A fiction short story by Tea Jay
I don’t want the morning to come. I need the next few hours to drag on, slowly, painfully, so I can have more time to memorize the outline of her face, to trace the curve of her body. I want to hold on to these final moments. Instead, we are a broken hourglass, with sand falling faster than it should, misrepresenting the minutes, the seconds. Time is fleeting and I just want it to pause, if only for a moment because I don’t want to forget it.
When she wakes up to the upcoming sunrise reality will set in. It’s over. Sure, it’s been over, and if it really hasn’t been then we were hanging on a teeny, tiny thread, unable to support us both. I know when the clock strikes seven I will be getting dressed back up in last night’s clothes and I will leave her apartment for the last time and go to work like I didn’t just have my beating heart ripped out of my damn chest. I fight back the salty tears that threaten to break through; I’ve cried too many tears over this woman. I can’t cry when I’m trying to permanently etch the scent of her hair into my mind. Then again, what’s one more release at this point?
She was always beautiful in her sleep; it was the only time stress didn’t course through her veins. I used to spend hours just watching her, finally at peace after the chaos of her day. She is only able to obtain harmony in her slumber. I always wondered what she dreamt of when she entered her freedom from life’s disturbances. Her mind was never silent, and because of this I always assumed her dreams were like going to the cinema, full of beautifully CGI’ed scenes and intricate plots with interesting characters. However, when the sun rose and we rolled over to greet each other with twinkles in our eyes, and I asked her about her dreams, she would merely shrug. I don’t remember my dreams. In the back of my head, I always thought that was because she never dreamt of me, but of a better, happier life. Tonight, I finally see her lack of memory for what it is. Dreaming and sleeping are her high, and nobody really remembers a good trip.
I’m afraid for the sun to come up. I’m not ready to leave this bed, where for the first time in months we aren’t fighting or on opposite ends of. I think back to the first time she ever invited me inside. I wanted her more than anything, to take her the moment I stepped into her room, to fall into each other’s arms and tangle ourselves up in the sheets. Instead, we spent the night talking, sharing each other’s fears and repressed childhood memories. We stayed up all night laughing, weeping, going through every human emotion over the course of a few hours. We both called out of our jobs that day and got coffees and Bailey’s nips, walking around town, the town that we shared but somehow had experienced in different ways. We both learned new things about our city that day, and even more so we became well versed with each other. We will never have another night like that again; every moment has become a distant memory, and soon this moment in her bed will fade into one too.
My love for her came in tidal waves when she deserved a love where she was wading in a calm ocean. I fell in love with her time and time again, only after forgetting her existence to the landslides of paperwork I had to file throughout the day and the international business calls I had to take at all hours. She came in second place on my priority list. Then, she would remind me of why I was with her and why I fell in love with her, to begin with, with the cute things she would say, her quick wit, or sometimes just the way she crinkled her nose when she laughed. I passed that off as true love for the past eight months, but that’s not right. I was giving her love when it was on my terms and when it was on my time. She deserved around the clock loving. She’s a precious angel and she needs more than I could ever give her.
And that’s not fair, because I want to be the one to give her everything! I want to write her sonnets, expressing how beautiful she is when the way the moon shines on her face when we’re walking around late at night. I want to make her mix CDs of every song I’ve ever heard that reminds me of her. I want to go back to the night we first sat in this bed, and play it on repeat until I’m an old person and have only memories of love to look back on. It’s shit that it’s over now. I mean, I know I’m the one who destroyed this relationship from the inside, but oh what I wouldn’t do to nurture our bond and rebuild this partnership.
The sun is starting to rise and fill the room with its bright rays. Soon, she will be awake, and we will be parting. Do we say goodbye? Do I kiss her soft lips one last time? Will I get a chance to embrace her, to remember her warmth and the healing powers of being in her arms? Or do I just go out into the world, and just hope someday when I’m older, when I’m wiser, I will run into her on the streets where we first discovered how our hearts beat for each other? No, she’s not like that. She won’t be the girl who comes back into my life when I’m ready. She’s the one that got away. I wonder about all the people who let her get away before me and all the people who will lose her after. I’m not sure she’s meant for longterm happiness. I think she’s meant to set the bar higher for people to fall in love with, I think she’s meant to make and break people. I know this heartache will make me a better person, and to the next girl I fall in love with, I won’t let her go. But that next girl will never be her. I know she’s a once in a lifetime love, and I neglected it while it was mine.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we’re not meant to love people the same ways. And maybe, just maybe, love isn’t something you can compare. One love is not like the rest. You can’t compare two different hearts, two separate souls. Oh, but there’s only one her. She is magical, she is mystical, she has bewitched me in ways in this bed without a frame, comfortably sitting on her ancient hardwood floors. I can’t seem to let her go, even if the promise of the future is brighter than the sunbeams shining through her window. But we agreed; one last night, and then, the end. Fin.
I know in a matter of moments her eyes will flutter open. The awkward conversation will start, or even more difficult, utter silence will ensue. If the blinding light of the giant star in the sky doesn’t wake her, her six thirty alarm surely will do the trick. I’m not ready to get up, to strip my body of her pillowy comforter, to swing my legs over the side of the bed and step out the door. I will leave a part of me here; a piece of my soul, part of my heart. I will always be a ghost in this room, haunting this bed until the end of time.
About the writer: Tea Jay is a 25-year-old stay at home mother and author. She writes with a heavy focus on mental health including personality disorders, depression, suicidal thoughts, and things she finds stigmatized. Her focus is to help start the discussion for mental health and write realistic and entertaining works of fiction. Her current project, Recollection of Recovery, is a year in her own life entries of experimental recovery techniques and options for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).