Short Story III: Burning Heart

28-05-2017 12:19 PM
Mallory woke up with a terrible headache.
The sun was too bright; she could barely open her eyes. Oh, how her head was pounding, like it just had exploded. She felt pain throughout all of her body as if she was thrown off of a building.
When she lifted her head and tried to see where she was, her neck made a cracking sound and she felt a pain shoot through her spine.
The floor she was lying on was hard and warm.
“Ohhh.. Where am I? … My head…”
She placed one hand over her eyes and squeezed her eyelids together. Then using her hand as cover for the bright sun, she tried to open her eyes again. The light burned deep inside her head.
“What?… What happened?”
Mallory felt dizzy when she tried to sit up and had to use both her arms to stop her from falling back to the floor again. Her head bobbed from left to right and back and forth as if she drank too much last night.. She looked down and saw that she just woke up in the middle of the street. She didn’t recognize the area she was in; however it had some familiar feeling over it.
She turned over and got on her hands and knees, trying to get up. Her head hanging down… It hurt like hell… In fact, everything was hurting. Such an intense hurting all over.
After taking a breath for a second, she tried standing up. As soon as she was standing on both feet, the dizziness became worse and her vision blurred. Stumbling, trying to walk, she lifted her head and tried to find out where she was. Mallory dragged her feet inch by inch across the dark, warm asphalt.
Buildings looked like they were demolished or something. Like a bomb had exploded right here in the street… It… it seemed like a damn war zone.
And where was everybody?
She started to walk down the road, in the burning sun. The further she walked the more things she saw. Cars were burnt, blackened… Street lights were bent… Some ripped out of the ground and were hanging though windows or even smashed holes into walls…
Something terrible had happened here…
…But what??
Mallory walked around and looked for signs.
What once was a traffic light, was now hanging from one cable, dangling against a building. The other end of the cable was hanging over a car, sparks were flying…

One building she walked past had a barely readable sign on it. It once said: ’The Three Sisters’, but only the letters ‘T… ..hree Sis..ers..’ were visible between the black smudges.
She knew this sign…
Mallory looked at the building, or what was left of it and recognized the structure.
This was the place she usually went to when she was out on a Friday night!
“Was this? … ”
She turned around and looked at the other buildings.
Everything became clear… It was her street…
She started to run. Faster and faster… Until she came to her apartment building.
It was gone…
Her stomach started to turn around. “No… This can’t be…”
She felt a scary feeling coming down on her like someone had reached inside her chest grabbed onto her heart. She couldn’t breathe.
Mallory started to whisper “Nathan? … Nathan? Where are you? … Baby? …This must be a dream…”
Again, she looked around. There was no one in sight. Not a living soul.
“Nathan?!?” she screamed.
She remembered… Mallory looked at where she just came from. She started to run back, screaming “Nathan?!… Nathan?! I’m sorry… Nathan!! Where are you?? Answer me!”
She arrived at the spot where she woke up. She looked at the road and saw a big, black burnt circle and the outlines of her body… Nothing else…
Pieces of the puzzle started to fit, she finally saw what happened… She fell to her knees and started crying…
“Nathan… No…”

One day earlier
27-05-2017 5:19 PM
Mallory walked home from work. She took her phone and tried to call Nathan. He didn’t answer it and it went to voice-mail.
She left a message: “Hey baby, it’s me. Just letting you know I’m almost home from work. Hope to see you tonight. Love you!”
She walked past the bar she always went to on Friday nights and looked through the window. Fred, the owner, was getting his place ready for tonight. The tables were already set and he was placing the wine glasses on the shelves. In the mirror he could see Mallory looking in. He turned around and waved.
Mallory blew him a kiss. Fred was an adorable man, he was pretty short and stocky but had a friendly face. With cheeks you would pinch. Always had a huge smile on his face, just like now.
She crossed the street and started to reach in her purse for her house keys.
When she arrived at her apartment, Suzanne came out of the building.
“Oh here you are, dear!” as she held the door open for Mallory.
Suzanne was her downstairs neighbor. An kind, older lady, Mallory thought she was in her late sixties, with a little Pomeranian dog. “Hi Suzanne, thank you.. Hi Ginger!”
The little dog barked as if she would say hi back.
Mallory chuckled and went inside. She opened her mailbox to see what was in, but it was empty.
She took the stairs up to the fourth floor where she lived.

