Faithful to the sun

I lie, cheat and steal. Am I perfect or am I broken? Perhaps we are all broken and just don't know it yet.

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1. Beautiful Blue

I had just turned the key, locking myself inside the sanctuary that is my home. And how I loved that precious time in between when it’s too late to watch a movie and yet too early to go to sleep. I love everything that is in between, fighting at the borders. I love spring and sunsets, the battle between the extremes: winter and summer, day and night. I like those things because then I wouldn’t be faced with the choice between hot and cold, between sandals and boots because I like to have them all. And isn’t it a pure irony that the person who so enjoys the things that are part of two worlds is usually possessed by the tendency to have all or nothing? This is who I am: a woman of opposites. From many points of view I am not the person you would want to have around. I will never be like the peaceful Sunday mornings when the sun makes himself known by stabbing at the glass and you open one eye from under the cover only to hide from the piercing light in the warmth of the bed. I do not wear the French perfumes of coffee and croissants. I do not sing like the birds of summer, wishing to drown the drowsiness of the heat in their music. Most of the time I am like that evening in mid-autumn when you lay in bed with the window open only to look how the waters of heaven fall to embrace the dust of the earth. If I were a perfume I would be rain. I am like a door forgotten open in the midst of winter when the icy winds that steal your breath send it running down your spine to make every hair stand to attention. I am like the nights when you wonder the house or the streets at 4 a.m. without a purpose and the morning sun takes its claim on the earth way too quickly. I am like the wave of heat that turns you to liquid when you walk the streets on a blazing summer day. I just happen. I am happiness and madness. I may bring happiness wherever I go just as easily as I might bring pain. I am selfish and I am kind. I have more questions than answers and inevitably, my answers bring more questions. I have hunger for everything that is new and a harboring respect for the past. I am organized and concise and I would like to reduce my emotions to equations but I love the feel of chaos. I am not that Saturday morning where you lay in bed until noon but rather the alarm that rips you from the warm embrace of your sweetest dreams. I crave stability but push continuity. I lose myself from thought to word, from one idea to the next from one row to the other. I love my confusion and I do not want to be defined. I want to be everything and nothing, like the weather: gentle and ruthless.

 As I walked from the door to my welcoming bed I realized I had fallen in love so many times with this house. And who could not love this grand apartment with its welcoming large rooms? Each room and hallway was large enough to chase any shadow of claustrophobia away. Its walls were raised high to absorb the summer breeze and keep it cool during the scorching days. There were 4 rooms in total: the living room, the dining room, a guest bedroom and my bedroom. Most rooms were painted a light yellow to spread the sun’s light, make it brighter that it really was. My bedroom was the only chamber painted in a light polar blue which such a powerful shade, when you entered the room you would immediately have the illusion of cold claiming your skin. I loved how almost the entire house had a theme to it, the three rooms were decorated in earthy tones and how mine stood out, like the rain, being dominated by blue and beige. As I reached my bedroom I looked it over one more time, at the blue taffeta drapes that in the right light shined violet, at the large king sized bed with covers of royal blue, the thick carpets that were elaborating a mosaic of light beige and dark blue. The hardwood floors and all the furniture were the same color: light beige. Every element of the décor was of the same shade: royal blue. That made it special: the color, the blue.

As I approached the bed I realized my cell started to ring, singing a song I have almost forgotten. As I chased the music I struggled to place it somewhere in time and space but failed miserably but then I reached my phone. When my eyes saw the screen it was enough to make me remember: one word, four letters and my word came crashing down.

With shaky hands I pushed the slider to answer the call. My voice was trembling, my heart was pounding, my feet seemed to fight with gravity to keep me up and they were losing so I forced myself to say something, anything, a sound, at least.

“Hey” I sounded like a coward or someone who just ran a marathon, breathless and weak.

“Hey, kid.” The husky voice at the other end seemed to share my feelings. “How are you? Are you good?”

