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Unsent Letter: Original Fic

Author: Bitterfig
Title: Unsent Letter
Fandom: Original
Summary: Clara met Matt when they were both working as cashiers at an upscale supermarket in Chicago.
Beta Reader: Fedink
Word Count: 1131
Contains: Het, angst, mentions of alcohol abuse, sexuality.
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Any illegal acts taking place within that fiction are NOT condoned by the author. Depictions of any questionable, illegal, or potentially illegal activity in said fiction does not mean that I condone, promote, support, participate in, or approve of said activity. I grasp the distinction between fiction and reality and trust that readers will do the same.

Unsent Letter

Clara met Matt when they were both working as cashiers at an upscale supermarket in Chicago. The first two things she found out about them were that he did stand-up and that he was working towards a master’s degree in math. Having no sense of humor and being functionally illiterate when it came to numbers Clara was immediately attracted to him.

Matt wasn’t a pretty boy. He was Mexican on his mother’s side, Anglo on his father’s, short and solidly built, slightly cross-eyed. He wore 50’s nerd glasses and wore his dark hair short and spiky. He wore simple studs in each ear and had a tattoo on his arm that consisted of three dots which formed an off-kilter triangle.

He was also twenty-five whereas Clara was thirty-six.

Clara nursed her attraction to Matt for over a year, during which time he was promoted to her supervisor. That was no surprise. People generally passed her by as Clara stood still or moved painfully slowly. After a year she decided to make her move with Matt. Said move consisted of standing very close to him in the cash-up office. He seemed to like it well enough so in an uncharacteristic burst of aggression she e-mailed him asking if they might go out.

As it turned out, Matt had just started seeing someone else.

That should have been that, but Clara had never been good at letting go. The more she found out about Matt the more interested she was. Especially when she found out that he used to be fat.

Clara had been fat herself. She’d weighed 270 pounds when she was a freshman in college. Four years later, after graduating, she lost more than half her weight. Since then, day to day, she’d fought a desperate battle to stay thin. Knowing that Matt had gone through something similar made her feel close to him, tender towards him.

He didn’t seem to mind her. They even went out for drinks a couple times before Matt left the supermarket to work full time on a second master’s degree in literature. Things had ended between he and his girlfriend by now, that gave Clara an odd sort of hope even though he was gone.

Gone, but still in the same city, and Clara managed to keep tabs on him through his roommate Hugh, who worked at the supermarket. Hugh was an actor, magnetic and outgoing. He could flirt and joke with anyone, even Clara. Sometimes he teased her about her interest in Matt, telling her she could do better, that she could find someone taller. Sometimes he told her more seriously that it wouldn’t work out, that Matt was a boy and she needed a man.

Matt’s boyishness, like his math, was part of his charm for Clara. She admired his bravado and cockiness because it was something beyond her fathoming. She loved his sarcastic sense of humor and the pranks he had always played on customers, telling them their cell phones interfered with a non-existent pacemaker, slipping double-entendres into routine conversation. She liked his ambition, his numerous degrees and academic success. Clara herself was floundering, frequently sick, always alone, barely holding onto her cashier job.

The spring she was thirty-seven, Clara decided to leave Chicago to go back to her parents’ in Upstate New York. She started drinking in earnest that summer as she made preparations, a bottle of wine a day instead of a few drinks every month. She thought it improved her disposition greatly.

She saw Matt a few times during this period. He was seeing someone, finishing his second master’s degree and teaching math. Wine drunk she felt closer to him than ever and further away. Right before Clara left Chicago, Matt came to her going away party with his age appropriate girlfriend. Clara moved away. That was that. They’d never even kissed.

Still, Clara kept an eye on him, through friends, through the internet.

She found out he was thinking of moving to Los Angeles to get a doctorate. She saw pictures of him and his age appropriate girlfriend at his twenty-seventh birthday party. By now she’d stopped drinking. Alcohol had become another of the many things she wanted but could not have.

Someone posted a picture of Matt on the internet. In it he was eighteen and very fat, puffy faced and wide bodied, so different from the birthday party pictures.

Seeing it, Clara felt an incredibly strong kinship to Matt. For days she had an almost overwhelming urge to be with him, to take him on her lap like a little boy, to feel his spiky hair against her cheek, to kiss him tenderly, to make love to him.

She dreamed about Matt.

In her dream she was back in college and fat herself. She was so repulsive to most people that all her roommates moved out of the dorm room they shared and left her all alone. So she drank (even though in real life she had been sober for several months). Her sister came to visit her in the empty dorm room and seeing that Clara was drunk called the hospital to come and get her.

Clara snuck out the back door and went to Hugh and Matt’s room. They were in their bunk beds watching porn on television. Matt pulled back his sheet and Clara got into bed with him. Running her hand down his hairy chest and stomach, she found that he was hard. His cock was long and thin and she was able to swallow it down into her throat. Swallow him.

She was disturbed by the dream. Clara wasn’t delusional; she knew Matt didn’t want her. She knew her fantasies and dreams and even the kinship she felt to him didn’t really have much to do with the person he was yet they felt so real, so strong.

In a magazine, Clara read about Rose, the sister of playwright Tennessee Williams, and how she had been lobotomized in part because of her vivid and overwhelming sexual fantasies. She wondered if it wouldn’t be better that way, to simply no longer think the things she thought, to no longer create false hopes or one-sided passions, to no longer have fantasies that could never be fulfilled.

Either way, she was glad Matt didn’t need her, that there was a girl he wanted who could appreciate him in his adorableness, hold him in her lap and make love to him, crawl into his bed and suck his cock without sucking his soul away. Someone real, who he really wanted. Knowing he had that, Clara could look at the picture of Matt as he had been without being sad.

She wrote him a letter that said all these things.

She never sent it.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
I like how your story really isn't about Matt at all; it's about Clara. Your choice of narration style was interesting: it seemed simplistic--like a "this happened, then that happened" journal--but it was far from simplistic as it delved into Clara's psyche.

"...suck his cock without sucking his soul away..." Not only did that make me laugh--kinda has a badda-boom badda-bing ring to it--it also was succinct at expressing something deep: Clara's neediness and her ability to learn to deal with it herself.

Edited at 2010-07-29 10:17 pm (UTC)
Jul. 31st, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading this and commenting. I'm really pleased to know you got something out of it.
Jul. 29th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
Powerful stuff. It says so much about desires and dreams. I think there's a part in each of us that sometimes believes that we've "gone too far" with our desires, that we're abnormal for thinking what we think and feeling how we feel. And it's refreshing to see that validated in print.

Refreshing too, that the ending isn't with the two of them getting together, but Clara's acceptance of herself and also her acceptance of the idea that they could never be together.
Jul. 31st, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm really glad you enjoyed the story. It's fairly autobiographical, so having Matt and Clara end up together in the end really wasn't an option.
Jul. 30th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
This story has kind of a power to it, helped in part by the simplistic-style used to tell it. It doesn't waste words in needless things, it gets right down to the point. Also because it very much rings true: people have desires that they're ashamed of in real life.

I like at the end that Clara writes a letter explaining her feelings, but doesn't send it. Since she didn't send it, she can go back to that letter and not have to be ashamed of what she feels. You kind of hope that Clara finds the same kind of love that Matt has at the end.

Edited at 2010-07-30 02:19 am (UTC)
Jul. 31st, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm really glad to know you got something out of this story.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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