I’m staring at the coffee stains on my journals you left by yesterday night, and for some reason I dedicatedly fail when I try to cry, and maybe this is my version of a goodbye; but, my love, I need a reply.
You had made the coffee last night, and had gone to sit by near my closed journals with a sly smile, again; just like the rest of the nights. You had this look in your eyes where you wanted to recreate the walls again; differently this time, again, and you told me I looked beautiful even with my hair messy, and my face unwashed for the night.
I had toppled just a tad bit forward, and you had been there to grab my hand, as always.
You knew what I had in mind, you knew it was one of those nights when I wanted to go take a walk in the park with my shoelaces untied, just so I could trip and fall; but not so, because you’d be there to never let that happen.
I had grabbed my favourite hoodie (which, as per my adorned liking, was a little too big for my size), and worn my beanie, my socks, and my stark black shoes with black laces which always seemed to excite a kind of ludicrous thrill in the corners of my mind. All the while you had grabbed the keys and my iPod, and that garnished picture which had nothing but a ceaseless sea: all blue, with shades of different kinds. You had loved how I had painted it for you the night we had nearly died while jumping along the sidelines of the broken blue coloured wooden floor of the neighbour next door.
The night was cold, just how I had always liked it; and you held my hand to keep me warm, like you always had. I was kicking at pebbles for the first time, and you walked along because it wasn’t likely of me to do so, and your clutch on my hand kept getting tighter and tighter because of the worry I had caused with my ever so new description of tripping and falling off all on my own.
Your hands were shaking now, and I was somehow shaking with them; trying to overcome the urge to stop, and eventually I did. We walked to your favourite place, the swings, in silence and I let go of your now calm hands to take ahold of the chains clinging onto the swing secured for me. I recalled how you had let my choose which coloured seat I would like to keep, when we first came here,
I don’t remember how we stumbled onto this place, and I haven’t ever.
You were swinging back and forth, and the creak of the chains enclosed up top sounded daunting in the hazy yellow of the street light, with no one around but me and you and our fairytale. It was crazy how even the rustling of leaves sent a shrill down my spine, regardless of your presence right next to me; it was crazy how with every single creak of the swing you looked at me, and you smiled, and I could feel every single molecule of air that was blocked from your otherwise slightly parted lips; it was crazy how I couldn’t smile back, because I found it suffocating.
Or was it?
I had stood up abruptly and ran back to our house, without thinking of the action, and I was truly sorry, my love; I truly was, maybe I even am now. The realisation of no escape hit me when I tried to unlock the door, because you always had the keys and I didn’t. I had let you cage myself in our perfection for 21 years now, and this was the first time I had thought of it.
You came running just as quickly as my thoughts reached me, and you had tears streaming down your face because you were afraid, but I haven’t let myself answer why, not yet anyway.
You held my hands and gazed into my eyes, and you embraced my skin, my clothes, and my soul with it; and I had let you. You opened the door without questioning, and guided me inside by the hand, and I felt like I was home, again. There was no sign of deception in the warmth of your skin or in the tinkle of your eyes.
You started for the kitchen and didn’t look back, and I went to the bedroom; with no lights of course, you had been my light when there was a lack, and I had seen that before too. I reached the mahogany study table you had brought for me (for which you had to sell your own to collect enough money). I had traced its outline like I had a million times before, and I felt a screw which was, to my surprise, out of place. With worry on my mind, I pulled it out a bit more, and more till it dropped with a clink so haunting on the carpeted floor. I had picked it up with furrowed brows and a consternated mind; it was long, and had a perfectly sharp tip. I felt it curves and its edges, and how smooth it felt despite being out of place; I found a comfort I had never before in the razoring cold it emitted, like it had come from the highest rung of a merry-go-round in late December.
I had heard you come in, with the aroma of coffee reaching me before anything else had. I did love coffee a little bit too much, didn’t I? It kept me awake, my love; it made me believe in bitter when I had received none.
You had sat down by my closed journals again, and I came closer because you had lit up the room for me, again. I enwrapped my hands around your torso, but you held onto the coffee mug and I heard your heartbeat to a perfect rhythm ; but this time, I couldn’t dance to it; not again.