“Yeah, I’m good, fine. You?” I had to close my eyes as I said the last word. I wanted to savor his voice.

“I’m not good, I miss you.” He sighed and I waited quietly what seemed like an eternity for him to continue. “God, you have no idea how much I miss you and how much I need you right now. I love you and I need to see you. Please. Can I come over tomorrow morning?”

“Of course, you could come over right now if you want.”

“No kid, I’ll let you sleep. We can talk tomorrow at the first light of day. Ok?”

“Sure”

“I love you, bye.”

“Bye.”

I knew I didn’t answer him back but I simply couldn’t, not again.

It is incredible how many thoughts can pass through one’s mind in a fraction of a second. As I heard his voice, and looked around I saw him in every moment we have been together. I don’t even know where he is right now. All I know is that we live in the same city, or at least we did the last time we spoke. As my eyes turned towards the taffeta curtains I remembered a moment right after he picked them along with every other element of this room. I remembered it all in a blissful haze. The Tabaco scent impregnated the air, the joy of wine made the cells between us move drunkenly with love. The ceiling was our sky and happiness rained upon us, threatening to drown us. If it was any other season I would have opened the umbrella, but then, there, next to him, I was not afraid. I felt like our bed was the map of the world and in his arms I have found my place. And I wanted to look at the clock yet the hours were scattered in thoughts, in the sheets and the hands were moving with no logic as if they too have been drunk with love and lust and I don’t even remember if it was night or day for I have decided then, that love would be our only measure of time, from one breath to another. And when I looked at him I forget how to breathe so time flew differently then. And now I wish I could remember how long the season of love lasted because it seems an eternity since I have last seen his green eyes and yet that image is alive well. Why is it that even in my thoughts, when I look at him I feel my blood rushing, my cheeks blushing? Why is it that when I look at him I want to fall, or turn to liquid or burst into flames? It is probably his lips. I don’t know what I liked more about them: how they caressed the words I longed to hear or how they kissed my neck to flood me with desire. It was probably his perfume that invaded my mind and scattered my thoughts, making me drunker than all the wine of earth. And I did not miss a single thing in those moments, his smile offered me all I ever wanted. And my heart never stopped before I met him and when it stopped it did so only to wait for his so they would beat as one, from then until forever. And when it stopped, the silence between us was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.     

But that was then, so long ago that the gods would name it as forever, when we were in that ignorant bliss of happiness, not knowing how fast happiness fades and how cold the world seems after. Even now after all this time, all the detachment I forced myself to have I felt like I was sinking, like the pits of hell were calling for me, pulling so hard I allowed myself to fall on the soft sofa in the hall looking into space as if some speck on my wall would bring me my salvation.

Tomorrow at first light.

In the last few years I haven’t really seen him in the sun so much. He loved the night sky. He would always just stare like a mad man out the window, looking at the moon. I think he fell in love with her once and probably still is. How jealous I am on that moon for catching his attention like that. Whenever he had the chance he would jump out of the bed, head straight to the window and greet his moon with the same whisper: “Hello gorgeous.” I think now that the moon was just his mistress, his true love was the sun.

Good luck going to sleep now. He was so close to me now I could almost feel him, touch him, taste him. I was going to spend this night waiting for him, for that first light of Sunday morning, a holy day by all means. I closed my eyes, placed my feet on the sofa and embraced my knees with my arms. I just stood there breathing in and out and images of us stabbed violently at my mind, images of me breathing him, his hot breath in my hair, his arms grasping my naked shoulder. I pushed it aside. I tried to remember the last time I saw him. When was it? Where was it? I shuffled my thought and remembered. It was here, in this house. He called me one very late night wanting to see if I was home and alone because he wanted to see me. When I confirmed that I was it took him no longer than a minute to reach my door. He had been sitting in his car outside my building, looking at the black windows, wandering if I was home or out, if I was alone or sharing my bed. It was a little after three a.m. when he called and robbed me from my dreams. I barely managed to get out of my bed by the time the doorbell rang.

