It was not the first time Nadia invited me to The House of Balloons, but who knew it would be my last?
The Night was an upcoming druggy and erotic singer from our home town in Toronto. Everyone adored him and his mysterious dark persona. The thing was, no one had ever seen his face. For a singer who bragged and boasted about all the broads wrapped around his fingers—ring finger in fact—no one had came across him. He was nothing more than a faceless voice in the dark.
Not for Nadia though, ever since the first weekend of September when she got to roam his sanctuary, the drug-fueled house, wherever it sat, that The Night himself owned. I remember how she had slung open my door that Sunday morning telling me of the mysteries that occupied what everyone called The House of Balloons. She had whispered little grim details like the way the walls would kick like a woman's belly during her sixth month of pregnancy, the way the blinds didn't work, and the clocks just pushed back time.
It was as if she were completely in an unbreakable trance, as if it left her in a state of traumatization. A good one—well, if that existed.
It was a cold and windy night when I finally gave into her pathetic pleas, telling me I would never want to go home and they all, well, loved each other there. There were no secrets, no lies, and most importantly no tears.
You couldn't go home, once you were upon those stone-chipped borders. It was in all honesty a haunting perspective that left me digging my broken nails into my tender peeling skin. Once the doors had opened, I felt my vulnerability crawling out of my skin. The ceiling was covered in Neon lights and the walls were covered in the handprints of sin-filled girls and the tears of girls who confided in the men who did nothing but get high off Shakespeare lines.
I remember the smoke that snatched my breath and the kisses from zombie-like men stamped onto my broken palms. I stepped into the room that was shrouded in balloons covering the faces of those whose voices pierced my eardrums. I could hear the whimpering of the self-obsessed girls who felt like they were too much, and behind the walls, I could hear the screams of those whose souls were lost in between the surfaces. I stepped onto the broken shards of glass and let the lifestyle of a broken identity seep through the skin of my worn feet.
“Kimberly,” a soft voice whispered.
I turned to face a single red balloon floating in the air. I noticed the girls that were once dancing amongst the smoke stood in a single file line against each wall, their eyes a cloudy, lifeless grey. “What’s going on?” The red balloon popped, its scream echoing across the room. A serene voice started to hum making her weak.
“I wanna go home,” she whispered.
“Oh Kimberly, didn't Nadia tell you?”
“This is your home.”
Author Notes: This short story is a Spin off to my upcoming book Trilogy which is based off Toronto singer The Weekend. House of Balloons title is also the name of The Weeknds first mixtape which I was truly inspired to write about.