Short Story: Black Hearts Depart

Within the last dark hours before departure, Melvin Vantamore stared through the large living room window reminiscing about the events of the night before. In the background the wall clock kept it’s ticks and tock to a minimum, but the crackling of the logs in the fireplace would often snap Melvin out of his dream state. As he stared at nothing in particular outside, he questioned everything that happened between himself and Natalia. She said that this was the last time they were to see each other in secret. Hearing her repeat this sentence in his mind made him light headed. He rubbed his temples and closed his eyes slowly. Breathing in and out deliberately to calm and soothe himself.

Melvin played out the first time he met Natalia in his head. His eyes traced over every aspect of her physique, noting the way she moved her hands when she talked, observing her nose crinkled while she laughed at his dark humor. He couldn’t recall anyone that fond of him. Usually, he was not very social to approach someone, especially a woman, to engage in casual banter. For some reason, Natalia was very alluring. He hair in one swoop of a ponytail. Every now and again, her hair would sometimes fall near her almond shaped eyes, laden with a deep black mascara. During their engagements, after a while, he would find himself just listening to her speak so that he could take in all of her beauty. Her cheekbones high and soft, the fingers slender with the tips of her fingers manicured and nails clipped low. Her teeth were so white and straight, he would then follow the corners of her lips as they curled into a smile. Everything was breathtaking and pleased his senses as he stood at attention to all of her words she spoke. But some things bothered him.

The crackling in the fireplace snapped him out of the memory. He moved from the window. It was dark in the house that he lived in with his wife and two children. They have been gone for some time now. Their photos still on the mantle above the fireplace. He would glance at the photos every now and again. They were so far gone now, he would not be able to reach them. Melvin made his way into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator to see if he can nibble on something, but his stomach was so weak. Instead he just sat at the dining room table, pulling at his nail cuticles until they bled.

The dining room was ghastly silent, as he sat there susceptible to the darkness of his own mind and went into memories of Natalia again. He was obsessed with her energy and wanted to be in her presense again, but the darkness kept reminding him of yesterday’s events. First, there was the phone call in the morning. She told Melvin that there was something they needed to discuss and she wanted to be certain that they were still meeting at the café. He obliged her request, wanting to know where she has been for the past week since he had not heard from her for some time. Insanity set in after three days of no phone calls, texts in response to him. On the fourth day, he sent a text to her as his desparate moment to get through to her. The text read, “Please, I need to hear from you. I don’t know what to do without you.” After three hours, he texted her again. “I’m looking at a bottle of pills right now, wondering if I should empty its contents in my body.” Instantly, Natalia replied. ” Please, please don’t do anything to hurt yourself.” He smirked a little.

He got up from the dining table now, to stand and walk towards the living room and walked up the stairs. She was not coming. He remembered stroking her throat and staring in her eyes as they pleaded silently. No words could escape her as Melvin tightened his grip. “You will never leave me…” He managed to say through his teeth, “Do you understand, Nat”. In a gasp, she managed to say yes. Her eyes were wide with fear and tears rolled down her face, he beautiful face that he cherished when he first saw her. He let go of her, abruptly, and watched as she stabilized herself after the assault. She was on her knees on the living room floor, gasping and crying. He stood there for which felt like an eternity, no emotion on his face. “Nat, you are breaking my heart. Stop breaking my heart!” Defeated, Natalia used the coffee table to bring herself to stand before him. She said nothing as she held her own throat and wiped her tears.

Melvin found himself in the master bedroom of his three bedroom house. He made love to her in here. It was the most beautiful thing he has ever done, he thought. Natalia’s moans and gasps of pleasure reverberated in his mind. He wanted to live in that moment again. Her hair falling over her breasts and she rode him. He would reach up and hold her waist and breasts. He would climb on top of her and make her climax over and over again. She would orgasm under him and he would stare at her pleasure, then he would bury his head between her neck to suck and kiss that slender neck of hers. He now found himself standing in this empty cold room. He walked around to the left side of the bed to open the safe that held important things. His passport, birth certificate his nine millimeter and the box of ammo when it was necessary. After this long day, haunted by the insanity that she had left him, he reached in to grab the gun and bullets.

