With a palm full of stars
I throw them like dice
Until the desired constellation appears
And I ask myself:

How am I going to make it right?

2669 - B

In the early hours, when he is still asleep, she begins counting the tiny black and white tiles plastered to the ceiling of their flat. Some have fallen, some are covered by a layer of dust, and some are not tiles, but cockroaches in disguise. By 143 he has kissed her neck, by 206 he has tied his shoes and lit a cigarette, and by 262 he's always gone. She knows that the smell of coffee will dissipate by 329 and that if she can bother getting out of bed to call her worried mom, or even just go to the damn bathroom, he will be back by 2338.

If she counts slowly.


Sometimes she wonders if by living here with him she's wasting away the best years of her life. Years she could have spent at college in order to get a better job and buy a house, a real house without tiled ceilings.

"When are you going to take up writing again?" he asked her once as she examined the threadbare sheets, a beer bottle in her left hand.

"When are you going to stop being such an ass?" she replied, and the house was silent for 74 tiles. That night she slept facing the wall, and he never brought it up again.

She is 19 years old.


"Every black tile is a reason I love him. Every white tile is a reason we will never end up happily ever after"

She writes this on the back of a napkin and tapes it to the wall. Afterwards she watches a documentary on the Milky Way, because revolving balls of gaseous heat and the infinitesimal reaches of frigid space, these things calm her.


When he kisses her, she thinks Earth might sort of be ok.

[Taped to the fridge.]

2,669 - B
2,668 - W


It is at night when he is running his thumbs over that secret dip in her clavicle that he is most contemplative.

"Do you love me?" he asks.

She runs her knuckles against his forearm and wonders about the galaxy that may or may not exist between them.

"There are 5,337 tiles," she finally answers.

"I know." He pauses. "Sometimes I count them."

She kisses him.

Planets fall apart.

Short story by Inked.
Read 1123 times
Written on 2006-04-06 at 21:22

Tags Tiles  Galaxy  2669 

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Zoya Zaidi
Beautiful! No, doesn't quite convey it!
Excellent! Falls short of a clich!
I will just say: "It is hell of a nice story!"
Just add the last 1670th tile to it for luck, on the ceiling up above the rest and make it red for passion!

(((Hugs my talented little friend))))
Love, xxx, Zoya

My favorite was always Jupiter. It's so out-there, just screaming, "Come look at me in all my flaming glory!" But then... it's all just gas and fire and it suffocates you. It is one of those things like tornados that are beautiful and terrible.

I think you can fix this. Really.

But my favorite part of this whole thing... he½s. I know there's some deeper subliminal thing there.