Title: And the hands of fate keep swinging back and forth
The clock turns seven and the incessant ringing of the alarm doesn’t stop until you pull its plug from the socket. You rub the grit from your eyes as you prop yourself against the wall before willing yourself to get off the bed and walk over to the calendar stuck to the wall at the opposite side of the room. You’re hoping (like yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the days before yesterday’s yesterday) that time’s finally moved on, but there’s a sense of déjà vu lingering in the back of your mind that only turns to dread then hopelessness when you see that the date is exactly the same as yesterday and the past sixteen days before it.
You go back to your bed, tired and exhausted all of a sudden, and fall into it, sprawling all over the mattress.
You already know how the day is going to play out: in a few more minutes, he will call for you yelling that breakfast is ready. When you go downstairs, he'll be standing by the kitchen counter as he waits for his slice of bread to finish toasting while he reads the newspaper. And from there, you’ll be looking for ways, anything and everything, that will stop him from going through the front door and never to return again.
Then as if on cue, you hear him shout your name and it's time to start Day Eighteen.
As expected, you find him in the kitchen still in his pajamas with his hair all mussed up. At the sound of your feet softly padding on the floor, he looks up from the paper he’s holding and smiles at you, all warm and bright. He closes and places it down beside him, and grabs a mug of freshly brewed coffee, pressing a light kiss to your cheek before handing over the steaming, hot drink to you. He takes your hand and pulls you to the table in the centre of the room, talking about everything and nothing.
He pulls the chair out for you before hurrying over to the toaster where the faint scent of burnt bread wafts towards you. You allow yourself to forget the sense of urgency nagging at you at the edges of your mind, and to simply wallow in the comfort that comes from the mundaneness and familiarity of all this. So for the second time since you’ve started repeating this (horrible, wonderful) day, you question yourself if you really want to escape this endless loop.
Stuck in your thoughts, you don’t notice he’s back until he slides into the chair in front of you with a sheepish look on his face and a plate of something that resembles slices of charcoal that he places on the table in between you both. He gives you an embarrassed sort of grin, apologizing for burning the toast again and promises to make up for it next time like always. He reaches for one and takes a bite into it, his face scrunching up because of the bitterness- it’s an expression that looks adorable on him, you think. It’s something you’d like to keep seeing. Then you decide that yes, yes you want to escape this never-ending dream (nightmare) just so you can experience the lives you were supposed to live together (because you’re tired of spinning lifetimes of “what if’s”, “what could be’s” and “what should be’s”).
The day goes on and finally, there’s that cold, lurching sensation at the pit of your stomach that seems to appear always at this moment right before he leaves. It keeps you in your place, trying to prevent you from doing something- anything that might be able to stop him from turning around and opening the door. You open your mouth and say (don’t go, don’t leave, you’re going to die) your goodbyes as if you’re merely delivering your lines in a play of sorts. But in your mind, you’re screaming and crying, calling for him to stop and stay. You know that if he goes now, he’ll be gone forever, and you’ll be forced to go through this day once more (and maybe even for eternity till you get things right).
Then he waves at you, smiling. His hand is turning the knob slowly as if someone has pressed the slow-mo button. The door clicks and he swings it open, and you’re still standing there, waving your hand back at him as you send him off (to his death). You’ve missed your chance and he’s gone.
The clock turns seven and the alarm doesn’t stop until you pull the plug from its socket. Minutes later while you lie in bed, sprawled all over the soft mattress, as if on cue, you hear him shout your name and it’s time to start Day Nineteen.