Thursday, 14 March 2019

Quarantine: Pheromone

Brian studied his drink, the bubbles, the air within the madness of everything he looked upon. They said that everything happened for a reason, which was so damn obvious, that it defied belief when a sensible person placed any worth in such a statement. You push a marble, it moves. You push someone away, which eventually means that you’ll be alone. Alone for the longest time.

He’d never committed any actual crimes but blood, nevertheless, was all over his hands. He’d never pulled the trigger but seen so many broken people that he didn't quite understand why he still stood in the morning. Maybe he was waiting for something to save him, or someone, or anything at all. His body, tired, his mind, exhausted, his heart, so very, very vacant and cold. He did feel, he wanted to feel, but the brief moments quickly fell away to the inner silence.

Drinking the last remaining booze he nodded, to the barman, asking for a refill. Glancing to his side, noticing the newcomers enter the bar, he returned his vacant gaze to the newly presented drink. Wallowing, faltering, he knew that it would be only a matter of time before one of the women in the room would notice him and, once again, the same circular path would present itself. He couldn't help himself, it was, literally, woven into his very DNA. He couldn't escape the events and even a part of him didn't want to do so.

He would run but knew that he wouldn't be able to hide. You could never, ever, escape yourself. Cause, effect, rhythm, the rhyme of his beating heart. He started to recall their names, the many reduced to the few moments of time that he could recall. So many names, so many faces, so many moments of passion, of supposed love and then, within a second, nothing. In another place, another moment, even if he were another person, he’d be over the moon and loving every second of his gift. This wasn't a gift. It was a curse.

“Can I ask you a question?” a voice asked from just behind him. He closed his eyes, for a second, realising that the circular issue, within him, was about to start again.
“If you like,” he replied, “ask away!” This was his other curse, the curse of always being polite, despite knowing that he realistically wanted to be cruel, brutally clear, with the people that never left him alone.

The woman sat on the stool, next to Brian, as he turned himself to face her. Each time, every single time, he always found something so beautiful about each woman that sat next to him. Be it their eyes, their smile, the soft lips or the flowing hair. He mesmerised himself with their feminine charms, their splendour of flirting, the curve of their back or the soft touch of their breasts. He adored women, loved them beyond compare and maybe more.  He was, after all the years of practise, very, very charming and yet, as was often the case, he said too little, said too much, or maybe even didn’t have a chance with any of them from the very start. The world turned itself upside down, as he embraced their lips and enjoyed everything they had. He also, at every single point in time, hated himself for the things he did.

He, within a moment’s thought, engraved her features into his mind. Long hair, piercing eyes, with lips that he knew would commit such sinful acts. For him. With him. He smiled, returning her smile, knowing that he could say, do, or be anything he liked as his curse already secured the next few hours. Or days. Or weeks. He should be married, with children, many children, but it simply wasn't meant to be. He wanted a normal life, a sensible life, to hold one hand forever, but everything happened for a reason.

She leaned in, kissing him, her soft lips embracing his. Brian’s felt his body become weak, her lips simply destroying any bravado built within him over the many, many years. He’d lived for over two hundred years. Two hundred lonely years despite never actually having to spend one night, or day, alone. Hurtful years. Vacant years, with moments such as this moment, never actually being part of his life for long. He nearly fell from the stool as his body responded to her kiss. A kiss was, as always, a kiss, but his curse meant that every single kiss felt the same, tasted the same, the very identical emotion being placed firmly behind the intention. Not all people, to him, were created equal. There were differences, within intentions, surrounding emotions. This kiss, this very moment, was unlike anything he’d experienced in his entire life.

As soon as the kiss started, it ended and, steadying himself, his lips remained open as his eyes softened at such an event taking place within his life, “That… wasn't a question!”
“My question to you,“ she replied with such a beautiful smile, her eyes glistening, “is how many people have you hurt?”
Brian, shocked by such a question, quickly realised the situation that he found himself. Placing a foot onto the wooden floor, he started to push the stool away, to stand, “Don’t,” she said, placing a hand onto his chest, “Sit down!”

Brian sat, realising that the others with her were watching. Too many for him to run from, or fight, which he could do, but maybe it was time to face that big question, ‘everything happened for a reason.’ Sitting, staying quiet, he just listened to her speak. “It took a long time to find you, as you've done nothing wrong, per se, but you know what you've done. To many, many women!  You have to stop.” Brian lowered his gaze, looking to the floor for rescue, lost, spiralling, not sure what to say. He’d learned a long time ago how to deal with nearly every single situation but this, right now, was brand new. That fish out of water, the words needing to be spoken, yet forgetting how to even spell. He, instead, looked at her and smiled the saddest smile, with such loss written across his face. He knew. He damn well knew what he’d done. From nowhere a question arose within his mind, “How…”

She interrupted the moment he spoke. Knowing. She knew his curse, the secret of things. Maybe even more. “Somehow you've triggered the latent vomeronasal organ in women. We don’t know how, but we understand that it shouldn't function, or even exist. But you do. You’re a walking cupid, or curse to women.”  Brian knew. He damn well knew. The longer he stayed in one place, the more he chipped away at any defences they’d created over the years. Instinct, that overriding natural response between the sexes. His words, his voice, the way he gave them attention, his touch, his bloody kisses, all eventually meant that they’d suffer the worst broken heart imaginable. He did care, he wanted to care, but he lived on and on. Leaving them behind. Always. The pain he felt simply vanished after a while. His pheromones being the cause of so much emotional damage. Standing, in any place, within a few metres of the opposite sex, drove them towards him. The curse. He’d tried to tell people, find solutions, with most laughing at the very notion of such a thing.

“What happens now?” he asked, with a small amount of fear within his voice. He had scars, he had mental wounds that could never be eased, healed or covered, but someone he knew that he had, at last, found someone that was beyond his pheromonal reach. He had hope, for some reason, of living a normal life. He wanted to age, he wanted to die, but before that day he simply wanted to be with someone that chose to be with him, not because of some curse, but because of a genuine need.
“What happens now is that you come with us. We have a place that can help. Brian, I’m Rebecca!”

Brian smiled through his guilt, knowing that she knew his name. Finally, after all the years, a weight had been lifted from his soul. His mind. Maybe even his heart. “Come on,” said Rebecca as they both stood. Nodding to the barman, they both walked towards the door and, as they neared the exit, another woman appeared to Brian’s side,
“Hey handsome, how about you come home with me tonight?”  Brian, usually, would accept but before he could say anything, Rebecca stepped between the both of them,
“Sister, you have no idea of what you’re getting into. He’ll break your heart into a thousand pieces and then walk away. Besides… ,” Sarah stopped, glancing at Brian, “He’s coming home with me tonight after being in Quarantine!”

Brian, looking confused, carried on walking as Rebecca grabbed his jacket, leading him outside. Whatever happened next, Brian knew, that it would all happen for a reason.

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