I did not sleep that night. I kept thinking about Amanda.
Sometimes, or maybe often, thinking about someone makes you contemplate both their presence and absence at the same time
but it is not as often that it feels good and this time, it felt bad.
There is a time, I thought, when people are needed to be pulled out from our skin.
Like a bandage that keeps hold of the wound getting pulled off it. And while there is a certain satisfaction in actual pulling of bandage and tore skin of the wound; the pulling off people without having them actually close by is plain tyranny.
I rolled in my bed and glanced at the table clock. It was 2:48 am in the clock. I grabbed my phone and dialed to her.
She attended after second ring. Maybe she was awoke too.
"Hello." I muttered.
"I am sad." She said.
"You said we are going, and it's just that we are going to different places."
"I resent that, it felt good while I said it after you. But now I see, by the time sun will cover the clouds of tomorrow, you would be gone. And I shall be here.
It is a honest thing to say that it's not the going that makes me sad, it is the staying that does." I said.
"At a time, I used to think that universe gives a shit to everything I do. Like it counts if I killed a bee today or saved a hen or if the ugly Cheryl young snatched my chocolate.
I would think everyone gets a fair deal in this world.
But it is not so.
Out of everything that could be wanted in this world, I want you Everett. And this wish stays."
"It is hard, you know"
"It is hard realizing you are in love while you are just about to lose it.
But I am in love with you, and now when it appears to be the most obvious thing that has ever occurred to me, I want to say it a million times, quiet and quieter towards the universe, so that you would be the last person to hear it. I want you to remember it until it fades away from everywhere else.
I wish if we could have more days, or a little more of the forever we always talked about."
I felt a tear on my lips.
"Yes, me too." She said.
I wanted more of her words.
And more of everything. The days, her eyes, of voice and of myself and of infinite things those had ever existed while our time had ran out.
After a pause, she said
"Being in love is like knowing the ocean is blue, may or may not its water be. You see, love is knowing without having."
I thought for a while.
"We should sleep." I said.
I disconnected. keeping my phone beside the table clock, I looked toward the slow moving ceiling fan. I sat up with the pillow crushed in between my lap and elbows.
"It is stupid" I shouted.
"It is stupid to think of love as something about knowing without having. Love could be about a thousand different things but it is sure not about not having.
What is the point of being in love with someone without having them?"
There was nobody around to reply.
I fell back on my bed, staring the fan.
I concluded, not everyone gets a fair deal in this world.
On the last day of september, Amanda invited me to dinner at her house. I did not want to go. I believed that not saying a goodbye, in some way, makes it not a goodbye.
I have always hated goodbyes, I don't know why they were named 'good' bye. I wanted them to be badbyes or just byes, the kind when you don't know this is the last time you are getting to say it.
But I knew, it was a goodbye.
We had lime pies, pasta,
turkey dressed in onion and celery, okra and fried chicken at dinner. Her mother cooked the most delicious food on Earth.
Amanda looked a lot like her mother, they had same eyes. Just that she had golden hair unlike her mom's brown.
I imagined her in brown hair.
Imagining a person sometimes feels better than looking at them in real, because when you imagine them you are sure they are not going anywhere until you want them to.
However, she was going and I did not care where. But she was going from most of places she had ever been in my world.
I wanted to save her somewhere.
In a place right next to my heart where I could see her again.
She kept getting beautiful as the evening fell and so the world seemed to be uglier than ever.
We told her mother that we were going to listen to some music in Amanda's room.
We entered the room, I closed the door and kissed her.
Her lips tasted like strawberries left for a while among oranges.
It is the very idea of memories that makes the present beautiful, I thought.
We danced on 'You had me from hello' by kenny chesney.
Her skin was flawless, like rest of her body and she danced like a fountain pen on paper.
We sat down on floor against the couch and let the song play slowly.
"You have me, Amanda." I said.
"I enjoy you." She smiled.
"Are you going to call me, or would you send letters, will you come back?"
"Maybe. I don't believe in letters and calls and holding while knowing that I am not coming back. This is the point, you know, everyone is going. I am just going somewhere you are not going."
"Maybe someday we would reach at the same place with wherever we are going, we just don't know. We can hope so.
We certainly can." I said.
"And what a bad idea it is to stretch a string across the world based upon a hope of getting to the other end someday."
She said looking at my palm kept down in her lap.
"Maybe there is something beyond the horizon, I just hope for us." I could not say more.
"The fact, Everett is that I love you. And I know only eternal pain in this world is love. But I want to give you so much of love and yet so less of pain.
I had my days when I could love you, and I did. I am going and now there is more pain to give than love to be given.
You gave me more than I was likely to get and I am glad for it.
You are a string across me, and I don't want you to break slowly. I want you to hit me on the walls of my body so that I remember you were here.
I believe everyone has a story, and yours is beautiful, and mine too.
But admixing two beautiful things does not always guaranty a third beautiful creation.
You should know Everett, when we will cross the last horizon there will be another one farther than the last.
And because you should know, if hopes were food then the hunger of this universe is insatiable.
And I have always been dying of starvation."
I looked at her, she looked pale,
She was not flawless. She had a heart.
"Maybe we should dance, there is little time left." I said with a smile.
We danced on 'Each heart deserves to be broken' by samuel grey.
"Maybe, the worlds greatest lie is not the objectification of fate. Maybe it is the hope that there is an even probability of things those seem so unlikely to happen." I said.
Both of us smiled.
We awoken about an hour after.
Sun was up, yet barely able to traverse the clouds overhead. Sky had a shade of lavender mixed with a drop of sky blue and coldness soothed the dawn. It was calm and breeze was running through our hair.
