Mamihlapinatapai, a story by Keshia L. Nowden
Leo (a very deep, stimulating baritone comes through the phone): Hello?
Letitia (breathless at the sound of Leo’s voice): Hey, Blue Eyes.
Leo: Oh, Brown Sugar, how I’ve missed you. Keeping out of trouble?
Letitia: When have I NOT?
Leo (laughing as though she could see him slightly blushing): Good question. You’ve been a good girl for your Big Daddy at least?
Letitia: Kinda hard when you’re not around, but then again, you’re always hard when I’m around.
Leo: You can say that again.
Letitia: Come back to visit. I’ll say it and show it to you again.
Leo: You really know how to get a man going, don’t you?
Letitia: It doesn’t take much with you. (Both laugh and sigh)
Leo: I wish you could come to Halifax, even for a weekend. I’d show you around, maybe go out, do a little sightseeing, some dinner and dancing.
Letitia: We’d probably never make it past the bedroom door. Not that you’d let me.
Leo: True…we can find lots to do, in and out of bed. (Lets out a little devilish laugh, to which Letitia lets out a little squeal on the phone)
Letitia: How’s filming going? Are you about done shooting the new season?
Leo: Two more days, and then back home to misery.
Letitia: You can always correct that.
Leo: It’s not as easy as you’d think…..
Letitia: But it’s so much easier to tell a woman you’re in love with how difficult it is to leave a woman you don’t love anymore?
Leo: I want to tell her I don’t love her. My daughters are why I stay.
Letitia: Don’t use your children as a shield like that. You stay because you’re afraid.
Letitia: When you were here with me, I can count the number of times she texted you asking where you were. You lied to her. You told her you were filming a movie.
Leo: Well, technically I was. I made a detour to see you. You had no complaints, if memory serves.
Letitia: Why do you let someone else dictate your happiness? You say you’re miserable but yet she controls you. You can’t even sneeze without her permission!
Leo (voice getting slightly agitated): How could you know what we’ve been through? It is more complicated than just leaving.
Letitia: You’re right. I don’t know. But if you were truly happy with her, you wouldn’t need to be with me again. The choice would be simple. She’d be the only one you’d be with all the time. She’d be your first, last and only thought on your mind. She’d make you smile, even when you didn’t want to. Your heart would soar every time you see her. You and her would be one.
Leo: That’s how I feel with you. When we’re together, it feels right, and safe. I know you don’t believe me, but I am safe around you. There are days when I am sitting in my office, writing a scene, and then, all of a sudden, I stop. I can’t write anything; you invade my thoughts constantly. I can feel you in every part of my body (Leo’s baritone starts to crack, but stifles it), possessed by you. I can’t bear to think about you NOT being in my life.
Letitia (intuitively sensing Leo’s sincerity): I’ve been avoiding that thought about you for the last four years. I can still feel your arms, your warm face, your soft lips all over me, the way you make me laugh when you screw up the English language, or bring me to tears with your tender words. These are all things I had been wanting for a long time, and I found it with you. The problem is, I’ve loved so hard with you, it becomes too much to bear at times. I can’t keep crying, yearning, being angry about not having you.
Leo: So what are you saying?
Letitia (pauses for a second before saying the word): Mamihlapinatapai.
Leo: What the hell is that?
Letitia: It’s the way we look at each other whenever we’re together. No words, just desire. A deep knowing that we want to be as one. Neither one of us can do anything about it, though. We’ll just keep doing this chaotic tango until one or both of us become exhausted.
Leo (his baritone softens): I’ll never grow tired of dancing with you.
Letitia (with a little melancholy in her voice): I know you won’t, but I’m tired of this tango. I’d rather dance by myself.
Copyright © 2016 by Keshia L. Nowden
Image by Jans-Hendrick Caspers is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
My flash fiction “The State of Being Alive” was given honorable mention in the Cracked Flash Fiction Contest, http://crackedflash.blogspot.com/2016/07/year-2-week-3-results.html.
My second flash fic entry, “Bleed,” received first place a few weeks later in the same flash fic contest: http://crackedflash.blogspot.com/2016/08/cracked-flash-year-2-week-6.html.
My poem, “Fuck-Up” was featured as one of WildSound Festival Review’s“Best New Poetry From All Over The World,” and was selected for a live poetry reading:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0DnO12Yp6w(actual reading of poem)
Here’s to endless excuses to produce more mind-numbingly boring pieces of work!