Spaghetti On the Fucking Floor

This is a short story I recently wrote. It is a love story. It’s about two people so destined to be together that they are willing to risk everything for it. I plan on submitting this to short story contests. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Benji and Octavia are characters from my novel, Strange Little Man. This is sort of the alternate reality where Benji and Octavia meet in the present and have baby Xander. This would mean that Xander is unable to fulfill his prophecy in 2386 and rule the destruction of the world. As we see, there is no way to stop the end of the world.

Spaghetti On the Fucking Floor

Jeremy Lahey

 

 

The sun set on a cold day in December. The rain had filled the streets with puddles as it continued to splash into to them. Christmas was soon approaching and the Christmas lights shined upon the puddles. Decorated trees could be seen in all the windows. People appeared cheerier this time of the year. This year, something chaotic happened on Christmas.

Octavia was a tall woman; some would say she was fierce. She had a confidence to be reckoned with. Octavia had long brunette hair that perfectly caressed her face. It brought out her beautiful features. Her blue eyes were always bright, almost glowing. People would often find themselves looking away from them after staring too long. They became intimidating. You could feel her soul through her eyes. Octavia was a smart and funny woman, but she was also a lonely woman.

Octavia married at the age of 18. She never had time to think about her choices. Her spontaneity made her a fun person, but it is also what got her stuck. Octavia’s husband joined the military soon after they married. He was forced to move around the country a lot and so too was Octavia. Eventually, Octavia found herself spending a lot of nights alone. Octavia needed attention, her husband was unable to give it to her. It wasn’t just his lack of being around that made her lonely, it was also his personality.

Octavia’s husband was very immature. On the rare occasions that he was home, he spent his time locked in his room playing video games. Octavia was so excited to see her husband, but he wasn’t excited to see her. That created a pain inside of her. She felt it, but tried to let it go. This would ultimately lead Octavia to a point were she couldn’t bear the pain. Octavia cared very much for her husband.

He was deployed for a year once and he came home to a surprise from Octavia. She had decorated the house for all the holidays that he had missed. He gave her no response. Octavia died a little on this day. For her to have put so much thought into something and for him to give no thought to it was too much. They moved to Indiana and Octavia despised this new location.

Octavia’s husband spent weeks on duty, leaving her alone with no one to give her the attention she craved so much. She knew she probably shouldn’t, but Octavia installed a dating app on her phone. On the apps, she could get the attention she longed for. She saw no harm in that. Most people on the dating apps only came for attention anyways. Everything was going fine until she met a man.

 

**************

            Benji met his wife when he was 17. He told her he loved her on day two. She was beautiful to him. They got engaged when he was 22. They married when he was 24. Eleanor became too comfortable and never allowed Benji to achieve his goals. Benji wanted kids, Eleanor did not. Benji enjoyed exploring the world, Eleanor did not. She always supported him in all his endeavors, but she was never really there through them. She was more of a cheerleader than a teammate.

It killed Benji everyday, knowing that he loved his wife so much, but couldn’t see a viable future of them two together. He knew that to be with her, he would have to forego his dreams of having children and moving to a new and better location. Benji wanted to walk the Appalachian trail, ride his bicycle across the country, and play his guitar in front of many different people. He knew that by staying with Eleanor, he would never reach those goals. If he did, he would be doing it alone. Not only could he not reach his goals, but he also felt like he was on a different page than Eleanor at all times.

Somewhere along the way, their stories went off in different directions, if it was even ever the same story at all. Spending 15 years with someone brings you together in more ways than just love. Their families were combined and their experiences with most of life was shared. To throw all that away would be devastating to the both of them. Benji began to be lonely more often than any many should.

Benji tried to get Eleanor to be everything he needed. He tried, but he failed. Benji used dating apps for a long time. He would use them for hook ups. Sex was Benji’s way of connecting with women he didn’t know. Since they were both only looking for sex, he could severe his ties immediately with them afterwards. This would keep Benji’s marriage intact while also satisfying his desires. Benji did this for pretty much his entire marriage.

Benji is a human, and not a psychopathic one. The constant cheating built up guilt that was becoming unbearable. He knew he couldn’t wreck Eleanor with his cheating, so he swore to never tell. He also knew it was unfair to Eleanor to stay with her, but continue being unfaithful. Benji was a coward in this regard. He couldn’t bring himself to leave Eleanor because he didn’t want to feel that pain.

Benji would often swear off cheating, but he always came back. On a cold December day, Benji cheated for the last time. He could have stopped using the apps. If he would have, December would have never happened. But, having no self control, Benji did continue to satisfy his desires. Benji soon found himself in over his head.

 

************

            It was November 25th, 2017. It was a Saturday. Benji was working a long 16 hour shift and Octavia was sitting at home feeling lonely. They both logged in to the dating app at the same time. Benji liked to mass message, where he would send almost every girl a short message. On November 25th, he sent Octavia a short message.

