1. The apartment
The silence in the tiny apartment seemed to engulf us. I sat slouched on the couch. CJ wouldn’t face me. The couch didn’t feel big enough. We had been down this road one too many times. The atmosphere heavy with things unsaid. I remained perfectly still while my eyes ran over the length of the apartment. Our history was written on the walls; it lay on the floor and sat on bookshelves.
The flowers on the vase were withering, perhaps as a symbol of our status quo. I traced the infinity symbol tattooed on my inner wrist. I felt restless. I fidgeted with the ring on my finger. I bit my nails. I could feel myself tensing up. I looked sideways towards CJ, the perfect image of tranquility. With eyes set on a football lying in the corner, you would never guess what was going up on that head and I so desperately wanted to know. CJ’s face stood emotionless. I wiped the tear rolling down my cheek. How many times was I going to shed tears over this infinity?
Outside in the balcony, Frosty wagged her tail and tried to catch a butterfly, oblivious to the chaos within her own house. Her white fur was shining in the afternoon light. The once red and shiny barbecue stood there mostly covered in rust, was it yet another symbol? I forcefully turned CJ to face me and I looked deep into those eyes, the eyes that had me fall deeply into the abyss of love. The eyes that had made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl in the room. The eyes that had showed me what real happiness looked like. Those eyes were the first thing I saw every morning and the last thing I saw every night. The eyes that held promises that might never be kept. I looked away towards my desk.
It was the only piece of the apartment that I could claim as my own. My typewriter stood there gathering dust, next to a pile of blank sheets and scribble notes that never made the cut. My Canon Rebel TS, with a 70-200 mm lens was aiming at us mockingly. This was far from a moment I wanted to capture. A framed picture of CJ and I kissing at the base camp of Mount Everest stood at the corner. Looking at it felt like someone stabbed a knife into my chest. I wanted to get out. I needed fresh air. I looked at the door.
The worn suitcase sat next to the door. Another tear rolled down my cheek. This time, it was CJ’s hands that brushed the tear away and time just seemed to stop. It was like electricity filled the air. When I felt that hand on my skin, it felt like being transported to another dimension, to another time, to a place where dreams could come true. The warmth spread throughout my body and took me whole. I felt my body rising, and a thought entered my mind. This could be the last time I could feel this hand, this gentle loving touch. I pulled away. I fell hard, like into cold concrete. My whole body ached; I could feel my heart bleeding. This could not be the end. I didn’t want it to be the end, but then again what other way was there?
Words started pouring out of CJ’s lips, but I couldn’t hear a thing. I was lost in a sea of confusion where the waters were turbulent and unforgiving. My little boat could not take this storm. I leaned close and kissed CJ’s cheek taking in the familiar scents that again transported me to the magical world where we end up together. Flashbacks of bits and pieces of our lives together popped in to my mind. My heart started beating faster and I stood up and walked out the door and I didn’t know if I could ever go back.