He looked as if he came out of a different time. His hair a bit too long, his skin a bit too white, dressed completely in royal blue, from his pants to his shirt to his coat, setting a perfect contrast for those shameless green eyes.

When I saw him at the door I needed to say something to make him laugh because there was nothing more beautiful than his crooked smile.

“If I knew you were going to come I would have cleaned up a little… my life, not my house.”

And there it was, the half-smile that would always make me swoon.

“No really, what are you doing here?”

“I missed you” his said in his deep husky voice. I always like his voice, the ruggedness gave him and extra pinch of masculinity. It had become the most sensual music I would ever hear, his voice.

“The norm is to call upon a lady at decent hours and suggest a drink, perhaps.”

“I did call, didn’t I? Check your phone if you’re not sure… milady” He said the last word on a joking tone.

“This, Sir, is no decent hour. I should have the right mind and send you away running. What will the neighbors say when they hear I had a gentlemen caller at such a late hour?”

“They would be so jealous that you are having more fun than they are.” As he finished his sentence he grabbed me by the arm and jolted me into his arms, imprisoning me in his embrace.

I looked up between those long lashes hoping that his eyes would betray at least a hint of the emotions he kept so well concealed, yet I saw nothing. He pushed a few strands of hair away from my face then kissed me. His lips were cold at first yet so soft I could have caressed them forever but then our lips parted and our tongues were intertwined and the seconds melted away and so did my drowsiness. My heart started to beat so fast it almost echoed in my ears. Every sound was like a giant set of drums beating ruthlessly. And then he stopped. He stepped back and looked at me.

It was in those moments that I probably would have wanted to wear something else rather than an old long T-shirt and shorts, I would have wanted my hair to look better and probably a splash of make-up to my face would have done wonders. But the truth was, to my core I really didn’t care. He was here, with me and he had nothing to complain and if he did complain, he was to blame after all since he was the one that kidnapped me from my sleep.

“I can’t believe you’re alone.” He said breaking the silence “You’re never alone. What happened? Are you alright? Where’s my girl? Have you exhausted all your options?”

“I just wanted to be alone for one night. I needed the silence.”

“Stop going to clubs so much. I hear there are places you can go where there isn’t so much loud music.”

I mimicked a shocked face and answered jokingly “But what do the poor bastards dance to?”

“Well you can always sing to yourself and dance to that music but I doubt you will have too much fun before some mental institution invited you for a sleepover”

We both laughed at this for a short while then I waited for him to take off his coat and his shoes and then I invited him over to the living room. The large hallway was shaped like an L. We didn’t need to turn left to reach our destination, we just went straight. The large, beige, plush couch and armchairs that sat across the living room door were scattered with satin brown colored throw pillows. I always felt it best to invite guests into this room. I had everything one needs. The large couch was soft enough to make one sink in its cushions yet it was guarded on all sides. Behind it there was the window covered with orange taffeta drapes, in front there was the mahogany coffee table with a tray of crystal grasses always waiting for guests and the two armchairs that guarded each side were suffocated with throw pillows that seemed to invite anyone to daydream. There was a large bookshelf across from them that homed a flat screen and a small stereo. We had books, TV and music, the comfort of the soft plush and a soft beige rug under our feet. What more could we ask for?

He sat on the couch as close as he could to the right edge and I chose the armchair next to him. It seemed as if we had calculated all these movements in advance, where to sit exactly so that we would be close enough but still have a barrier between us. Or maybe the years have taught him to keep his distance from me. I could not be sure. He was looking at the bookcase when he asked me:

“Why don’t you have any pictures?”

I gathered some picture frames over the years but I never seemed to have found the time to actually place real pictures in them. They all had those generic images that come with frames, images of couples and sunsets.

