Drowning

The first time she feels the little flicker inside of her, her eyes light up with an unspeakable desire for more. She remembers about that one time when it was raining and she was on the bus. She seems to have spent her entire life on a bus, hoping, waiting for the time to catch up with her and finally kill her. It had been raining for days and she was in a constant state of miserable, as well as finality. People were taking photos and she looked to her side, expecting a car crash. Rainbow. There was a rainbow, and the bus took a left. She said the lurch in her gut was because of it. She said it meant nothing.

The first time she feels the flicker inside of her, she remembers the rainbow. She thinks it’s childish and her mother would be appalled, but she cherishes it like she does few things. The second time she’s more prepared, she braces herself and as soon as she feels it, her mouth lifts in a silent thank you. In awe. In fear. A myriad of emotions, all running wild and brutal. She embraces it, because she knows at the end of the journey there’s happiness. There’s a little bundle of joy to cuddle, soft skin and a warm body. She sits and waits.

The flicker grows, it kicks now, it means more than a flicker. She knows from endless books that there will be a conclusion. There will be a climax, a finality, a big bang at the end. The whole new life shit, that’s what she thinks.

Somewhere along the line, she collides with the truth. She doesn’t gently probe it, test it with a toe. The truth is not a small pond she can soak her feet in. The truth, as she founds it, is an ocean. It calls to her, with the salty smell, the screams of birds and the death of a fish by the need of the other. It floods her insides and she thinks nothing could ever hurt more. She drowns in it, unable to keep her head up high. She swallows gallons of salt and along with it, fear fills every single corner of her being.

There’s no more time, she thinks. There’s no big finality. Yet she pushes forward, hoping against all hope.

When it happens, when the flicker turned being, turned killer, turned the biggest most important thing in her life, the tears finally fall. The ocean is subdued, no wind and no currents. It has become a river and it flows quietly in columns and columns of pain.

She drowns and surfaces and drowns again. She cries it away, because the being she’s given birth to is not a child, not a little pathetic cliché cherub.

The being she’s given birth to is the despair of falling in love.

Nine

My dear,

When I met you, you were extraordinarily handsome. We shook hands and I couldn’t help my smile: the weird, one corner upper than the other, my cheekbones more exclusive than usual. A raised eyebrow, because you trained your eyes on my left one, and it felt like you could read my the little barcode on the back of my brain, scan it and I would have to pay. You’d make sure of it. You see, it was a sort of I want to break free, because your hair shone in the shitty light, and it made me want to touch it. I’d seen you before but your bright eyes never caught mine. Then you spoke and I swear I was gone. The only way that could have been more poetic was if I had balls and dropped a hand to readjust. Alas, no.

When I met you, my dear, you were laughing. You were carefree and had such a beautiful filthy soul. You could drag me to and through hell. I like to think that if  I were her, you would have. I wasn’t, so you settled. Once. Twice. Again. Then a maybe, a nipple twist, a loose button, a drink, a hug, a quick word. Again. It was all over the place; we were all over the place. I was trying to love you and you had always loved her.

We bonded over that. I whispered the hate, you laughed with me. It was almost normal life, if I hadn’t been so fascinated, so unbelievably needy.

I can fix you. You know I can fix you. I can put the pieces back together. I can help. I want to. The deal would not be the blessed ten years, it would be you giving me what I need. Could you? Could you give me all I need so that I wouldn’t stray? Could you fucking love me like you love her?

I’m used to being people’s other one. I’m used to watch and judge and laugh and hurt a little when I see the people whose other I am with their loved one. You don’t love someone that much if you stray, do you? I like the cynical side of it. I like it because it’s real. It’s what reality means: you date or marry or promise or whatever the fuck you want, your loved one – the one you love the most, the most important person in your life -, well… they stray. They go and fuck that other one. They do it again, and again, and again, they invest; and not money, that’s the rookie version. No, they invest feelings, and they care, and still… they come home to you. Look you in the eye when they come inside you. They tell you they love you. But if they did, why look for something else? Why stray? They don’t love you. Not the same way they love the other. You’re a nice armchair they like to relax in every now and then.

Excuse me, my dear. I seem to have ranted quite a bit. You know I do that. But yes, if you could give me everything I need, I wouldn’t stray. Why do that? Do you understand how important this deal is? What have I told you every single time we spoke? I don’t date. I don’t commit. I don’t care. Well, shit.

Cause you make me do. Cause I want you to be okay. I want you to laugh and be incredibly handsome again, carefree and with a beautiful soul.

I’ll kiss it better.

Part lust and part love,

Jo.

Minutiae

You find her often when she’s laughing, the sound almost annoying, yet definitely drawing you closer. Her head thrown back in mirth, she always wishes she’d have the pearly laughter of romance novels. You watch her neither in fascination, like select few others, nor with slated eyes, wanting to bludgeon her head. You watch her knowing you shouldn’t, knowing it’s somewhere you should never ever fixate your eyes. You secretly hope no one can tell. You hope she doesn’t know.

She does. She turns around and sees you, and her entire face lights up. Your heart skips a beat; in joy or fear, it’s irrelevant. She lifts her arms to call you over and as she sits on the bar stool, her head fits perfectly under your chin. You wish she wasn’t so warm or so inviting.

She is. She is everything your significant other isn’t. She’s not beautiful and she’s not extraordinary, but in the common she shines like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you had half a brain cell, you’d know you’re so in love it should hurt.

It does. But you blame it on the unattainable. You blame it on yourself, the carelessness, the great debacle that your evenings are recently. She looks up and smiles, and all you can think is that you wish to god she’s smiling because of you. Or for you. Or anything that is related to you.

She does. You manage a tiny lift in the corner of your mouth. She tells you she missed you and you nod solemnly, to remind her of the gravity of that situation. Your eyes are smiling, your entire soul feels like smiling. It’s almost ridiculous how easy she can throw you off. It’s ridiculous when you realise the blandness of her being. It’s beyond ridiculous to ever think she’s bland. You know she isn’t. You hope she knows how special and unique she is.

She does. But she doesn’t particularly care. Not when you hold her close, as close as a friendship allows and tell her about your life. She’s fascinated with you, or so you think anyway. You try to never lie to her. You always try your damn best to tell her everything, and yet to leave out your significant other. You think she’d get upset. This time, though, you can’t help it. You tell her you kind of broke up with your significant other. You don’t think she will show any signs of recognition.

She does. Her eyebrow shoots up, waiting for more information. For an explanation. For her fucking heart to stop racing like a horse on crack. You know this because she told you once that when she’s too emotional, that’s the way her heart goes. So you explain, tell her anything and do your best to hide your disappointment when she’s not as excited as you’d expected.

She is. Her hand shoots up to pat your hair in place, although she knows it’s useless. She eventually looks you in the eye and tells you that as long as you’re happy, she’ll support you. Of course she bloody will. You’re important to her, she tells you. It’s nice to hear it. No one’s told you that in years. You tell her you were thinking of going away for a while. You tease her, of course. You ask her if she’d miss you.

She would. She tells you so. With a frown on, she hops down from the bar stool. She’s quite short, so you have to take half a step back to look her in the eye properly. She smirks, and finally tells you that she knows. She knows you’re not going anywhere. You wouldn’t dare leave her alone. She’s right, but you neither confirm, nor deny it. As she stands, you hug her from the side, your body engulfing her. You whisper her name, and she looks up. When you kiss her, both your heads bent rather awkwardly (yours forward, and hers as far back as it could go), both her hands holding on to your arm, you hope she’ll kiss you back.

She does.