The Red Lipstick

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction

When I woke up, we were surrounded by water as far as I could see. You smiled at me.


I smiled and nodded my head as Hi!

I stretched a bit. You handed me a cup of tea and I thanked you for it. I looked around, there was a blue line separating the ocean and the sky. you were rowing, I looked at you a couple of times.

“You look so familiar to me I think I know you from somewhere,” I said. You smiled at me.

After a while, I whispered, “what a beautiful place”.

You stared at my eyes. I looked at you and I narrowed my eyes as if I was trying to multiply a couple of complicated numbers in my head.

“His eyes, oh my god his eyes. These eyes should have forced me to fall in love somewhere in the past! They look familiar to me” I thought to myself.

I looked at the surface of the water, it looked like it is raining but I didn’t feel wet at all. I couldn’t do it anymore, I asked, “Have we met before?”.

"We have seen each other at many places before!” you replied.

I don’t recall any other time feeling as embarrassed as I was feeling at the moment. You remembered me very well and I was looking at you like an idiot! All the folders in my mind were empty from you and now I was just wondering what the hell am I doing in the middle of nowhere with you!

You were rowing and you didn’t take your eyes off of me for a single second.

“You still always wear red lipstick?” you said.

I laughed and took out my pocket mirror and checked my lips. You smiled.

“you don’t remember me, right?”

I bite my lower lips and pressed my nails against my palm.

You said, “ “He said, “I’m so afraid’ and I say, “why?” and he said “because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening, I asked why, and he said, “They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you” ".

I replied immediately, “The kite runner, Khaled Hosseini”.

I smiled and suddenly the smile froze on my lips.

I was panting, I looked at your eyes fearfully. I was thrown back to years ago; it was during November that I entered the bookstore. You were standing by a bookshelf,

“Sorry, can you help me find a good book please?” I said.

“Have you read “the kite runner"?” you asked, and I replied, “no”.

you turned back and looked into my eyes; I have no idea for how long. But I felt that something inside me is melting and it's pouring on the floor of the bookstore, but I wasn’t able to do anything about it!

And then I imagined you sitting on a king’s throne with me lying down on the floor by your throne. I saw that you were holding my heart and just like now, that my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth, I couldn’t say a word. When I came out of the bookstore, I saw that you wrote a quote from the book on the first page,

“I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t”.

I remember kissing your handwriting on the first page.

I hadn’t finished the book yet that we were in love. When we looked at each other it seemed like the whole world is turned bright. I looked at you on the boat and I felt like I felt down from a tower with hundreds of floors. I couldn’t stand up to come to hug you, to cry as much as the ocean that we are in the middle of it right now for all these years that I didn’t have you.

I just said,” you look different, your beard is longer! You have gained some weight!”.

"Do you know how many years it has been?” You said.

“All these years, I was willing to give anything to see you one more time, am I dreaming?” I said and you said “no”.

My voice started shaking,

“But you… but you are d.. dea… “.

you pressed your finger against your lips and said, “Shushhhhh” and then you smiled.

I remembered that cursed day. We were sitting in a café drinking tea. You held my hand and read a part of the book for me,

“He said, “I’m so afraid’ and I say, “why?” and he said “because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening, I asked why, and he said, “They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you”

The world heard you the very same second.

I pressed my toes inside my shoes.

“Did I die today?” I asked.

you nodded “yes” and smiled.

I grabbed a sip of tea and I washed my hand in the water and put some water on the back of my neck. I started laughing like a Pscycho. I laid back a bit and then I felt like I’m swallowing something as big as a peach stone through my throat. I looked around, the blue line between the ocean and sky has now vanished as if it never existed there. I looked at my pocket mirror and took my red lipstick from my purse. I put some of the red liquid on my lips. Pressing my lips together. I looked at you and asked,

“So, what else is new?!”