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      University of Newcastle Creative Writing Anthology

Be Together, pg. 82  (Short Story)


I set down to work on a project.  I feel empty.  I breathe in, slowly, feeling the hollow spread through my limbs.  I can’t feel the keyboard.  I don’t see the screen.  Part of me is missing, but I don’t know where I lost it.  My mind catches Adam’s face and I shake my head.  No.  Focus. 
I am interrupted two hours later by my cell phone.  It’s Eden.
Silence sits next to me in the booth across from Eden.  She’s holding her coffee and I’m holding mine, but we aren’t drinking them.  They go cold.
‘I don’t know what to do,’ Eden breathes.
This room is dark and I’m not supposed to touch you.  What words can I say that will bring words back to you?  What touch will re-stir your blood?  I think of Sleeping Beauty and how you have matching hair and lips.  I’m strangely curious.  Can I kiss you, one last time?
Adam is wearing make up.  This strikes me as funny and I laugh nervously, gazing down at him.  I hear whispers behind me; feel the hairs on my neck stand up.  A man stands beside me in a blue suit and brown tie.
‘You can touch him if you want to,’ he says.
‘Excuse me?’
‘You can touch him if you want to.  You can’t hurt him.’ 
He’s wearing a badge with his name on it.  Charles Thomas.  I stare at his badge.  This man has two first names.
‘I work here.  Really, it’s okay.’
I look into Charles Thomas’s eyes.  He smiles at me.  It’s the same smile that I’ve seen over and over for the last three days.
‘If you need anything, I’ll be right over there,’ he says, motioning towards a large desk on the wall. 

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