The carpet was worn all the way through, the fibers frayed at the edges, with little dust bunnies intertwining their way through as if striving to consummate the gaps that time had eroded away. It’s funny how people say life is short when it’s the longest thing they’ll ever experience, I thought.
I started gliding my fingers across the rough material, brushing across the bits of stains and holes here and there. I hated the carpet; I hated it a lot, but it reminded me of Finn. He liked to sit on it and play with Lego blocks, building inventions out of them before the cancer took him. And I loved Finn.
She’s staring at the rug again. Sure, it’s a beautiful antique but she looks at it like Finn is actually there. “I miss him,” she said, her eyes on the verge of tears. “Life is short,” I replied curtly. She furrowed her eyebrows and shot me one of her infamous glares. I grabbed a whiskey from the fridge and walked over to her, ready to apologize. “Go away!” she said. She pushed me hard as soon as I got within two feet of her radius. My body stumbled and as the whiskey fell, the whole world instantly slowed down. I could see every liquid droplet and the steady rotation of the crystal glass as gravity took over, yet my body was frozen in place; the only thing moving were my eyes.
I loved the carpet; I loved it a lot, but it reminded me of Finn. He liked to stab me with the weapons he built with Lego pieces.There was always this crazy look in his blue eyes when I saw him, but it never disappeared until the cancer finally bit him. And I never loved Finn like she did.
I’ve never felt so much hate and animosity stir up within me until now. This carpet was always stained with his stupid mistakes, this relationship always marred by his careless actions. I started screaming. “You ruined everything! EVERYTHING!” I grabbed the only thing I could find in the pocket of my jeans- my cigarette lighter.
She’s not going to set me on fire, is she?
I’m going to set him on fire. How could he not have loved his own son?
She flicked the lighter on and threw it in a single rapid motion, aiming for my face. “You’re just as crazy as him!” I cried out as I barely dodged the flames by a mere centimeter. Her eyes stay fixated on the matting.
I covered my mouth as the the entire carpet caught on fire. No! This is the closest connection I have left with Finn! I have to put it out, there’s no time to think! I closed my eyes and lunged my body forward but suddenly, the air is knocked out of me as I feel two arms wrap around my stomach and forcefully pull me back.
“I hate you!” she screamed. She scratched and hit my neck more than several times, but I managed to keep her back. When she finally stopped fighting, I let her cry uncontrollably into my chest. This is the first time I’ve held her in my arms for awhile. I felt a pang of nostalgia for our better days, back when we shared one pillow while sleeping, forcing our bodies to intertwine along with our thoughts. My eyes stung from the heat of the flames, but I couldn’t look away.
I watched in horror as the beautiful memories burned to ashes.
I watched in fascination as the haunted memories burned to ashes.
And I never worried again.
And I never worried again.