01 April, 2012


I look across the horizon. Against a backdrop of pearl-grey clouds is the burnt outline of branches, brittle and clenched to a trunk that is bleached and cracking. The sun causes the air to shimmer in waves that resemble the cracks in the baked clay of the land rather than waves of moisture. There is nothing else, just the loneliness of that tree, lost in a landscape to which it does not belong. My eyes stray from the desolate setting contained within the wooden frame, where the grains whorl and strain towards each other but never quite meet, and into your questioning glance.

Your eyes are the most generic brown, not clear or bright or deep. They are not the richness of varnished wood or the clarity of hazel. They do not see past the carefully constructed mask of vagueness on my face. They do not see my soul. They are brown and they are lost and they do not know how to save me.

I am as alone as that tree, seated inches from you with your body turned to me and eyes unblinking. There is a need in the tense of your body. I can feel the conviction of your belief in the lukewarm air between us. If only our skin would touch, by accident or design, across those miles of inches then the situation could be saved. We could believe in each other, in not being alone. It could be mistaken for attraction, this tension between us. But it is not. Because I feel nothing.

There was feeling, once. I remember when there was anticipation between us. When our bodies strained towards each other and our skin was as a stranger. Your eyes were warm as chocolate and I believed they knew me. I melted like your eyes in the sun, liquid and deep. We could not be contained nor did we explore further than ourselves. We lost ourselves to life and found each other.

Now we balance on the precipice of losing everything. Our everything has become each other and it is not enough. The realisation that I know you precisely, down to the millimetres of space with which we lived between us, is overwhelming. For every second of your life that you have spent with me, I feel like I have known you a minute longer. You. You do not know me at all.

You lost me. You are losing me now. I can feel tears in the corners of my eyes as I open my mouth to explain. Your eyes are more lost than before and I can feel the tension turn to disbelief. I wonder if there were a rewind button in life, would I press it now. Swallow up my words and fix us. I know if there were a replay button in life, I would be us again. Just for one more memory of our first glance, a situation reversed. My eyes lost, yours a deep fondue.

I turn back, once. Just as I reach the door, hand outstretched to exit. You are still watching me. I do not know if it is a memory or the truth, but your eyes are the colour of chocolate.


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