“Look at me,” she said to a blank face, “Look at me.”
The second time, her voice changed from soft and sweet to stern and commanding. The normal purr of her accent was gone. I rolled between the sheets to face her. My eyes flickered to meet hers, then looked down, away and around the room. Anywhere but into her gaze. Her eyes were like two polished stones cast into silver rings. Piercing and powerful, yet overflowing with love.
“Mo,” her voice became timid and trailed off, her eyes started to blink as she tried to contain herself, “I love you.”
I was silent.
“I love you so much,” she began to stammer and waver, “but you’re not happy.”
I looked into her eyes, my face torn as emotions welled up between us.
“You’re not happy and I can’t bear to see you like this.”
Her face cracked. The storm surged and breached the levee banks, her inner turmoil breaking into the physical realm. Tears dripped down her face to the bed and her soft cries jarred with irregular breathing. I couldn’t hold it back any longer and I cried too. Our tears fell. We did not talk. Just held each other close, alternating between staring into each other’s eyes and avoiding them.
We both stopped crying, but who knows how long it had been? Trapped in each other’s arms, listening to deep breaths as our lives ticked by, not sure if the moment was barren or filled with love.
“You need to go,” she interrupted the silence, her voice regrouped with courage.
“You know you do. Deep down, you realise that you have to get out of here.”
“Why?” I said, my eyes pleaded with her.
“Don’t play that game. You’re not the same anymore. You can barely get out of bed.”
“I’m just–” I paused, my lips struggling for words, “–kind of sick at the moment.”
“At the moment? Come on Mo. It’s been months. You are fading away to nothing. It’s hard for you here, I can see it. You don’t have a job, you don’t have any friends, you don’t even enjoy your hobbies any more. I don’t want to be the one keeping you here, making you live this way.”
Each thing she said hit me like an uppercut because it was all true. Maybe I had known everything for a long time, but they were ugly realities hidden deep down, too grotesque and uncomfortable to confront. Time passed by as if the blows had knocked me out. Slowly I regained consciousness, came back to life and gave a slight nod in agreement.
She took my face in her hands, a palm on each cheek. They were soft and warm, pulling my head close. She looked deep into my eyes, her face still angelic despite the dried tears that streaked across her skin.
“Go,” she said.
“Why do I have to go? I just need more time to get better.”
“You’ve had lots of time. I hate saying this, but you need to go. Not just for you, but for us. If we keep going on this way, our relationship will crumble to pieces.”
“What do you mean?”
“You aren’t healthy. You are relying on our love too much, using it as a vice instead of going out and taking care of your life. You’re like a junkie with only one thing on your mind.”
“Does it matter? All I care about is you.”
“That’s not a good thing. You are dependent, Mo. Do you really think this is sustainable? How do you see our future when your life is already falling apart?”
“I don’t know. I’m just hoping I get better.”
“You need to do more than just hope. Your life won’t change itself. You need to work for it.”
“I can work on it here and we can stay together.”
“No, you can’t. You need to get away from me, at least for a while, until you are in control again.”
“But I want to be with you.”
“I want to be with you too.”
We both stared at each other, our mouths ready to talk without knowing what to say.
“You really don’t think I can do it here?” I said after minutes of silence.
She shook her head slowly from side to side. I could see tears pooling in her eyes, ready to unload like deep grey clouds.
“So what do we do?”
“It’s up to you, Mo. You have to decide where you are going to go and what you want to do. I can’t do it for you.”
“When will I see you again?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s scary to think about being apart.”
“So maybe we won’t ever see each other?” I said.
“There are a lot of maybes in the world. Even though we are from different sides of the world, if our love is strong enough and we care about each other more than anything else, what can stop us from being together again? Like two objects alone in space, we will be joined again by gravity.”
We stayed in each other’s arms. Our faces were touching, my stubble roughing up her cheek. Our eyes were puffy and red, but somehow the sadness was beautiful. We stayed that way for an era, because time spent in the purest state of love can’t be measured in minutes or hours. As we clutched each other more tightly than ever before, I knew what she was thinking. The same thoughts swam through my mind.
Are we like two objects alone in space?
Written by Josh Lake
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