Disclaimer: This short story came as an inspiration of the poem I just submitted. All photography and original art for this post was created or captured by Hetheru Mer Djehuty. Thank you so much for your support. Please feel free to like, comment, criticize, make suggestions or say “hi”.

This is an original story was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her.

Brief Narative: Suicide Scene

He left the door open on the porch when he left and had not said where he was going to Letti. In frustration, she sighed but shook her head silently, tears still wet on her lashes. The last fight was brutal. Total assassination of what love is, or…what love should be?

From what she knew, love was many things and most things were positive and powerful. Love to her was supposed to be easy, there are bumps along the way, but they were supposed to get through them. The synonyms for love did not encapsulate rage, disappointment, abuse…in various ways. For the past four and a half years, she has battling with something…feeling stuck or stagnant, but lately the heavy prescription of smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol is just adding to the chaotic daily life that she and Chis was experiencing.

Could you imagine most days or everyday being in a state of constant crying fits, drowning sorrows in drug abuse just to make it through the day? The enemy is within the house with you…sleeping in the same bed, taking your money to buy drugs and alcohol, fighting you when you don’t give them money to gain, to maintain that high? Could you also imagine yourself being roused in the middle of the night, high when someone is trying to press themselves between your legs and invade your world, all you have left to hold onto at that time. In the midst of their constant bickering and violent fight, Chris would expect Letti to provide him the pleasures of a couple that loves and cherishes each other, but Letti refuses to give up her…but she does not always win that battle.

In constant temporary employment – unemployment situations, Chris is the stay-at-home fiancée, dropping Letti off to work then hanging out with his unemployed friends, with dreams of stars in their eyes creating music that will not see the light of day. While inventing rhythm and rhymes, smoking bags of home-grown marijuana that Chris grew in the backyard. If Letti protests she is battered with words and fists that cut like knives and brings on bawling and crying fits. DUI’s and court dates for Chris’ wreckless driving weighed on her. Days which she had to help him, while he physically fought her, detox from drinking too much alchol. This day was like no other.

Letti was faced with a few things that she had not confronted. She had been depressed throughout most of the relationship, after the “honeymoon phase” everything just crumbled. All the cracks came apart and they both fell through. Again, she is left here, alone, heartbroken, worn from finding reason why she should still be here…then the thought came through from all the horror and pain, “why don’t you just end it all…what if he saw you in the tub with your wrist slit?” Would he care, would he react and in what way? It was just too much, the constant heaviness of her heart, she would cry until she heaves, heart beat erratic…She have given up so much to be with this man, loved him despite himself. Loved him despite the doubts from friends and family that he ever was a deserving man of her affections.

In her grief, she prepared the bathtub as if she was taking a bath. Still weeping, she staggered into the kitchen to pick up a knife, it didn’t matter which one at the time, because the deed was one that was dishonorable. Her heart was so weak, her movements slow and hesitant, but she was sure of what scene she was going to leave for him out of resentment, revenge and regret. She moved into the bathroom, finally and took off her t-shirt and carefully submerged into the water that was not warm but not hot enough to burn her skin. The knife she chose for the deed laid on the top of the toilet cover, anticipating the act, one that was an impending condemnation. Letti used her right hand to reach for the knife and though she was still weeping, she began the task of tearing into the skin of her left wrist with the knife. The searing pain was what she felt from the first stab, but the pain in her heart was much more overbearing…the water began to have streaks of red, drops of blood quickly pouring from her left wrist and down her forearm, then floating in the water in a swirl. The heights of the weed she smoked 30 minutes ago still gave her a lift, so high that she didn’t notice she passed out in the tub. The heaviness began to lighten up as her body relaxed and drifted as though she was in an ocean, a bleeding ocean with her lifeforce leaking…

In the background, the screen door was opened and closed, and footsteps advanced slowly to the scene left in the bathroom tub…

**If you know someone suffering from an abusive relationship or depression, seek to help them. Depression that is left without treatment can lead to devastating events.