Expressions

Dissociation: a short story

By DARRIUS ESTIGOY
Staff Writer

“Hey, are you feeling okay?”

In all honesty, I couldn’t tell if I was.

“I think so.”

“You look a bit out of it.”

A bit? It was more like a lot out of it. Everything just felt off, as though the fourth dimension had collapsed on itself and past intertwined with present.

Her face had maintained that concerned look countless times in the past. Except that she’d never shown me that look before. The expression was cemented into my mind like an unforgotten memory, a memory that I remember intimately despite never having encountered it before.

She gently manipulated the spoon on her plate, shoving kernels of corn out of the way. I mirrored the action with my utensils. The spoon felt weightless, the corn an illusion. I glared at the plate until it proved its mass. My eyes ran from this slight deception to the better delusion.

Her entire being was exactly as I thought it would be, occupying the same space as I was used to. The problem that persisted was this: there was no way she was in the same room as I was. She seemed too unreal, too firm in her existence to truly exist as she did at that specific point.

“I don’t know what’s going on. But could you come closer?”

“Sure, if it helps you out.”

She was there, my fingers ran through her hair. But she couldn’t have been. It was all too unreal to ever be real.

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