Retreat

You used to bring me to the rooftop to watch the moon. Tonight I feel watched by the moon.

Tonight I don’t find the usual silence, the peace of mind I seek. Tonight it’s loud out here and not because of the city down below but because of my thoughts screaming in my head and your thoughts screaming in your head.

I’ve been staring at the blank page in front of me for almost an hour. Maybe longer; I’ve lost track of time. I sense you know I didn’t come up here to write, anyway. It’s just an excuse so I don’t have to face you and see the hurt in your eyes. I can’t stand to see you hurt. I’m hurting too.

What happened to us?

“Hey.” I’m startled by your voice. My favourite sound. Which now makes me shiver.

Maybe it’s the cold. You put a blanket around my shoulders and set down a steaming cup. I don’t look up, hoping you’ll leave me to my writing, the activity that’s sacred for both of us. But you plop down on the concrete some distance away.

When you watch me, I feel watched by the entire universe.

“I’m sorry,” you say for the millionth time and I drop my fucking notebook. I want to crawl into your head to see your every thought so I can rewrite it or erase it and replace it with something new.

This would be my clue to speak up and say everything neither of us would dare say for days. I should make the words slide, ramble on about the moon and the stars and make things alright. But I don’t. Because it’s you and because it’s me and because real life doesn’t work like the movies. So I just take a sip of my tea.

When I finally look up from the edge of my cup your eyes are already on me and here’s something about us that I’ll never understand. How, burned by guilt, we retreat into our own minds where we can’t be reached, and yet somehow I still feel you and I know you feel me. And so we just sit there under the moon, the page still blank, and I don’t utter a sound because you know all my words. The unspoken. The unwritten. And those yet to be invented.

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