the caster

This is our epilogue. You stop the car and all is quiet, you give my hand one last squeeze and you let go. As endings come, this is not a loud goodbye with tired throats and doors slamming. This one is soft and quiet, the street empty from the early morning lull, I close my eyes and remember the way my heart beats while it is still close to you, because it is scary to think it might stop once I go. If hearts could talk, it is with silence and this silence is goodbye-I love you-I miss you-please don’t go. Our breaths come in steady rhythm, in my mind I play all the sunsets we shared and think, as wrong timings go, weren’t we so damn beautiful?
—  timings and epilogues // Genefe Navilon

When I think of him, I think of warm bed sheets tangled in a maze on our bodies and the taste of cigarettes that lingered on his lips when we kissed. I remember I had a habit of tracing my fingers on the crevices of his body, lingering at certain tattoos and scars that may have defined the history of him. Looking back, I realize I hadn’t asked too many questions. I simply accepted his presence, like welcoming the dark night at the end of the day because it simply was supposed to be that way. I didn’t feel the need to probe and he never made me wonder. For all the mystery of him, he never evoked a curiosity in me. And that made me realize, there are just some people you love for who they are, because changing them would take the beauty of them away, like chipping off pieces of a glass window. You never ruin art.

That first night, I wanted to be different, to be someone else, someone besides that prim girl with a tight chignon and an equally tight impression. I wanted to be free and light and raw. I wore my hair down, like a cascading stream of gold, as if by doing so would loosen me up. But two minutes into that rave, I felt like an outsider, a lost puppy amidst the sea of people whose bodies were so used to alcohol and the smell of smoke. Looking down at that bottle of beer in my hand I contemplated my exit options when I felt someone’s eyes on me. I looked up and there he was, so disheveled and rugged and everything that screamed danger even at a distance. He had those piercing blue eyes and that smirk that made you think of libertines and rakes and Casanovas. He stopped a few inches from me and grasped a few strands of my hair between his fingers leisurely, as if he had all the time in world, and said,

“I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”

God, I fell so hard for that boy. His music collection contained of ear splitting music and unintelligible screams, but he had a corner bookstand full of John Keats and Robert Frost. He had a body that spoke of every nuance of strength yet he loved mine with a gentle passion and a fragile hold. I held him tight, afraid that he was going to slip from my fingers. At night I laid in his chest and felt every beat of his heart and every air he expelled. I loved him in fear of losing him. Every minute was tattooed in every tiny space of my young heart. I took all of him and held it in. I guess even then, I knew. A soul like that was never meant to be held for long. He had a gypsy spirit and even my innocent devotion and the gentle gaze of my love couldn’t make him stay.

So I let him go.

As gently as I loved him, I gently let him go. He slipped away in the middle of the night but not before he fluttered a single soft kiss on my forehead. I willed my eyes shut close and when I heard the soft lock of the door I broke down and let the tears fall.

When I think of him, I think of the musky smell of sweat-stained sheets, of ashes of cigarettes on the floor, of a hard body and a soft heart. I think of silent nights with nothing but the whisper of his breath. I think of the boy who loved poetry, who spoke those words in random, during moments when you least expect them. Even now, sometimes I would wake up and as soon as I open my eyes, I would remember the way his brown hair glinted under the morning sun, and how the first thing I would see is that tattoo at the back of his ear. I miss the way my hand would reach out and hold him closer, and how he would stir and hold me tighter.

Most of all, I miss that flutter of a kiss he left when he slipped into the night, leaving only a shadow of his beautiful soul for me to grasp.

I wonder how he is. Sometimes I see him tangled with another girl in different sheets, in a different place. Would he have loved her more? Would he touch her differently? Yet there are times that I would imagine him sitting down with a copy of “Poems 1817” on his lap and maybe he would skim by the page of “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” and think of me…

—  i loved him in fear of losing him, and alas, I did // Stories Series | Genefe Navilon