“An unsolved mystery is a thorn in the heart.”
The pretentious dejectedness in his voice sets me off. I want to hit him, shove him out of my life, out a window even. I bite my tongue though, I know the signs, know the state he’s in right now. I’ve weathered such storms before, I know it’ll pass.
He’s looking at me expecting a response, he’s learned by now that I try to be nicer when he’s like this, pretend that I have answers that’ll draw him back. I can’t leave him waiting.
“What mystery? I think I’ve been perfectly forthcoming.”
“It’s all a mystery to me,” he says with a shrug.
I keep my first angry retort in, shove it down with a gulp. A second one slides out, nicer and more distant. “Can you stop pretending you’re being insightful just because you’re miserable.”
He wasn’t expecting that, I went off script, let myself out. He shrugs and watches his feet.
I watch them too. They’re the same pair I always see him in, worn down and plain. He doesn’t do change well when he is like this, he is spiraling, thinking it’s over. I wonder if he’s right.
I try to find something to say, but my voice is empty.
He looks at me. I sense the same hurt in his eyes that’s always there and a desperation that I just added. I don’t meet his eyes.
“If I said I was sorry for always being underwater would you stay?”
I chuckle, I can’t help it. The quoted lyric is just so him. Him who I heard sing along to it on the way to the beach once. Him who I want to be here, who I dance with, circling around until we get to these moments again. I don’t dread them I realize, I’m not blissful until we hit them, they’re how I keep time with him, swirling about as we do, separated by our motions. These are the moments when he’s willing to be close to me, and the rest is when we can talk to each other.
I’ve been quiet too long. He’s already desperate, drowning in the silence, knowing what it means.
“It’s not a mystery,” I say. “I just don’t have what I need here.”