Amanda, with her hands clutching the ends of blanket which she had rolled over herself, sat against the other railing of back of the trolley facing me.
She stretched out her legs under my blanket just so that our feet touched and
I interlaced my toe between her fingers.
She smiled, the corners of her eyes shrinking and dust in them still there.
Her feet felt warm, I reached out my hand and ran over my finger upon her skin.
She laughed, and I liked her.
And there is this thing about liking; having the idea of liking someone is always more comfortable than having the actual likeness towards them. But I liked her and not the idea and so it came with certain fears.
Maybe the world's greatest lie is not the objectification of fate. Maybe, it's the promise that there must be an even probability of things those seem so unlikely to happen.
And I wanted her to happen to me.
"What do you choose between a horse and a stone?" she asked.
"A horse." I said.
"Well, we should keep going on then rather than sitting here until it's noon."
"A stone then." I said.
"You are not as half as smart as you think you are.
She said with a sly smile.
"but you have been very successful at looking beautiful in the mornings."
We laughed. She clung up to my side to sit beside me. I kept my arm around her neck and
we watched the flowers for a while.
"Forever" she said.
"Forever." I said looking at her. My fingers lost in her hair and her hand pulling me closer to her. .
I kissed her on lips then.
She tasted like life.
We folded the blankets and kept them inside the truck on the back seats.
She headed to the driver's seat
and I sat beside her.
As she started the truck, I looked at her.
If there is a forever and if it really is as good as it feels to think about it, I thought, then a forever must be very short.
My eyes opened earlier than they used to, back at home. It was cold and dew was all over our blankets. I did not move, I did not want to wake up Amanda.
I was lying turned towards her, my arm wrapped around her body over her shoulder and she was close to me, embossed on my chest, hidden in me.
I felt her warm breaths against my neck.
I could see behind her, beyond sky blue floor of the back of our mini truck where we fell asleep last night.
Knee high grass with patches of purple flowers in it and further, trees with thick trunks full of birds those sound sweet.
The morning before the sun is not as same as the evening after it, I thought.
It is like the drop evaporating to the sky is not as same as the one falling in rain.
I looked at her. She did not smell like last night, of lilies and musk and orange blossom.
She smelled like skin and beats and warmth, radiating from a pathway across my heart to hers. And she looked more like a person than a beautiful thought, with her almond hair scattered out of her ponytail and her palm tucked in somewhere in the short space between us against my stomach.
Maybe the consciousness forms a wall around us, thick enough not to let us fall in love with people. I liked us sleeping, it was like falling without knowing that you are falling and every time you wake up next to each other, you know that you are a little more deeper in the pit of solace than last time you were awake.
I looked at the sky, it was still time for the sun to rise. I dug my nose in her hair and breathed deep, I inhaled all of her various smells. For a while, I felt all the love being pulled out from everything else in the world to get collected inside me with the breath and I held it. I exhaled lightly in her hair.
I loved her and I knew she loved me, I was glad about it.
I leaned my head above her and she moved further in her sleep, coming closer to me.
I smiled, and closed my eyes in hope of falling more for her when I would wake up the next time.
Two days later when I returned, I closed the door and sat laying my forehead against it.
I Closed my eyes and tried to picture Amanda's face.
I remembered all of her small parts, her dark brown hair running down until the curve of her waist, cheekbones those you could feel with back of your finger, and her hazel eyes glittering under the moonlight.
Most of all I remembered her nose, and warmth of her breathes and my desire to swallow them so that I could feel her running all inside me, through my lungs to my blood and right there in the centre of some void in my body which only could have filled with her love.
But I failed to see her as a whole. I squeezed my eyes tight into themselves.
Maybe when you see someone so many times, you begin to forget how they look.
And it was a hard thought not to be able to picture her. It did hurt.
I felt tired, much more than I'd ever had.
And it was not the simple missing, it was the moment when I realized the losing.
As if I was a bottom hole in a large bathtub through which all of the life drains out and in the end there is no life but just the hole.
I collapsed in my bed, rolling myself under my blanket.
It was dark now. Over my eyes.
A moment of silence, and I breathed in.
Her smell was in my bedsheets, and blanket and everywhere else in my room.
When I hugged her last time, I hugged her tight enough so to feel that when we'd fall apart she'd still remain on me, maybe in a thin layer but yes. Enough for me to feel it.
But she was not there now, and I could not hug her anymore.
I looked if I'd find a hair or two of her. But none. She was elegant, carrying a hurricane behind herself which could only get visible in her absence. And the hurricane was in my void now and she was not, and the room was filled of her absence and her scent which was fading slowly as I had to breathe more and more to keep her running through me.
There is that thin line between the part when all I wanted was to live for the rest and spend the ephemeral scent and the part where I wanted to capture in it a bottle.
And I knew that wherever I'd fall, it was going to hurt.
The pain had always been of uncontrollable things. Sometimes of bigger things, other times of smaller things.
But it was always there. I could see it creeping on walls, entering through the space between floor and the door's bottom. And it all came toward me.
I breathed in all I could have a last time. Felt her running all inside me for a while, like a drop of white paint miserably falling into a bucket full of black one. But she was there.
I knew she was there for a while.
I fell. Not in any of those parts.
Her smell was both too faded away either to capture or to live.
She was gone. I fell into pain.
Sometimes, pain is the safest place to fall in.
The sentence "the true thing..." is inspired by Mohini Dhankhar's recent quote about explanation of love.
Also, please like or comment only after you've read it. Numbers end up with little meaning when they have lost their very purpose of being there.
It takes a lot to write anything and liking it without reading it breaks the promise between us.