Sunday, June 27, 2010

Drabble: Tetrominoes

Warning: contains angst.


“Maybe it's the falling tetrominoes that represent my memories of you. I arrange them, rotate them by ninety degree units and if they land perfectly, watch them disappear as they hit the bottom of the screen. Just like how the waves dance till they hit land and vanish."

The young man frowned. "Your point being?"

The same two words—GAME OVER—that dominated the screen earlier flashed again, mocking her. "Do you remember the day when you said we were the same? We'll never be. You were empty, and in the end you said I was not. Now, the situation's reversed."

She paused for effect. "I'm empty now. I'm weightless because I refuse to keep memories."

"You speak in riddles," he interrupted. "I thought I made it clear that I have more important things to do."

"But refusing to keep them," she continued, as though she never heard him speak, "Doesn't necessarily mean forgetting them. I can't get out of my past. I'm through with it, but it's not through with me yet."

She slowly cupped the device in both hands and lifted it with care, as if it were something as delicate and precious as ancient china. Tetris would always be her favorite game.

"My memories, they're like the blocks. They come in different forms and shapes, sometimes more twisted. I toy with them in my head, feel them roam around and ram against each other while I wonder what I've done for them to hunt me like this. I see glimpses of explosions and blood, I feel the nauseating touch of every man that turned me into a living dead in exchange for money. I'm brought back to the days where I decided to enter the battlefield as a spy and cook for someone else while my sick siblings starve at home. I see your face."

"You're still playing with that?" he asked, pointedly looking at the electronic game, as though he never heard her speak.

It stung. Realizing that the unseen sluicegates had been removed and no real emotion poured felt like being slapped.

"The rules of this game are simple," she went on, sugarcoating the pain with a sneer. "Make the figures disappear when they fall and you'll stay alive and advance to the next level. That's what I do. I refuse to keep them, I detach myself from them—that's why I'm so weightless. But you see, when the perfect structure vanishes at the bottom, another batch of blocks will fall. The blocks are a part of the game. The waves are a part of the ocean. My memories are a part of me. It's an unending cycle."

He took three paces towards her. "You're selfish."

Like the words he let out cast a paralysis spell on her, she wasn't able to move when his hand went to tip her chin. She wasn't a bit astonished when he caught her mouth into his roughly; she expected it. Almost against her own volition, her arms went up to encircle his neck and she began to nip back, tasting him and all the things he gave life to by using his lips: the metallic taste of the flute's mouthpiece, the rusty tang of blood from the countless cuts it got, perhaps even the kisses of other women he'd spent and spending his nights with…

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