Worse Than Being Alone. Short Story.

Sorry this is up so late! I didn’t sleep very well last night at all, my brains fuzzy and all over the place, so this one is quite short!

On with the show!


They were having an argument again. Not that that was surprising. It happened a lot lately. Not that it was his fault. He could never do anything right. No matter what it was, there was a problem. The dishes weren’t done right, there will still spots here and there, cleaning was never right. That’s not where those books go, that’s not where we keep the magazines. Always little things, stupid little things that no one but her could ever notice. No matter what he says he can never head it off, never stem the never-ending shouting. They aren’t stains, they’re part of the plate, they were always there. That’s where you told me to put the magazines the last time. He didn’t really know why he stayed. Maybe it was just because he was used to it. He lied to himself most days. He didn’t know why he stayed, that’s what he told himself, but he knew. He didn’t want to be alone. It frightened him. He didn’t think he’d find anyone else and being in a bad relationship was better than being in no relationship at all. It was bad, but it wasn’t unbearable. Not really. There were good times still. They weren’t that frequent, but frequent enough to convince him to stay. She always apologised to him, not for each individual argument, but she always tried to do something nice to make up for it. He snapped back to attention, trying to figure out what part of the argument they reached. Was it time for him to apologise again? It probably was. It was always his turn to apologise. She was looking at him funny, her face pale, eyes wide. There was something strange too. A sharp pain, but it was dulled now, throbbing. He looked down, a knife handle stuck out from his shirt. He looked at it, then poked it. It went through his shirt too, he liked that shirt. He tugged it and felt something moving inside. It wasn’t just through the shirt, it was going through him. She was screaming something, he didn’t know what. He couldn’t take his eyes off the knife handle. He gripped it, then pulled. The pain flared again, then there was heat, wet, sticky heat flowing down his side. He looked at the knife, then at her. He placed the knife down on the counter gently then sat down in the chair. There was something you were supposed to do in this situation, what was it? She was no help at all, screaming down the phone. He blocked out her voice, trying to think. He placed his hand over the wound, trying to stem the blood.

Her face filled his vision, large, so very large, mouth moving, words. Words that meant nothing. She was crying. Why was she crying? He was the one that was injured. He felt dizzy, sick. Her face started to fade, it wasn’t too bad. It couldn’t be too bad.

He woke up a few hours later in the hospital, she was by his bedside, his hand gripped in hers. “I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t mean it.” He smiled at her, voice faint, weak, “I know honey. I forgive you.”

There was nothing worse than being alone.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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