The Dark Hours II
She had finally given in. The comprehension that it was real, almost tangible, had come on suddenly. It exploded inside her like a bittersweet mortar, and – although she found herself delightfully enraptured – its ferocity had left her tangled and shaken. She sat on it for weeks. She feigned at it in conversation and played coy behind words whose intended meaning could be fully apprehended only with the foreknowledge of what lay behind them. She scolded her inability, having repeatedly dragged herself to the precipice of candid conversation, to respect the foundations of their association by being direct and honest. She tested his understanding of the almost imperceptible light she had cast on it – asking the same question in a multitude of different ways. Having frustrated both her patience and his, she decided it best to disconnect until she untangled herself and figured out what to do. It wasn’t that she was overly concerned at how it would be received, she was more than capable of owning it in the face of opposition, but rather that through her words its veracity would be legitimised and recorded forever in the fabric of reality. Once it had been released into the ether, it would never be taken back – even if she had wished it – and it would never be denied. It would be restricted only by its own conditions – she would be forced to relinquish the tight control she had lauded over it up to this point. She would have to accept it. She would have to resign herself to the fact that she would no longer merely want him, but need him. She would never again enjoy a cursory delight in his attention, but yearn for his presence as she would an absent part of herself. It would no longer be a matter of a distant attraction, but rather a deep, merciless desire that she would consign herself to confront every time she roused from the safety of his arms in her dreams to greet the actuality of her existence.
She was in love with him. He had come to consume her – occupying her first coherent thought when she awoke, her last consideration before she slept, and proving the source of frequent distraction in between. She worried about him. She hated it when he was unhappy, and felt aggressively towards those people and things that caused him discomfort or pain. She craved him; physically aching for his touch and longing to subject him to hers. Her skin burned to feel his hands upon it. Her body focused on naught but gratifying his every amusement. For as long as he would have her, she would be irrationally, irresponsibly, irrefutably his. She would offer whatever part of herself she had not already given to him for as long as he chose to humour her affection. Until the time he informed her that she no longer had a prospect of sharing in his being, she would reserve everything she was for him alone. It was not a love borne out of expectation, nor of presumption. Although she hoped for it in the depths of her very core, she did not anticipate – especially after words long past – that he would share her conviction and surety, nor the gravity of her emotion. All she needed to know was that he had created a place for her - set apart a space in himself that was hers. That he was willing for his own reasons to bequeath her even the smallest part of his soul. That he wanted for even a little bit of his heart to be her own.
She had felt similar once before. Carried away by romanticism, she had flung herself at the abyss without ensuring that she would not alone be at its mercy. Her offer was rejected, and she was left to weather the ravages of emotion on her own. At the risk of proving cliché, this time she felt it to be different. It was not a situation of superficial feeling, able to be hijacked by grand notions above its station. This time, it was not about her. All she wanted was his happiness, although her own derived vicariously through his. Should he choose the path taken earlier by another, she would accept his return of her gifts, however mournfully, and wish him all the happiness in the world. If his contentment and joy were not to be found with her then, although the notion was reviled by every atom of her being, she fervently desired that he would discover it in the warmth of another. The acknowledgement that she would accede to the annihilation of her own possibilities with him for the sake of his free inclination forced her to admit that for her it had become real. Therefore it had to be told.
If he did not yet feel the same and was not in love with her upon his reception of her finally unambiguous information, she could only hope that one day he would be. One day, he would hopefully come to consider her as a part of his life that would be to his detriment if it were without. He would tell her that he wanted to be with her. Actually be with her. That he wanted to gaze upon her face in the morning, lay his head in her lap when he was tired and hold her to his chest. That she was the one who made him feel good, that she possessed the capacity to ease him by her mere presence. She did not know what her future reality would look like. All she knew was her hope that he would be there in whatever way to make her laugh at troglodytes and share her sarcastic chagrin at stupid people, and that if it all came to nothing, if he never arrived at the lips of the abyss and opted to become an eventual memory, she would keep him close to her heart as a man she had loved.