“You wouldn’t like the pictures I would put. They would be of me and my men”

“You are too vain to put pictures of somebody else in your house. Besides, this makes you too detached. I understand you have a problem with people but what did this poor house do to you? It is so impersonal. It looks good, don’t get me wrong. I always liked your style but it looks like a picture from a catalogue. Put a picture of yourself, a toy, a memory on the shelf or something. Do I have to restart with the interior design?

“No thank you.” I smiled. “You have done enough. That room could not be more personal but I don’t know for who exactly. Sometimes when I am all alone in my bed it seems like the room is waiting for you, the rightful owner. You left your mark there, mister. A bigger statement and claim would have been if you started pissing all over the walls.”

He smiled that perfect smile at what I had to say but then he suddenly looked serious and his smile seemed almost sad for a moment.

“How are you kid? How’s life treating you?”

“Good.” It was all I could say. I wanted to tell him everything: how I missed him, how I loved him, how I saw him in everything that I loved but all I could say was “good”

“Who are you sharing it with now?”

“Still with David.”

“Lucky bastard.”

“I’m not so sure about lucky. I doubt he would see himself that way knowing he had another man with his girl at this time of night.”

“He should be lucky to have you at all. He should feel lucky if you even bother to say hi when you pass him on the streets not bitch about the one night when he doesn’t sleep with you in his arms you talk to someone else.”

He was getting more and more upset with each word that he spoke and unfortunately so was I.

“So what do you want, for me to break up with him until he is more grateful?”

“I want you to be with me.”

When I heard him say it my heart stopped for a second to make room for him again, to welcome him back with open arms but my brain quickly realized the improbability of such a thing to happen and brought me back to earth angrier then before.

“You are fucking married. Go home to your wife. What the fuck were you thinking, coming by at this hour? Isn’t she wondering where you are? What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Why do you answer? Why do you spread your legs every time a fucking bastard comes by?”

“And you think your wife doesn’t do the same? She can’t wait to hear that you will be out for a longer period of time to call someone to fuck her senseless.”

“I’m leaving.”

His face was that of a broken man. He got up and chased toward the door and I followed him into the hall.

“Good. That way you might even surprise her while she’s sucking off some friend of yours.”

Those broken eyes seemed to change and fury take its hold on those perfect green splashes of color on that alabaster face. He came towards me with an anger that I thought would bury me but instead his grip wanted nothing more than to have me. We were no longer the people that we knew. We were animals and savages driven by instinct, by ecstasy, by lust. He grabbed the nape of my neck and kissed me with a passion that made every hair stand in attention. Our tongues were going deeper and deeper as was out need for each other in that dark and empty hall. He pushed me against the wall with a force that scattered all air away from my lungs. Our hands became greedy, like no matter how much skin we could gather between our fingers it was never enough. We wanted deeper and deeper and more and more, the world to slow down and time to stand still. He held my hair with one hand pulling gently in such a way that I could not move my head, denying me the privilege of looking down at his body, at his hardness. No, I was to look in his eyes alone while enduring the punishment he started on my lips. His other hand was free to explore my flesh from my cheek, to my chin, to my throat, a gentle choke, a muffled moan and south he went to my breasts squeezing them of all life they held. He reached down to my waist and pulled my shirt off over my head dreading his release of my hair. A low growl escaped his throat for that second he had to glue himself off me to remove the shirt and like a predator he pounced back with more lust and more desire than before. My hands were clumsy on his hem and I fought to peel him out of that piece of fabric that separated my bare chest from his. He stepped back and with an urgency that matched my own took off every piece of clothing he had left as he urged me to do the same with two small words “get undressed!” I looked him over up and down taking him all in. I could never get enough of that view. He came back close and grabbed my hair and pulled it gently to urge me to get down and kneel before him. I knew what he wanted. I grabbed his length, licked the tip with more patience that I possessed then I started to suck. My ecstasy was getting bigger. I started to take more and more of his length rolling my tongue around his tip as it came closer to me lips. My hands were holding onto his thighs, my nails digging into his skin and I looked up to see his face, to see his need and as our eyes met I saw he could take no more. He grabbed me by the shoulders to straighten me up then threw me back to the wall. His lips were upon mine again, wanting to feel himself on me, on my tongue, and he did. His fingers were searching between my thighs teasing at my entrance, relishing in my wetness and heat and then he assaulted me. He pushed his fingers inside stretching me, making my knees tremble with the scorching pleasure of it all but I wanted more. I grabbed his wrist and pulled it aside to make room for his glorious body to face me. I lifted one leg above his waist and he did not hesitate to grab it furiously. As I struggled to grab onto his shoulders his neck, his back, he took me whole. I felt him enter me with such a speed that I could not help but free a moan. He kept one hand on my leg and the other on my shoulder and he started to push. And he pushed and he pushed until I felt I was building up to that perfect place I needed to be. My insides were tightening, my knees started to shake and that’s when he left me. He pulled out completely, released his restrain on me, grabbed me by the hips and turned me. I planted my hands on the wall now in front, somewhere above my head as I felt him come back inside me. His hands grabbed my hips and pulled me towards him with something close to desperation. And I lingered and loved every second of it. He pushed and pulled again and again moaning and breathing booming in echoes off the walls and in that fever I found my release vibrating over and over through my entire body but he did not stop, not then. He went on and on until I thought I would black out from the sheer pleasure of it all and I felt him find his own escape hot and wet inside me. 

