The Speech

She was here. I could smell her thoughts from miles away. Despite her ghastly apparition, everything about her was violently astonishing. Her white eyelashes almost reaching her eyebrows, her hair falling onto her face, her pale skin becoming more invisible with every glance, she was the type of person you would cut your ear out for. I looked at the painting. Red, I thought, this could use a little more blood. “What are you doing here?” she questioned. “Oh,” I stammered, I hadn’t heard her coming in. “Y’know, just painting,” I held up my brush while saying. “That is too much blood for a painting,” she smiled. I shook my head “Maybe.” I was asked to perform a speech at the gala tomorrow. I had to prepare a speech first. I raised my head in curiosity, “Are you coming to the gala?” She shook her head, “Maybe.” And then she was gone. In the blink of an eye, she was nowhere to be seen. I checked the clock. I had been alone in my apartment for 56 hours, 23 minutes, and 12 seconds. Maybe it was time to get out.

I washed my face and opened the door in order to leave. “Where are you going?” she asked. I turned around to see her staring at me. What was going on? A minute ago, I was almost certain that this woman was a product of my imagination. Now, she was standing in front of me, clear as day. “A-are you real?” I questioned, stammering. She laughed, “Obviously. You’ve known me for 5 years now.” she paused, “Are you alright? Did you hit your head somewhere?” She inquired, this time worried. “But… you were gone,” I said, almost like I was accusing her of not being real. “I was trying to see how you’d react. And this was definitely not what I expected. Are you sure you’re okay?” She said, taking a step toward me. “I think I need some fresh air” I muttered just before I shut the door closed and ran out of the building.

Opening my eyes to a homeless guy staring at me, I had no idea how I ended up falling asleep on this bench. My mind suddenly became overwhelmed with thoughts and memories. The first thing that I thought of was “speech” while I tried to put my thoughts in order. I had to prepare a speech. I rushed back to my apartment in a hurry. When I got there, I couldn’t find her. I searched for my phone so I could call her, only to come across an unread message from her saying “I can’t do this anymore.”

I had spent the whole day trying to reach her when I got a call saying I had to be at the gala in an hour. I quickly got dressed and took a cab to the museum. I greeted people with a genuine smile, trying to hide the sadness and confusion as much as possible. It was a huge gala, with a lot of things to do and a lot of people to talk to, but as I stood there amid the crowd, all I could do was stare at the wall and think of what to say when it was my turn to speak. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice everybody looking at me. It was time for my speech. I inhaled deeply and took the podium to give my speech, accompanied by applause. I was just about to start talking when I saw her in the crowd. Her pale skin became harder to see and her white eyes sparkled. She turned around and started to run. I had to go after her. I left the stage and parted the crowd as I chased her. Suddenly, she disappeared. I looked around to see everybody staring at me. I sank to the ground in horror as I became aware of the truth. My sanity had fleeted away a long time ago. Now, I had to deal with the reality. The reality was me trapped in a museum with so many people staring at me. No, the reality was terrifying and I didn’t want to live in it. I got up from the ground and continued following her as she was running out of the museum, across the street…

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