Catherine Micqu

Welcome to Eternity (repost)

And so it began. Her reflection in the mirror faded with every time she dared to look. Her skin became grey, and her eyes had lost the living spark. Color was a distant memory she only vaguely remembered. Grief had taken over the moment he had passed on. She rubbed her face with bony, wrinkled hands, trying to find the person she once was. But she was gone. He had taken everything with him, and he had left her with an old and worn shell.
She shuffled to the bedroom and closed the windows. The evening breeze was crisp; winter was lurking around a corner. She shed the last pieces of her clothing and laid on the bed, folding her hands on her soft stomach. Then she closed her eyes and conveyed the images of him that she had stored away in her mind. They came and took her away. Away from the grey. Away from the grief. She felt her feet touch the ground, and her eyes sought out details to understand where she was. She was in a strange land where no age and no pain existed. A land between life and death. But she didn’t know that yet. Her vessel was still inhaling air to fill her lungs and making her heartbeat on.

She could hear his voice; Henry’s voice was teasing her, asking to come see him. But whenever she turned toward the direction of the sound, nothing was there. No one was there.

“Henry?” Her thin voice reverberated through the nothingness — the uncertainty spread inside her body. The soles of her naked feet felt a change in the surrounding before her mind was able to catch on. Where the ground had been of sand and gravel before, it was now cotton-like and soft. Walking became more like floating. A burst of familiar laughter made her walk on with a smile. She was where she wanted to be. For a moment, her chest had felt constricted, but it wasn’t anymore. Panic that had threatened to arise was pushed back down. She knew that she would be fine because he was near.

There was no way to describe what she saw around her. There were no shapes, and yet everything was of different shapes. There were no colors, and yet everything was so very colorful. There were no sounds, and yet, it wasn’t quiet either. Everything felt familiar and well-known. Almost intimate. Even the smell of the air reminded her of a place she had loved once upon a time.

“Henry?” she asked again. She felt the touch on her bare arm before she saw him.

“There you are, my love,” he replied and kissed her forehead. “I missed you, what took you so long?” She needed a moment to answer. She took his cheeks between her hands and exhaled sharply. “Henry, is this you? This can’t be you.” The man looked familiar, but he was young. So very young. Her Henry had been old and sick, marked by his age and everything he had seen in his lifetime. His hands covered hers. The heat of him seeped into her. His smile was contagious and familiar. “It is you,” she whispered, stepping back and bringing her hands to her lips. If this was Henry, what did it mean? How could it be? The blurry shapes and colors changed around her. She was on the farm she had grown up. The grass was green; the shade of green it has after a recent summer rain. The sky was blue and cloudless. The barn that had burned down and had killed livestock stood tall and was painted in red and white. Looking down, she realized that she was standing on a wooden porch. She was wearing a thin dress she had loved because of the flowers on it. She turned around. Everything was familiar. Young Henry sat in a rocking chair, looking at her.

“Did the other shoe finally drop?” he chuckled and reached his hand out to her. He was engulfed in light. The glow was so bright, she almost had to look away, but she couldn’t. She took his hand, and he pulled her toward him. “Oh, Henry,” she sniveled. “Are we…?” She didn’t finish her question.

“Yes, Vera, my love. Welcome to eternity.”

Dear stranger…

Holy fucking hell; I miss you more than I ever knew. I saw someone crossing the street today; he looked like you: the same curls, the same pale skin, the same walk, the same posture. My heart went like mad. Eyes wide and wild, I had troubles to get my car in gear again. But, fuck me, I began longing for you; for your voice.

The moment I could think straight again, I reminded myself that it had not been you, crossing the street. You are in the UK, sound-checking for your upcoming show.

But man, I miss you. Most days, I don’t. Most days, I am indifferent, because yearning for your touch makes me feel empty and numb. Other days, it feels as if I cannot breathe because you are not here. You weren’t here for a long, long while.

I am fine without you. Seeing your doppelganger threw me for a loop though. And so, I did what I can do without calling or sending a text. I checked social media channels for your face; I listened to old interviews, and I floated in a serene mindset listening to your music. It is all I can get; it is all I am asking for. At times likes these, I am glad that you are visible and that I can get my fix (like an addict) without you noticing.

Of course, I also write these letters. Not that you will ever read them, stranger, but my thoughts can soar free like an eagle like this, instead of being trapped in a cage.

I don’t like to be trapped, but I want to believe that you waste one or two thoughts on me too, once in a while.

When we spent time together, life was good. When we went our different ways, I was devastated and wanted to die. I am not writing this to put pressure on you, and I am sharing this to show you how dependent I was on you.

You made me, and you broke me.

It’s been a long while. And these days, I look back on what we had with a smile. You were there and showed me what passion and love is. You told me that I am worth to be loved – and I believed you; still do.

There are moments like today, when I wish we could be together, but then, a couple of hours later, I remember that we are too codependent and that our deep emotions are dangerous for our sanities.

Maybe I am in advantage because you are a public person and if I want, I can see you.

I want you to be happy – I know you are not because you still think that you don’t deserve it, but you do.

