Lonely. So lonely.
“But you wanted this. You wanted to be alone. Alone with you and me.”
No, just me. Just me. Never you. I would never have chosen you.
“But I’ve always been here, haven’t I? Not like those others. They all leave. They don’t like what they see. But I stay with you.”
Alone. Please leave me alone.
“No. You don’t know what ‘alone’ is. You’ve always had me. You always will.”
So lonely . . .
“Always lonely, but never alone. I make sure of that.”
“Have you been alone for a while?”
“I guess so.”
“Me too. It’s been a year since she left. It’s always hard.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“The house seemed so empty. It still does.”
“Loneliness is always empty.”
“You don’t have to be lonely. Not now.”
“Alone, just you and me.”
No. You were gone. I know you were gone. I want you gone.
“I was never gone. I’ve always been here.”
No. You left. You left.
When he came, you left.
“Did I really? Are you sure? Or did you hear me even then?”
No. No, no . . .
“Did you hear me when he spoke?”
No . . .
“When he said he loved you?”
No . . .
“When he promised to take care of you?”
No . . .
“When he said goodbye?”
No. Stop it. Leave me alone.
“But I didn’t leave you. He did. Just like I said he would.”
Stop it. Stop.
“I was right, wasn’t I? They all leave, don’t they?”
I didn’t want to hear you. I don’t want to hear you.
“But you did. You do.”
hey 🙂 r u free 2nite?
wanna get 2gether? 😉
We shouldn’t. I can’t be up late.
I work in the morning.
nprb ill drive u 2 work
I don’t know . . .
u no u wanna 😉
But it’s so late already.
dunno im kinda lonely 🙁
Well . . .
No. Stop it.
“It’s just us. He is gone, isn’t he?”
No, it wasn’t like that. He was the lonely one. I helped him.
“But he still walked away, didn’t he? He got what he needed and left the rest behind.”
It doesn’t matter.
“But it does. You want something, someone.”
Not him. I don’t want him.
“And he doesn’t want you. But you do want someone, someone who wants you. But none of them do, do they? Not for long. Not even the lonely ones.”
“It took only one night for him to leave you. One night. It must have been pretty bad for him to leave so soon. So much for helping him.”
I tried . . .
“But not hard enough, I guess. He would still be here if he liked it.”
“Why are you crying? You still have me.”
“I won’t go. I’m the only one who hasn’t left. I’m the only one who puts up with you.”
I don’t want you.
“You have no choice. I’m all you have.”
“Thanks for staying late. We really got a lot done.”
“No problem, sir. Glad to help.”
“You must be hungry. How about I buy you supper. My treat.”
“Shouldn’t you be going home?”
“No hurry. My wife’s out of town for the weekend.”
“I see. Don’t worry about supper, though. I’m not hungry.”
“A glass of wine, then. My place. I wouldn’t mind having some company.”
“Sir . . .”
I won’t listen to you.
“You will. You’ve listened for so long that I’m all you hear.”
“I was there when your father forgot to say goodbye. Remember how loud the door was when it slammed? Remember the sound of the car when it left? You were so little. So little, you couldn’t even reach the window to watch him go. So little, he didn’t even notice. But I was there.”
I don’t want to hear. I don’t want to remember.
“But you will. I remember everything, every time you heard me, so that you won’t forget. You heard me when your mother missed your graduation. You heard me when your prom date left with someone else. You heard me when your cat ran away, out the same door as your father. You heard me when you made yet another mistake and someone else turned away. You heard me when no one heard you.”
Stop. Be quiet.
“I won’t. I can’t. You’ve made me too strong. My voice is louder than yours; you can’t block me out. I’m louder than any door, any car. Louder than any screams, any crying. Louder than any gunshot, any rattle of pills. Loud enough to be the last thing you’ll hear.”
No more. I want to be alone. Leave me alone.
“You’ll never be alone. Always lonely, but never alone. I’ll make sure of that.”
Miriam H. Harrison writes to keep her fingers warm in her Northern Ontario home. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of publications, and she is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.