FOREWORD: It’s time for another Reddit writing prompt: Your entire life, you’ve been followed by a voice only you can hear that constantly narrates everything you do and say. One day, the voice talks directly to you for the first time, and it has a warning for you.
It was there for as long as I could remember, a woman narrating my daily life. When I was young, I used to think it came from one of my imaginary friends. Then I grew out of that phase and went along with my parents’ beliefs that I was just crazy.
I used to slip her little notes,
In her closet, her bags, her pillows and clothes,
“Surprise!” the words I’d begin to pen,
“I love you. P.S: You’ve good taste in men.”
She’d laugh at these small novelties,
She loved the lil’ discoveries,
“I’ll get you back one day,” she’d say,
With a smile in her eyes, “There’ll be hell to pay!”
Been years, since we’ve moved past that mess,
Since she left me for someone else,
And I’d dust the coat I’ve not worn in a while,
And in the pocket a sheet would lie.
“I got you back just like I said,
“You’re cute, you’re sweet, and you’re really great,
“You’re my only one, my Mister Right,”
And I wept myself to sleep that night.
Photo credit: Boris Thaser
Sometimes my mind plucks out memories at random, and as part of the collateral, visions of people who’ve left a mark on my life without actually being a part of it get pulled out of the muck. These are strangers whose names and faces have escaped me through the passage of time, with only their actions serving as proof of our acquaintance.
I call these people randies, and I was thinking about one as I opened the door to the Jiu-jitsu gym. The thought barely even matured before Josh waved a phone at my face. “Hey! I heard Sandy’s getting married?”
“I don’t understand why you can’t get a girlfriend,” Craig said.
I looked up from my Word document. “What.”
“Yeah, it’s not like you’re butt-ugly or anything.”
“Thanks… I think.”
“No no no. I didn’t mean it that way. I meant—”
“Haha!” Diane chimed in. “No need to apologise. He is ugly. Maybe not butt-ugly, but regular-ugly.”
Photo credit: Esther Bubley
Sara put her finger in the ant’s path. It backtracked momentarily, then crawled onto her finger.
“Look at this ant,” she said. “Think about everything that it’s oblivious of.”
“Mm hmm.” I kept my eyes on my book. I knew—and didn’t like—where this was headed.