21 Bedtime Stories

She would come to my apartment, hands bruised like the red dress she wore. Rainbow sunglasses hiding dried eyes tired of constant soaking.

I would tell her bedtime stories, about how Joel almost missed Clementine for lifetime and why Celine did not turn up in Vienna six months later but Jesse did.

Every morning she will go back to him wearing smiles that look like Canadian winters and come back a doll adorned with scars of her love life.

The other day, I told her why Henry Chinaski was both a protagonist and anti-hero at the same time. And how Alaska Young’s death helped Miles Halter come out of his labyrinth of suffering.

21 bedtime stories later, I asked why she keeps going back to him. And she told me, “That’s the thing about love, you will never know when to hold on or let go. The measures of pros and cons carry liquid boundaries here.”

I did not see her on the 22nd day. And then on 30th. 100th. Rains arrived early that year. The clouds sent reminders of her dark hair. For all the clouds her hair carried, I never got drenched in the rains they poured.

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