Listen to the song as you read.
She takes the pill and leans back in the chair. The soft faux leather moulding to her frame. She smiles at her friends, their eyes dark and dimples prominent. The music is loud but comforting. She runs her fingers over her tights, digging her nails into her thighs. The air is thick with the aroma of cigarette smoke and stale, bleached carpet. She picks up her beer on the table, her arms leaning into the remnants of something tacky. Her head becomes light; her limbs feel loose, like they’re suspended in honey. She smiles to herself, sips her beer and leans back closing her eyes.
‘I can’t be with you.’ Jasmine mumbles, her eyes avoiding his gaze. She sits on the edge of their bed. Luka stands still in the doorway; his fists clenched and face empty. ‘I can’t be with someone who keeps hurting me. You don’t even sleep with me anymore.’ Jasmine looks at him now, her eyes wide.
‘I told you I find you attractive, I’m just not in the mood lately.’ He mutters, he hands relaxing and eyes going red. ‘We can fix this.’ He sighs and sits next to her. He puts his arms around her and pulls her close.
‘It’s not just that Luka.’ Jasmine pulls away. ‘All the lies… All the secret messages to her. How could you do that to me?’ Luka doesn’t answer. He stares at his hands.
‘You what? You’ve been secretly seeing this girl for nine months!’
‘I wasn’t cheating!’
‘Then why hide her?’ Jasmine growls, her lips trembling and eyes piercing. Luka stands up abruptly and walks out of the room. Jasmine gets up and follows. ‘Where are you going?’
‘To get the fuck away from you!’ He calls back, slamming the door. Jasmine runs from the house, tears in her eyes and face alight with rage.
‘You’re such a fucking asshole, you know! Just own up to it!’ She howls into the street. The kids on their scooters disperse to their driveways, their hushed voices whispering concerns. Luka gets into his car, the engine roaring to life, and speeds off.
Euphoria. Her eyes move to the beat and rhythm of the music, they slowly roll behind her eyelids. She can’t help but smile. Someone touches her arm, her eyes spring open.
‘Jas, wanna dance?’ Han’s teeth are glaringly white in the purple light. Jasmine leans towards her, pulls her close and hugs her.
‘Sure!’ She chimes into her ear over the music. They weave their way through the ocean of people to the small dance floor; a floor that Jasmine thought was like a Rubik’s Cube many times. The square dance floor had tiles that changed colour like those of the Rubik’s Cube. She’d stares at those lights and jumps on the tiles as the colours change. Han grabs her arms and they sing and move to the music. Jasmine is floating, her limbs feel light as she swings them and she can’t resist the urge to smile.
‘Your eyes are so black, girl.’ Han muttered as she leaned in to Jasmine. Jasmine shrugged and twirled as the songs began to change. People were all around, their bodies touching; limbs colliding but she didn’t care. She laced her fingers through her hair, each strand tickling her skin forcing her to succumb to laughter. ‘You’re crazy!’ Han yelled, while spinning around herself.
It was the forth call she had made. No answer. Jasmine slouched into the bathtub even further. Her eyes like sandpaper and skin slowly wrinkling beyond her years. She dropped her phone on the piles of clothes on the floor and sunk beneath the water. Hearing the rhythm of her body was a mellowing experience. She stayed under until her lungs and throat ached before she rushed to the surface gasping for air.
‘I’m not crazy for leaving.’ She muttered to herself, tracing circles on her thighs. ‘I’m not.’
Jasmine is pulled into a man. His beard grazes her cheeks. She doesn’t hesitate before pressing her lips into his. Their tongues are colliding when Han pulls her away and off the dance floor.
‘No.’ She pushes Jasmine into a chair, orders someone else at the table to get water. ‘Jasmine, look at me.’ Jasmine’s eyes find the roof and she smiles and leans further back in the chair, staring at the lights moving across the roof. Han digs her nails into Jasmine’s arms, irritated.
‘Pay fucking attention then.’ Jasmine smiles, staring at Han sheepishly.
‘I’m just having fun.’ She complains and pulls her arm out of Han’s grip, nursing it in her lap and scowling. Han rolls her eyes and pulls a chair over, sitting down with a thud. She stares at Jasmine, snatching the water from the friend that went and got it.
‘I know you want to have fun but how about you drink this too.’ It wasn’t a question. Han shoved the water in Jasmine’s hand and waited for her to finish the glass.
‘I am allowed to kiss and fuck who I want Han.’ Jasmine sneers, slamming down the glass almost missing the table.
‘I know! I’m not saying that but last time-’
‘I don’t care. Let me make my own mistakes.’ Jasmine pushes off the chair and goes back to the dance floor alone.
She rereads the letter and takes another spoonful of cereal. It hurt to go down but she knew she had to try to eat something, despite the nausea.
I’m sorry. I never cheated on you and I love you so much. I knew it would make you jealous if you knew I was speaking to Kate again and to avoid unnecessary fights, I didn’t tell you. I’m sorry. I know it’s not right. I should have told you. I’m sorry, so sorry. I don’t want it to end like this. I want to travel the world with you, get our pet Beagle and call it bagel. I want all those things. I’m sorry.
Jasmine washes her bowl and goes to their room. She places the letter on the bed and gets out her suitcase. She packs. She makes a phone call. She leaves.
Jasmine woke up on her floor. She had fallen from her bed in the night. She crawled to the shower and pushed the leaver up. She sat fully clothed in the steaming water. She placed her hands on her head, slowly pressing the areas where the aches began. Her skin glowed red from the hot water. She stood slowly, walked to the draw in the bathroom cabinet and pulled out half of a used joint. She found her lighter near a candle, each step leaving puddles of water on the floor. She lights it and inhales deeply before going back to sit in the shower.
‘Fuck.’ She whispers. ‘Just fuck.’ She peels off her wet clothes and lies on the shower floor, letting the hot water flow over her bare flesh. Her mind cloudy and thoughts scattered.
All photos are my own, from my travels and adventures.