An unexpected closure.
It's been ten years. She had a sudden realization that it has been that long since she last saw him. If you don't count the occassional times when she checked his social media to see if he is still as happy as he claimed to be the time when he left her for a better life. She wondered how he's been. Not in a resentful way, but she genuinely cared to know.
She goes back to the top of the page that she had been reading, realizing that her eyes moved along the lines of the text but she took in nothing. She tried to not concentrate on her wandering mind, but she failed. She closed the book and placed it on her bedside table. Ten years of him not knowing what she had gone through since he decided to leave their love behind. She dreamed of him every other night, that's something that he will never know. She cried for him, pretending to be okay, bled for him, and almost thought of suicide. But those dramatic memories of pain are over, and now exist like a numbed scar. Still, she wondered if he remembered her fondly. All the mishaps and mistakes she made, were they forgiven? She was a child, unknowing of how she should give love. She was naive, but her only console was that she was true. She wondered if the memories they shared together were enough to sooth him in moments of distress. It they did, it would be enough.
It's almost midday and she hasn't had breakfast. She realized that there's no more milk so she gets dressed and heads out to get some. This distraction helped her forget about her longing thoughts for a little while. And her thoughts vanished with the clanking of keys as she stumbled to lock the door.
It's a sunny day. Winter is making her way into spring. What a beautiful life, she thought. Just as she turns the corner of the street, there he was, 15 meters away, heading towards her. He was looking down while he walked, with his hands in his pocket. She had so many questions. Why was he here? He's not supposed to be in the same country, let alone on the same street. Should she talk to him? Will he recognize her? Why is he alone? She slowed down her footsteps. She can't feel her knees. Then she completely stopped, and then for a second pretended to not see him when he looked her way. But her instincts betrayed her, she did a double take.
Their eyes locked. His eyebrows confirmed that he was just as confused as she is, but they quickly relaxed. She started slowly walking again. Maybe she doesn't have to be the one to decide. Maybe he doesn't want to talk to her and that's fine. She is fine with that. And it's not until he walked right past her without slowing down that she realized she was not. She felt his burning gaze as they brushed shoulders, almost certain that she is imagining it. She squized her eyes shut in that moment, and held her breath. But in a split second it was over. She let out a sigh and resumed her walking speed, letting this be another mystery that she will probably take another three years to figure out. She was prepared to give up. She was determined to.
"Claire?" He called from a distance not five steps behind her. And she realized he'd stopped completely right after he walked past her.
She turned around, a little more quickly than she'd liked. "Hey."
How should she react? What should she do? He is coming towards her now. She cannot escape this pull that he projects.
"Hey, I thought that was you."
"Hi." She repeated, giving herself some time to process this.
"I found you." Wait, he was looking for her?
"What?" She was still baffled.
"I'm sorry to show up without warning."
"What do you mean?"
"I have been here for 3 months. I knew you were here so I came searching for you. But I was too impulsive when I got on the plane and I didn't know what to say to you once I've found you, so I guess I didn't actually try very hard to find you." He blurted.
All this doesn't make any sense. Why would he be looking for her? Isn't he supposed to be happily married by now?
"Why are you here?" She finally started to ask one of the 300 questions she had in her mind, but the moment she asked it, she realized that she might have appeared too rude.
He seemed hesitant. He took a deep breath and said, "Should we sit down and have some coffee?"
She agreed. She was starving. And she wanted to hear his story. Her heart fluttered at this opportunity to learn about his life in the past decade. And she desperately pushed away the thought that he might actually still be in love with her. Why else would he travel half way across the world to see her? She tried to remain calm and polite, although deep down inside her it burns.
"Could I have a long black please," he said to the young waiter. She didn't remember he liked coffee.
"An omellete and a latte for me. Thanks." She said.
"Sure." The waiter picked up their menus and left.
"Still the same breakfast, huh?" His eyes glowed in the bright sunlight coming from the windows. She blushed.
"So, how are you?" She started again, as calmly as she could although her heart almost left her chest.
He smiled painfully. "I've been thinking...about you."
She didn't know what to say. "Why?"
He looked down for a second but immediately looked back up, almost as if he doesn't want to lose sight of her.
"You're as beautiful as the day I left you." He blurted again.
"Um, thank you, Al - Albert." She corrected herself. And for a moment she saw a hint of tear fog up his beautiful brown eyes.
"It's been 10 years, hasn't it?" He spoke her mind.