Still and always yours,

Sweetie

Heatwave – mature content

The heat, it got to her. She had always had a healthy sex-drive, but this here right now was a lot, even for her standards. She felt insatiable. Always in the mood.

Naked as she was, she let the light breeze, that found a way into her bedroom, caress her skin. It was as if her lover was gently tracing her nooks and folds and crannies with his tongue. She closed her eyes and arched her back. This felt good. Her hands knew where to go on their own. No explanation needed. One hand massaged her breast and played with her nipples, while the other hand traveled south. Legs spread wide, she didn’t waste time. Too good. She was wet. Not moist; no, dripping wet. The sound her body made as her fingers entered her spurred her on. She needed it. Right then. Right there. The smell of her own sex engulfed her and laid a thin veil over her senses, blocking out her environment. Sweat was covering her; droplets rolling down and pooling between her breasts. She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue moaning deep within her throat. Almost there. She didn’t take her time, didn’t prolong the explosion that was at the tips of her fingers. Her legs were shaking. Ragged breath. She bit her bottom lip, her eyes were closed. More. More. More of this. Her hips moved on their own accord, trying to find more friction. The tingling that had started inside of her was spreading fast. She threw her head back with another moan. Her back was arched, her hair was drenched in sweat. Pulling her legs back to reach more; to enter herself deeper. It was there, she felt the wave coming. Ready to let her lose her mind.

Another touch startled her. Not her own hands. They ruined her orgasm. Calloused, male hands. Asking for permission to continue what she had started. She took her hand from her pussy, tasting her own lust with a sly grin. Eyes meeting eyes. Dilated pupils didn’t hide their carnal desires. The sensation of his hands on her was too much to bear. He knew how to push her buttons. He knew exactly how to read her body. What had started slow and casual was building up again. She was biting her hand to keep herself from screaming out her lust, but he didn’t allow it. He demanded to hear her. And there it was. The right touch. The right pressure. Too fast. Too soon. Her entire body tensed. She stopped breathing. And the heat swallowed her from within. Sensitive to his touch, she tried to move away, but he was not done. The night was young and it was too hot to sleep anyway…

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6:37 in the morning. Tears and shower water mingle. It hasn’t been this bad in a while. No way of getting her thoughts straight and too many responsibilities to rest. Nowhere to hide, just in plain sight. Getting dressed. One task done. Getting the kids ready for school. Another task done. Did not cry for an hour. Success. Husband didn’t notice – or hasn’t said anything. Success. Driving to work. Another task done. Working on autopilot. Smiling, singing. Out of body experience. She wishes she wasn’t there. Nowhere. No one notices. Success. She’s winning. Not this battle, not this fight. One task at a time.

don’t move on

No amount of positive words he read could change the heavy feeling inside his chest. If he didn’t have all these responsibilities, he would probably leave everything behind. But on top of being a responsible man, he also cared. And he was a coward. If he ran, he didn’t know where to. And the unknown scared him more than anything else. And so, he stayed inside his bubble, breaking to pieces with every breath he took, and falling apart with every thought that flooded his mind. He kept reading every inspirational quote on the internet. It made him angry. But there was nothing he would or could change. Trapped inside his own inability to move on.

Vanished

Packing her bags, she left that town. She didn’t turn around to see them going on about their lives. No one would miss her. She was invisible. Not good enough. A failure. She heaved her baggage on her shoulders, ran her fingers over the footprints on her soul and vanished into thin air.

No answers

She didn’t know the answers to many questions. She didn’t know why this special man needed to be a part of her life. She didn’t know how she felt for him. She didn’t know why him. But she knew that she deserved better than him telling her “see you in another life”. She deserved better than that. She accepted that he didn’t want to talk to her. She accepted that she didn’t know why he was like breathing air for her. But she didn’t accept “see you in another life.”

Life Between Clouds and Feathers – the end of the day (5)

