The Paranoid Man

short stories collection - a compilation of my short stories.

Summary

“Hey honey, how are you? Been a busy day, considering not looking at any work tonight, I’ll relax and spend some time with you.”
“Oh that would be lovely, but I am going out tonight.”
“That’s okay, is it a prearranged formal thing, or can I join? Whose it with?”


The fear we all face when someone we love is having fun with another is examined here through the paranoia of a middle-age man.

“Hey honey, how are you? Been a busy day, considering not looking at any work tonight, I’ll relax and spend some time with you.”

“Oh that would be lovely, but I am going out tonight.”

“That’s okay, is it a prearranged formal thing, or can I join? Whose it with?”

“Some man, named Uji that I meet while taking a tour of Facility 5. It’s a ‘business’ meeting, so not sure if he wants anyone else tagging along. Sorry”

“Uji? Hmmm, well have fun.”

“I will. Don’t worry, it’s to better make contacts, so I can move up and bring in some extra cash.”

“Alright, tell me how it goes.”

She closed the door lightly on the way out; the man sat in his chair and pounded the table, hard. He got up and looked around, at all that he had built, all the memories that this place, and his beloved, conjured up. Uji was a great man, he admired him greatly, yet he was uneasy, distrustful of both him and his wife. But she had never acted in such a manner as to deserve suspicion or thoughts of betrayal. Or had she and he hadn’t noticed? He hit the table again then walked into the kitchen through the archway, the polished wood, the spacious interior behind it, the dancing of the shadows – the man felt an odd sense of loneliness, of an obsession with a time lost. Memories flooded back, the time they drove through the open country, not a care in the world, joking and laughing. But that seemed to have left, those days were through and they coasted by, hugging and kissing, yet, the joy was lost, that spontaneous laughter, those charming conversations, they seemed to be pulling at weeds, every time they would pull out another hindrance to a smooth and more enjoyable relationship, the roots of the problems would persist. Soon the hindrance would grow again, the conversations started to feel more forced, more contrived, more about them trying to convince themselves that there was anything left in the relationship.

“But I do love her, I really do.”

“Really? Truly? What is it you love about her? Is it you are too lazy to attempt another relationship, so you trick yourself into loving her?”

“That is truly absurd, just because you think you are better than me…”

“I am you and you are me.”

“Your just inside my head, you don’t control me, you should go away now…”

“Hahaha, you must understand, I only seek to help yo…”

“GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT! Holy shit, what have I come to, I’m talking to myself, this is crazy.”

“I’ll get him to leave you alone, but first you must agree to listen.”

“Get away, please, leave me alone, I’m already…”

“Torn? You think so highly of yourself, yet look, you don’t trust two people who you have no reason not to trust.”

“I, I…There are…reasons, a lot of things I have boxed away…”

“Where? Inside your mind? Maybe that is why you are so warped, why people don’t understand you.”

“Why, because I try to hide from emotions I don’t like and attempt to pack them away?”

“Yes, and you don’t trust people, that won’t get you far…”

“I’ll talk to you all later, please just leave me alone for a bit.”

So the noises stopped and the man looked across the roomy kitchen. He hit the table again, and then smashed his head on the nearby wall. The anger, it was unbearable, his chest heaved and he hit his head again, that odd, constricting feeling in his skull wouldn’t go away. He hit his head again, yelling into the night as he did, the sound reverberating and seemingly amplifying, until he was drowned in it. He tried to stop the deluge, the unleashing of pent up emotions, the demons coming back out. He grabbed his skull and fell to his knees, staring at the ground. His eyes bulged and saliva dribbled down the side of his mouth and pooled on the ground. He turned his head suddenly and ran at the cabinet nearby. He screamed as his shoulder was shot with pain, but he did not tend to it, instead he grabbed his head again.

“Hahaha, oh your funny, shit, what have I done?! I’m a horrible person…”

In a more subdued tone.

“…a horrible person…”

He sank to the ground and saw the world blur and finally disappear.

He awoke to the sound of his name being yelled, and he looked up. It was her, back from her excursion with Uji. That’s right! He suddenly got up with a start, the blood rapidly rising to his head, causing him to become dizzy and hit the floor again.

“Oh honey, are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine, how was dinner.”

“It was lovely, we conversed about so much, our respective career paths and outlooks on life, what we both enjoy, various other things. It was a great evening.”

In a slightly dark tone, he responded.

“Good to hear.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing, nothing…”

In a barely audible tone he continued.

“Just a little bit paranoid.”

-biafra
bahanonu [at] alum.mit.edu

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©2006-2017 | biafra ahanonu | updated 12 december 2017
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