November 30, 2008
The air conditioner was on but I felt a weird warm feeling inside. She looked at me. Her eyes were like two brown pools of sadness. I knew she wanted to touch me, stroke my hand, and caress my cheek with the back of her palm, just anything to feel my closeness. I looked away.
He avoided my gaze and looked away. He then leaned back and gave a sigh that felt like an explosion in the silence.
“What do you want?” I asked softly and finally looked at her. I really looked at her this time. Her eyes were wide with pain and tears were rolling down her cheeks. She put her hand over mine as if seeking comfort from the feel of my skin.
“I want what you once wanted but can’t give me now, or you won’t.” I sighed.
She sighed, strangely composed like the calm before a storm and held up her hands helplessly in a gesture.
“Do you really want to what I want? I want to wake up every morning beside you. I want to lie beside you at night and watch you sleep, your face next to mine. I want you to come home to me everyday, sit down to supper together and talk about our days. Then I want to follow you to our bedroom and cuddle up like an unbreakable knot and I want you to love me and make love to me. That is what I want.” Saying this, I burst into tears.
And with that final burst of speech, the dam broke and her tears poured out in an immeasurable gush. I looked away.
He looked away as if it pained him to see me cry.
It was hurting me and I didn’t’ dare look at her again. “I cannot give you what you want. I am not ready yet. You know how I feel about marriage. We are together. Isn’t that enough for now?” I said, my voice rising defensively. I then gently laughed.
He laughed softly, somberly. Laughter was his mask; it protected him and hid him from showing what he actually felt. He said something, trying to make a joke. I didn’t even remember what it was later.
Trying to joke at such a moment was a bad move. “Why do you have to make a joke out of everything?” She cried, her voice trembling with the strain of emotion. “Why can’t you just feel? Cry?” she asked. “I cannot help it. I laugh when I am nervous.” I replied uneasily. She nodded.
I just nodded. I had heard all this many times before. Silence engulfed us in its drowsy softness. He threw his legs over mine. I felt a sense of contentment. He covered his eyes with his arm and his breaths changed, quickened. I laid my head across the warmth of his chest. It felt so soothing, and familiar, and to think I would never have it again…it brought on almost a feeling of fear deep within my gut.
Her sobs were quieter now, but no less emotional, and I felt her body shake with the force of them. “Here, feel this.” I said and clutching her fingers I touched them to my cheek.
I felt the dampness and I looked up. This time he didn’t look away. He smiled but there was no laughter in his eyes, he had tears. “See what you do to me?” he said. I was surprised. I had never seen him cry before.
Her breath sharpened. She had never seen me cry before. It must have come as a surprise to her.
I wanted to see it, to feel his emotion, probably for the last time. We cried silently together, his hear beating with a slow rhythm beneath my ear. “I’ll never have this again, will I?” I sobbed.
She sobbed and gasped for breath. It was killing me to see her in so much pain. “Don’t say that! And please don’t cry!” I begged. “This doesn’t mean it is the end.” She still continued to cry.
Despite the hope that blossomed in my chest, I kept crying. I stroked his face. “He doesn’t love me anymore. But I still do.” I thought.
She stroked my face. “She thinks I don’t love her anymore. But I do.” I thought.
We sat gazing at each other, both of us scared to think about what would happen once this moment ended. Goosebumps danced along our bare skin, and we breathed as one.