This was no love, not even sex. I was ravished.

As we recovered from our consumption we found ourselves more eager to love despite our differences, to embrace that peace and serenity that had set heavy on our shoulders. We were children again that spoke novels with only a smile and glance and the clock beating in the distance was our soundtrack.

I grabbed his hand and dragged him back to the living room, to the soft couch that seemed to caress our naked bodies. He laid on his side and I cuddled next to him laying on my back staring at the ceiling, enjoying the silence between us.

“I’m sorry” he sighed the words after a while. “I didn’t meant to shout I just want you to be happy but please tell me what exactly do you like about him… I mean do you love him?”

I wanted to tell you that I wasn’t really over him, that if it was a true love then I wouldn’t be here in this situation with him but at the same time I was reminded of the choices he made of the way his mind and heart worked so I was stuck in my mind, with my thoughts figuring out what to say. After a while I said what felt like the truth.

“He is what I need. He is patient and kind and he is the kind of man that women would kill for in a relationship. We never fight, he is always open and honest. We were just so complicated. Don’t you think?”

“Then why are we here?” he turned my head so that I would look into my eyes.

“Because we are whores” I started to laugh.

I think in over time I became addicted to him or how I felt around him. Although the line between pleasure and pain was more than blurred most of the time I had a feeling of peace and quiet, like my soul found that part that made it complete. Whenever he was gone I could actually feel the void within that the distance between us was creating, it was as if the air was scarcer, the gravity was stronger and everywhere I looked my mind found things that reminded it of him and attached a shred of happiness to those moments. I was hooked.

And as I laid there dreaming of what a junkie I was, he wrapped his arm around me and molded me to his chest while pressing his lips to mine and my mind went black so I surrendered again and again that night.

That next morning I awoke with an unfamiliar smell invading my room, my sheets, my sanity. He was still here sleeping heavily, buried in his pillow, one arm thrown over me. He was facing me, but he wasn’t close, as he never was. His hair, always too long ravished the pillow and just one lock of jet black curls lingered on his face. His mouth was parted his thick lips begged for my kiss, so much that I could almost feel them, soft and warm, like he seemed right now. He looked so beautiful, so peaceful, so relaxed, so unlike him. And he was here, now, with me. I expected him to be gone with the usual note or text lingering behind. I did not believe a word when he said, last night that if he will go to sleep with me, he will wake with me. He, the one so faithful to the sun that no ray of dawn could catch him cheating. The sun was his love, the blue sky, his muse. He would always come to bed but would always leave before light, like the monsters under the bed, he was no different… except for this time. He was here, with me.

