We lay on the bed, facing each other in a beautiful air of silence. I felt my heartbeats, peaceful and steady and deep and somehow connected with hers; her long hair gently reaching out towards my cheek. Our noses were almost touching, and I could feel the warmth of her exhales on my face as it were a gentlest touch imaginable. I closed my eyes and inhaled her, embracing the slight pain in my chest, reminding myself of the truth of things. I only have these few moments now, that is all I get before darkness takes me over. I knew that all along. I knew it for a long time. I smiled a sorrowful smile, actually feeling happy. This is Life, I thought. To be given, but denied.
– What is your biggest fear? – I heard her voice reaching me. A silent whisper running through my veins, I felt it reaching my lungs, forcing me to inhale her scent deeper.
– You. – I said, opening my eyes, meeting her gaze; the darkest corner of the Universe staring back at me, with a sweet smile I grew to love so much so quickly.
– How so? – she asked back, although I could tell she knew what I meant. This one would get me. A powerful resonating thought pulsed through my mind.
This one would understand the dark corners of me I never dare look at. This one would have made me shine brighter.
– Now, as we are here, together. Now that I get to look into your eyes and see my reflection in them; now that I can enjoy the sight of your lips moving… now that I get too see your smile in person. Now that I can almost touch you – now I’m afraid of never meeting you at all.
– But you have met me – she said, her smile deepening; her eyes suddenly glowing.
– Yes, yes I have… thank you – I said as the first tear broke free. I heard it falling on the bed with a silent thump. I imagined it dissolving into the fabric and then later turning into invisible vapor and joining the clouds. I could feel myself dissolving along with it. She smiled again, and I knew she understood. It was such a powerful sensation, to know she exists, to feel her here next to me, to be able to dive into her eyes and be allowed to feel.
I would not need to explain myself to her, ever. She would know me, as I would know her. I will never get the chance, but just feeling that it is real, that it could have been real, even if was never to be permitted to live it… it made me feel alive again.
Alive with pain of denial, of no promise, but alive.
How amazing, I thought, to be given this at the last moments. To be shown what would be after a life of just living for others. How incredible this all is.
I smiled at her, feeling the dark hand of Death approaching. Can I touch her face, put my finger on her lips, stroke her hair? Can I feel her skin under my fingerprints? Can I kiss the palm of her hand?
No… no I can’t.
The pain in my chest swallowed me whole, but her eyes never left mine. Our souls touched through the endless of our eyes, and I let go. The darkness I belonged to now greeted me silently, destroying me lovingly, dissolving me, so I could move on. I didn’t want to, I begged for another second, for another sight of her, for another moment of sweet understanding. But Life ends when the illusion of hope bursts into reality. A thousand little endings, a million possibilities, all merging into Now.
With the last memory of her, with the last questions of “what if?”, with the sight of her smile, I vanished, happy to have been given a moment, real or not.