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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 are chipped, some are covered by a layer of dust, and some are not tiles at all, but cockroaches in disguise. By 143 he has stretched his arms and 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 for once, or even just go to the damn bathroom, he will be back by 2338.

If she counts slowly.

--

Sometimes, late at night, when she has named all of the constellations she knows without the familiar sound of his second-hand car pulling into their garage, she likes to sit and ponder, with a bottle of Jack Daniels, where she went wrong. 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 job and buy a house, a real house without tiled ceilings. This is always as far as she gets in her musings, because she usually begins to cry, or sometimes she simply passes out on the stain-resistant carpeting only to wake up in their bed the next morning.

"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 stiffly, 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"</b>

She writes this on the back of a napkin with a cheap ballpoint pen and tapes it to the wall where she can see it. Afterwards she watches a documentary on the Milky Way, because contemplating revolving balls of gaseous heat and the infinitesimal reaches of frigid space makes her own problems seem so insignificant.

She wants to escape into the galaxy she is watching on the Discovery Channel. Her own planet’s gravity is pulling at the bags beneath her eyes, and her hands and feet feel heavier than normal, so that every movement is an effort. She is a statue. A marble girl.

She decides she will simply never move again, and the napkin flutters in a non-existent breeze, mocking her.

--

When he presses her up against the clean white walls and kisses her like he never plans on stopping, 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, his mouth muffled against the skin of her shoulder

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, “and 2,669 of them are black.”

"I know." He rolls them both over so that he is beneath her and she cannot see the tiled ceiling or the stars before pulling her down to whisper in her ear.

"Sometimes I count them."
Someone long ago gave me this title because I told them I liked numbers.

The truth is, I don't really like numbers, I'm just a pathological liar.

Most everything I write deals in numbers though. It's a love-hate thing.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2007-07-08
2669-B by ~Dibujando is an exploration into compulsions bought through yesterday's wasted dreams, and a love story that reminds us we are not always as alone as we feel. ( Suggested by WordCount and Featured by StJoan )
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2009  Student Photographer
Very impressive piece! :wow:
Reply
:iconcherrichan13:
cherrichan13 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Wow this is amazing. Great job. :clap:
Reply
:iconviento-solar:
viento-solar Featured By Owner May 9, 2009
Sorry to bother you with this. I looked for it in the FAQ and couldn't find anything. How did you include the picture?
PS: the text is marvelous.
Reply
:iconreminia:
Reminia Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Stunningly beautiful (: I will never ever regret reading this.
Reply
:icontxteclipse:
txteclipse Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Is this why you don't like even numbers?
Reply
:iconracherose:
racherose Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
FUCK YOU.
Stop stealing others work;
shit eaters like you make me sick.
Reply
:icondibujando:
Dibujando Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
no, this is my original account, haha. i post old work from it. i clarified in the journal entry on estallidos.
but i appreciate that you guys are so earnest about defending me.
thank you <3
Reply
:iconracherose:
racherose Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009
Oh, really?
Well, that's good.
I just hate it when I see people stealing your work.
It's happend too much already!
Reply
:iconcre-dia:
cre-dia Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
this is ~estallido's work, silly. she gave this link to show you the original posting on dA. the links below in her journal were of the plagiarisms.
Reply
:iconracherose:
racherose Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009
I was confused, I didn't
know that this account belongs
to estallido. I thought
someone had stolen her work again!
Reply
:iconcre-dia:
cre-dia Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
haha it's quite alright. :aww:
Reply
:iconracherose:
racherose Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009
:hug: Thank you for telling me.
Reply
:iconelphaba-thropp:
Elphaba-Thropp Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
Fuck you for plagiarizing estallidos' work.
Reply
:icondibujando:
Dibujando Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
no, this is my original account, haha. i post old work from it. i clarified in the journal entry on estallidos.
but i appreciate that you guys are so earnest about defending me.
thank you <3
Reply
:iconitsxmagik:
ItsxMagik Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
Pay a little more attention. This is *estallidos's old account. Stupid.
Reply
:iconlittopampam:
littopampam Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
:heart:
Reply
:iconlunahlove:
lunahlove Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wait shit forget I said anything
:]
I'm retarded rofl
Reply
:iconlunahlove:
lunahlove Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Isn't this from Estallido?
Is that also Estallido?
I fail hard
I don't knowwww
T^T
Reply
:iconohsostarryeyed:
ohsostarryeyed Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009
'and some are not tiles at all, but cockroaches in disguise'

that was lovely, you know. :heart:
Reply
:iconsocraticsynapses:
SocraticSynapses Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
this is brilliant
Reply
:icondevinjamie:
DevinJamie Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2008
I have an addiction, and it is your writing. Combined with a fair few others', but you're at the top of that list at the moment.
I feel extremely weird for said addiction. -__-

"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 with a cheap ballpoint pen and tapes it to the wall where she can see it. Afterwards she watches a documentary on the Milky Way, because contemplating revolving balls of gaseous heat and the infinitesimal reaches of frigid space makes her own problems seem so insignificant.


