Maybe the Dream Knows What’s Real – Part Eight – Novella by Steve Grogan

novella

Steve Grogan is an ongoing contributor to Writer to Writers. He has published several short stories on the site, which can be found on the main page under the heading “Steve Grogan’s fiction.” He has had several poems and short stories published over the years, some of which are available on Amazon. (See the announcement at the end of this post.)

He is the writer and creator of the ongoing, zombie, post-apocalyptic, Romero-meets-Dungeons-and-Dragons webcomic REDemption. Alternatively, Steve describes the comic by saying, “It is to zombie fiction what KILL BILL was to kung fu movies: everything I love about the genre housed under one roof and mixed with my voice.”

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Lindsay and I saw each other every day while our vacations lasted. Hers was much shorter than mine, but we filled it with as much pleasure as possible. Afternoons of loving, Lindsay on top and going wild, asking me to put my cock in her ass again. Asking me to fulfill wild desires that I could not comprehend or approve of.

There’s one thing I want to make clear about Lindsay that I didn’t address previously: she was cursed with low self-esteem. Because of that, she was very submissive in bed (which explains her requesting me to sodomize her, the most submissive act in which a woman can engage). Lindsay liked to be pushed around and told what to do, liked to have her hair pulled and get slapped. Bondage, whips, pain…all kinds of weird shit turned her on, but we never covered that ground. All she did was tell me about them.

To be honest, I did not like hearing about Lindsay’s sexual past. Yet she never seemed to hear me asking her to please stop talking about it. Sometimes she could be a real space cadet, meaning she had no clue what was going on or what life was all about or what it meant to be a decent person, what it meant to be respectful. On the one hand, maybe I shouldn’t have been so sensitive when it came to hearing about her past, but on the other, would it have been so hard to just NOT bring it up? I mean, there are countless other topics in the world to discuss. Why did she insist on bringing up the one subject that I did not want to hear about?

Despite all her faults I still wanted our relationship to work. She was clinically diagnosed as having depression, which caused her emotions to go on and off like a light switch, but I wasn’t going to let that discourage me. I wanted to be strong and learn how to deal with it; I wanted to be there for her.

And I could have been, goddammit! I could have been strong enough, but she had to fuck it up, had to deny my love, had to lie, had to wear a mask and put on an act that I blindly accepted as the truth.

By this point in the narrative, you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Well, let me tell you now.

Imagine if you will a typical Sunday on which Lindsay and I were hanging out. She got into my car and said we had to talk, said we had to be friends until June, said her mom and dad told her she could not date anyone, said I could date other people if I wanted to, but she was going to stay single and concentrate on her schoolwork, said it was her parents’ idea because she was failing almost every class., said she would wait for me, said there was no choice, no way around it.

“I want a compromise,” I said. “If I need to keep my hands to myself and wait until June, then I want to ask that this ‘just friends’ deal goes into effect at midnight tonight. What I mean is we’ll stay boyfriend-girlfriend for the rest of today.”

“All right,” she said.

I asked for this compromise because I was hornier than ever for her that day. All I wanted was to make love to her one more time. June was so far off; I didn’t know if I could wait that long to make love to her again.

I wasn’t sure I would even be granted my one last wish. Hell, I would have been shocked if we even wound up making out on that last day. Ever since our first month together, Lindsay’s physical displays of affection had almost completely disappeared.

One time I took it upon myself to confront her about that.

“Why is it you were all over me at first? What changed?” I asked.

“Nothing. That’s just the way it always happens with me. My old boyfriend Chas used to complain about that all the time.”

“Well, can you blame him?” I said. “It’s just not normal for affection to drop off so fast if everything still is the same between us, as you insist it is. I really don’t understand you sometimes.”

She just sat there, pretending she did not hear me. That’s all right, I thought, I see what kind of person you are now.

That Sunday, our last day as boyfriend and girlfriend, we saw a movie. I forget what it was, although I think it might have been Starship Troopers. There was a love element in it, which frustrated me because on the screen these two people were getting what they wanted: each other’s intimate company. What the hell was I getting? A chance to sit beside the one I desired and say she was only a friend, when I wanted to say she was so much more.

