Over the years, I’ve finally been able to narrow down the kind of love I’m looking for.
In the past, I looked for someone who could take my breath away, before discovering that compatibility was much more important but not as crucial as being able to seethe together in disgust, rather than loving the same things, which held even less importance to how the black sea inside of my lungs reacted when the moment I finally calmed the voices in my head is shattered by the sound of their voice.
If I keep my eyes open, to give them all my attention, instead of the habitual intake of a disturbed breathe — then they’re the one I want to keep.
It’d already been two hours, two hours of staring over the lake without a single word between us. Kevin’s long, tapered fingers grazed each blade of grass. Each stroke was delicate, deliberate like a breath brushing against the hairs on my neck. He was captivating in a way that I believed only I understood.
Or was lucky enough to witness.
I could never admit how much I loved watching Kevin DeLong simply exist. Everything about him was like normality accented. His hair was coffee grind brown, eyes mossy like a green wych elm and the rest of him tall and his swimmer’s body looked as if God had molded him a second longer for a reaching advantage. But it was the never turning corners of his lips that held my attention.
He always had my attention.
Even on campus, I could make out his silhouette in the corner of my eye. His figure had always been unique. Hunched shoulders and long legs that had a tendency to carry him across the quad like a wraith. Five years of knowing him, and it was just today that I finally got an inkling to his thoughts.
He looked up briefly, turning those jaded eyes towards me. I smiled brightly, and he brought his arms to his knees and looked over the bright lake. My brain fired off guilt neurons, and my heart raced as I recalled following Kevin here and the unimpressed look on his face.
I realized then that I’d never sat this close to him before. Ben had always been in between us. Linking us.
He croaked out some unintelligibly words before clearing his throat to try again.
"So are you liking…" I leaned in to catch the rest of his sentence, but he just exhaled the last word, as if he’d given up on speaking entirely, "…college."
"Do you really want to know?"
He laughed, an act I counted as a personal victory, “No, sorry.” Then he frowned, emotionally - an expression I hadn’t witness until today. His forehead knotted a tight maze of wrinkles, scrunching up between his brows, and I wondered what the cause was. I didn’t have to wonder long.
"But Ben would have made me listen."
"Well, Ben would’ve made me talk," I replied.
Kevin snorted. “Yeah… That fucker.”
Venom hide in between the words and his breath, and had Kevin been talking to anyone else or about anyone else, I wouldn’t have caught it. But I did, and so I put away my next words for another time. The moment stretched as our eyes slowly adjusted to the sunset, and the lake that was once glistening silver blue ripples turned black, becoming the body of water that, without consideration to us, had swallowed our best friend.
not 100% the relationship dynamics I wanted (or rather not at this location), but a reddit WP inspired me.
I guess it depends on your definition of love. I suppose from a cheater’s (not me, but I’m stepping into someone else’s shoes right now) perspective it is. To be in love with your SO and still do wrong by them. On your own terms, it is love, but to many others, including your SO, it’s not.
So maybe the real question is, what is love? To me, there’s only one correct answer (in terms of a relationship), but that answer differs between couples. Find someone who agrees with your definition of love, and it is love. So potentially, being in love with someone who doesn’t care for your definition, could be being in love with the idea of them, and not actually loving them.
/idontknowifibelieveinloveso i’m a terrible person toask/
Yes, but nothing long form. I’m on the WP subreddit a lot, and write here and there make sure I still have it.
I just wrote a flash fiction, it’s below! Hope you like it.
You start with “Is anyone there?” until your voice gets sore and heartbroken. Then you burst into short, half hearted but panicked screams “Hello!!?” before your throat is drier than the Mercury’s last colony. That’s when you decide not to speak at all because you are most certainly the last person in the universe.
