A Very Short Love Story

A black hole, looking like an endless glacier crevice, swallowed both of us


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A Very Short Love Story
by Azarin Sadegh
31-May-2009
 

“I don’t feel your arm anymore,” my coworker shouted. “Please! Don’t move. You’re killing me.”

It was so cold that every one of his breaths made a frozen cloud in the air, but still his forehead looked so damp, and his eyes, so big. What if he really was tired? What if he could no longer hold on to me? Something moist dropped on my hair but it wasn’t a snowflake.

I hate men who sweat, I thought. “Don’t scream,” I whispered back. Didn’t he know that his loud voice could've caused an avalanche? But, people don’t have any control over the way they panic; the same way they can’t stop their sweats.

I couldn’t remember whose idea it was to hike in this remote place, in March. Walking with a man I didn’t really know. Didn't Dad always tell me to give people a chance? Any stranger could be the man of your life, he always said.

I hate you Dad, I thought, and hated my whole life, solely depending on this particular stranger.

Just a few hours ago, we were talking so calmly about the African rituals of death and my only worry was about his bizarre accent, until the ground under our feet opened up and a black hole, looking like an endless glacier crevice, swallowed both of us. Then, I couldn’t think about anything other than that void, while I was rolling and turning, trying to grab to anything I could find. Thank God, at least I found his fingers, right before he got stuck, and me too.

Was I bleeding? I didn’t care. Tucked in ice and fresh slushy snow, my lone thought was about dying without ever knowing true love.

“Don’t move,” he shouted again. “It hurts my arm.”

“If I don’t move, I will freeze,” I answered with agony. But, the heat of my body was melting the ice around me. It was my heartbeats, my warm skin, my last signs of life that was going to kill me.

I was disconcerted; even worse, I didn’t have anyone else to blame. It wasn’t really my father’s fault. I had left his house a long time ago. I couldn’t even blame this poor guy, whose name I had forgotten. I've never been good with names, not even good with faces. I used to forget everyone, and everyone used to forget me.

The man was sobbing like a widow, but crying like a boy. “It’s falling,” he said.

Was he talking about his shoes or maybe his mobile? Whatever it was, it was too rigid. It hit my nose and tongue and chin and disappeared somewhere beyond my reach.

“No,” he screamed with despair. Then, his pants were falling down.

His skin was too white, and his belly, too plump, but it didn’t matter anymore. I could feel the ice under my feet thawing. I could hear the cracks. The cold hint of a fall brushed my boots like a gentle breeze.

I haven’t been very lucky in life, I thought. But my coworker’s fate was even worse than mine. His arm was stuck between two rocks and my weight was pulling him down. His shoulder was going to be torn from its socket. His legs hanging in the air, like a man condemned to death. And his best part, the other arm, his only free arm, was entangled in mine. I was only stuck in the melting ice, and the nature – wide and grandiose like the mouth of God – beneath me.

The view, impeccable.

“You need to focus miss,” he said.

Did he call me miss?

He was blushing. Rambling. His face, all red. “Sorry miss, but when I’m nervous I forget people’s names,” he said embarrassingly.

I looked at him, and stopped pretending to be offended by his forgetfulness. “Don’t worry. I’ve forgotten yours too also.”

Something trembled around my waist. The ice shivered and I slipped deeper. The snow moved up to my chest. My still arm looked like a dead tree, freezing, and my coworker’s fingers were stuck to my last living ends. I didn’t know who was holding who. I didn’t know how this position would even exist.

Not even if I were a painter, I could have drawn such a precarious predicament.

“My name is Alfred,” he whispered. “Alfred McGregore, the Third.”

A good day for humanity. There wouldn’t be a fourth idiot like you, I thought. “I am Allison Lucky, the First,” I said and smiled. My lips, frozen.

“I don’t feel my arm,” he said with much anxiety.

I dangled my legs like being in a dance. Imitating him. He pressed my hand like caressing it. “It’s OK if you want to move. I don’t want you to freeze,” he said, and smiled at me, before murmuring words. It sounded like a melody, from my childhood, that my Dad and Mom used to dance to it.

“It’s my favorite song,” he said with a soft voice to comfort me.

I was speechless.

He stared at me and I stared back at him, singing.

The hell with avalanches. “It’s my Winter song, my all time favorite,” I screamed with joy, while he panted with regret, or maybe just pain.

Before my efforts could close my lips, the thunder broke and the earth swung. The sun sat under my feet and the moon shone over my head. My mouth was still wide open, while the rushing snow flew inside, and the breeze shook my voice.

It was winter, going down my throat like a little love song.


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more from Azarin Sadegh
 
Anahid Hojjati

Stories in "Strange Pilgrims" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez are dark

by Anahid Hojjati on

I have to say that I am one of those that sometimes wishes Azarin would write an story that is not dark.  However, that is one style of writing and some great writers use this style too. Few months ago, I read many stories of the collection of short stories by Gabriel Marquez, collection titled "Strange Pilgrims" and I remember that I was surprised how drak they were.  Google it and you will find summary of some stories and you will see for yourself, how dark they are.  So Azarin's style has a place.  It is just some of us like to be entertained and equate being entertained with becoming happy.  I know I avoid many dark movies but I cannot say that they are not good movies.  So I suggest; to myself too, that in judging Azarin's work, we do not focus on the aspect of it being dark but the quality of the work. Then we have done our job as critics. 


