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Literature, Long Stories

Pompeii

I’m struggling to open my eyes with this eye goo shutting them firmly. I try lifting my hand to rub my eyes there’s no motion at all; left hand… nothing… ok, right hand… still nothing. I feel awful. I actually feel like I have survived a bus accident, followed by a train accident then I fell into the ocean and started a nose bleed which prompted a showdown with three great whites then survived that and had my body parts harvested by Hannibal Lector who then neatly compressed my torso, put it in a ziploc bag and placed me on my bed.

If my current state is anything to go by then last night was epic. I AM NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. EVER. I know I’ve said this every weekend for the past seven months but in my defense, procrastination is my weakest virtue.

Let me focus on forcing my eyes open…  AHA! There we go! Ok my room is brighter than usual and this drip stand is obstructing my view of the EKG machine. Wait. DRIP STAND? EKG machine? What THE? Ok, exactly how hectic was last night’s debauchery? How did I end up here?

A nurse shuffles into the room and stands next to me, “Nurse! Thank goodness you’re here! Please explain to me what’s happening, please!” My throat feels hoarse and my jaws feel like they have been wired shut… Snap! So the words didn’t escape my lips. It was all internal. “Oh Doc, she’s awake” the nurse murmurs.

“Aykay dahhlin’ im gonna ask you a few questions aykay? Blink once for yes and twarce for no aykay?” She seems like a nice lady. Middle aged petite blonde Caucasian with Tinkerbelle like features. She has glistening hazel eyes and pouty ruby lips. I can’t seem to get over her voice. She sounds like she does voice overs for arts and craft shows for toddlers. She picks up my file, “Aykay dahhlin’ let’s see what your name is…” I sense some hesitation before she proceeds, she purses her lips like she’s about to unleash the sharpest of Soprano notes at an opera house.

“Tint… Tint… uhm! Ok… Tinti watsalo…  my goodness! Ok Tinty-salo…” She pauses, “Ok love can I call you Tinsy instead? ”

“I AM NOT TINSY. I AM TINTSWALO!!!” I shout internally.

“Aykay dahl. Is your name Tinsy?” I blink twice for no.

“Aykay Doc, she’s receptive” yells the fairy like nurse as she pulls out a syringe and gives me a shot.

 

My chest clams up. I’m so nauseous and it’s definitely not Mom’s spaghetti.  I chuckle before everything fades to black. I keep slipping in and out of consciousness. Everything is a blur and I’m not sure if I am having recollections or if this medication is playing tricks on me. I keep having visions or dreams about my boyfriend.

My boyfriend! Where is my boyfriend? Does he know that I’m in hospital? He must be so worried about me. I miss him so much. I miss how we texted each other all day. I miss how he kisses me. I miss his cologne. I miss having tea with him. Tea was never really his thing but for the past week or so he had been enjoying our tea time. So much so that he had not even allowed me to make my own tea of late, he’d been taking care of that for me, what an absolute gentleman.

“Tintswalo… wake up. Babe! Tintswalo…” I’m awakened by his velvety smooth voice that sounds like it’s echoing in a cave. I open my eyes but there’s a film coat so my vision is blurred.  I make out his features and it’s definitely my boyfriend Pompeii. I smile internally and a tear escapes my left eye. He says something that I can barely make out. Great! Not only is my vision blurred now my hearing has decided to take a rain check on me. Pompeii keeps talking and as he stands up to leave I notice he is clutching something in his fist and I catch one word “antidote”.

My eyes close involuntarily and I force them open a few seconds later.  Was Pompeii even in this room? I’m stuck wondering why my brain is playing tricks on me.

