Invisible – Short Story

Copyright Darragh Jennings (C) 2015 – All Rights Reserved

She sat on the bed with her knees folded beneath her and her chin resting on the big blue pillow she held to her chest.

He stood beside the bed, wrestling with his thoughts. He took a breath, opened his mouth to speak and then his gaze met hers and he stopped short.

‘What?’ she asked.

He swallowed. ‘I…I just… I just feel guilty, I guess,’ he said.

‘Guilty? Guilty about what?’ she asked.

‘Well, I mean, if I hadn’t stumbled across your, you know, your gift… I never would have taken the time to get to know you, and, well, that makes me feel like shit.’ He stared at his hands, awkwardly trying to avoid her gaze for fear of the judgement he might see in her eyes.

‘Why does that make you feel like shit?’ she asked.

‘Because, when it comes down to it, it means I’m a shallow person,’ he said.

‘You know, Tommy, it takes a lot of maturity to be able to admit something like that, and it’s that emotional maturity and intelligence that kept me from trying to lie and run away from you,’ she said.

She waited for him to finally raise his eyes and look at her and then patted the space on the bed beside her. He came and sat beside her and they sat in silence for a time.

‘Where would you have run to?’ he asked eventually.

‘Really? That’s your question? Aren’t you pissed that I could have lied to you?’

‘Well… I mean, you didn’t lie, right?’ he asked, risking a glance in her direction, as if to gauge her reaction.

She took a moment to compose her thoughts and formulate her response. ‘No, I didn’t lie, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have secrets,’ she said.

He uttered a short laugh. ‘It’s not like I can hold that against you, even if I wanted to. Everybody has secrets,’ he said.

‘Even you?’ she asked, with a wry smile.

He tried to steel himself before responding but ruined it by blurting out ‘I really, really like you, Nat.’

Her smile became a grin as she said ‘Nice try, Tommy, but that’s not a secret.’

For the first time all evening, he looked directly at her, the surprise evident on his face. ‘Shit… seriously?’ he asked. As if realising he was staring, he diverted his gaze again and said ‘Umm, how long have you known?’

‘Since last week. You forget that I can still see you when I disappear. That goofy grin on your face was all the evidence I needed,’ she said, grinning as she relived the moment in her head.

‘Now I really feel like shit. I’m sorry, I should probably -’

‘Tommy…’ she said, as she took his hand.

The surprise of her touch overrode his nervousness and he turned to look at her. She pulled his hand towards her, forcing him to lean in and as he did so she moved with him and their lips met in a kiss.

When their lips parted, her smile widened and she said ‘See? The feeling is mutual.’

‘So, I see,’ he said, smiling back at her.

She rose from the bed to stand in front of him, the blue pillow still firmly in her grasp. He met her gaze and had just enough time to see her give him a mischievous look before she and the pillow disappeared into thin air.

He heard her disembodied voice a few moments later as she said ‘Come find me!’

He laughed as he looked around the room for any sign of her, though he knew he would find none until she reappeared. When he felt something soft and light hit the back of his head he was half-expecting to find she had thrown the pillow at his head. He was quite surprised to find instead she had instead thrown her shirt at him. As he heard the shower being turned on he rose from the bed to go find her.

Ruminations

So, I spend a lot of time giving out about religion on this blog, so I figured it was time for a little bit of a more personal touch.

I spend a lot of time giving out about religion because it’s something I see (or at least it’s effects) in almost daily life, whether it be in person or in the news and I’m rarely seeing the positive sides of it. This drives me to point out, what I believe to be, the imbalance between the pros and cons of organised religion and it’s usefulness in a modern society such as we find ourselves in.

Where people see religion as uniting, I see it as divisive. Where others see community, I see shared delusion. Where others see effect, I see placebo, and I can’t in good conscience stand by and say nothing when I believe there to be far better alternatives out there that do not depend on strict obeisance, daily prostrations, circumcision or whatever other medieval practice is associated with said religious ritual.

My brain is constantly going at 64 in a 50 zone and so these are things I cannot help but ruminate upon. That being said, it’s not all I think about. Far from it.

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