Tag Archives: sadness

The Rooftop Getaway

The party, her party, was in full swing, as they say. Hundreds of her friends, her friends’ friends, and many complete strangers showed up for her food, her booze, to abuse the pool and the rest of her mansion. She felt like someone was secretly filming her and she had to escape.

The living room was full, as was the billiard room, the sauna, and all of the thirteen bedrooms. The foyer was full of coats and hats, the library was strewn with half-full cups hanging dangerously close to the edges of tables, threatening her aged and antique books. People had even spilled into the butler’s quarters, vacated for the weekend by her parents’employee for a trip.

She really only had one place to go, her secret place. She trudged up to the third story and unlocked the attic door, passed piles of vintage expensive furniture hiding under old sheets, passed the old moose head and stuffed bear her grandfather had shot decades before, to the oversized window that led to the roof. She pushed it and relaxed a bit as it squeaked open.

As she stepped out onto the roof she found that some of the balloons had gotten away from the guests and somehow landed here. She stepped onto the sill and stretched, her elbows rubbing the red brick walls, making her wince and check them for blood. No blood. Just a bit of red irritated skin with a little brick stubble mixed in. She would live.

She walked onto the roof toward the slanted shingles and began tidying up by picking up a bunch of the balloons, and then she stopped and sighed. Her odd neighbor always showed up handing out random balloons to guests, the reason something she could not fathom.

She never understood how these parties happened, what led all of those people to her home when her parents were away, but they always just seemed to know. They would come, abuse her home and her family money, and then go, leaving behind a mess that would take days to clean. And the damage…if the house weren’t so big her parents would notice, but these days they didn’t seem to notice anything.

She walked to the edge and looked down at the party, then walked to the other side and peered over the slant roof down into the rectangular pool that went unused for the past few years, ever since they had the endless pool installed on the other side of the house. Captured in the water were a few more rogue balloons floating slowly around the glass-like water, and past the pool a bit was the odd neighbor, still holding a bunch of balloons.

She returned to the wall next to the window and leaned against it, sliding down until she landed on the shingles under her and she sighed, holding the balloons, waiting for the party to end.

Photos by Geraldine, who has a Flickr. The model is Manon, and this is her blog. The concept for the photographs was a collaboration of the two.


The Pillow Baby

Olive leaned against the heavy mahogany door upon entering, sighed and tried to relax. The party celebrating her parents’ fortieth anniversary in the most exclusive restaurant in town was a trial, especially with Darren in Africa on business yet again. It seemed as if her mother had informed everyone about how long they’d been trying and failing; aunts, cousins and even strangers were giving her all sorts of ridiculous folk cures. Her mother shared her most intimate and private problems with so many people.

The year of negative pregnancy tests and constant monthly reminders of her fate.

The frantic calls telling him to get home, racing the clock for attempts that never produced.

The genetics test for every defect under the sun on both her and her husband.

The ovulating tests. The monthly, then bi-weekly, and finally weekly ultrasounds.

And the drugs. Oh the drugs. Her medicine cabinet would spill out piles of orange and white bottles, an avalanche of reminders.

Olive sighed and moved away from the door toward the room they’d decorated, in case it ever were to happen, and leaned over the dusty furniture, snatching a frilly pillow that was spotted with small green dots. She meandered up to her room and lowered herself onto the bed without even removing her gold sandals, hugging the pillow to her chest and inhaling the smell of the store where they’d bought it, the cushion still fresh and new as if they had not purchased it years ago. She slid it towards her belly a bit, wondering what it would be like, and then lifted her designer silk dress and placed the pillow under it.

She tried to imagine what it would be like as her hands held the faux belly as if she were feeling for movement. She felt nothing, something she was becoming used to in more ways than one.

She reached over to the bed stand and picked up her phone, left behind for the night on purpose. Her doctor was supposed to call earlier today and let her know if they had been successful, and as she pushed the send button her phone lit up, showing a notification that she had a missed call and a voicemail.

Her head turned toward the photographs on their nearby dresser, family portraits from her childhood, with the family portraits of her three brothers next to them: all the brothers had five of six children. The photos were accompanied by a picture of her sister and her sister’s wife, standing with their adopted daughter. Olive loved each of those children as if they were her own, but in the moment turned away from them in disgust. She wanted to run over and open the top drawer and with her arm shove them all out of her sight forever, or until this all finally ended.

She reached over and dropped the phone back onto the bed stand and let her hands run over the pillow again, drifting off into a listless sleep, imagining the best, but not ready to hear the worst.

Photograph by Tom Hinds.

Watch for this story from Darren’s point of view later this week!

The Boy With No Happy Ending

Artwork by Kate Hiscock of Slightly Me

He watches them embrace from across the street, right under the little orange hand that warns him it was not safe to cross. It glows, mocking him, forcing him to keep his distance.

He wants what they have. But he know his role in life, he knows where this all ends up.

He is the boy with no happy ending. If his past has taught him anything, it is this. And he accepts it.

He has this power over people, they find him so interesting, so quirky, so rare.

And yet he will never find love. And he accepts this.

The couple across the street, coming in and out of view as cars rushed by blurring his view of them, move as if under a strobe light.

Flash. They are kissing.

Flash. She pulls away.

Flash. He smiles.

Flash. She smiles.

Flash. They kiss again.

He watches, trying not to, attempting to look away before they notice how he stares at their obvious and understood love for each other. Everyone witnessing this moment can see their devotion. It is clear.

He wants a beautiful person to kiss on a corner, a sad goodbye even though they both know they will be in each other’s arms again later that night.

He will never meet that girl. And he accepts this.

More cars.

Flash. He gently strokes the tattoo on her arm.

Flash. She brushes a tuft of his dyed blonde hair away from his face.

Flash. He does the same to her and laughs.

Flash. She lets out a flirtatious giggle.

Flash. They are kissing again.

A bus passes and The Boy With No Happy Ending notices a woman on it with messy hair and an oversized gray sweater on. She is staring out of the window with a distant, melancholy look, and he knows how she feels.

As the bus pulls away, leaving a dark cloud of pollution behind it, he sees that the couple is no longer embracing on the corner. The girl is walking away, the guy is walking towards his side of the street.

The orange hand disappears, and the little white man appears, telling the boy it’s now safe to cross.