"Yes. It has." The memory of them sitting on the grass, gazing at the clouds passing by, filled her mind. On that faithful day, she did not realize that it would be their last. Although, she did feel a little strange. He was not truthful about what he was saying. She should have known, that perfection is delicate. She was not perfect enough for him. He had been sidetracked, by another lover, one younger and more beautiful. How could she ever stop to think that he would love her forever, unconditionally and untiringly?
The pause was so long but he knew she was reliving the painful memory, that same memory that he fabricated on that perfect sunny day.
"I'm sorry," he began, "about everything." And that was the moment she broke into tears for the first time in front of him.
A Timely Letter
You may not know me and this may seem so strange - but I care about you. I know you were once broken, and now you stand so strong. You put on a mask and a cape, and convinced others you're okay. You appear capable and indestructable. Yes, you are the conqueror of your past. But when was the last time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable? Has it been that long? I know courage is difficult. And people are too. Letting yourself trust others, and then letting them fail you, that takes courage. Because ignorance is so easy. Brushing off people who might hurt you takes nothing at all. But I will tell you this. I believe in you. I believe that you have the capacity to love again. No, but to love so deeply and completely that it hurts. But that pain is so small compared to the vast expansion of the universe that you will feel. But if you stop caring, you will lose pieces of your soul. And that is far too precious.
With love and patience,
Your future self
Heart racing and melting
All at the same time
His determination to give up on us
Glowed like the morning sun
He was ready, he could not wait another day
He could finally be free
Of my thick, endless love
I wonder how did I manage
In this screeching darkness
He is really going to leave me
For someone else in this world
This shall be the one last moment
I get to ask something of him
So I gathered my courage
And collected whatever's left of my soul
I've always done what I wanted
But too hastely so
This time it's harder, though
I rose up and sank
I whispered, stung by shame,
"Can I ask for one last kiss before I go?"
He stopped in his tracks
And pain filled his eyes
Annoyance? Regret? Embarrassment?
But he kissed me in a rush
And then he slowed
The burning sun has set
This is unmistakable
I must have changed his heart
#partfiction #prose #memories
Before fire turns into smoke
Before alcohol becomes the only thing
that keeps me warm
Before the world shrinks
in your fingertips again
Let this flame be the reason
Let warmth consume our souls
No one else to stop us
The crowd don't matter to us
The stars reflect from your eyes
exploding in every flavour
I want to taste them
and remember every word
Starry skies just like this
really does something to ya
Your words have honey in them
Your arms needle-point frustration
Touch me where I want, won't ya?
Your venom wakes up my senses
when the vodka numbs my lips
One more, just one
and I'll have to move closer
I'll have to unmask you
with my careless fondling
It doesn't take much
not for you
We have a bonfire desire
Don't you dare deny
All you have to do
is give me a sign
mouth your fantasies
and I will read your story
Now let our chapter begin
I was the last to stand up.
There was an ancient culture that upon hearing the news of a family member's passing, their children should kneel when they enter the house. It means that the heart is so broken that one could barely stand. It was the picture of grief in its crudest form. I was only 11 when I first had a family member die. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't have enough time to work out the meaning of forever. Of leaving and never coming back. But a decade more had elapsed from then. My first graduate 'job' was caregiving. Although it was only for a month. I experienced in such closeness, the deteriorating of life. Of old age, and wasting away, of someone I have known my entire life. She never asked for much. She had a simple life. Laughing comes easily. Grudges stayed forever, unless you're family. On her last day, she'd decided. She'd made her final choice. Quietly, steadily, in all calmness. She laid perfectly still. Knees failed my father that evening. At this point it wasn't tradition doing the grieving. We scrambled into her room, and fell to our knees. So many things we wanted to say. So many memories, a life well lived. A quiet life, just how she'd wanted it. And that day, she'd decided her end. She had a brave soul. She was never afraid. And so we knelt, the four of us, until her final breath. She needn't say a word. Because we all knew her well. How could I have taken her for granted. All the times she smiled. Alas, to die is to have lived, and to grieve is to have loved. It was more than reverence, more than respect, that I was the last to stand up.
Dark clouds sat low in the sky
Just inches from the carpet of calm seas
A shot of bright light fell through the clouds
Like a table lamp in a dimly lit room
We were so close to tasting the sky
Yet it looked apocalyptic
The clouds licked dangerously on the mountain side
Whispering its needs
The treeline was out of its reach
The mountaineer and even the bird could not see
For only the bare rock
covered in pitiless ice
received a stamp,
a footprint of proof,
that in the skies above the heavy clouds
sat a... well, what could it be?
