Fiction: The Moody Bookworm

Anissa Sboui

Anissa Sboui

Temperamental Catherine had been all her life. With frequent mood swings, she might lock herself within bouts of despair, and all of a sudden, once uplifted, beds of roses would start reigning over the woody window, stretched day and night, in the heart of August. Scorching nights had witnessed corridors, enabling that bleak past to stand still next to those French paintings she bought during her trip to Paris. At times, she used to devour her cheeseburger, rush to her cozy bedroom, lock the door savagely and jump into the thermal sofa. Comfortable it was, that’s why she loved to stay there for hours and hours without complaint.

Today, she was swamped reading a nice poem, one of her friends had sent her. The atmosphere was favorable enough to enrich her mind with a new prose masterpiece, crossing boundaries, oceans, traffic jams, deserts ... The stories of the West were her cup of tea. She was breathing the odors of rancid popcorn coming straight from the kitchen. The sound hit her 'pop, pop, pop'. It was slow at first, then a firestorm of kernels as they magically transform into billows of crunchy white deliciousness. Ecstatic, the smell wafts throughout her room, tantalizing her nose. By the time she was utterly hooked. She placed the bowl at the edge of the table. She was dreaming about grabbing a handful of it, and using a variety of toppings like sugar, caramel and on top of all chocolate to quench her hunger.

At that moment, what she was thinking about was the novel text she was going to marvel at. Smelt out of the house, when she rushed to check it, 'nonpareil' was burnt. With helpless feet, irritated eyes, sharp tongue, she cursed her mother for she had given birth to her without her consent. Had she had the audacity to think twice before making love with Mr. Georges, the Russian spy, all this acute pain would have been avoided ... 

With no resistance, she was taught how to treat burns. Her nanny was her real mother as she asked her daughter before throwing her in this merciless world. She was told by strangers that the path to happiness rested on that prior compromise. The conqueror would spread rumors to allies before foes on the day of the bloody war. That's what she had learned for years at prestigious institutes of political studies. She must have been informed beforehand of how much horror, deceit, lies, hypocrisy, fake profiles, breakdowns she would encounter during the long journey on a restless soil ... Who would heal her inner turmoil? She was certain no one would lend her a hand, but solitarily, she let water touch every inch between her sodden palms and swollen fingers. She lowered her chin, and moved too fast to embrace the merriment she had always felt under the umbrella of fiction. She knew well that Christian had fantastic write. She had an unmistakable appetite for exploring the backbone of thoughts streaming out of his supernatural mind. His writings had always captured her attention for their transparency. He wrote in a credible way that she had been under the spell of the short stories that were her best companions. Ready to read them all, and on that day, all she was capable of doing was to switch from claustrophobic libraries to  free  cyberspace ... Now, she opted for knocking at the gate of virtual literature, getting into the fiction blog as usual ... Now, she saw a new posted story ... This time, it was not like the previous ones ... One ‘honest’ posterior parcel of his life incidents ... How many they were with melodramatic spots throughout the course of his confident ascendency into this chaotic world ... 

His wedding ceremony was screwed up. He did that himself. He let loose on Samantha. He faced his bride-to-be, telling her that everything binding them together was over. That’s what the promising piece of art was all about. 

Obsessed with the breathtaking effect of fiction on her ailing psyche, Catherine swiped up the phone screen as swift as possible, and instantly wrapped her senses around the pillow, held it tightly, tortured the prior sense of despair she was in, the tense words targeted her in the heart.

The downtrodden bachelor sneaked into Samantha's loft, smelling tanks reaching out to his frustrated body.

-Samantha, had I defense weapons, I would have fought till the end. In order to grow, we have to turn our backs on so many trivial things. We’ve been rivals all those months. I couldn’t understand your being egoist on most occasions. I kept assuring myself of your possible change, but in vain. We crashed from the very beginning as I was loyal to you. I confessed everything about me. However, you turned a deaf ear to what I was saying about the other guys you were dating. I knew their names, profile pictures, news … You had the ability to get me excited about almost everything, your smiling body attracted me to be closer to you. I loved when you tried to show affection to me. Our story could have been better if we had been thoughtful, understanding and genuine. Alas, it was not the case with you, Samantha. We hit rock-buttom together to get to come to terms with one another. Your dishonesty has brought about my spiky downfall. Actually, the countdown has come and I’m seriously thinking about distancing my heart and soul from you, the most malicious girl I’ve ever met. You made me feel small, strolling around the city, walking behind you like a poodle. A blind marionette I was, dumb creature, fetching passion, yet losing inner peace. Because of you, I spent days daydreaming about being your sole and unique partner, felt emotionally wrapped up, scattered in your temple like chocolate fudge. At the heart of downtown, I was deserted, emotionally naked, went spiritually barefoot while you were cheating on me with a gang of tipsy revellers. Your love confused me. My mind has gone though I was happy being crazy about you. Unfortunately, you made a fool out of me by knowing them all… Breakdown in communication was hurting me the most. Fair enough, I was contacting a few friends otherwise I could’ve gone mad. I was striving to find some middle ground, mend things between us, remove the barriers you yourself have built to aggravate the situation more and more. I had the sentiment that you were born to think about yourself only. Indifferent you have been to my sincere feelings ...

