Love & Other Tales

 

He stood, shoulders slightly hunched forward, before the door. The mail slot held his attention. He’d just slid a letter through, having been obsessively careful to place it within the slot so that there would be no chance of the postage stamp being snagged against the metal.

How long it had been since he’d last seen her. How the hour hand dwindled, as if fading into oblivion. Instead of sand passing through an hourglass, he felt like ground glass was being forced through his veins. The agony of waiting, for nothing.

It had been three weeks since they’d seen each other, parting as friends. A tender, yet non-committal, kiss had been passed from one to the other.

How he’d fought the tears, self doubt, and the inflicting pain afterwards, he didn’t know.

Past the tears, past  the feelings, past the love, he felt numb. Guilt tugged at him, an old hound still wanting to play fetch although its body was riddled with cancer.

How things had gone from a mutual understanding to hatred, denial, and a collapsing of communications, he didn’t know.

It had passed as a hurricane seen in slow motion; slides shown of an autopsy where the subject’s name is shown and recognized before the cutting begins. The pain had cascaded around him, melting his awareness into this numbing torture.

Incompatible with the telephone (conversations were stilted and bound to escalate into arguments), he took to writing. Part of him knew she wouldn’t read the letters. How could she? She was dead.

So simple it would be, to just write her off. A faceless receiving entity who vaguely bore a resemblance to someone he’d loved.

They’d been together for five months.

Three months had been spent sharing ideas. Ideas of their own, of the world, and of the Spirit. The slow but happy walk though the fields of the other’s being, which could have contained mines, yet didn’t. Not then. The heart’s time bombs were forgotten.

The next month had passed in a domestic security. He wasn’t working, couldn’t hold a job, but he loved her. Wasn’t that all that mattered? She’d gone to school six days a week and come home, happy to be in his arms again.

The last month had been a melody of chaos. Her lashing out, striking him down with clenched fist. His raised voice spitting barbed wire and razor’s lace at her.

The parting had been necessary. But where had the love gone? Those times they had looked into each other’s eyes and known, intuitively, what the other was thinking. When the setting sun had been flames and the clouds the smoke of a burning world. Where was the passion? A surging ocean once held within the chest, until the flood gates had been released with the words: “I love you”.

Within her body. He knew. All of the love, the happiness, and passion had become a seed. The seed was growing, a flower of innocence, within her body.

That body that had been raped, cut, molested, and punished for others’ crimes. That body he’d loved and prayed to heal.

Growing within that body, a new life, one he’d given himself to the creation of. It was there, within her. He was left with this, the agony; doubt and worry gnawing at him every hour of each day, whittling him into this numbness.

What to feel? Hate was too selfish, as well as a dishonesty. Love? How could love be felt when it was no longer returned? Respect? Perhaps, but not when every effort of communication was made by him alone. Not a letter, not a call from her. Nothing.

His heart grieved for a death that hadn’t happened and a birth that was of his making. Where the past goes, all freedom’s lost. He’d thrown his cards on the table and the house had won. Drinks for everyone, it’s on the house. It’s a boy.

    But he didn’t drink. He smoked.

He smoked incessantly, fueling the loss of love with burning blue smoke. Another happy moment remembered, another cigarette. The chain was unending. He almost wished he’d get emphysema, then at least he’d know who had died.

His body had become nothing. He went nowhere, so it didn’t matter if he didn’t eat. Sleep was peace, the escape. But the bed of slumber rested in the forest, the limbs – vagrant thoughts of what had happened, what could’ve happened, what was happening – each tearing at him, each begging for his undivided attention.

She’d had a space of her own. A closet. This was where she’d allegedly died.

He’d never known her before her death. He only knew the three fold she’d been resurrected as.

(How that had reminded him of the Goddess, when she’d first told him. But that thought had been neatly tucked away as soon as it had been seeded. He had his own form of worship and she wouldn’t become it)

Fitting enough, her name was Fair Christian, although she (or he, for that matter) wasn’t a true bred, hard faith Christian, he could see it in her eyes. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – or in this case, even from the beginning of it all: Father, Mother, and Child.

Both he and she had been triple fold.

He was the lover (romantic), the intellectual, and the warrior. She was the romantic (lover), the intellectual, and the valkyrie. Anger became the runners each one slid upon.

At the start , the gears had intermeshed perfectly, fitting exactly where the other needed. So beautiful it had been. So beautiful it had been. Such a rush of joy and pleasure intertwined than either of them had ever before known. She’d danced over stones, water, and fate. Her form contained a grace and subtleness of truth that caused his heart to erupt in song, a song she’d joined with her own. Together, they’d measured the days in a litany of magic and hope. Within each other’s arms they discovered another world: a Gate of sculpted gold and fine gems opened to them within a castle of faiery make, hidden within a grove, beside a babbling brook of crystal passion.

Oh, how they’d danced, his heart bled now over the sorrow of loss. He’d first seen the sign of heartbreak in that he’d walked to the Gate alone, she’d been too far behind, lost in a darkness, to heed his calls. It had been his hand, his alone, which had beckoned for the Gate to be opened, and it had opened, yet he hadn’t passed through. He wouldn’t do that without the hand of his Fair Christian.

She’d opened her heart to him, her innermost self. The one who had died begged him for a release. Scars of another’s transgressions marked her hips – slices made by a sword, bought as a hobby with many others – and riddled her heart. He watched her cower, expecting, almost wishing, for him to strike her. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. He’d held her as the tears coursed down her face, tears melted from the glacier of her childhood. She’d held him as he shed the poisons of his private crimes and regrets. They’d shared each other’s disease in hopes of healing.

His hand upon her heart had marked the end. Walls of self abuse shot up and she’d lashed out with an anger meant for another. He was a man, thus alike to the transgressor, so the dead had reasoned.

The lies and the pain bourne from the dead tore apart the tapestry he and she had just begun to weave together.

In fear for his sanity, he’d fled.

He’d had his own pain of innocence  shattered as a child. The pain of lashing fists striking out. He’d not understood then. He didn’t understand now. No, father, don’t hate me, I love you. No lover, don’t hate me, I love you. The transformation was the catalyst. The catalyst was the transformation.

He turned to himself

In  Hope           In Hate

In Despair        In Sorrow

In Pity               In Time

In Love             In Forgiveness

He turned to himself and became the rain. Rotting. Quenching. Cleansing. He became the rain.

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