“Hi,” Benji messaged.

A few minutes went by. Benji didn’t think nothing of the message because he continued on his hunt. He would find a woman to talk to even if he searched all night. Benji got a notification on his app. Someone had messaged him.

Octavia saw the notification that she had a new message. She checked out his profile and decided she liked his psychical appearance. She decided she would see where it led.

“Hi, how are you?” Octavia responded.

The two exchanged messages for a while. Octavia said she was going through a divorce and Benji said he was single. They found out they had a lot in common. They talked for almost half a day. Benji had this weird obsession about birthdays, which might have been the sole reason the two connected so well.

 

“When is your birthday?” Benji asked.

“December 3rd,” Octavia responded.

“You’re fucking joking, right?” Benji responded.

“Nope, that’s my birthday,” Octavia said.

“Mine too,” Benji responded.

It was just a date, two different years even, but it made Benji and Octavia connect deeper than if they just liked the same music. From there, the conversation was easy. They flowed with each new sentence, one completing the others. No effort, no explaining what was meant. The connection was intense.

Benji went home to his wife and Octavia remained alone at her home. Benji deleted the app and forgot about the conversation with Octavia. This is what he did. If he got too close to someone, it could spell disaster for his marriage. Octavia continued to be lonely. She still used the app. Benji went through the week without thinking much about the intense conversation he had on Saturday. Benji worked a 16 hour shift and managed to not use a dating app. Sunday was his birthday. He worked 16 hours and felt intensely lonely. At 11pm he clocked out.

While driving, Benji read a message that Octavia had sent while his app was uninstalled. She seemed hurt. He remembered that she said she was going through a divorce. He only wanted fun and didn’t think someone going through so much pain deserved to be led on like that. So Benji messaged her back:

Octavia, you are an amazing woman. I am messaging you so that you know that you are a great person. The reason I stopped talking is because I am married and I never plan on leaving. Never forget how amazing you are,” Benji wrote.

Benji expected to never hear back from her. If he did hear back, he expected some sort of derogatory message calling him an asshole. What happened next in this long chain of events is the most important thing that could have happened. A shift in the universe. A shift in the entire being that was Benji and Octavia. Benji’s phone buzzed. Octavia had messaged back. He was a little nervous to read how angry she was.

What if I said that I am married too,” Octavia responded.

Benji’s heart began to race. It was not at all what he had expected. She was in the same situation. He could continue to talk to her and have that deep connection. Was it a good thing that she was in the same situation? He didn’t know. He was excited to message back.

Well, that changes things,” Benji responded.

After that exchange of messages, Benji and Octavia continued to talk everyday. Benji had to be creative in hiding the chat around his wife, Octavia didn’t because her husband was not home. The more the two talked, the more they fell for each other. Benji suggested they meet in person.

“I know you might be afraid to meet me, but we can meet in a public place,” Benji said.

“I would love to meet you,” Octavia replied.

“How about a park close to my house?” Benji asked.

“That works. I don’t have to be at work until 4pm,” Octavia said.

The date was set. The two would finally meet in a public park. Benji was still on the hunt for a hook up, but he was open to more ideas. The day finally came when the two met. It was at a park on the Southside of Indianapolis. It was cold and rainy.

Benji parked and waited. Octavia texted him to make sure she was going to the right place. She pulled up next to him and parked. The two were finally going to meet. Benji got out of his car. Octavia got out of hers. She was beautiful. The two had talked for weeks at this point, so it didn’t feel like they were meeting for the first time. They only put physical bodies to the voices that had soothed them. Benji grabbed Octavia’s hand and they walked through the park.

Benji was a very romantic person. Benji wanted to kiss Octavia. He also wanted to find a very romantic spot to do it at. They walked over a bridge. Benji told Octavia to follow him and to trust him. He noticed an opening in some trees. He guided her towards the woods. There was fallen trees and two squirrels playing. Benji stopped and turned to Octavia.

“Kiss me,” he said.

They embraced and kissed. Octavia’s lips were warm on Benji’s. They kissed for eternity and then they backed away. They stared into each other’s eyes. They felt a passion that they had never felt, not even in the beginnings with their spouses. It was intense. Benji was cold so he decided to walk back towards the cars.

“We can just hang out in my car if you would like. It is way too cold out and I can’t feel my hands,” Benji said.

“That sounds like a good idea. I’m cold too,” Octavia replied.

They both sat in Benji’s car. They made out for two hours. There was nothing in the world that could have distracted them. It was approaching 2pm and they both had to leave. It was hard for the both of them to let go of the other. Benji watched Octavia drive off.

Benji went home and showered. He washed all of his clothes. He couldn’t risk smelling like another female. His wife came home and he had to pretend he wasn’t falling in love with another woman. Time was becoming harder to find. Benji and Octavia would talk all hours of the day. They couldn’t get enough of each other.