Azarin Sadegh

Oh my goodness Solo jan!

by Azarin Sadegh on

My dear Solo,

I never felt upset or anything by your comment...NOT AT ALL! I found your feedback very kind, but constructive, helpful and to the point! I was even delighted that one of the best writers of Iranian.com (it means you) has read my work!! So please don’t feel bad about anything my dear!

Actually, since I’ve been taking regularly creative writing/novel classes since summer 2006, so I'm used to receive severe critics from my teachers or my classmates...But, to be honest, my family members (sister, hubby) have hurt the most my ego! Plus,  I have rarely received any mean comment on Iranian.com! I suspect that JJ is acting like my angel guardian!

As I wrote in my previous comment, today even myself, I don't see the humor in this story. But I've accepted that I'm not fit to write comedy! Even if in the real life, I don't stop laughing from the bottom of my heart, still as soon as I start writing my mood changes and the sun disappears and the world I create in my mind has nothing left to laugh about...and it is a real handicap!

Thanks again, Azarin

 


Flying Solo

Critique

by Flying Solo on

  Azarin Jan,

Critique of a work of art is as important as praising it. 

I enjoy having my writing taken apart and often it has received severe criticism on this very site, in public and in private email. The immediate blow to the ego is 'ouch' but then one stands back and takes the message for what it is. And then one takes the next step forward.

I am sorry if what I said upset you in any way.  I happen to think the genre you have chosen has great potential and it needs more meat. And I for one do not see humor in the macabre until decades have gone by but I accept that others may.

 


Azarin Sadegh

Thanks to all of you!

by Azarin Sadegh on

First of all, I have to thank all of you for reading this dark story and for giving me your feedback that I find priceless!

As Solo says (and she's absolutely right), maybe all writers wouldn't enjoy being sarcastic, but I'm pretty sure that all of them love getting feedback about their work.  At the same time, they're afraid of being judged. (It is like going on a roller coaster ride, but being naked too!)   

As my dear Irandokht has reminded me, when I wrote this story a few weeks ago, and sent it to her and jj, I thought it was a very funny story! (But it was like 3 AM and you know what does it mean..:-) But reading it the next day, I knew it wasn' funny...

Actually I think I have to confess here! I feel this hidden jealousy;  In my wildest dreams, I want to be one of the personalities of MPD! Funny like him...because sometimes the darkness scares me too. I've always been scared of the dark.

But each time I've tried to write about love, it happens! On the next day (after sending my story to JJ and Irandokht) I read it again, and I realized that it wasn't funny at all. and it should be how I see love. This is how i see love, at least when i'm down...:-)

You're right...nothing's funny about it.

 But I don't think I have a choice. I have accepted that I can't be MPD, to make people laugh...and it is one of my many failures! Thanks again to all of you! Love you all (after reading your kind words today, I'm not down at all!!) Azarin

Flying Solo

.

by Flying Solo on

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Jahanshah Javid

Excellent

by Jahanshah Javid on

Great imagination. A sign of a good writer is the ability to go to the darkest of places and explore our deepest fears.


Multiple Personality Disorder

Makes me shiver will chill

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

...just thinking about it  :O)


IRANdokht

My dearest Azarin

by IRANdokht on

I just read the story again and then the comments and I remembered the first time I read it too... remember? You told me it was a comedy  :o)

The imagery is powerful to the point that the reader can feel the brutal cold and the numbing and the freezing, etc.  but the love... I couldn't feel. Needless to say that the comical aspect of it was practically lost on me.

It's ok, there are plenty of people who can write "funny", or love stories and there is nothing wrong with that either. I think Q just improved on his satire writing too and he's doing good. 

Your style is unique and I have learned not to expect the same kind of warm, fuzzy feeling from your stories than I can get from some others, but that doesn't mean that they're not as enjoyable to read (or maybe even more attractive!).   

This story is a very well-written piece. This is your style and that's the beauty of it!

IRANdokht


Azarin Sadegh

So true...:-)

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Fish here,

Thank you for your kind words! I'm so sorry... I didn't mean to make you sad!

Writing is a very unpredictable process. Actually, when I started writing this story, I didn't plan to write a story to make people sad!  But not only in this case, but each time I start writing, I deviate from my original plans and get to some conclusion which is surprising, even for myself! Still, this unpredictability is what I love about writing…

Yes! I agree with you dear Fish! It is dark, even very dark! But it is not despaerate! Even in this terrible situation, the characters fall in love. In my experience, it is the reason of falling in love for many couples...These people are not going to fall and to die,  but they probably are going to kill each other...(ok, just kidding!)

I think you should never trust the titles of stories my dear! Most writers enjoy being sarcastic!

Thanks again for your insightful feedback! Azarin

 


Fish Here

Dark again

by Fish Here on

I came to read a love story, and it made me sad again to read another one of your stories, Ms. Sadegh. I am curious to know why there is so much darkness and despair in all of your writings? You are obviously a very gifted writer and your stories read smoothly all the way to the last word. But why so macabre? With all due respect, there is never any hope in your stories and that makes me sad.


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