On us.

I can’t sleep and I don’t know why. I am haunted by everything that’s been and everything that will be. I know I did the right thing. I know we share the blame. I know I am somehow happier now. So why can’t I sleep?

I just remembered to turn off my alarms. I don’t need them anymore. You quit your job, remember? Nothing’s going to be the same again. Three and a half years of 07:05, 07:12, 07:20 is over. The angst is over. I ended it. I ended it all. All in one clean sweep; like a samurai.

But it’s been everything but clean, and everything but one. Hundreds upon hundreds of moments have led me here. This insomniac, smoke-fuelled, nocturnal, senseless rant.

I look around me. Purple hues are mocking me. I had no idea. I was so naive, yet so willing. Inclined to taste, oblivious to a reality that shadowed my every move. That shadow followed us everywhere. We invited it in on that afternoon. Junk food and conversation. Words spoken so eloquently, while their meanings danced behind us with our shadows. It’s not fate. Sartre had it right. We are our choices. Yet what most will not understand is that we did not steer off the ‘right’ path. We steered off ‘a’ path. A tested path; an admittedly successful path, but one we had once again chosen, fought for, worked for, built stone by stone. Our souls were intertwined as a result of the happiness we willingly offered, respectfully shared, and selflessly gave.

No one understood that either. How it was all so simple, so effortless, so… unfair for everyone else. It was neither. Neither simple nor unfair, but it was effortless, because it was true. It’s been the most authentic act I’ve ever witnessed. It was our truth. Our breath. Our beating hearts. They were all…one. All unconditional. And that was the trap we fell into: conditions.

I can’t tell you when it all went wrong. The moment eludes me. I must have been outside myself at the time. Outside the equilibrium we had built around each other. The condition was you couldn’t be yourself, so we couldn’t be us. After some time we had become something else entirely. We had expanded to include things we couldn’t share. The gaps had become dark spots, black holes we kept drifting towards. Their gravitational pull was too strong to resist. Black holes crafted by our very fingers, sewn with silences we could not help but share, stitched with the absences we were conditioned to endure.

Silence upon absence upon chaos. We were not whole. We were not us. We were not ours.

Somewhere inside of me there’s a little room. Both the window and the door open from the outside. Inside live my fears, mistakes, insecurities, my passions, thoughts, and my desires. My true self. The I.

Every so often I would let some air in, she would let some of them out. I have always managed, proud to have always dealt with them alone, in the garden of the room. Last year I closed the window, locked the door and hid the key. After a while the room was full. She couldn’t breathe. I would not allow it. So she began to knock on the door.

Tap. Tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.

I would have opened, had I listened, had I not been outside myself, had I been me. A roaring came from the inside. I knew enough to know I didn’t want to look. So I stood outside, but never turned around.

Tap. Tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.

I closed my eyes.

Bang. Bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang.

I kneeled and covered my ears. And then, silence. And then, noise; the one you can only hear inside your head. The static remnants of a sensory excess. And then,

Boom.

She put her arms around me as I wept. She helped me stand and made me look at her. She was pale, and starved. She was done being quiet, sensible and doting. So I listened. She spoke softly as she held my trembling hands, but every uttered truth slashed through my skin, opening the self-inflicted wounds I had expertly covered up. She wasn’t angry, only hurt. She had never hated me, not the way I had.

‘You need to see,’ she told me as she put her hand on my chest. And so it was that I turned to him and said the same.

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