That is definitely my favourite section in the whole thing. Also definitely my favourite piece of literature I've read today.

It's kind of sad, however, that I can relate to it. But I think that that's part of the reason that I love it so much.
Reply
:iconxbittenx:
xbittenx Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2008
im 16 and part of me knows i'll end up like this.
Reply
:iconblodnasir:
Blodnasir Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008
No wonder I can't write, you got all the lyrical talent.
Reply
:iconelemenestra:
Elemenestra Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2008
I think that nothing that I could say can discrabe it's full beauty :aww: :love:
Reply
:iconashmadai:
Ashmadai Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2008
I like it...
uneven numbers!
But you know what? It doesn't matter...
It doesn't matter; if there was a single black tile on that ceiling...
I think that is enough...
One reason is all you need
Don't you agree?
Reply
:iconlpowell:
lpowell Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2008
Great story.
Reply
:iconcrashhooligan:
CrashHooligan Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2008
Hey Kelsey,

This is Amanda. You know, the love of your life. Anyway, holy shit, this is completely amazing, and now I love you even more.
Reply
:iconangerous:
Angerous Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008
Very good! I'm glad I took the time to read this, now I can't possibly say I wasted five minutes of my time. I'm also a big fan of the Discovery Channel.
Reply
:icontimeturner:
Timeturner Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
You know, I don't know when I first read this, if it was when it was DDed (back in July) or somehow before then. Reading it I realize that it must have influenced my favorite story of mine own, Marigold Covers... it must have, since i wrote that some two, three weeks after this was DDed.

Seeing the line "a layer of dust" in this was especially creepy.


So, thank you! Thank you so much =)
Reply
:iconael00:
ael00 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007
I remembered reading this on its dd day. Took some time to find it again though :)

I can't say anything much about it though. Its just perfect. Never ever change anything in it ^^;
Reply
:iconwindwater:
windwater Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
oh i lurf it
so sweet ^_^
Reply
:iconjaberwakii:
jaberwakii Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007
wow. that was............AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love how you were very out with what you were saying. how you didn't waste time or words. that's always hard for me to do. the imagery is beautiful. i love it!
Reply
:iconkildgeek:
KildGeek Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2007
That's beautiful. All different kinds of emotion are evoked from this piece. The ending is lovely.
Reply
:iconhobbitfreak:
hobbitfreak Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
Lovely work. Simply lovely.
Reply
:iconbrokenfriday:
brokenfriday Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
That was really, really good. Bittersweet is definitely the only word I can think of to describe it. But still, amazing. :D
Reply
:iconbloodyteardrop08:
bloodyteardrop08 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
I love this... It's sweet and kinda romantic and bittersweet and... Yeah I don't know. I guess I'll just :+fav: it and let that explain how much I like it for me.
Reply
:iconlilimist:
lilimist Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
I think this may be the first ever lit/poetry-related Daily Deviation not to suck puppy testicles. Memories of a former life floated to the surface for a moment while I read this. Sad and poignant. Well done.
Reply
:iconlaretourdemoi:
laretourdemoi Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
wow.
that's quite spectacular.
Reply
:iconevil-yuffie:
evil-yuffie Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
That is so beautiful, I loved it. She sounds like me with her number obsessions. Perhaps that's why I like it so much.
Reply
:iconmortismeridian:
MortisMeridian Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
This is beautifully written.
I love how the photo & the written word compliment each other.
And, obviously, I dig the whole #thing.

...Simply awesome :w00t:
Reply
:iconemelia1502:
emelia1502 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
This is just amazing. I've not been on deviantart long and this is the first thing I've ever read on here... It just leaves you in silence. I love the use of numbers.
Reply
:iconemfgrl:
emfgrl Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
WOW! this is sososo amazing o.o
Reply
:iconemfgrl:
emfgrl Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
WOW! this is sososo amazing o.o
Reply
:iconkaze-wind:
kaze-wind Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
for some reason I hate and love numbers too. though I care not to count the reasons. I love this though and I have many reasons.
Reply
:iconspanishrubi:
spanishrubi Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
Wow. Seriously fucking awesome. I am now in love with this piece.

-Mai
Reply
:iconangelsarefascists:
angelsarefascists Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Simply gorgeous.
Reply
:iconangelsarefascists:
angelsarefascists Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Simply gorgeous.
Reply
:iconruno-chan:
runo-chan Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
This is a really interesting concept; I love how the tiles are tied into the whole story. I have to fav this. It's one of those really, really good ideas.
Reply
:iconherzfrucht:
Herzfrucht Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
omg - this might be the most wonderful thing I ever read...
Reply
:icondebunkd:
Debunkd Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2007
This is so perfect. The ending surprised me and I loved it, I love everything about it. Great job!
Reply
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