Playing Stories — Chapter 30: Wuthering Heights

Chapter 30: Wuthering Heights
from the 1978 album “The Kick Inside” by Kate Bush
posted at 23:18, 18 June 2019


How could you leave me when I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.

There once was a young man named Thomas. He was born with amazing powers, and he could go anywhere he wanted in the world, whenever he wanted. But he was never happy. He always looked around him, and saw that everybody had partners of their own, and he would get very, very jealous of them. And he would go home and sit on his bed, and he would wonder why he never managed to find anyone to share it with. And because of this, Thomas was always miserable, but he would never tell anybody about this, oh no! He was scared of being marked, and he was scared that people would laugh at him. We all know how it’s bad to laugh at people, don’t we boys and girls? And yet we like doing it.

So Thomas worked for the government, which was a very shady institution. He was a very hard worker and all his bosses talked about promoting him, and he chose to believe them. Our story begins when he went to a whole new office the other day. He had just been promoted to a new position, and with the new position came a shiny, new office, one with windows that sparkled when the sun came through. Unfortunately, Thomas was not very good at finding his way around, and he often got lost. One day, when he was trying to find his new boss’ office, he walked through the wrong door. When he realized where he was, he couldn’t believe his eyes!

“Hi,” said the woman at the far end of the room.

“Hello,” said Thomas. “Is Damian in?”

“He’s just talking with intelligence, he’ll be around in ten minutes. Do you have something for him?” She looked at him with her emerald eyes: Thomas had never seen anyone with eyes that sparkled like this before. But before he could say anything, she added “oh, so it’s the Singapore briefs is it? Well then, you might like to sit down for a sec, he’ll be round shortly.”

She smiled at him, her eyes crinkling together under her mane of long blond hair. Thomas felt his heart beat faster.

“Thanks a lot, Ms…?” He smiled nervously.


The next eighteen months were a very happy time for Thomas and Layla. They did a lot of things together: they travelled, they cooked, and they took Greek classes together. Over time, they discovered that there were many things they both liked: Layla liked the tips of the ice-cream cones and finishing other people’s sentences for them, and so did Thomas: they often fought for the last bite of the cone — oh, the tricks they played to get that last one! And they had a lot of sex, too — they had so much sex in public! They had it at the station, on a stairway, in each others’ houses. They even did it in a toilet in a shopping mall once — they were discovered, of course, but they made a run for it, laughing and screaming while the security guards ran after them, shouting “stop!”. Can you imagine doing that, boys and girls? Of course you can’t.

But Thomas couldn’t stop himself from wondering. He thought that he was not doing enough: he was not good enough in pleasing his girlfriend, he was not making her happy. And although she told him that everything was fine, he did not believe it. Layla knew what he was thinking. He was always scared of that. He became inseparable from Layla, he wanted to go everywhere she went. She was the only person he wanted to care for. And so he became unhappy.

I wonder what happened next? Well, children, here is Layla and Thomas in their apartment. But they don’t seem to be talking to each other! Maybe they’re just tired, or maybe Thomas has said something awful. Maybe Layla has read it from his mind! Can you think of reasons why they look this unhappy? Wait, shh… it looks like Layla is about to say something. Let’s listen…

“I can’t do this anymore,” she says. “I know that we used to have a lot of fun together, but we can’t keep these things from each other… I know how much it hurts you, Tom…”

Oh dear. It seems that Layla and Thomas have had an argument. They speak slowly, a few words at a time — we do that a lot too, children, don’t we? When we’re upset, when we don’t know what to do. And Thomas certainly doesn’t know what to do. Look: Thomas is now crying. “I thought you wanted this,” he said. “I wanted to be honest with you.” But Layla isn’t replying: she’s getting up, walking to the door. “Layla?” he says. The door clicks softly back shut again.

It was a very long time before Thomas stopped crying. And after he stopped crying, he became angry. Do you feel angry sometimes? Like when something that makes you happy gets stolen from you? You get very mad, don’t you? Well, Thomas felt just like that, but a thousand times worse. How could she leave him when he had spent so much time with her? How dare she waste so many years of his life? They would have made the perfect couple, he was sure of it. She just didn’t want to accept it. But when they saw each other at work, she walked past him so quickly. She didn’t even say hi to him! Why would she even do that?