Maybe you didn’t notice the screw, which was out of place, I held in my hands and maybe when you did, it was too late because blood dripped from the crook of your neck; the sound of your beautiful heart slowing its rate by every passing second. I never looked up to see if your eyes held the same stiffened composure as your body.
I didn’t know if I had the kind of strength to press you further in your dismay, but I tried anyway; even though I knew, sooner or later the heart was going to take its last beat, and then maybe I could dance to no light, to no sound but that of the dripping blood from (oops) even your head now. And I had slightly changed my position and plunged the ever so red screw near the lining of your chest too, the blood also oozed from the back of your head, where I had intertwined my bloody fingers while giving you a last kiss. The last kiss, like all the others, was perfect; and much to my dismay, I think it was because you kissed me back, this time as well. My eyes didn’t open to see your face, or your body until later.
You had started to whimper when I finally stopped embracing my blood stained fingerprints over your tee, which had been white before, and I took a few steps back and was amazed at the brilliance of my masterpiece.
Nothing was mundane and perfect anymore, was it? I was just gay for I would not have to think of another ‘again’ once more; and I danced to the sound of the ticking clock which didn’t wait, and I danced to the sound of the rain which dripped from your soul (it finally had some holes, my love. Wasn’t that great?), and I tore off your shirt and wore it, for I adorned the way it was nowhere near perfect. I was nowhere near perfect, and my world wasn’t either, but it was all mine now, I never liked happy endings anyway.
All this while I didn’t acknowledge the coffee mug you were holding and when I finally did, sadly, I was too exhausted with all the exertion of living another day that I slipped onto the floor, just a few inches away from you, and into deep sleep, I so very much needed.
I only woke up some twenty minutes ago, all stained in subdued red and all fragrant of coffee- I liked it this way, blood and coffee had a different ray to life- that was everywhere, and I wanted it to stay. Along with the tee, I also had another memoir; my journals sprayed red and brown, and in some places, even grey. What was not there to laugh about, my love? I know you would have too, and so I did, but they were far away on the bed, and I would grab them soon, I just needed a particular something else.
I scrabble my hands over the floor sprawled in front of me, like a helpless blind man, searching for the screw which accentuated the significance of what little of the prowess I had because I was blind with the pain in my hands and knees and eyes and lips; they were all sore from sleeping on the floor. My hands somehow reach your feet, dangling at an odd angle in the air, and I can’t smell you or your perfume which would now be drenched in red, I try to feel your skin, and I realise I can’t feel mine; I don’t think I mind, not anymore anyway, for now I have traced the bare skin of your torso- from your feet to your lips- and, like I have always told you, you look perfect in red.
As I trace your back now, after having turned your face to the bed, I come across a bulge in your back, it feels stiffer- not like the rest of your soft skin. I feel it thrice- it was round, and smooth and there’s a straight line which parts its middle- before I finally find my souvenir from you. The screw, ah- what beauty, was left unattended to in the layers of your skin through the night, but I’m here now, am I not? I twirl it out slowly, and carefully so as to not hurt your dead skin. I can’t see it, my hair are all over my face but I know parts of your muscles and blood and cells are stuck to it; it’s all slimy.
Dear me! It really is a long nail! And that works fine, both for you and me.
I slump down on the bed next to you, and hold a strong (dangerous, even) gaze over my stained journals, which lie over a few inches near the pillows where a few strands of your hair lay once, while my right hand traces my cheek and my neck, and then my shoulder with the tip of the screw, and down to my left arm it flows; it’s growing on me, the tip; the tip is growing tattoos on me which only I can see. I feel like I have no control over my hands, or my mind, or even my eyes because I think I have just blinked twice in the past five minutes. My arm feels numb, like the rest of my body, now; there’s no pain- just a cold tip of a rather important screw, which feels like an inscrutable pen against my skin. It’s being traced near the crook of my neck now, and I can feel it travel down slowly, right to the left side of my body, just above my chest.
A distinct colour flows down the left side of my clothes as I grab my journals; and flip through the coffee stains on the first one you left by yesterday night, and for some reason I dedicatedly fail when I try to cry.
And as I flip through it, I leave behind the colour, my colour, on every page.
I know it’s a deeper red than the one spilled over the edge of my bed and that same one on the journal’s first blank page.
Just the first page, my love; just the first.