The story is inspired from the video of the song “Sleep on The Floor” by The Lumineers.
She bought a few clothes along the way, groceries too. Who would think the filament would give out just when it was so close to dawn? She hadn’t bought a light bulb. She lay in the pitch black of the room - home - that’s what she would call it from now on. She packed that black dress too, the one with the red flowers on it. She loves the old, the sifting faces from memories, the meat chop served at her mother’s funeral, the face Dan made the first time he tasted sour and the golden embroidery that’s tearing on the edges of that black dress. The wire on this mattress is firmer than the one she slept on for years, where her curves has made a line and the spot she sat on the most had made a hollow, one she escaped, one that swallowed her in each night for years. This one’s new and bounces too, it makes her feel young.
It’s growing dark. She is drowning; the salty sea air that she breathed in the moment she drove into this town is choking her now. She plummets deep into the sea, mosses and fishes of every color, she tries to hold on to them but it’s only the grey of the water she can grasp at. She hits the lowest ground, words are echoing from somewhere. She doesn’t understand how. This isn’t Colorado’s Longs Peak from years ago when they hiked together and shouted to hear their voices echo back. The ground isn’t green like back then. She had left that behind. Or had it left her behind, the chance to shout again from a mountain top?
“I was not born to drown. Baby, come on,” The echo is growing faint like it always does.
It’s dark. At the bottom of the sea, with her eyelids closed, she sees his hands and hers, held together running out of that town. Her favorite black dress on. He had promised to drive her through the night. She can see herself laugh. It is a face she used to see on the mirror three decades ago. It’s a face that decided not to come out when the sun was still shining. The sun hasn’t shined in years. The silver on the mirror’s long gone. The golden embroidery is tearing at the edges. It’s all dark patches now.
She breaks into a sweat.
Home no longer has heavy drapes on the windows. The sun’s rising beyond that broken bridge. She sits up and watches the color rise in the grey sky. She walk to the tiny bathroom, a small mirror hangs on the broken tiled wall. While she grabbed her paychecks to pay the bills, she’s glad he remembered to grab her toothbrush.
She changes her clothes. She goes back to bed. She tries to sleep. He holds her tight.
The room is filling with light.
The golden on the edges are tearing but it’s still there and as long as it is, it will always be her favorite.
Anasuya Borah is a graduate from Hansraj College, University of Delhi in Biological Sciences, and pursuing a Masters in Liberal Arts in Ambedkar University. She has a penchant for writing, dancing, debating and doing work that helps animals and humans in distress. She loves to sketch and sit at her writing desk, waiting for hours for a muse until she dozes off, but dreams are stories unwritten and she might as well enjoy it while she can.