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Short Story - Nix

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He strode purposefully down the deserted cobblestone street, leaving in his wake the scent of an alluring aftershave. He mused how it would be once he left Valencia for Sicily. Certainly less joyous, he realised. He stopped at the prearranged pottery store entrance, and allowed dark thoughts such as these to dominate his person and for a time, his persona.

He didn’t see or hear her coming. But he certainly felt her arms encircling his waist in an unfamiliar embrace. He turned to her, and stared for a moment, Their eyes met, and a moment later, their lips. They broke apart, not a word said, parted for the last time. It was better that way. She never was good at them. At goodbyes. He broke down in tears.

But a year later, he found himself in a Sicilian gutter. Cheap wine in hand, he stood up to stumble home to his hardly modest house. It was then that he saw her. Unmistakably. Her! Here! In Sicily, of all places. It was then that he saw who he assumed was her husband. And child?! A lot had happened during the year between that night, the night before her pre-arranged marriage, and now, he mused. As he turned to leave, her eyes met his. She was as beautiful as the day he fled Valencia. But her eyes! They were… defeated. She looked away and tiredly but patiently picked up her young daughter’s fallen toy. She met his eyes again, and smiled. It was a tired smile.
*
She wiped away a tear, and looked away from her former lover’s glance. Her husband asked something along the lines of ‘what’s wrong?’ And in the style she, and he, used to say, she replied:
‘Nix.’
‘What?’
‘Nothing.’

His body was found the next week, in the same gutter.
She was found the next day, in a car at the bottom of a cliff.

And God said: “You fool!”
You selfish fools; and you selfless fools.




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