27-05-2017 7:22 PM
Her phone beeped. It was a message from Nathan.
She unlocked her phone and clicked on the text app. It read: “Hey. Cant c u anymore sorry bye
That was all.
Mallory thought: “Is he breaking up with me, just by sending a text message? … Is this a joke? … what the hell?…”
She was confused. She thought about what she would reply to him. After a while she texted him back: “Is this a joke? Are you breaking up with me?

27-05-2017 7:39 PM
Mallory looked at her phone. No answer, so she decided to text him again: “Nathan? Answer me… Are you dumping me by txt?
He usually sends a message right away.. Something was off… This was not how Nathan normally was…

27-05-2017 8:17 PM
Minutes passed and Mallory pondered about why Nathan would send a message like that. Again she looked at the phone in her hand. There was still no answer.
She text-ed him again: “WTF Nathan! Give me an answer! Are we through?
Mallory dialed Nathan’s number. The phone was ringing. After a bit it went to voice-mail again.
“Why didn’t he pick up his phone?.. Did I do something wrong? Why isn’t he answering?.. Why?…”

27-05-2017 9:30 PM
Mallory looked at her silent phone. Nothing… She got angry and text-ed him again:
Fuck you Nathan! Is this how it’s gonna be? Is this the real you? Not having the guts to reply? Fucking asshole!

27-05-2017 10:19 PM
Nathan’s phone beeped again. He looked at the screen and saw that Mallory had sent him another text message. Without reading what she had sent him, he put his phone back into his back pocket. “Your phone has been going off all night. Who is it?” Darla asked.
“No one”
“Look, someone is calling you and texting you, and apparently it’s important for them. You’re not answering. What is it?”
“Not now, babe…”
Nathan was getting annoyed by her questions.
“Just.. Just eat your dinner…”
“I’m sorry…”
“No, I’m fine.. it’s okay…”
“Okay, some more wine?”

Meanwhile, back in her apartment, Mallory was still waiting for a reply.
Nothing. And after one hour, still nothing…
She tried calling him, but his phone never replied.
Mallory went to bed and cried herself to sleep.

28-05-2017 8:47 AM
With tears in her eyes she turned on the shower. How could he do this to her…
While the water was getting warmer, she walked back to the bed room and checked her phone. Nathan still hadn’t replied.

28-05-2017 10:51 AM
Mallory walked out of the building and started her daily jog workout.
She was barely outside and saw someone crossing the street in the distance. Was that? …
She started to run faster towards him. She passed The Three Sisters and was closing in on him. “Nathan?”
The young man turned around after hearing someone call his name. It was Mallory…
“Oh… Hi Mal..”
“Oh Hi Mal is what you have to say?? After last night??”
Nathan looked around and started to feel a little awkward. He knew he was wrong, he shouldn’t have done it like he did, but hey… it happened.
“I guess..”
“I guess? What the fuck Nathan! I think I am entitled to an explanation. At least!”
“About?… It’s over, alright? I don’t want to see you anymore.”
“And you break up with a text message? You don’t even have the decency to reply my texts? What the fuck is wrong with you, Nathan?!?”
“Nothing! What the fuck do you want from me?”
“What I want from you? I want an answer, I want a reason, I want to know why, I want at least a sorry, because normal people don’t break up with a text message!”
“I’m sorry, it’s over. Okay?”

28-05-2017 11:09 AM
“Goddamned Nathan, how could you do this to me!!! I hate you! I hate you!”
“Hey, I’m sorry, I told you I’m sorry, alright? Let it go, it was a mistake… fuck…”
“You’re damn right it was a mistake! Mother fucker! How could you? What did I do to deserve this??”
“Fuck, Mallory! I’m not the only one who has to take the blame for this! Fuck you! You’re never around and we haven’t had sex for months now! Why the hell do you think I do this shit??”
“Oh that’s your excuse? Fucking hell Nathan! You’ve ruined this… You’ve ruined us!!”
“Get over it, bitch!”
“What the fu…??”
Mallory was so angry at Nathan, her face started to turn purple. Her eyes were shooting fire; her heart was pounding in her chest, so hard it’d hurt all of her torso.
She started to feel her head aching like it was going to burst. Like it was going to explode… Her anger grew more and more.
Then… At the top of her rage, Nathan looked at her but had to cover his eyes because of the blinding light… “Mal? What.. What’s happe…”

28-05-2017 11:11 AM


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