Monday, January 22, 2018

on how we went to bed one night and never shared a bed again



Nobody tells you about the moment. It’ll creep up on you and will have passed before you even realize it was there. Nobody warns you but at some point, you got into bed with somebody, slept, woke up, got ready for work, and never shared a bed again.

If somebody had told me, maybe things could have been different. Maybe I would have held him tighter, kissed him one last time so he would change his mind. Maybe I would’ve told him about how you could take a flight from Sydney to Hawaii and land the day before. We could go back in time. We could change. I could change. You don’t have to do this.

But memory is a tricky thing. Science tells you that we forget more than we remember and when prompted, the brain will fill the void with anything it can get its hands on. But forgetting is a feature, not a bug. We couldn’t possibly remember everything we have ever seen or done. Our brains just aren’t built for that kind of storage. And so we make do with what we have. We fill in scenes with fragments that may or may not have taken place. We imagine because we forget.

And I wish I could say I remember everything about him. On most days, I remember how it felt to be in his arms. I remember his breath on my nape as he slept. I remember the roughness of his hands as he held mine. I look up at the fingernail moon and wonder if all we lost may simply be hiding.

And so I take that flight from Sydney to Hawaii. I turn back the hands of time. I fill the spaces in my memory with whatever I can get my hands on. And as he gets into bed with me, I push my body against him one more time and pray he could somehow hear each beat of my heart.

“Tell me a lie,” I say. “Just like before.” Soft whispers in his ear trickle down like water.

“I won’t miss you.”

“Tell me another one.”

“You don’t still turn me on.”

“Another one.”

“I don’t love you anymore.”

“I told you to lie to me,” I tell him. “That wasn’t a lie.”

“How would you know? You weren’t there.” I bit my tongue. He’s right. I wouldn’t know if he was lying. All I knew was either way, it was going to hurt.

By now, I’ve put enough distance between us to know that there wasn’t going to be a good answer. Maybe he did still love me. Maybe I could have done something or said something to make things different. But I didn’t and now the hours and miles between us are too massive, too imposing to simply ignore. And so I sit here filling the gaps of my memories with nothing but the ghosts of our love.

“Now you tell me a lie,” he commands.

“This doesn’t really hurt.”

“Tell me another one.”

“I wish you all the best.”

“Another.”

“I will never forget you.” That wasn’t a lie. Good or bad, this love has wounded me so deeply that years later, I can still run my hands over the scars.

I awake from a daydream yearning for a time so clear, it could have been a memory. Whatever happened to us? I used to see us, hands clasped, silver in our hair, waking up to a million forevers. Why did you have to lie?

♫: Ben&Ben | Kathang Isip (2017)
Post: reprising the teacher



WE'RE BAAAAAAACK. So a bunch of bloggers headed by @jace_n decided we all missed the olden days so much, we've come back for what I hope is not the last of these writing prompts. I was supposed to publish on the 20th but life got in the way. Blah blah blah. Here are the other entries:
PS. If you wrote an entry and I wasn't able to include you, just holla below.