Well, that’s how I like to imagine how the last other person on earth is surviving now. It’s the most sane scenario I can think of to give reason to my own existence. Because between the psychotic dreams of black fog swallowing my consciousness whole and the fear that finally finding another human will only bring companionship in the form of something no longer recognizable, I find myself wondering why. When the night falls and phantom knocks echo behind doors I’ve never opened, I fall fitfull asleep wondering if this continuation towards oblivion is worth it.
When the governments started shutting down, when cities became more like graveyards than survival hubs, most people chose to stop going on. It wasn’t as if going on would have been any harder. It was just opting to be simpler. At least in the very beginning, before suicide was justified, it was. But for others, going without connections wasn’t considered easier.
You couldn’t keep your spouse accounted for. Couldn’t compare whether or not Farmer A was cheating you in comparison to Farmer B. Couldn’t really be 100% sure without the voice of millions other confirming through one source while ignoring the other six hundred million who had a different opinion.
And that’s how I watched hundreds of people chose to end their lives. My heart races whenever a loud thud, followed by a dust cloud, disturbs the silence. It used to be bodies, but now it’s just the involuntary decay of everything.
It’s hard to tell if the sun is getting any closer anymore too. I think that means the end is going to happen any moment. The days are longer, hotter, and honestly the only reason I continue on is because every morning I wake, my source of water has shrunk back several miles.
Exploration for water is the highlight of my existence now. Walking along the edge of what I think is the Pacific Ocean, towards what probably is Antarctica, and having the title of “last human on earth” is a pretty impressive feat that I boast to no one.
The sun doesn’t rise gently anymore. It greets my closed eyes like curtains yanked open by my mother on a Monday morning. Only I don’t groan the way I used to. I don’t even have the energy to. My lips are too chapped to purse, and beads of sweat have already started to form and drip down my chest. And as always, the first thing I notice is that the water has retreated again.
I pull my hair back and pick up my things - a light blanket fashioned into a bag, carrying a bottle, a knife and inedible foods - and start the hike.
Maybe I’ve come so far because of my apt for solitude. There are some days I miss the interactions, the laughter and the music. I hum the songs I can remember, but the tunes fall flat, and my throat gets dry, so I pretend in my head.
Most of all, I miss the warmth of another body. Or maybe just the idea of having one, seeing as I never had someone to call mine. A single body to walk alongside. To make new memories even in this emptiness. To have someone make a difference.
But no one, except one, has ever been able to outdo the sights of waters. Even before the end of the universe, water has been absolutely breathtaking. The sharp waves, soft ripples… the multitude of deep dark blues and sea greens crashing against each other in conflicting harmony has always calmed me. There was always a strange high that grew within me whenever I saw white foams undulating like floating islands on traveling waves. And so reaching the new edge of this slowly-becoming-a-pond ocean still gave me a reason to keep living. Just one second of these waters, and those hours of walking have become a faded memory.
Truth is, I’ve found that the end of universe has been no different from being in the busiest thread of it.
The silence is just as loud as the nonsense. Both life and death irritate me as much as the other until I find myself standing at the edge of the water again.
As I bend my knees to take a sip, my name breaks through the silence. It’s dry and forced, almost an unhappy cry, and coming from the other side. A figure, blurry and moving, undoubtedly a product of a mirage, comes forth, and I wonder if my time is up.
But it comes again. My name.
And I feel lukewarm droplets hit my cheek as the face of the one person - that same one and only - collapses in front of me, knee deep in the considerably shallow waters. A heat like no other scorches my back, and I don’t know if it’s the sun or my body flaring up to the touch of the only person I ever loved holding my face.
I look back into those two round palettes of blue jade and stormy skies. And as the water beneath us diminishes, my eyes, for the first time in a long time, willing gave back to the ocean.
what happens when thoughts of the future replay like memories? i’d like to see you, hold you, touch you, but i think im just saying that because im tipsy.
Can somebody get me the Ben Howard ES issue? I’ll pay for the mailing and all that, but I would really like to have a copy of it.
“I am selfish, private and easily bored. Will this be a problem?”
Not at all! Most of my readers are anonymous, haha.