Toilet Paper Tears
A short story
Bree sat at the kitchen counter, wine in hand, stripping off two sheets from the accompanying toilet roll every 20 seconds. She had run out of tissues in the midst of her streaming tears.
How could he have left her? The man she has loved for seven years. George. A happy-go-lucky kind of guy, a teacher, a hopeless romantic.
Shirley Bassey crooned through the adjacent living room, selling out her aching heart. Did she really know what love is? Would she want to after hearing Bree’s story?
Then her mobile buzzed, shivering awake on the counter. Bree didn’t feel like rushing over to turn off Shirley, so she collected her glass, ripped off two sheets of toilet tissue, and took the buzzing phone to the balcony. She already knew it was him. Noone else ever calls after 8 o’clock.
The calm outside was too loud for her shattered emotions, too quiet for her to feel happy. She dropped the wine glass on the chair and moved over to the railing, answering the phone. Her tears were too much, so she pursed her lips as she brought the phone to her ear.
“Don’t call me that,” Bree said.
“I’m sorry,” he replied, a low mumble. She could almost imagine him tilting his head. But no, she cannot care. She must know why.
“How could you do this?”
“I needed to.”
Needed to? It’s not like she’s got the plague! Nothing has ever changed much over the past three years.
Bree caught her breath while squinting her eyes over the surrounding suburb. She lifted the two sheets of 3-ply, awaiting the flow.
“I…” George wavered. “I don’t… Love you anymore.”
Her heart skipped as a lone tear trickled down her shivering cheek. The toilet tissue absorbed it, catching a new form of waste it was not usually used to.
She removed the phone from her ear and looked at the screen. The word ‘Lover’ shone in bold letters. With no regret, Bree pressed the red button.
She just couldn’t do it anymore.