A short story about ants, you and I.
I am here to see you. I am late because I couldn’t find your grave. I could spot you in a crowd but not a crowd of dead people.
You: “How do you always know when I enter the room?”
“My heart tells me.”
“Your heart is an organ that pumps blood.”
“My heart is radar that beeps when you are around.”
I didn’t get you flowers. I know you hate them. Getting anything else didn’t make sense, so I just wore the lingerie you bought me on valentines under my clothes. I was fascinated with graveyards as a kid and my grandmother always said that Muslim women should not go to graveyards because dead people can see them naked. I want you to smile when you see through my clothes.
Grandma also says that sinners will have graves filled with snakes and ants.
You and me?
I don’t think so.
I stand at your side and see ants walking on your grave.
Being all over you, did the ants feel as elated as I always did?
Eeeee! An ant bites my foot. I’m sure it had munched on you for snacks, bad habits die hard.
Unless it bites my heart it won’t leave any life-threatening blemishes behind.
I was happily dancing at a wedding when you bumped into me. Happiness back then was not a figment of my imagination. Happiness was a burger with more cheese and more fries than what others got. I had no acquired tastes at that point; tastes that make sugar taste sour. I was clapping my hands when you held them for a second. My first heart beat!
The ant is crawling up my shin. I smile.
“I feel ants crawling all over me when you do that.”
“How do you know how it feels when ants crawl over you?”
“Imagine a thousand ants all over you; imagine all of them biting at the same time.”
Flick – The ant lands back on the ground and finds its way home. Is it as simple as that? I look closely at your grave. There are a dozen holes.
If I am not wrong there is an ant colony on your face, one near your right shoulder, another one on the left side of your chest. For these ants home is your arms, the nape of your neck, that muscular back, those taught abs, your groin, your legs and feet that I worshiped.
I no longer have an address.
“I can’t go home this late.”
“Home is where I am.”
The undertaker has seen me sitting here and is coming over. He is holding a bucket of water. I want to tell him to stop but before I can utter a sound he splashes water all over you. I sink to my knees. He looks at me, the madwoman, and leaves.
I put my nose over your feet and inhale.
Two days after that wedding we hugged under a tree. Breathing was never a natural process after that. It is hard to breathe without feeling that strange tickle of your perfume in my nostrils.
“You know what heaven would smell like?”
“Blasphemy! We will both rot in hell because of you.”
“I can rot anywhere with you.”
There is strange tickle in my nostrils. It is making it impossible for me to breathe. The smell of wet mud mixed with the decay is making me puke.
The sun is setting and I feel a chill run down my spine.
Just looking at the ants makes me hungry for you.
I walk towards your arms. Your grave has been basking in heat all day. The water is making it omit heat that I want to find comfort in.
“Why don’t you wear a jacket?”
“Why do I need jackets when I have you?”
“You might need them someday.”
“I will move to warmer regions.”
I put my arms around you. The light breeze sends shivers of cold down my spine. The heat from your grave doesn’t warm me up. I should have brought the jacket from my car.
The ants are crawling back up. I wonder if anyone of them has eaten a small piece of you for lunch. I loved biting into your flesh for meals. The tender hollow between your neck and shoulder bone tasted better than anything taste buds can get accustomed to.
Do the ants know this?
Just looking at the ants makes me hungry for you. You were always my happy meal.
My hand goes down on one ant.
Pick – observe – crush
Bitter sweet pain.
The two pieces of the ant resemble you and I.
I take my fingers holding you to my mouth.
You taste like an ant!
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and not necessarily of Vibes.