Homecoming

Posted: June 21, 2010 by leftsock in fiction

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Left was rescued from the darkness after two long months of solitary confinement. He emerged a shadow of his former self, worn thin by the strains of imprisonment.

“How’d it go?” the cleaner joked as Left was on his way out. “Any priests down there? You look a little… holey.”

He wanted to be angry but his whole body was limp, beaten. Like a hand puppet emptied of his stuffing, all that remained was a mockery of his former self, of who he’d used to be, when he’d been with her.

Her. Right. He’d taken to calling her that, because she’d always been convinced of her rightness. When they’d been together he’d been sure, too. Now he didn’t know anymore. Two months of darkness had unpicked the binding keeping them together and he’d been forced to come to terms with his own lonely identity. The process hadn’t been pleasant yet now that he’d found the edges to himself he was afraid of losing them again. But he loved her. Where else could he go but home?

Home. Drawer Mansions, 2nd floor. He’d lived there for as long as he could remember. But he’d never had to make his own way there, always managing to get a ride from the shirts. This time Left was kicked and buffeted by the passer-bys until he stopped outside the white lacquered wood of his apartment block. One of the doors had been left open a crack and he slipped through there and made his way to the dorm.

Inside it was dark and quiet, rows and rows of couples nestled together, sleeping. He looked up and down but couldn’t see anyone lying alone. She couldn’t have found another already, could she? It wasn’t possible. Maybe she was hidden in a corner somewhere.

“Hello?”

The pair nearest to him raised their heads and examined him curiously. They twisted to look behind him, and Left realized what they were looking for. Right.

“Hello,” they said finally, a little wary. Of course. Nothing was more dangerous than someone single, especially someone accosting a couple. Relationships had been broken up that way before.

He hastened to reassure them. “I’m looking for my wife. I’ve lost her.”

“Oh no!” The couple looked at each other, snuggling together even tighter.

Left fought to hide his scowl. “Have you seen her? She’s about my height, slimly built…?”

The girl frowned. “Do you think he means her?”

“That girl who was here for a while? The odd one out?”

“Yes! That’s exactly whom I was thinking of!”

They smiled at each other. “We’re so similar!” It made Left want to strangle them.

“Well?” Left asked, impatient.

“Has she–?” the couple asked each other. They nodded, turned to Left. “She’s gone, never came back. We think she works at The Lap now.”

He didn’t wait to ask why she’d be in such a seedy bar of businessmen and strippers. He didn’t even thank the couple, annoyed by their perfect contentedness. Left raced out of Drawer Mansions and caught the first slipper to The Lap.

Left had forgotten the bar was invitation-only. He managed to sneak it by hiding with another group, squeezing in right behind them. Once inside, he stayed near the corner and scoped his surroundings. Right in the middle of the room were the Twins — he recognized them from his childhood, both looking as sleek and sharp as ever. They’d already gotten some poor oddball in their sharp claws and were in the process of bending her into a new shape. He shuddered, turned away, wanting to intervene but knowing they’d just rip him a new one. He couldn’t interfere. Not now. Not with Right missing.

Left looked around, anxious. He hadn’t seen Right in so long. He could barely remember what she looked like, was worried that during all the time alone they’d have grown apart. But no–they’d been too close for that, they’d known each other too well. He could already imagine their reunion, the way she’d feel in his arms, soft and lemon-scented. He edged away from the corner, looked and looked.

And there she was! And she was… she was wrapped around another guy. Canoodling in the corner with a guy three times her height. What was she thinking? Left was her match! She was his! They had been made for each other! He turned away in knots, only to come face-to-face with a sultry stocking.

“Hey handsome,” she said, pouting at him through the sheer layer of black gauze. “Do you like your weaves smooth?” She flicked the lace ends of her dress at him but Left backed away. “What? Not tempted? They say I fit like a glove….”

But he didn’t want a perfect fit. He wanted the girl who was Right. But it seemed she didn’t exist any more.

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