Short Story: The Lamps

Scholastics Award Winner: Honorable Mention in the Flash Fiction Category

Brina Crellin, Contributor '25

I’ve been here for six months now. In those six months, I’ve seen more than I would care to admit. However, there is one thing that I look forward to seeing every day: them. They were together even before I arrived, and you can see it. The way they look at each other, the way they talk about each other when the other half isn’t there. They make me believe in soulmates, but they’re not the only pair of soulmates in the house.

I live on one nightstand, the side that’s neat, always has an alarm set, and is overall, a very gentle side. My soulmate lives on the other. We’re separated by a king-sized bed, but we couldn’t be more different. It’s an absolute mess over there. Always having dishes, books, and random objects on it. I don’t know how she survives over there. I guess that’s what attracted me, though. We were both bought at the same time and have been through practically everything together. From the moment I saw her, I knew we were meant to be together. Which is why it was so hard to say goodbye.

I remember that night, full of screaming and shouting and crying. We didn’t know what was going to happen. We were both scared. That’s when they came storming into the bedroom.

“You did this to me! You ruined me,” one yells, tears streaming down her face.

“Then fine! If that’s what you think, you can get out,” the other yells back, pointing towards the door.

We’ve never seen them fight like this before. There’s a tangible tension in the room; we’re both scared.

“You want me to leave,” she whispers, tears still coming down her face. “Then I’ll leave.” And just like that, she walks out of the bedroom and we can hear the front door slamming.

The one still here, breaks down crying. She crumples to the floor, sobbing, yet making no noise. This is the end of the world we knew.

Days later, she comes back to pack up all her stuff. Her nightstand is one of the last things, probably because she didn’t want to clean up the mess. Better for me, because at least I get to say goodbye. Everything came as a shock, and we didn’t know what to say to each other. We’ve been together since day one, how are we supposed to continue on now?

That question was never answered. They left together, leaving us alone. We were stuck in a dark and cold apartment. The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. She gave up on being her normal tidy self. I slowly was dying inside. We were breaking down from the inside, out. I was never set for an alarm anymore. Most of the times, I was facing the wall, so she was unable to see how many hours went by of her lying in bed.

I gave up on the idea of soulmates, I lost mine. And slowly, months after the day she left, I gave up entirely. My brightness kept turning dimmer and dimmer. I wasn’t working properly, and I knew it was time for me to say goodbye myself. So, I did. I said goodbye to the only other one here who could feel my pain, facing a blank, white wall.