On the treadmill. The rhythmic thump of his feet provides more peace of mind for Connor. Sweat is running down his body in rivulets and is caught in the fibers of his workout clothes. Running. Nothing but running. His eyes are glued to his record collection. It is organized by alphabet. It is time to organize it by color of the cover. Although, it becomes harder to find what you are looking for that way. Maybe organizing it by year of release? But then there is the dilemma with re-releases. Connor keeps running and thinking. Until he stops thinking and just runs. It is as if his body knows exactly what to do and for once, his brain isn’t needed. A euphoric bliss settles like a calming veil over Connor’s heart. Forgotten – or repressed, are today’s events. He slows down and blinks hard a couple of times. He grabs his towel and wipes his face twice before he finally comes to a complete halt. Connor is conscious of every muscle in his body. He hears the blood pumping through his veins, carrying oxygen to every organ. But he feels good. Elated. Positively exhausted.
Breathe in. The sign on the floor in his bedroom reads. Connor obeys and undresses. He folds his clothes and puts them in a hamper. Breathe out; says the sign on the bathroom floor. Again he obeys before he gets in the shower stall. The water rains down on his neck, and he moans. This is relaxing, even more so after his excessive workout. Connor stands motionless until the water begins to turn cold. He washes himself and turns off the tap.
As soon as he is dressed, his mind starts racing again. His internal battle over events he cannot change continues until it is interrupted by a knock at the door. Another knock. Yet another knock, followed by words. “I’m sorry Connor. Don’t open the door, but I brought your book. I cleaned it and put it in a plastic bag. Putting it on the doormat is safe. Really, I am sorry. It was good to see you. You look amazing. Anyway. I’ll leave. I’ll text you later. Goodbye, Connor.” Connor listened to Thomas’s words with his ear pressed against the door that was separating them. Thomas understands Connor’s need for certain things to happen in a certain way. Thomas knows Connor. Too well.
The moment Connor hears the retreating footsteps, he opens the door. Thomas hasn’t lied. The book is in a clear plastic bag. On the doormat. Connor picks it up, and looks left and right, up and down the hallway. No one is there. “Thank you,” he whispers. Connor puts the book on the coffee table and stares at it suspiciously. Nothing happens. He runs a hand through his hair, a new battle taking place in his head. What if he texted Thomas first? He pretends that he deleted the number. And it’s true, he did. But, there are the call logs. And although there is no name with the number anymore, Connor knows exactly whose it is. Quickly, as if the letters are burning his fingers, and the words on the screen are poison for his eyes, he types “Thank you, Thomas”. He turns off the messaging app, mutes the phone and puts it – display facing down – next to the book. His leg begins bouncing up and down. His thumb finds a way to his mouth where his teeth gnaw at the skin and the nail. Off-kilter. This day needs to end.

Life Between Clouds and Feathers – drained (4)

Thirty-two steps up to his apartment. Turning the key in the lock twice. Calming shaking hands and racing thoughts. Connor enters his sanctuary and pulls his boots off his feet. He puts them where they belong, in their spot by the door. Connor begins touching each finger on his hand with his thumb. Forward and backward. Forward and backward again. Until he feels that he calmed down enough to function again. Yes, that helped. Oh, the embarrassment of having been hit by a ball in the face in public, and falling off a bench like some lunatic who can’t sit upright on his own. The humiliation of seeing Thomas again in this situation. Connor often fantasizes about seeing his ex-lover again. But never in his wildest fantasies has he thought that he would look this weak. In his imagination, he faced Thomas as a made man. In a fancy suit and with his act together. And it is still Connor’s determination to become rich and famous, but he is not there yet. Thomas on the other hand – he looked just as handsome (and evil) as he has always looked. As if the events of the past have not left any dents on his soul and scratches in his mind. The world is a weird place to exist. There is a painting on Connor’s wall. Birds in the sky. Light as a feather, heavy as a cloud. These explosions of emotions leave him drained of energy. And he left his book behind. There is no way to distract himself. There is no way to stop repeating the events in his head. And he can’t start to read a new book. He hasn’t finished the other one. Connor’s face is throbbing and swelling on one side. He wishes that he could cry. But he can’t. There are no tears left in him. They were all cried for someone else. No more tears for himself.

Life Between Clouds and Feathers – colors (3)

There is a melody in Connor’s thoughts. There is poetry in his mind. Sitting on a bench in a park, he looks like a painting from a different era. Yes, Connor is art. His legs are stretched far from his body, his ankles crossed. A smile is tugging at his lips. From time to time, it is replaced with a frown. Deeply lost in the book, he doesn’t see the ball that is heading right his way. Lost in a world of giants that need to be defeated, and princes who, after slaying dragons, are allowed to marry the king’s daughter… BAM. The round leather collides with Connor’s head, he loses balance, and a laughable shriek escapes his mouth as the full impact of the ball pushes him off the bench. From up close, the grass that is now grazing his cheek has many different shades of green. An observation he stores away for further pondering at a later moment. Internally, Connor courses himself. People are gathering around him, some are pointing their phones in his direction. His cheeks heat with anger and embarrassment, but no tone leaves his lips. In his peripheral vision, he notices red shoes. Red is an angry color. Every color has an emotion for Connor.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” a voice laced with regret and concern whispers. It is followed by a gentle touch on his shoulder. Connor follows the outstretched arm with his eyes, touching a tender spot on his face with his hand. There will be a bruise on his face. Violet and swollen. He gasps when he sees the face of his helper. “It’s not the first time you hurt me. Please, hurt me again.” Brown eyes widen as they connect with Connor’s blue ones and register the words that were said. “It is you.” People are whispering to each other. They are aware of the connection between the two humans in front of them, but how, or why, or when, remains a mystery. Attention spans are reaching an end. Phones are put away. Heads are shaken, and backs are turned. “Connor, I…” Connor lowers his gaze and takes a deep breath. He flinches at the realization that there is still a physical connection between him and his assailant. He tenses at the realization that there is still an emotional connection between him and Thomas. Thomas, who had left him black and bruised before. “No,” Connor whispers to no one in particular, gets his feet back under him and flees the park. He will not be able to ever come back to his favorite spot again. It is soiled with memories. It is soiled with embarrassment. His only regret is that he left his book behind.