The next time they met was at a bigger park. They walked a trail and talked about their entire lives. Octavia had recently bought a new camera and Benji helped her find things to photograph. He loved looking at her. She was beautiful at every angle. Octavia was a breath of fresh air for Benji, as was Benji to Octavia.

They met again at Octavia’s house. The passion became too intense and they started having sex on her couch. Surrounded by pictures of her husband and filled with guilt, Octavia asked Benji to stop. He did. She felt bad and thought she hurt Benji’s feelings, but Benji appreciated her ability to feel remorse. They kissed and Benji left. Octavia worked close to a small park on the North side of town. They met at this park.

Benji and Octavia made out for hours again. This time the passion rose to it’s peak. It was noon and daylight. Benji and Octavia had each other in the back of her car. Nothing had ever felt like that for either of them. It was that passion that hooked them. They couldn’t live without each other now, no matter the cost.

Octavia was planning their escape. It would be August of next year. They would run away and move to Tennessee. They both feared telling their spouses, but they feared living without each other more. On December 21st, Benji decided to take Octavia on a date that wasn’t in a park or in their car.

Benji took Octavia downtown. They went to a bar and had a beer together. Showing their I.D.’s, they both had a chuckle over the bartender’s reaction to them having the same birthdays. After the bar, Benji took Octavia on a walk around Indianapolis. They held each other’s hands and were very in love. They went to the canal and crossed over a bridge. They stopped in the middle and held each other.

“If we do this, this is the exact spot where I will propose to you,” Benji said.

They looked out at the calm cold water. The street light reflected off the water and made the two of them appear as though they glowed. Benji held Octavia against the rail as he grasped her back and kissed her lips. They needed to quickly get back to the park because Benji’s wife would soon be home.

Benji and Octavia arrived back to the park. Just another sneaky date. Both of them would be back in their spouse’s arms soon. Every once and a while, an event so large will occur, that you never really understand it’s reach until you are suffering the consequences. Benji was telling Octavia goodbye in her car when her phone rang. It was her husband.

“Where are you and who are you with?” Her husband asked.

“No one,” she responded.

He knew very well that was a lie. Benji tried to remain silent in the passenger seat. He even watched the loudness of his breathing. Were they caught? Was this the end of their relationship? The phone call was soon over.

“I don’t know what to do,” Octavia said.

“I don’t know what to say,” Benji replied.

“I will have to go home to Texas,” Octavia said.

Benji knew that her going home to Texas would be the end of what they had. He didn’t want that, but he also wasn’t ready to go all in. They sat in her car at the park and Benji waited for Octavia to come up with an idea.

“Are you ready now?” Octavia asked.

“Well. What about August? What about everything? There is no other option?” Benji asked.

“If we don’t do this now, I will have to go home. He will kick me out of his house,” Octavia said.

“I need some air,” Benji said.

Benji stood outside of her car smoking a cigarette. He thought about what it would mean if he did this now. How hurt Eleanor would be. How 15 years of being together would be gone in a flash. He thought about how much this stranger meant to him and how he wanted to feel like he did with her all the time. What was the difference between jumping now and waiting until August, Benji asked himself? The answer was nothing. There was no difference. If anything, waiting would put too much strain on them. They might not make it until August. Benji got back in the car.

“Fuck it,” Benji said.

“Fuck what? Octavia asked.

“Fuck it, let’s do this,” Benji said.

“Are you sure?” Octavia asked.

“Yes, I want you so bad. I am so scared, but you make me feel safe,” Benji responded.

They sat in the car and tried to figure out their great escape. Benji had no money that wasn’t connected to his wife’s account. Octavia did have some spare money on her credit card. They couldn’t stay at either of their houses for obvious reasons. They decided they would have to get a hotel room for the night. Octavia and Benji went to the gas station to withdraw money from the ATM. They came back out to their individual cars.

“Do you trust me?” Benji asked.

“Yes, I do,” Octavia replied.

“Then, follow me,” Benji said.

They got on the freeway and headed to a hotel. In the hotel they got on their phones and called their spouses. Eleanor didn’t take the news very well and tried to come to the hotel and force Benji out. Octavia’s husband was indifferent to it all. He had tracked their location, as did Eleanor. They dealt with breaking the news to their spouses. December 21st, the world ended. It would never be the same.

These two souls were in love. Once they made the jump into the cold water, the shock made it very clear that it was the right choice. After all, the water would not always be cold. It would soon warm up. When the frostbite recedes from their skin, they will know they are embraced with their soul mate. Each one made specifically for the other. From the start, they were in the exact same position, married and lonely. They were unsatisfied. Together they fulfill each others dreams. Sometimes the world must end for it to start again.

 

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