I spilled my milk on the brand new white carpet.
I went to get a towel to soak up the milk but when I came back to the white carpet, I couldn’t see the milk.
I knew there was a mess somewhere but it blended in with everything that was right.
I didn’t know what I did wrong and what was just supposed to be.
I felt around with my hands to find the wet spots and cleaned up what I could, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get all of the milk.
When it starts to go bad I’ll smell it spoil.
My mistakes will become present once again.
“You look angry.” She told me.
“This is just how I look, I’m not angry.” I told her.
“You haven’t always looked like this, though. You didn’t look like this when I met you.” She told me.
The sun was very bright that day.
The temperature was cool enough where I got to wear a light jacket and I really enjoy wearing light jackets.
The breeze was light and felt nice.
The trees were blooming with pink things that looked really beautiful.
I wish I knew more about trees and plants but I know what I know.
I knew I didn’t like the art that was hanging next to our table.
I knew I didn’t like the song that was playing in the cafe but I liked the song that was playing before it.
“I’m not angry.” I told her.
“Okay.” She told me.
I knew I hated when she would say that.
Then in an instant I was overrun with emotions I didn’t want to feel but I felt them anyway and then I drank some orange juice.
I knew I didn’t want to go to brunch.
I needed to get out of the house so I got in my car and drove away.
I left my phone at home because I didn’t want to hear from her.
I wasn’t mad at her, but she liked me and that scared me.
We had been seeing each other for a couple weeks and she started to like me a lot which is the scariest thing in the world.
It was only a matter of time before she needed me and the last thing I wanted was to be needed by anyone.
I liked her a lot and that scared me.
It was only a matter of time before I needed her and the last thing I wanted was to need anyone.
I was driving and the sun went down and the moon came up.
I wish the moon felt as good on my face as the sun but you can’t have everything all at once I guess.
I didn’t want to have the conversation but she apparently did.
“When will be a good time for you, then.” She asked me.
“I don’t know.” I said to her.
“That’s all you ever say. What do you know?” She asked me.
“I don’t know.” I told her.
“Why do you do this to me? You’re supposed to love me but you treat me like I’m not even here.” She said to me.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. I never knew what I was supposed to say. If I knew what to say I would’ve said it but I didn’t and I don’t so I didn’t say anything then and I don’t say anything now.
I just stood there looking at her.
She didn’t even want to look at me.
Then a song came up on shuffle that I really liked. I didn’t know what to say but I knew I liked that song.
“I really like this song.” I said.
I turned up the volume on my computer.
I stood there listening to the song. That song always reminded me of her. I closed my eyes and thought about why that song made me think about her. It was nice.
“I really like this song.” I said again.
“You’re an asshole.” She said to me.
We both just stood there.
The music got loud and I couldn’t hear her anymore.
“God damn it!” I heard her yell from across the house. I ran out of my office to see what was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” I asked as I found her standing at the front door.
“Your God damn dog killed a bird and left it on the front door step!” She yelled at me.
“You take care of this, it’s disgusting.” She said to me as she walked away from the situation.
The dog sat there looking up at me. A dead bird lying on the ground between our feet.
A single bite, clean through the neck of the bird. I think it was a crow, I’m not sure. It was a black bird and it was dead and the dog killed it. The dog was proud and wanted to show me. I had never received a gift of such pure love like this before.
The dog sat there looking up at me.
“Good dog.” I said.
That dog understood me more than she ever could.
“I’m going into the woods” I told my young wife.
“Why are you going into the woods?” My young wife asked me.
“My hands are soft and I will harden them in the woods. I am a man and I must do as a man does.” I told my young wife.
“I married you because you are the man I always dreamed of being with. I don’t need a man with hard hands.” My young wife told me.
“You don’t know what you need.” I told my young wife.
I walked out of the house and started walking into the woods hands first.
Ready to harden my hands on some rocks and trees.
Ready to have the hands a father is supposed to have.
I took a girl on a date to the bowling alley.
Things were going just fine, She wasn’t very good at bowling but she was having fun. All she wanted was to have fun and be with me and she had both of those things so she was happy.
Two lanes over I noticed a man was bowling by himself. He was very methodic about it. He walked over to his ball, picked it up, took three steps, rolled his ball, got a strike, sat down, sipped water, walked over to his ball, and so on.
He rolled a strike every time.
He wasn’t smiling, nobody came over to him from the bathroom or the bar or anything like that. No one knew him, he was just there to do something and do it better than everyone else.
Strike after strike after strike.
The screen above his lane flashed the number “300” over and over at the end of his game. He took his final sip of water, put on his jacket, and walked out of the bowling alley.
He was perfect.
“Let’s go sing some karaoke!” My date said smiling.
“Not yet, we need to bowl some more.” I told my date.
There I was; sitting at my desk living my life.
I was working towards a goal. Towards a new life. The life I always imagined. The life where most of my belongings were made of gold.
She was living in the moment. Living for her life right now. She owned very few gold things. She was standing in my office. She wanted to tell me something.
“I can’t live for things that haven’t happened. I can only live for what I know. I can only live for what is happening.” She said to me.