And then I realized for the millionth time in my life so far just how much I loved him. I loved him with a fever that I could not contain. I loved him because he had nothing of the perfect man I dreamt with such desire so many years ago or even more, now. He wasn’t the most beautiful man in the world but he knew how to shine. He wasn’t always the most desired despite the hoard that have cried their souls for one more hour with the block of ice they called a man. I loved him because he wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me, for what I needed and desired then, and with him my life would be brighter. I loved him for the fact that I never felt more beautiful or more esteemed than when I was by his side. I never felt more envy from everyone around than when we walked hand in hand lost in our world. I loved him for the way he tucked me in at night and for leaving me the last piece of chocolate in the box. I loved him because he never forgot to mention my beauty in those moments when I was lost in the mirror, in all the tiny defects I knew too well, I loved him for stroking my hair and kissing my forehead and smiling before he said good night, but most of all I loved him for him. He would always give up any selfish pleasure of his to try to steal a smile from me. I loved him for his ambition and passion in everything he did. He was a warrior that would rather die fighting than give up that opportunity to become what dreamed at an age too young for determination. My warrior, with a heart too big for an entire species. I loved him for the fact that he saw in me those little nothings that no one has ever loved me for, before. Every piece of my beauty was only in his eyes. And I was grateful for this morning, for last night and every night before. I was grateful that I met him and I would thank everyone that made me cry and pushed me on the journey until I truly met him. I loved him because I felt a better woman by his side, closer to reaching that potential I know or hoped to reach, perhaps now, perhaps later in another life when we shall both be cats. I loved him unconditionally because he was enough.

He never allowed me to always do what I wanted, he wasn’t the type to say “as you wish”, “wherever you want” because he was not afraid to tell me “no”. I dare to say he was always my biggest critic and that day after day, I was turning into that person that did not care that people were mean and liars and fake. I would go by smiling. In his arms nothing touched me. I was in my glass bubble where light came in full yet the horrors from outside came only as background noise.

That moment I felt love as I never thought I would: every fiber of my being tightened to cling to the emotion. I was sinking and getting smaller with every passing second and it brought a euphoria and an agony I did not wish to escape. If I could have one moment to last forever please be this one. I could then I would give me entire life for ten seconds of that bliss. I felt a thirst for his voice for his skin and a hunger for his embrace I could no longer endure. I outstretched a hand to explore with fingertips his big arms and round shoulders, feather touches that got lost in his abyss. And then he woke.

What merciless gods would create such a creature? A stare that could make armies surrender was thrown on an unarmed girl. His eyes could corrupt even the most innocent and they always did. The line that encircled the iris was as black as the pupil within. And what a tease are those emeralds hiding underneath thick lashes. And he looked at me with those eyes and I knew that I would crash again. I then realized that I was afraid… afraid of the happiness. I loved him with the fear that the dream will end and he will get up and leave nothing more behind him than an empty bet and an empty heart. And I knew that my great love cannot be bought but it will be paid in blood and sweat and tears and the great ecstasy of today will be my torture tomorrow. I knew then that he is not mine, he never was. I was his and I always will be because he would always get me closest to heaven than crash me back to the cold dark wasteland of reality and how painful is the ground when you fall from such a height. He deserved to need me not to have me. But denying him was like denying air. I thought I loved him when I thought he was perfect. Now I know he is far from perfection so I love him even more. He is not mine, he belongs to the sun.

We just sat there in perfect silence, not gesture, not a move. And just as I thought he would, he got close, grabbed me, stroked my hair, kissed my forehead then my lips and got up to leave.

He jumped out of my bed as if it was on fire and as he dressed I grabbed my robe, got dressed and just watched him. He mumbled about the work he needed to do, about his colleagues needing him for one thing and another but I knew that what he did, was run. 

