Hi! This was something I wrote a couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday; I’d planned it in my head on the plane and throughout the first day and finally decided to write it! I hope you enjoy this: you may have to read parts of it twice to understand it.
The stars played across our eyelids as I tried to stare at you one evening. They were dancing outside but not inside you and the absence of a tangible thread of happiness within you caused the galaxies to dim in me, too. It was late: the sun had barely set, awakening your fears.
Your fluttering eyes opened for the first time in what felt like days, lashes sweeping upwards to reveal that enchanting gaze. I could stare at you with little shyness, noticing every minute detail: the flecks of blue amid the warm brown, the way they darted left and right before settling, complacently and vaguely, upon mine. Something like firelight flushed back into your pale cheeks as you saw me, returning my hesitant smile with one that flashed far too much teeth than to what I was usually accustomed. A piece of art couldn’t have rivaled your face just then. You enthralled me, your face reflecting the wide innocence of a child who didn’t quite know the world existed around them; it was as if, when I glanced at the shape of you, it took you a moment to realise that you had a body worth looking at. That you even had a body at all.
The slope of your neck was always something that you attempted to cover, bashful of how long it was; your shoulders were also somewhat of an insecurity of yours. Hunched a little, they were nonetheless able to convey a message of quiet confidence on your good days. Your hair, though now matted and grown to just above your shoulders, brushed your skin with a softness that hinted at delicacy. As soon as I had the knowledge of what beauty meant to us both, I knew you had it. You could not hide it beneath layers of clothing; you couldn’t mask it with a new face – the way you walked betrayed a deep-rooted grace that other people admired. Simply put, everything about you was and is beautiful to me. In an abstract way, each line and curve of you is familiar to me.
Your laugh was like spring water: it tumbled out of your mouth, something running down a riverbed. Whenever you saw something pretty, your eyes sparked: your face turned towards it, your lips parting very slightly. I always hoped, perhaps, that you’d look at me like that. Now I wonder if it is because of me that you no longer look at anything like that. It breaks my heart.
Since I knew what love was, I have loved you. Yet now, even for my insistent tugging at your sleeve, hand, the way I stare at you with such longing for you to step outside, you do not leave this room. You stay still, sometimes pacing, wild eyes imploring me to stay with you. How could I ever leave when you can’t bare to open the door? How could I, without breaking, leave you when my heart feels like it’s tied to yours? If I did not know you so well, I could let you go without the slightest guilt, run out of the door and into the cage of the outside world. Why would I do that when staying with you makes my mind the most free it has been in years?
You won’t even open the window. Is my company so precious to you that you don’t want anything to ruin it? It makes my heart skip with a perverse, terrible sort of delight to think it. I do want you to be happy – I do – but if you notice how much I care for you, it may make me happy again. Whole again. You no longer stare out of the window that has somehow, mysteriously, grown bars – you only look at me or the wall now. The wall is blank, white and yet you seem to find my blank likeness infinitely more interesting. Will you call me beautiful today? It’s all I’ve ever wanted to hear. People call us so charming but I think we’d look so much better united, even though you may not think you’re worth a single second of anybody else’s time. You are. I have loved you forever – you must want to spend time with me, surely?
I worry for you, you know. Others tell me not to, with whispered words and steely gazes. They say, that you are just “having a bad day,” or that you “can’t truly feel like this,” that you’ll “get over it”. They must be lying, if tears stain the bedsheets each hour. When you do emerge, your smile is so perfected in its fake upward turn that people barely give it a second glance. I know. I know that when you arrive here, you question how real the walls are, how real your hands are, how real even I am.
You looked at me with those dull, dull eyes that night. Disbelieving what was in front of you, you couldn’t reconcile the fact that such different people as you and I are could work in harmony. It was difficult for you to understand that someone so opposite could sit, legs crossed, fingers nearly touching yours with something more hopeful than a consoling embrace. You said that you wanted irrefutable proof, more than I could give you. How could I show you?
The stream, just nestled within the woods that bordered my back garden, was one we always used to go to when life became too much. Running through the trees, the prospect of sitting on the bank of it made my mouth open in a wide grin. As we fell into a crouch, staring languidly into the water, I could see you beside me. Your hair, longer then, rustled in the breeze, little droplets of water balancing on your nose from a particularly boisterous leap of faith by a lose branch, dislodged from its home. With the sun shining in your eyes, you leaned forward with the most amazing curiosity, your teeth gleaming in the distorted reflection of the river. Whilst looking at you, my breath stopped in my chest. That was the day I knew I was in love with you.
Did you see it, that night? Do you see it now? I’m too afraid to look at your face, to see your brow crinkle in confusion because you can’t believe me. I’m sorry; I’ll do anything to prove that I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anything; my whole body thrums with the terror of how much emotion I feel towards you.
The panic, so strong now, gives me a strange sense of courage. The cold recedes to be replaced with a horrible, rushing sense of pandemonium. My eyes fixate on yours, pleading: as a kind of glorious ecstasy fills them, my heart screams a rhythm in my shuddering chest. Can you see it? Your eyes are lit with the same horrifying flame. This must be right. It must!
Do you know how I feel towards you? If you would only know, maybe you would stop hating yourself. You are the only thing that holds me together and at your breaking, I’m in pieces too. Together, can’t we fix each other? Can’t we? Am I so inadequate that not even I, someone who will always think of you as my other half, my second self, cannot help you? Why do you turn your face away from that I cannot see you – am I repulsive?
My heart is beating so loudly now that it shakes me. My breaths come in short gasps, pupils dilated in a wide frenzy. You are so far from me, so infinitely far, yet I stretch my whole self towards you. I try, I sob without tears, the ragged sound bouncing off the colourless walls. Everything I have wants to join you.
I am leaning forward, as you did near the river, trying to reach you. You are too far away, the bed you sleep on so neatly made with you sitting atop it. You haven’t slept and neither have I, my head too restless, your head too tired for dreams. I claw at the bedclothes, eyes leaking tears. Where are you? My face moves, tilts; it is so close to yours that I could almost feel your breath on my cheek.
The mirror smashes.
A pause. I can’t breathe because you are gone; I can’t see you. That is when I scream, the sound tearing from my throat, howling, raw and wretched and so pained as to destroy everything. Broken glass litters the bed, glinting in the moonlight that filters through those bars – are they real?
I stand, the ghost of something without you. Striding over to the window, I press my hands against it rapturously but it is a poor, pathetic cousin of the thing that connected me to you, that is now covering my hands. That means that you are still here, in a way – but no.
A flick of the latch opens the window and I hurriedly stick my head out, searching the skies. Stars twinkle, like the ones in your eyes; they’re running across the sky like I used to do by the river. No, you – we – who am I? Who are you?
You are not among them. I’m looking, futilely; the one connection I had is gone. In seeking to love you, I killed you.
You are not here.
I close the window. Tears sparkle on the sill and only now do I realise I’m crying. Retreating inside, I sink to the floor. Only my spirit is lifeless.