No matter how good you think you are, you will always be the villain in someone else’s story.
We’d just had sex, relishing in the warmth of post orgasm cuddle play when he looked me in the eyes, “You know I really like you.”
My chest swelled with euphoria and fear and I smiled, “Me too!” But just as my reply reached his ears the sparkle disappeared from his eyes, his lips curled down ever so subtly – the post coitus warmth had dried up and my bed felt like winter.
“It’s okay, I know you don’t.” He said, the eye contact was broken now.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
He was looking out the window, his thoughts were now as far as the mountain ranges in the distance. He started speaking, “You don’t want a relationship. You don’t want a boyfriend. You’re so lonely but you only want guys that are temporary but then when they are willing to stay in your life you back away because you’re so scared of getting close to someone.”
All I could do was nod. I didn’t know what to say but I couldn’t disagree.
He continued, “I feel sorry for you, I don’t know what happened to you but I’m really sorry that it happened. In all the time I’ve spent with you, I still have no idea who you are.”
Just like that it was gone, my jig was up. An act even I wasn’t actively conscious of up until that point.
Again, I just nodded and looked down at the messy linen sheets, really deep into the thread work and imperfections – speckles here and there, lumps and bumps.
Slowly I took my gaze up to my reflection in the mirror where I only saw myself. He was all but gone.
Rather than looking at my reflection, I was looking through myself in the reflection. My eyes glazed as I floated out from my body to imagine me viewing myself alone in the room watching myself look through my own reflection.
I felt so empty.
I made this wall to keep the harm out, it has served me well but there is something else. After years behind the wall, I’m getting this growing sense that I am somehow missing out.
I see you and you see me but as we go to touch, something stops us.
The wall keeps you out too.
Now I sit here in my space where I used to feel so safe. But now, it’s not just that I’m missing out but something else – I feel something sinister here with me, invisible to my eyes as I look around.
It’s just me, there is nothing in here, what could it be?
That’s when I catch a glimpse in the reflection of the glass.
It is in me, it has been growing in me and changing me.
I realise now is the time to let down the walls. I’m not ready but I don’t think I will ever be.
All I know if I don’t I will cease to be me.
And you look up and notice that even the cherry blossoms have started to fall from the branches.
A quiet weekend in our own little world,
an alternate reality glimpsed.
Morning breath and furtive glances,
Comfortable silence and our own plans.
Truths spoken and secrets shared,
with my palms outward and my heart open.
The wind changes direction, I blink and it’s over.
We’re huddled around a pole in the train during the morning rush,
whispering and laughing in a language you don’t understand.
It’s my stop, I turn back and wave casually as I hop off to change lines.
The doors clothes and off he goes.
Love is patient and understanding. It doesn’t run away as soon as things become difficult. Love communicates in its own special way.
You all may not think much of me and read me as shallow but I want you to know that I take love and life more seriously than you think.
I remember when I was younger, I loved exploring in the backyard. There would be so many little beautiful, mysterious things under rocks, hiding in a crevice or right there in plain sight.
There was this one time time when I found a cocoon and my parents explained to me that inside there was something beautiful but I had to wait,
“The butterfly comes out when it is ready.” Mum said to me.
At first I tried to wait and thought to give it more love. Should I make it a bed?
Maybe a little one out of tissues to keep it warm.
Both Mum and Dad said that I didn’t need to do anything, just be patient.
I watched it all day just in case something happened. But, to my surprise and disappointment – nothing.
I wanted it to hurry up. I was impatient.
No one was around and I couldn’t wait, so I decided something must be wrong – why didn’t he respond to my love? He must be stuck, I need to save him I thought to myself.
So I started to take away the layers of the cocoon and I felt wriggling inside. Ah! He’s stuck, I knew it! No one else knew but I cared for him the most so how was anyone else to know what he needed?
Excitedly, I kept peeling more layers off and it became more difficult. The wriggling continued – a little more intensely this time.
But then as I got to the centre I realised something was wrong, it was just gooey.
I felt hot and sick all at once.
The wriggling stopped.
He was dead.
But he was just wriggling and alive, how could this be?
My eyes felt hot and my vision became blurry. I fell on my bottom and started to cry loudly, real loudly because Dad came outside and asked me what was the matter. He scooped me up and I saw him looking down at the ground where it was clear what had happened. What I had done was evident.
“He’s dead.” I said crying into Dad’s shoulder, I pressed my face so hard into his shirt that the darkness became a purple-red murkiness and I could feel the pressure on my eyeballs. My little nose hurt as I pushed harder.
After a time Dad started to talk, “Matey, we told you to be patient and wait. He wasn’t ready yet,” His hand stroking my hair as he swayed gently, back and forth.
“But I made him a little bed and he was wriggling.” I said, feeling snot mixing with tears.
Dad’s shirt was damp and slimy now. The light hurt my eyes and I tried to open them again and look through the tears.
Dad pulled me away from his shoulder and bought us face to face and said, “You can give all the love you like, that’s fine. But you can’t give that expecting something to happen sooner or something to go your way.”
I shut my eyes and kept them shut, the tears still rolling down my cheek and my breathing slowing down. I didn’t understand.