she sits across from me at her desk, her phone calls, meetings and upbeat playlist in the background lull me into believing she can concur the world.

The door opens again and it’s him, always him. He understands to leave the light off. Her shudders pause momentarily, even though we both know that the man she wants never comes. 

His weight joins her, heavier. He wraps his arms around her for me, her weight shifts as she cries without restraint, muffled into his chest. Their weight is a combination of sadness and safety.

He lets her cry it out. He’s been here many times. We wait together, knowing she will go back and nothing will change. He’s longed for her to see him, a steadfast friend by her side despite her decision to stay.

Their weight shifts deep into my cushions, settling back into my softness. She’s done crying now.

She tells him how grateful she is for his friendship. She says she can’t do this without him. I relax into the comfort of routine, I know the script. Now he’ll say “I’ll always be here”.

But he keeps quiet. She turns to face him, as if she can see him. We wait, now he’s gonna say it. We need him to say it. But he still says nothing.

“Hey are you OK?” she asks, leaning closer to him, urging him to reassure her. Minutes go by, the silence is deafening.

Finally! I think as his weight shifts, I will him to turn towards her but he stands up. She holds her breath.

“I can’t be this for you anymore.” he whispers but it echoes through her. Through me.

“What do you mean?” she pleads, tears threatening.

“I can’t keep watching you accept this life, while I console you, care for you, and then you go back to him.” We know he’s right, but we weren’t ready for it.

She throws her body across me sobbing uncontrollably. Why doesn’t he comfort her? Her tears soak me. I take them.

“Please stop” he says and we feel his weight on her for a moment. He pulls her up off me. Her tears stop. I imagine he’s holding her.

“I have to pick myself” he says, and I know this means farewell. “You need to pick you.”

The door opens, she refuses to let go of his hand, “Please” she begs. Their silhouette filled with what ifs.

He breaks free into the light, she remains, sinking to the floor, now crying for a different man. He calls a loud goodbye to the group, some muffled responses, then he’s gone.

She curls up into me, now my arms comfort her.

Written by Corenne on 25 Jun 2023

This story was inspired by this prompt on an Instagram account I follow – ConnectionAndFlow.

I imagined being the loveseat in a room, and I just wrote. I enjoy the practice of creative writing, clearing my mind and letting the pen take me where it wants to go. It’s not about perfection, just about finding “the crazy lady that lives in my head”. There’s a story to tell there too, about my writing rituals, and I’ll share it soon.

Do you write? What inspires you? Do you have a writing ritual?

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