It was getting unbearable for Thomas. They would have made the perfect couple, and yet she was throwing it all away. You don’t just pretend that twenty-one months of love mean nothing to you. He complained to his friends, but they couldn’t help him. “You’ll find someone better,” they said. “You’re just not meant to be with mind-readers.” But that wasn’t true, they didn’t understand him. They were so close to each other, they knew each other’s minds and hearts. How could they have gotten it so wrong? He hated himself for screwing it up, and he hated her for leaving so suddenly. And can you guess what Thomas did because of this? Nothing. He simply sat in his apartment for so many nights, looking at the photos of the really special time they’d had together. He was very sad and gloomy.

Wait a minute: there’s a ring at the doorbell. Who could that be? Let’s go with Thomas and find out… it’s Layla, standing at his doorstep.

He hugs her immediately — a hug that looks so intense, so suffocating — but she gently pats him on the shoulder instead. “Thomas. I’m only here to get my things back.”

“Why didn’t you talk to me before? Do you have any idea how worried I was… why did you leave?” Thomas has so many questions he wants to ask. He feels like she’s just pulled out a dagger and stabbed him right in the heart. He wants to know everything, he wants to hold on to her forever. Can you imagine a Layla-shaped hole in your heart? He doesn’t want to feel that hole ever again.

Layla is moving along the room. What was that that Thomas had just said? She stops, and turns around. She grabs a chair sitting in the middle of the room, and she sits down. “Thomas, look… I know you miss all this. I know you miss the time we had together, the things we did. But seriously… I thought it over in the past couple of weeks. We really don’t deserve each other — we’d be happier if we weren’t together.”

“Wait… what? Why?”

She sighs, huddles her knees close to herself. “Over the past couple months, I’d noticed that we were getting quite close together? Like I know that you feel like you’re not enough, like you want me to help you out on that and everything.”

“And I want to help you back! Cause we know each other so well, we can help each other through them, that’s what love is…”

“Thomas, listen. I can’t do that for you. I’ve got problems myself — in fact, you know we’re so alike, I have so many of the same problems as you do. And I… I just can’t do that, okay? I can’t. I look at you and I see myself, all the little things I can’t stand, and I know that you do the same for yourself. And maybe we love each other only because we think we know each other. But seriously — what else have we done? Do we just love the mirror image of ourselves? We’d hate each other if we were together for much longer. We’d just keep on seeing each other’s faults, and we’d hate ourselves for it, and we’d be miserable.”

Thomas opens his mouth to say something else, but she’s on a roll. “I know you think that that’s impossible, that we won’t do that kind of thing. But we’ve already started doing that — you stick to me because you feel that only I can save you. I can’t, so you just cling to me tighter. So do I. And I don’t know why I do it, and seeing us just trying to get out of our own grooves because the other person thinks we’re not enough is just…” She shakes her head. “I don’t want to.”

Thomas doesn’t even know what to say. It sounds like sense but he just doesn’t know if it’s bullshit — do you think it’s bullshit, boys and girls? It doesn’t matter. She’s gone for good anyway.

She gives him a hug. He doesn’t move — of course he doesn’t move. It only feels like somebody’s drawing a noose around his arms, around his torso, and he doesn’t know what to do. She stares at him with tears in her emerald eyes. “Well… bye then. Thanks for everything. I’ll see myself out.” She picks up the things at her feet silently, closes the door behind her for the last time. And then — oh dear — Thomas is crying his eyes out. He’s walking around the room, smashing stuff, throwing his own things onto the ground, kicking everywhere. It’s not a pretty sight. Let’s come back in half an hour, shall we?

He’s picking up his phone, and he’s calling somebody. “Charlie, I’m sorry about this… I can’t make it on the 12th, I’ve got something to do during that time… yeah, I’m off to France to do a couple of things for work. Sure. You all have a great time, I’ll come round again next time.” He puts down the phone, and pulls out a map. I wonder where that place is? Nobody uses paper maps anymore, do they…

So what have we learnt today? Well, if there’s a moral for this story, children, it’s that perfect matches don’t exist. Or if they do, they usually have a catch — and don’t ever think that it’s your partner’s responsibility to save you. They just want someone to be there. They don’t need extra homework when they’re in love. Got that, boys and girls? Good. That’s the end of this story. And may God bless and keep us all. Especially you, Thomas.

AAAAGGGHHHHH I’m sorry if it’s a bit rushed, I had literally no idea what style to play with and I just wanted. We haven’t done anything good in the past couple of weeks, what’s happening to us?! I just want a good story…

Yeah sure. Friday? You’ll need to come over though, I can’t get away from the lighthouse, especially on Midsummer’s Day…


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