that night the stars fell from the sky in my world.
and you were the cause of it.
i had begun the next day not speaking to you. my vow when i closed my eyes the night before was never to see you again, in my dreams or in the dull humdrum of the days to come. my tears, long run dry, did not have permission to fall for you once more, as i dragged myself towards the bathroom mirror. staring back was a little girl, nothing more. who's swollen face and tossled hair did not hide the break in her plain jane eyes. a vivid ferocity that was once there had faded over time, eroded by whispers of "i love you", calls that never did come, hours spent waiting alone at swanky restaurants. i quickly look away from the mirror, and wander back to the bed. out of the corner of my eye i see the red blinking of an answering machine.
11 new messages.
i'm sure that somewhere between all of the "baby please pick up the phone, i really need to explain about last night, you know i need you more than anything"s there is some form of an explanation as to why.
why did i let him into my heart? why were my barriers so susceptible to his charms? why did i even listen when he said..."together forever". i had known better than that; fairy tales are fairy tales, i had always told myself that.
all of these thoughts were hurting my insides. i threw on some clothes and headed towards the door, grabbing a cardboard box on the way. your things--an old baseball t-shirt, your razor and a toothbrush, the cologne that floods my head with your name, a few pairs of boxer shorts. the picture lying on the top of the pile--i set that aside. it was taken last summer, black and white. a pang tugs at my stomach, staring into your laughing eyes, remembering the smell of the breeze that day. for a second i miss the feeling of being held in your arms.
but the second ends. and i hate you again.
i throw the box into the back of my car and speed. i've never really been a very careful driver; speed limits are more like helpful suggestions of how fast you should be going; but as they are suggestions, they can easily be ignored. the long rehearsed route to your house is very mechanical to me, and i dont need to think about which way to take, as i already know. i pulled up to your house and see the familiar little surroundings, the flowers your mother vigorously maintains bordering the walk. tulips, my favorite. the first time i had come here, i knew we were meant to be--you had tulips in your front yard.
setting the box down in front of the door, i struggle not to ring the doorbell.
no. just leave his stuff and get out of here before anyone sees you.
i freeze. still facing your front door, i know that you're standing there behind me.
"hey, i was hoping you would come...i was just about to go over to your house but i saw your car..."
"i really dont want to see you," i whisper. my tears break the rules; soon my face is damp with them.
"i know you dont...but i dont think i can even think for another minute without speaking to you...we really need to talk more about this." a pair of rough hands grasp my shoulders and i am pulled back. i desperately fight against my body not to allow it, but it doesn't listen, and i find myself wrapped in arms.
"please will you talk to me about it? you left so fast last night that i barely even got a chance to explain.."
"what is there to talk about?! you're leaving me!" i seethe. my body is shocked awake by my reason, and i struggle to break free of the arms. they hold me tighter, closer, turning me around to face the torso they are attached to. my vow is broken, and i stare up into your eyes.
i have always been fascinated by your eyes. they arent the clear, striking blue that most guys in those love stories have; they are like mine. dark, not really anything out of the ordinary, and they appear amber in the sunlight. it was the sincerity and truth that was always reflected through them. you see people for who they are, and all that they can be. and i loved you for that. and i see it still. your eyes, vessels of emotion; right now i see longing. and pain.
"i'm not leaving you. how could you even think that?" i am trapped by your eyes, holding me up. i dare not look away, or i will come crashing down.
"i just...i dont know how else to say how sorry i am..."
"then don't. just tell me...why you?"
"why you out of the hundreds, thousands others they could've chosen? why are they sending you to die..."
my voice breaks, as does my breath. your eyes, still holding me, open a flood gate of reasons why.
"i have to go...they need me. i am going for you--"
"for me? what are you talking about for me! they don't need you! i need you! i need you here with me, not fighting someone else's war only to die in the process!" the tears are flowing freely now, and i forget about hiding them.
"by going i am defending everything that i love. i am defending YOU, you who i care about more than anything else in this world! please, i just wish you would understand that...i wouldnt go if i didnt know you were strong enough to stay here...to stay here and wait for me."
you're doing this for me? is that why? because you love me?
"i...i still dont understand.." i whisper into your chest, daring to blink and lose sight of you.
"i know, it's something that's not easy to understand...but people are dying...and i am so grateful that it's not happening here, because the thought of anything happening to you---"
the longing and pain in your eyes has manifested into emissions of rage. it frightens me, and i tense against your embrace. a long silence follows.
"i just have to go. to make sure that in the future things are better...for us...for our children."
the eyes that hold me so captivated slowly close and look away. i brace myself for the fall, scrambling to hold on to anything in reach...and what i reach for is you. a jarring hit on the pavement as i hurtle from the stars, i finally understand; and resign myself to your arms at last.
we stood there for what seemed like forever. but as i've learned, forever doesn't last. people said that i was too young, too foolish to wait for you. and days came when i thought so myself. but one glance at the ring on my left finger, and i understood that the wait meant nothing; only the day when you came home. every night i paste the stars back up into the sky, leaving one spot for yours; the spot that will be filled when i can be lifted by your eyes again.