“I have spent my entire life living for things that haven’t happened.” I said to her. “I must continue.” I said to her.
“Then you will continue without me.” She said to me.
She walked out of my office and there I was; sitting at my desk living my life.
Visions of gold.
If only she could see all the gold I could see.
I took her to the ocean because I thought that would be a romantic thing to do.
We stood on a cliff and watched the sun set because I also thought that would be a romantic thing to do.
“Let’s jump off of this cliff into the ocean.” She said.
“I don’t know, it’s really high up and I’m wearing jeans and my heart is made of iron and I don’t know what will happen.” I said to her.
“Nothing bad will happen. Trust me.” She said.
She smiled at me and I looked at her eyes and I trusted her. She took my hand and we jumped off of the cliff into the ocean as the sun set.
We hit the water and held each other’s hands and didn’t let go. We started to sink because of my iron heart but she would not let go of my hand.
We continued to go down down under the water. We went down so deep that the water turned black. I wanted her to let go of my hand but she refused to let go and save herself. I guess she thought it was the romantic thing to do, which is sweet but dumb. We kept sinking together all the way to the bottom of the ocean.
We are both dead now.
Read all of my short stories at thecaseydonahue.com/shortstories.
We laid there together on the floor of her living room. Her dance mix was starting over again for the third time but we were too tired to dance anymore.
We were lying there in silence looking at the ceiling. We were too tired from dancing to talk.
I thought about how great it was that she was my girl. MY girl. I had her right there and right then. But then I thought about how she wasn’t just my girl. She was some other guy’s girl and some other other guy’s girl. And I thought about how she probably laid on that floor with those other guys just like she laid on that floor with me. I wondered if those other guys loved her. I wondered if she loved those other guys. I wondered if she loved me like she said she did.
“Let’s go to bed.” I said.
“Okay.” She said.
We went to bed but forgot to turn off her dance mix.
I decided to try the new fancy restaurant that all the couples were trying to get into that Valentine’s Day. I walked right up to the hostess.
“Tables for two are a two hour wait.” She said.
“That’s ok, I’m here alone, I’ll sit at the bar.” I said.
The hostess pointed me in the direction of the bar, all the seats were empty except for one. A woman was occupying that seat.
I walked past all the tables which all had couples sitting at them. Each couple had their own Violinist playing just for them.
I sat down next to the woman at the bar. “I hope this is ok with you.” I said.
“It’s fine.” She said. “I’m just eating dinner.” She said. “Me too.” I said.
We each ordered our meals and sat quietly.
When the food came, she turned to look at me for the first time since I sat down.
“Would you mind eating with me?” She asked. “I know we are sitting alone at the bar separately, but it is Valentine’s Day. It would be nice to eat dinner with another person.” She said.
“Yeah, that’s fine.” I said to her. She smiled. I smiled.
The air was filled with a hundred songs from a hundred violinists playing for a hundred couples at a hundred tables while we ate our meals quietly as two people at one bar.
I went home when I was done. I’m not sure what the woman did.
We laid in bed together not yet asleep. It was almost morning at that point but we just laid there with our eyes closed; talking to each other about nonsense.
“How do you want to die?” She asked me.
“I don’t know.” I said, “I think I would like to be smothered to death with kisses.” I said.
She laughed at the idea. “That doesn’t make sense.” She said.
“I want someone to kiss me until I can’t breathe anymore. I want to be kissed to death.” I said.
“I want someone special to grab me, not let go, and just kiss my face into the ground. Until there is nothing left because their kisses wore my head away over time. Just every kiss the person has to give. I want to feel that sort of terrifying amount of love, and I want it to kill me.” I said.
I opened my eyes and she was looking at me. We looked at each other.
She closed her eyes. I closed mine.
She leaned in to kiss me but I was already asleep.
I sat in her bedroom on the edge of her bed. She was laying across the bed.
“I don’t want to go to my friend’s party.” She said.
“I’m so bored.” She said.
I sat there looking at her back. I looked at the books on her shelf. I looked at my feet. I looked at her back again. I looked at her get up after awhile. I looked at her go downstairs. I looked through her window and saw her get into her friend’s car. I looked at her and her friend drive away.
I climbed out her window because she locked the door when she left the house.
I guess she forgot I was there.
Read all of my short stories at thecaseydonahue.com/shortstories.
“In twenty years, if neither of us had kissed anyone, we will meet under this mistletoe and kiss each other, deal?” I asked the girl standing under the mistletoe.
“Deal.” She said to me.
Twenty years later we found ourselves standing under the same exact mistletoe. I hadn’t kissed anyone because I wanted to save the kisses I had to give for this magical day.
“I kissed a lot of guys in the past twenty years.” She said to me, “Yeah I kissed a lot of girls so it’s okay.” I lied to her.
“I would still like to kiss you now if that’s fine.” I asked her.
“That’s fine.” She said to me.
We grabbed each other and kissed. We kissed and we kissed. And we kissed and we kissed. We kissed and kissed and kissed some more.
We kept kissing and kissing and kissing and kissing and kissing and kissing and kissing.
And then we stopped.