For I have not the delight of witnessing.
Perhaps it was an idea
the fuzziness of a dream...
Perhaps it was from inside the minds of heavenly sinners
that a light bulb lit?
Look at the lowest resolution of yourself, strip it down as far as you can go but where you can still recognize yourself. Without the perfectionism and self-loathing, without flowers and perfume, without decorative sentences, without any pretenses at all - what is left? Those are the core values of what makes you who you are.
Do you see patience?
Do you see honesty?
Maybe even love..?
Genuine, unwavering love?
Yes. You will always find them deep within yourself. If only you would let go of the unimportant things, and find a quiet spot in your mind to meditate on what's truly important.
And then, scale up those values you possess to create your high resolution version - the best version you can be. Whenever you find yourself lost, remember to start from the beginning again.
Things that are not things
Maybe I feel too much
Maybe I see too deeply
Maybe my awareness of things
is enough to keep me filled
I often do nothing
And still felt accomplished
doing the things they do
Everyone has their own stories
And every single one is different
There is one common thing though
that is everyone has a hole that needs to be filled
But I don't have one
I am complete
I am able to be frustrated
and after 1 minute let go of it
Letting go made me complete
But that sounds counter intuitive
But that's how it is
you can't hoard things that are not things
Arrowtail 1, Halohead 0
"Um.. Oh.." She finally responded, if that is any sort of response at all, after 3 full minutes.
And I finally realized what slipped my mouth. Shit. What have I done?
"I-I-I'm sorry. I meant... I didn't mean to be so sudden... I..." Words fail me.
"It's alright." Her attention is fully on me now, for the first time since we sat here one hour ago, her telling me stories of her summer. Her tank top reveals the peeling skin on her tanned shoulders.
"Shh!" She hissed sharply through her index finger on her lips and whipped her head around. Her short hair slapped into her cheeks in slow motion.
"What is it?" I whispered, lowering my head. Then I saw it. That guy, Blondie, he's coming over. Perfect.
"Hello, Genevieve." Who calls her Genevieve? That sounded so sexy, though.
"Hey, James!" She stood up and slipped her arms into his, pressing her breast lightly on his elbow. "Come, meet my best friend, Luna. Luna, this is James. We met during summer."
The rest of the introduction went on in a blur. I vaguely remember half standing, and shaking his hand and saying, "oh, hi!" in an unnaturally high-pitched voice. I think the muscle on my cheek struggled really hard for a fake smile. Then, I shifted my gaze towards Gen. My gaze was probably too penetrating, too dark, and too still. Because for 3 seconds she gazed back at me with resentment and silence.
"Luna..." She reached for my hand and started saying something I knew I didn't want to hear.
I blinked back my tears, took an unnecessary look at my wrist watch, and said, "Look, I have to go. Nice to meet you, James!" And I rushed to pick up all my belongings, my purse, my sun glasses, my dignity... and left.
I told you so.
Halohead & Arrowtail
Oh, she is so sweet.
How would you know?
You've never tasted her.
Her skin...is radiant, like...like the sun
Yeah, because she just had sex with a dude you probably never even heard of.
You're a liar. She tells me all.
Oh yeah? Ask her then.
I don't need to. She is so perfect.
I think she's ordinary.
Her eyes twinkle like the stars.
Sadly she doesn't see you at all, though.
Oh, shut it. Her mind turns on every switch in me.
Bah! You're too soft.
I'm in love can't you see.
All I see is death.
Love is life-giving, just like her smile.
Say what you like, you're blinded.
True love is blind...
True love, pffft. Wait 'til you come back crawling, with none of your heartstrings attached. Don't ask me for help, I'd just say I told you so.
You are too pessimistic.
Your observation is accurate.
Live a little. You'd never know if you don't try.
Try your ass off, she's not looking at you at all, can't you see? LOOK! Open your useless eyes, don't be an idiot.
What's she looking at anyway?
That blonde bloke who winks at her every 5 seconds.
Do we know him?
That's James, remember?
No... If I could only have her.
Well, you can't. She's your best friend.
You really are an idiot, then.
Maybe I am, but I'm going to tell her.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
Remember what happened last time?
Right you are. You are nothing.
"I think I love you."