Love was a complete mystery, and Hate couldn’t get enough. Perched on the edge of their heart-shaped bed, he watched with fascination as she slept. Her charcoal hair lay across her face, a strand rising and falling with each breath. Hate reached forward with a small hand, but stopped inches from Love’s face. If he moved her hair, the disturbance might wake her and Love didn’t like it when he woke her up. In fact, Love didn’t like anything Hate did, but rather than be deterred by her attitude, it only made him more determined to please her. Humming, he walked over to the window and pushed it open, letting the morning sunshine and birdsong fill the room.
“Shut those birds up, will you?” Love grumbled, still half asleep. Turning over, she nestled deeper into the red velvet sheets.
“Ah, morning, Love. Did you sleep well?” Hate asked, as a small blue bird landed on his outstretched hand. He whistled softly and the bird responded with a musical whistle of its own. Everyone liked Hate, even the animals. Giggling, he said, “Look how cute this bird is, Love. Almost as cute as you.”
Love groaned. Did he have to be so happy all the time? It didn’t matter how badly she treated him, how many names she called him or how often she kicked him, he still adored her. His whole existence irritated her. Rather than respond to him, she pulled the covers over her head and ignored him.
“What shall we do today, Love?” The thick bedding muffled Hate’s cheerful voice, but it still made her want to vomit. She needed to get rid of him. A hot new guy had arrived in town and Love had big plans for him.
“Anything that doesn’t involve me having to look at your face,” she sniped, throwing the covers on to the floor. Sitting up, she looked at him with disgust, but he didn’t notice. He never did, and the more he desired her, the more she despised him.
Flicking her hair, Love walked over to the full-length mirror in the corner of their bedroom and began thinking of the things she had in store for Dream, the young man who would be keeping her company this afternoon.
Unaware of her plans to betray him, Hate admired Love’s beauty and thought, not for the first time, how lucky he was to have her.
“How about I make your favourite kebabs for tea?” he asked, skipping toward her. “Although, I will have to go out of town to get some more skewers. The last one we had bent when you tried to stab me in the leg with it, remember?”
Love couldn’t keep the smile off her face. Her lips parted in triumph because Hate would be away from the house all day and her eyes sparkled with nostalgia as she remembered how good trying to stab the idiot in the leg had felt. Of course, Hate misinterpreted them both.
“There we go. I knew the thought of kebabs would make you happy.” He leaned forward and planted a kiss on Love’s cheek, not registering her shudder of revulsion. “I’ll get going right away. See you later, my Love.”
Left alone, Love retrieved her mobile phone from the bedside table and sent Dream a text message. Humming to herself, she began to prepare herself for his arrival.
Less than two hours later, Hate was on his way back home. He’d been out of town to buy a brand new set of kebab skewers, but his visit to the supermarket had been cut short by Poseidon who’d flooded the entire shop because of an unexpected item in the bagging area. He didn’t like letting Love down, but Poseidon’s temper was well known around town and Hate knew she’d understand.
Love, otherwise engaged with her young Dream, didn’t hear Hate’s key turning in the lock of the front door or the sound of his footsteps as he made his way up the stairs to their bedroom. In fact, Love only became aware of his presence in the room when Dream’s sweat-soaked body was lifted off her own.
“You bitch!” Hate’s voice sounded nothing like his own. It was filled with a pain Love had never encountered before. She barely noticed as Dream scuttled out of the open bedroom door, grabbing his clothes as he went.
She covered herself with one of the red velvet sheets. “Hate, I’m sorry. Let me explain,” she wailed, getting up to go to him. The remorse she felt confused her and the tears pouring from Hate’s pale eyes hurt her in a way she didn’t understand. When he turned his back on her, it broke her heart. She moved toward him on legs which weren’t quite steady and her hand trembled as she raised it to his shaking shoulders. Before her hand reached him, Hate turned toward her and the look in his eyes burned right through to her soul. It was the last thing Love would ever see. A searing pain ripped through her face and the sickly copper taste of blood filled her mouth as she bit into her tongue. The world went dark and she struggled to stay on her feet. Hearing the front door slam hard enough to shake the frame, Love understood what Hate had done. Consumed with rage at catching her in bed with Dream, he’d stabbed her in the eyes with the skewers he had so lovingly purchased for her. Her screams filled the air, but there was no one there to hear them.
Now, Hate crushes the earth beneath his heavy feet and each footstep he takes leaves a crater where nothing will ever grow again. Since leaving Love behind, he no longer thinks coherently. He no longer sees the good in anything, he destroys indiscriminately and leaves nothing but pain and misery in his wake.
Love follows, always arriving too late. All she wants is to repair the misery she caused and heal Hate’s broken heart. She tries to make amends for the destruction he causes, but being blind she often makes things worse instead.
They are now destined to travel the Earth, always out of each other’s reach because Love and Hate cannot reside together in the same place.
My name’s Kim, I’m 35 and I work behind a bar. But, wait, books. I also
volunteer at a local charity shop. They have thousands of books and I have
kindly volunteered to be the official book sorter outer. So, I spend my days in
a room stacked with books of all ages, all shapes and sizes and all genres. The
best thing is, they all have a history, they all belonged to someone. It’s very