-Hold on, I got contaminated by your pricky spears. Attacking me won’t serve you. Do me a favor by smuggling your decency and extravagant kindness, king of the Danaides. No wrongdoing I committed like those bloody fifty women, man. You know exactly what I’m saying right now. Have you been dwelling in another planet or what? Can’t you figure out what you’ve just said to me. I am looking back at the whole lecture you’ve been delivering to me and I kept hoping it was a script you’ve prepared to say it to another one. I felt skeptical at first of what you’ve been conniving at. Then I was caught in a spiral of revulsion at the very idea that it was dedicated to me in such a repulsive way! What the hell does this speech mean. I’m offended, no sensitivity, no no no, you don’t know me, but I’ll tell that straight. I’ve never been into you from the first encounter. It’s very humiliating. We are not on the same page, man. You kept chasing me wherever I went, followed me on cyber spaces, too. I adored you and was plausible enough to tell you how much I had visible affinity with you. We came closer and closer. We were one at many times. I was taking it seriously to tie the knot with you, I regarded you as my future husband and father of my children if one day we would agree to have babies. We have to ask for their permission first, you know it is substantial for them. We’ve been intimate. You grabbed me and shook me, sending me shockwaves into my frail statue. True, I adorned wearing sexual heart on my sleeves. Buut buuuut, oh my heart aches right now . I have blackouts because of you ... My heeeaad hurts ... The more you were saying, the more offended I was becoming. You were digging deep into a rocky-made hole, unable to see yourself through the others’ mirror. I’m at a loss of expressions to be hearing all that from you. You can’t imagine how I felt when one of your relatives came to me one day and poured everything about you out. Such abusive partner like you can only see one side of the coin. You accuse me of horrendous deeds while turning a deaf ear to all your sexual crimes, I’d call them. You’ve driven me insane with your threatening behavior. You paralyzed me with the deliberate transgression of my mental laws. I’ll proceed by uncovering the truth behind that masculine façade you always try to adorn before intimate people. Dear king, I was informed that you dated Jennifer a couple of weeks ago. You sent friend requests to a heap of reserved whores from the neighborhood. You also had sex with Diana, I’m saying the truth, yeah I’m saying the truth, you had intercourse with her last Sunday, the previous month, on her witch-like birthday, on one of our friends’ wedding day… I saw you yesterday sneaking into Pamela’s house, the widow welcomed you with extended arms and kissed you everywhere. You put your pants off and cheated on yourself, drowning the principles you’ve kept deafening my ears with into a profound well. Now you came accusing me of adultery. Of course, you can’t figure out how much agony I was in since you never knew someone may confess private horrors like this. Never knew, neveeeer knnnnnew ... Revise your attitude, and you’ll see how horrible your reaction to me was. I was absorbing the tales, uttered by your relative with tears streaming down my face. I cried nonstop, nooonnnstooooooop. I internalized all those bad feelings for fear of losing you. You meant a lot to me, yet at this very moment you're vindictive, spiteful and selfish kind of guy ...

At night, with a cup of hot chocolate, Catherine freaked out. The tale was a prototype of her distorted life with the vanishing shadow of ex fiancé. She was fighting that vicious ghost to regain her sanity. Tormented, plagued, beaten to death by depression, anxiety attacks, and severe mood swings, erupting in violence, she threw the cup on the wall and spat on a photo of his, placed on the opposite side beside the dark vase. On her process to remove disillusionment, inquire further and fill in gaps, she overcame mental obstacles through the therapeutic force of spoken poetry. The flow of words was smooth as she kept reciting her micropoem

I am battling a cyber disease
I am ill at ease
Nothing around me may, my soul, please
Where is home, where is?
Even though so many days I yearn to seize
I am not at ease
My heart, I have to appease,
A property, it is, not a renewed lease

The hysterical state that had lent itself to a critical condition of madness urged his victim to seek directions in order to get back home. Not knowing which way home was, she asked fervently in an attempt to find the right path that could take her back home. It was a tasteless shelter ... She missed warmth, serenity, belonging, integrity ... The whole atmosphere signaled a decaying place where the light was out ... dark was moving ... No sign posts in this room ... The darkness outside was equated with the darkness inside of her wide agony ... Ten seconds later, after twisting waist for more than an hour, she made up her mind to give herself another read of A Streetcar Named Desire, and fell asleep ...

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