We did wind up engaging in one long kiss that day. After the movie, we headed straight for my car so I could take her home. Just as I was about to put the key in the ignition, Lindsay grabbed me by the jacket. She pulled me over to her, and she kissed me. Under any other circumstance it would have been wonderful, but the knowledge of our relationship’s termination was the only thought in my head. The kiss might as well have not happened because it meant nothing.

How do I know that? Because when it was over, she said nothing. We drove to her house in silence. There was no “I’m sorry,” no “what did you think of the movie,” no “I can’t wait until June,” or anything like that.

Dead.

Silence.

She didn’t even say good bye or “see you later” when we got to her house. Just exited the car and disappeared inside. I sat in the driveway for a moment, wondering why I wasn’t in tears. Then I figured out why: it was because I was hollow inside. Once again, a woman had ripped my heart out.

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On the same day as my last date with Lindsay, Jeff was coming from Bridgewater because there was a band coming to Albany (Marcy Playground) that he wanted to see. They had released a single (“Sex and Candy”) which became quite a hit on the local radio stations. After dropping Lindsay off, I knew I had to get back home for Jeff’s arrival, but I had a couple errands to run first.

I stopped at a sports store on my way back to my apartment. I had been longing to buy a holster for my handgun. While I was there, I bought a switchblade. My skills with my gun transferred surprisingly well to knife-throwing, but I was far from perfect so I kept working at it all day, hitting a target I hung in my mom’s basement. (I visited her house to practice because there wasn’t any space for it in my apartment, plus her house was only a ten-minute drive from mine.) Sometimes I moved the target so I could throw the knife at different angles and distances. My space was limited, but it was better to get some practice rather than none.

I thought of Lindsay all while I threw the blade. Why were things between us suddenly falling apart? The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. Rather than seeing the target, I started to see Lindsay’s face. That was when I knew it was time to call it a day. Not a good idea to keep going when you are seeing the knife sink into your ex-girlfriend’s eye.

I looked at my watch and saw I still had an hour until Jeff arrived, so I decided to go upstairs to my old room. It was empty except for a dresser and a bed. I sat on the mattress and remembered all the not-so-far-off memories of time spent in this room alone instead of hanging out with friends once my high school day had ended. At that point in my life I hadn’t gone on a single date. My quirky personality was quite a turnoff to most of the female population. Even when a young woman did find me intriguing, I was so socially awkward, so bad at reading social cues, that I didn’t recognize their feelings. People will try to catch your attention only for so long before they give up, and I can’t count the number of opportunities that I had blown.

So much sadness. So much of it unnecessary. All of it, in fact.

After a few minutes of dwelling on missed opportunities while I stared into space, I decided to create a leather wrist holster for my switchblade. The holster could be covered by a long-sleeve shirt and thus conceal the weapon. To see how well it worked, I held my hands behind my head and took out the blade. After some practice, I could take the weapon out so smoothly that not even I could see my hands moving when I studied myself in the mirror.

I would go on and tell you about the show that Jeff came down to see, but it wasn’t all that noteworthy. So why bother? After all, my story is about to go in a direction that is far more interesting than hearing about a mediocre show from a band that turned out to be yet another one-hit wonder.

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If you like what you have read and would like to purchase this serialized novel as one complete PDF, then please send $2 to Steve via PayPal: wcman1976@yahoo.com

Also, don’t forget to check out his other writing at the following links below:

REDemption

Steve’s Amazon Author Page

Steve’s Writer to Writers Publications

Author: Redemption Comics

Steve Grogan was born in the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He has written in a variety of formats (novels, short stories, poems, screen and stage plays, blogs/articles) and genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, drama).

Steve is also a father, a boyfriend, a musician, a fitness fanatic, and a martial artist. He has been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1995, and he maintains a blog/YouTube channel that describe his training habits, epiphanies, and advancement. It also candidly discusses his stumbling blocks, such as his struggle with nutrition and mental health issues.

He is no relation to the New England Patriots quarterback from the 1980’s.

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