“I understand”, I struggled to say after a moment. “If there is nothing left to keep you here then you can go”

“My entire world is here” he said those words while looking at his naked feet, struggling to pun on a sock. I couldn’t help but muffle a giggle at that sentence. It was nothing more than a formality, like the smile you paste on your face when you meet someone new.  But I knew he was running from the same fear as mine.

He always did say that if he had any choice in the matter, he would walk away the next second. I used to tell him that if I could forget that he exists, that he ever existed in my life I would choose that in a heartbeat. I knew he was running from the sorrow that he felt, that the soothing effect that I might have had over him had lost its effect so all he could do now is walk away. As he picked up his navy blue jeans and started to slide into them I realized that no matter how fast he might run, he would never be completely away. We have broken up and I have casted him away so many times but I knew in my heart that he will always be near. As he closed the buttons on his stripped blue shirt I realized we will never really be apart even if we are each on his own planet, in our little world, he would always be back and I would always welcome him.

I followed him to the door to walk him out but like always he chose to stop in front of the large mirror to check if the broken man from last night still lingered behind the glass. He was a vision in blue, green eyes blazing under thick black lashes and I, a ruffled mess. I didn’t fix myself up, I didn’t have to and I did not say a word because I didn’t want to. We just sat there in silence, me behind him staring in the mirror watching him watching me, a smile stretching my lips. He turned around, grabbed me and threw me a look with so much sorrow and concern that almost made me collapse. But we still did not exchange one word because we did not need to. He kissed me then walked away.

I hated him as much as I loved him. As I locked the door behind him I asked myself over and over if I sometimes hated him because I saw in him everything I hated in me. There were times when I realized with disgust his childish demeanor, his uncertainty, his assiduous need to know that there is nobody for me except for him, even if he belonged to someone else. In his fuck-up way he loved me. He needed me to breathe him in through every pore, for him to be my air, my water for my body and soul. He wanted to be my center of gravity, my addiction, only to walk away over and over and over. He would have preferred me to kill him than to admit one day that he no longer means to me what he once did. Whenever I tried to push him away to say that he was nothing more than a cure for boredom and that my heart belongs to someone else, as did his, then, I would see him suffer. I would see him crash within, suffocated by the cold dark abyss that seemed to surround him, staring into space with no ties to reality, like a man on his death bed, taking his final breath. It was in those moments that I knew he was mine more than ever, but it was then that I realized that I loved him the least.

But how could I blame him? My fault was equal, if not grater. We both had the sick feeling of making the other suffer. We have labeled with love the most sickening relationship we were to have. We were willing prisoners in a world where we consumed each other, we tested our limits to see how much more we can take, with no stopping unless the other no longer had the strength to get up and keep fighting. And when the victor was in position to strike his final blow, he would turn the tide and never do it. Victory would have disgusted us when the other was down, skinned alive, clinging to the edge, struggling to get back. So we would always start over. We would lend a hand and heal the wounds so we would have a worthy opponent. If I ever told him how much he hurts me he would tell me that I can be truly happy only with a man who can make me suffer. He said that you cannot accept the notion of Heaven without acknowledging there is a hell and that if you want the prize of absolute happiness you must suffer the risk of supreme sorrow. He used to tell these things before he would destroy me, when the insecure child that was once like a puppet under my control, dancing when I pulled one string, kneeling when I pulled another, was replaced by the most ruthless tyrant. He could break me with a single word or even with silence. It was his biggest ally, the silence and only with it did he truly have the longest relationship. I would have preferred him shouting, throwing harsh words or even a glance, anything but leaving me in silence. I wanted anything else because words, no matter what they are, express one thing: that “I care”, while silence means nothing. And that is dreadful. When I would finally break, he would look at me triumphant with a look that said “it’s your turn now. Give it your best!”.