I have to get home. The thought of home makes me shudder and excites me at the same time. I have a huge secret. If Pompeii finds it I’m dead. If he doesn’t then he’s dead. Okay at least I’m half way there but things could get worse, either for me or for him… You see a month ago I found out that he and my best friend were getting up to no good behind my back. I forgave him partially, but I’m the type of person who keeps my friends close and my enemies closer, so I managed to organise some poison. I vividly remember filling up a syringe and spiking the cork on every single bottle of his wine collection. Pompeii loved his wine and I had so far only managed to watch him drink only one bottle. I wanted him to die slowly. I wanted to watch his health deteriorate.  I wanted to watch him sweat, puke and have dizzy spells. I wanted to witness his physical pain. Pompeii had made an enemy of me the day he betrayed me. It was not the actual act of cheating I was mad about, it’s the lies, the dreams he sold me and most of all, it was about him insulting my intelligence. Disloyalty is the greatest offence in the Tintswalo Book Of Life, and I believe the punishment should fit the crime. Ha! Old boy should have known that I’m a sore loser. How could he have not read between the lines? He once beat me in a PlayStation game and I “accidentally” spilled an entire bottle of wine on the console the following day.

I am quite jittery because I was not very discreet about the placement of my poison after I spiked all his wine. He had startled me as I was holding it and it dropped, luckily I was in my room and I managed to roll it under the bed with my heel. Thank goodness he didn’t notice. Even so and, he may just find it and that scares me.  I was supposed to be home watching Pompeii suffer, but alas, the universe would rather have me stuck on this damn hospital bed.

 

I’m still trying to figure out what Pompeii meant about having an antidote. I’m also trying to figure out what I am doing in hospital, unable to move, constantly dizzy, extreme nausea and chest pain. I’m lying on (what I sincerely believe is) my deathbed. How come my boyfriend is the only person I want to see? I love that man. My lips are chapped but I know he wouldn’t mind kissing me right now, that’s the kinda brave heart he is. I remember when we first met. As cliché as this sounds, he had me at hello.  We got inebriated and had steamy sex on the first night; I just knew he was the one. We could talk for hours about anything. What we spoke about the most is how we were both extremists and left no room for grey areas. We are both black and white people who hate uncertainty.  I love how he always taught me things about myself, about life, about politics and science. What I love most about him is that he is manipulative. A lot of people shy away from manipulative men, not I. You see a manipulative man allows you to be anything he wants you to be, much like role playing, and they hate losing.

I loved the rush of playing damsel in distress (then chuckling to myself at how he could possibly think he is making me do something I don’t want to do),  I loved surrendering control to him,  because that made me more in control. Real power is when you are able to let power go. You see, Pompeii and I were always two steps ahead of each other; our relationship was a game of chess. We were obsessed with each other, it didn’t help that we both had addictive personalities. Our agreement was that we were playing for keeps. We are both stern believers in the old adage ‘Death before dishonour’. We both hate losing, and that has never ever been an option. With us commitment equals signing a contract with the devil in blood.

I had always joked that I’m not the kind of woman you betray and if he were to ever poison me, he should make sure that he kills me because if I recover, I will not hesitate to make his life a living hell. I looked in his eyes once after a night of passionate love making, “If you ever make a fool of me, Pompeii, or mock my sincerity, loyalty and genuine love, you will suffer. When I am done with you, you will think the Holocaust was a picnic for the Jews. That’s how much I will torture you, baby…” He smiled and kissed me gently. Sweetly. Passionately.

Wait. This is actually not a hangover. I wasn’t drinking last night. Last beverage I had was tea. Yes, I had tea with Pompeii, the love of my life.  It’s all coming back to me now.

Pompeii was such a gentleman. He had a beautiful name too. He was named after a city that disappeared overnight as its inhabitants were sleeping. Ironically, my biggest fear was him leaving me while I was sleeping. I’d always imagine waking up and realising he was a dream, or a figment of my imagination. He was unlike anyone I had ever met and sometimes it felt too good to be true. He was a power hungry gentleman with broad shoulders and a smile that could make even the Tin Man feel all mushy inside. His eyes were a galaxy of all the shooting stars in the universe, and when he smiled his eyes smiled. He was the sweetest man I’d ever met. But… How did he know I was poisoned? Why did he possess the antidote?  Okay, these meds are definitely playing tricks on me. I was always two steps ahead of my boyfriend. Besides, I was the villain in the relationship; he would never even hurt a fly. If he indeed found the poison, how would he even have known that I was using it to poison him?  We had a lot in common but Pompeii didn’t operate like I did. He isn’t evil.  This guy was too sweet. Too sweet, like the smell of cyanide… before it kills you.

Written by RN Miyagi

Image: Pixabay

 
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