Love Minus: A Short Love Story revised

Love Minus

Azarin and Farhang's wedding


It sat on my face and scratched my nose. The old carpet was worn out and smelled like dust and dead spiders. I kept my mouth shut and lifted it so I could breathe. At least it was light, I thought.

I crawled on my back and my head hit the leg of the dining table. I rolled on my side and my arm unbalanced the loveseat. It fell on my hip and compressed my flesh. I’d be blue tomorrow, I thought, trying to liberate my leg. I dragged myself toward the cold teapot, while a few pieces of my precious furniture tumbled over each other. My hand couldn’t reach the pot. My right shoulder got pierced by something sharp.

I crept toward the kitchen cabinet and Adam’s head emerged from under it. He looked tired. “Once the ceiling is lifted, we could get out of here,” he said.

I pushed myself closer to him. He was holding the fridge on his chest; its metallic bottom had marked visible traces on his skin. “Oh honey, we can’t take off before all the walls are painted,” I said. “Do you like to have some tea?”

“Without sugar,” Adam said.

Such a sweet man, I thought. We were running out of sugar anyway. “I’ll go grocery shopping as soon as they’re done with the hallway,” I said and Adam tried to shrug, with no success.

“Imagine the backyard after the landscaping is over,” he said. “We’ll sit on the patio and we’ll watch the view at night. We’ll organize great parties and all our friends will be jealous of all this extravaganza.”

I wanted to close my eyes and to picture what my dear husband had just described. I wanted to daydream beyond Adam’s imagination. But something was walking on my face. I shook my head, tossing the cockroach as far as I could. Adam dragged himself closer to me, but his balance was off again and the fridge fell on the baby’s crib.

Something cracked.

“You broke it,” I said, trying to estimate the damage to my mother-in-law’s gift for our baby shower.

Adam glanced at me, rolling his eyes. “Don’t worry,” he said. “It was just my back.”

I looked at him in horror. I stretched my arm to reach him, but he laughed. “I was kidding,” he said. “It’s nothing. Just a little bump.”

The noise of the workers’ pounding at things, and their loud singing, distracted me and I missed the rest of Adam’s words.  I’d never heard this song before. The lyrics didn’t make any sense, but I suspected that those workers, our employees, would be singing while building new walls around the house and a new ceiling over our head and adding more lights in the backyard and digging more holes to plant new trees.

But they never asked me what I’d really hoped for.

We couldn’t communicate. We couldn’t understand each other.

The baby inside me kicked, and I forgot for a minute that our home was going to be spectacular, our life lavish and cozy.

If only we could all survive a few more days, I thought. “Do you have any idea how long would it take to add skylights?” I asked.

Adam lifted the fridge higher, so he could turn his head. “It wouldn’t take forever I guess,” he said, looking at me in a distorted way.

I opened the kitchen cabinet; it was dark. My hands finally touched a plastic cup; I wasn’t sure if it was clean or not, but anyway none of us could be that demanding. My right hand and my right leg and foot were numb, squeezed under the weight of my bookcase and all the books I loved and I couldn’t get rid of. I was a bookworm, I was told. I looked around, They were right. I was going to become a worm, if this remodeling hadn’t been over before the end of the month. I lifted my head as much as I could, and shifted my position. I wiggled my fingers and wiggled my toes like in an old nursery rhyme my mom used to sing a long time ago. I missed my mom while my baby swam in my belly and my body found its sensation again. I finally reached the teapot and grabbed it with my sleepy fingers. I filled the cup with a lukewarm tea and pushed it on the floor toward Adam. The time moved slowly, and we both held our gaze at the tea cup hoping that it wouldn’t spill. Adam grabbed it, looking at me in a sad glare. He had the most amazing eyes.

I watched him put the cup to his lips. He leaned it against his chin and pulled his neck forward before sticking his tongue out to lick the tea dripping on his beard. I waited for him to empty the cup. He lay on the floor, the pile of furniture blocking his view of the half-built ceiling.

Our workers sang us a new love song: mi amore, something something, amore mi.

I crept toward Adam and we held hands, this time both of us gaping at the same sight above us. It was like a shared moment, almost like a brief love making.

“We’ll have our baby as soon as this damn remodeling is done,” he said.

I nodded in silence. Our baby punched me again but I didn’t complain. I ignored the resonance of a new creepy touch along my leg, and instead I pictured myself running after our baby girl. Something slimy tickled my foot and I pressed it against the ground, while dreaming of our glorious life ahead, while listening to the silent crush of an unwanted existence under my toes, while imagining the extent of the next cramp, there, near my heart.


About lifeacrossthesun

Writer/ 2011 PEN USA Emerging Voices fellow
Gallery | This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Love Minus: A Short Love Story revised

  1. K. Zayyani says:

    I liked this story and its style. While reading, i felt like standing in the scene and watching!

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