I have vowed so many times that I would make every man of my life his complete opposite. I wanted safety, answers, maturity, understanding, quiet and protection. I wanted them and I have found every single one yet somehow it was never enough. All other great loves of my life had something of him or were just like him. Maybe opposite don’t attract. Not really…

When have we started this competition, the fighting, the torture, I do not know. I don’t even know when or if we will stop. We used to laugh when we would make up, when I would say that when I will be old and shriveled, I would go to his grave cry my heart out, get up and kick his tombstone. Perhaps we met at the wrong time. Perhaps we were too young to understand what love was when it started and then we sought it in every other corner of the world. Perhaps in another life, we would meet up and try again.

I remember a stand-up comedy act describing the man’s heart like and old apartment where the woman moves in and destroys all that was there, all the remains of the last inhabitant and redecorates it according to her every desire.

I sometimes close my eyes trying to remember or even relive the day I first realized I loved him. I wanted to remember how I got there, in that spot, what steps lead me to that particular place. There are also times when I think that my entire life I have been preparing for that exact moment as if I was nothing more than a character with no will at the mercy of a writer’s work, struggling in vain to remember where the pen carried me only chapters ago. His image in my mind comes to me like a storm that crashes every wall I have ever risen, like a tidal wave sinking every castle of sand that stands in its way and all my work is violently splattered into nothingness. I can distinguish shapes and colors, images that pass with the speed of light, sounds clash into one another, but tired and drained, I always find myself giving up. At one point we were children, chasing each other in the sun and the next we shared a love that threatened to destroy us and everyone who was dear.

He told me from once that he does not know where he is in life and what he wants, that he decided a long time ago to not think further away from today and that if I wanted to be there, live in his old apartment I would have to be prepared to evacuate without further notice. He said he could not promise that one day that apartment will be ours because he is not certain, not for me or for anyone else, not even for him. I was never discouraged by his ambiguity because he was the one that thought me how to listen to promises. I was relieved. Before I knew him I was an innocent child that invested hope in every kind word I heard around me. He told me that when you hear “I promise” you must cover your ears to protect them from the harm they can be exposed to. He told me that “forever” is a fairytale and that great loves can be relieved over and over for as long as you want. In that moment I told him I did not need a promise from him because I do you yearn for well-shaped words for I have read them or heard them or even spoke them myself only to turn away heinously to rid myself of them. I did not need a reason from him to hate him. I knew from him that nothing lasts and that I will always be ready, with my bags by the door to move out into someone else’s apartment. I may even leave on my own, attracted by a better house or I will hunt my dreams in a tent by the shore, but that I do not know, not now. I liked it too much in his heart and I refused to leave it with anything but beautiful memories.

In a bizarre way I always felt safe there, between those four walls of his universe where I moved in immediately once he saw that I did not want to change a thing. It was out of vain that I never told him how at home I felt in his heart, that I did not need to change a thing because it seemed that it was built especially for me. Others before me tried to redecorate his old apartment, changing the color of his walls or move the furniture. They entered with army boots to remove the floors, to remodel a soul that did not belong to them. I, on the other hand loved every detail. I did not want to open any drawers of memories or rearrange his shirts and dreams. No. He had the freedom to clean his mind on his own terms. I asked only for a closet in which to lock the great old bags I carried with me. And I did carry a lot of memories: some were bad and opening them would scratch the floors of my soul once again, but some were good, but it wouldn’t matter, better to throw them away in those old trunks in his closet because the good ones would hurt me more for the mere thought that all those moments that once brought me joy have passed away.

For a long while I lived there, in that old apartment that consisted of his heart. He rarely invited someone over, but they would leave just as quickly as they would come. With a juvenile selfishness I thought in those moments that he belonged only to me. The truth was that he never belonged to me and I would never belong to him, but while I lived there I had the best view in the world.

***

As I snapped out of my thoughts I decided I had a couple of hours to kill before he would arrive.  Time waited for no man they say but for him, even father time was merciful and seemed to have offered him a little eternity until he was by my side. How did we get in this mess? As I closed my eyes I allowed my mind to drift to those first moments when we met…

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