[note: very old short story i wrote a long time ago.]
“could you love me?” she says. it isn’t a question he hears but a statement that needs to be answered.
“could you love me?” she says again in a whisper, almost mouthing it instead to herself only.
her eyes are downcast, the deepest blue of the intangible storm that couldn’t be tamed or untamed. he is always fascinated, easily wondering about the color she holds, the color she thought little of. but her eyes are on the floor, giving in the submission to the ugly gray, coarse rug. there’s the angular facial structure she has, the tilt of her defiant chin and the hardened, razor cheekbones. the chestnut-brown hair brushed her spine, and he would swear they were naturally straight if not for the slight waves and curls from the night of breathing and from the night of disappearing.
yes, the night of breathing and the night of disappearing. she thinks the sex as nothing more and nothing less. the world is insane, inane, chaotic, and yet too ordered. she is suffocated but he could make her breathe so she breathes. and she disappears just for a while. she isn’t herself, isn’t anyone she knows. she is nothing and yet everything. she is someone else and yet herself, disappearing and just breathing.
her soul’s there. her body isn’t.
she is sitting on the bed, the thin bathrobe hanging on her shoulders without actually wearing them. she is naked but she doesn’t hide. she only sits, the faintest warmth of the cotton bathrobe to war away with the goosebumps that is invading her pallid skin. she doesn’t care of the cold. she shivers without intending to. she doesn’t care how she’s revealing too much of how she looks, flaws and all.
her soul’s there. her body isn’t.
she would have sworn that the disappearance isn’t infinite but he thinks differently. her soul’s so vacant in the way she tries to hold on to everything to the point that she has to let go, and she lets go, she lets go. she’s letting go and she doesn’t know. she isn’t there but she wants to be. she’s running away but she wants to stay, isn’t it? where is she running away to? why is she running away?
her soul’s there. her body isn’t.
he is beneath a blanket though it is falling off with her past shifting to sit instead, a detachment to be stated rather to be lying cheek against cheek in sleep. he watches her back, the spine that curves when she slouches and then stiffs up as she attempts a pose. shoulder blades like knives. she is sharp, almost lacking all natural curves he is fond of.
she is a knife, sharp and willing.
“love steals souls,” he says.
this is the answer he could best say? it is barely an answer to her question, she knows, and she couldn’t even try to decide what he means by it. love steals souls? it sounds like murder, the destruction of the soul, and he wants to reject and to disbelieve. she decides that this is how it is so. she is being logical. no fuss, no mess, nothing needed to be.
she doesn’t even know why she says this question in the first place. it was supposed to be another silence of that unspoken goodbye until the next time she needs to breathe again, to feel again. she was supposed to leave, the line drawn as always with the wall built-in steel, but the words had fallen out from her kiss-bruised lips in a tumble before she realized.
love steals souls, he says.
and he means every word of it.
she is cold. she is a knife. she is gone. she isn’t there.
but there is wanting, and he doesn’t want in physical needs. he has gotten that and could have that so many more time for she is always coming back just to pretend. he knows she is pretending to be real again. but there is the touch he wants to give that he can’t give. there is the soul he wants to hears as much as he sees from her quiet questioning. but her soul isn’t there and he wants it to be there.
only sex. he didn’t mind. what man would mind? but there is curiosity to find what’s hidden and he has a taste of the hidden. just a little piece from jaded statements and from shattered comments that he wants to piece together to find what’s more. there is a fondness of having her, of seeing what he could see and of feeling what he could feel if only during those moments. there is the hardness of wanting to know what built her up not to fall so he could take upon the war with her, side by side, and to fight her demons.
then there is softness.
love steals souls.
“love doesn’t only make us poets at the touch of love,” he says.
she had heard the quote before that love makes a person a poet at a little prick of love, and he says the opposite, defying and ripping down the belief? she doesn’t want him to. she likes the idea even though she couldn’t have the idea herself. it’s foolish. it’s impossible. it’s unrealistic, but she likes the idea – the little flutter of a poetic line trying to master at the perfection but could only conceive the imperfection. the poet would try and try in vain attempts and in mad attempts.
“it makes us murderers of our own sanity,” he continues. “a willing slave with chains and shackles we put on ourselves. we know this but we still put them on.”
what is he saying? she furrows her eyebrows together, the cute scrunching of confusion, of wanting to make sense of it. he is going one way and then going into another direction, isn’t he? is he making fun with words to scorn the fools? why does she want to scream at him even though she is agreeing with every word he says? she wants the illusion, wants to believe, but there is only fallacy.
“we’re addicts. it’s a drug.”
“the shackling?” she questions.
he laughs in wry humor. there is the brightness she sees again when she looks back at him, always secretly envying the spark in him. is this why she had chosen him? there is life in him; there is something unattainable she couldn’t have but at least could pretend to have by having him to help her breathe again? there is a speck of darkening in the light of his eyes, she sees. the topaz eyes, almost golden, like a tiger, and oh, especially like a tiger. he moves and speaks like a tiger, the low rumble of his voice and his golden eyes of a feline hunter. she is the hunted.
there is the darkening. what is darkening the light? she doesn’t like the darkening. is the subject that she had pointlessly without a clue brought up made him to drown just a bit of the light? she believes this is so and wants to drop the subject, refusing the dark. she needs him for she is with a soul but without a breathing soul and he is her breathing soul.
“no. love. we’re addicts.”
“it’s destructive,” she concludes, agreeing. her question is never answered, she thinks, but it is needless, and the subject needs to be dropped.
“yes,” he sighs.
he answers her questions but she doesn’t hear.