He hung up the phone. It was a fixed phone on a small dusty white corner table in the living room of his white city condo. It was so noisy outside.. he has never noticed the neighborhood was that crowded. But he hardly lives here anyway. It is merely a transit station, a place where he can change, refill, or adjust a life he pursues out of a suitcase.
He closed the window and headed to the kitchenette counter, where a jar of black coffee was hot waiting for him to pour his early morning cup, the one that follows his first shot of tea with milk. He arrived yesterday so very late at night, but made sure his coffee machine was working for the morning.
It was a surprise for him to discover he has a traditional phone in his house. Irony hits again; traditional way for the last and final goodbye to a relic from a past he couldn’t accept letting go of. Something is nostalgic and hopelessly romantic about hanging on to fixed phone speaker when you are being dumped by a love you never had or realized you did.
Silence tumbled heavily upon the condo. He could smell it mixing with the dust circulating in the air every time he moves or shifts something from one place to the other. Extensive cleaning is required. All it needs is few hours of his time to take care of his condo, clean up all the unnecessary stuff and blow away the dust.
He walked slowly towards the window overlooking the ancient city, slowly sipping his bitter coffee. He has stirred in his regular one spoon of sugar, but it has obviously failed to sweeten it up this morning.
It is not the first time he has gone through this weird sense of loss. A strange and unexpected loss .. for how can one lose something one never had, or never admitted its ownership. He didn’t want to own anything. Nothing binding. He was a naturally born roamer, all havens have failed to get him to drop his anchor.
He cultivates memories wherever he goes. He makes friends and acquaintances, get them used to him, but never getting attached. He has taught himself this lesson quite well. He never cries when he leaves no matter how tough it can be. He has let go of everything, except her.
She conjures a period in time that made him genuinely happy. And genuineness is something he rarely experienced. It was just what she represents, but not about her per se.
He opened up the closed window. The cold air from outside evoked a tremor down his spine that brought him back to the present. He put on an empty smile and said with a loud voice:
– “Alright, then here goes another chapter. Moving on! let’s do some cleaning up,” he talked to himself .. and all the skeletons in the closets scattered around that small space, which represents his one and only investment in something rooted. He went to a long white cabinet in a corner behind the coffee counter, and took out few cleaning tools.
Loss is something he can deal with. It will be a couple of days before it’s all over, or won’t it? It is positively not about her. It is true she stirred something in him he couldn’t articulate, something intuitive and basic, a refreshing atmosphere every time their eyes collided. He may have gotten addicted at some point. Still She drove him crazy, made him angry like no one else did.
Nothing was meant to go this way. It was all easy fun. But when things began to get so confusing that’s when he sympathized with people who claim to have encountered love. She is the only woman he wanted to slap and cry in her arms at the same time. He wanted to break her and love her till the world disappears. It was a maniac case of love and hate, need and resentment, obsession and indifference, passion and apathy. They were the modern “Wuthering Heights” protagonists.
He couldn’t wait to run away, only to find himself crumbling helplessly around her. She was his muse and devil. The angel and the wanton.
Whether she has ever loved him or not is a question that will be sustained by sweet memories without an answer due to insufficient evidence and worse of all their decision not to take any bets.
It was a mutual decision. They both knew it was over before it even began. Like a doctor struggling in a case he knows more than anyone else is predetermined to a tragic ending. They were drifting away. It doesn’t matter if he wasn’t willing to change or if she suffered from her own expectations, because the closer they got, the further away they were. It was life slipping away between their fingers.
They had to quit it, give up, end the story themselves before the writer decides for them! That’s how he has always done it and that’s how he will always do it. Fate is a matter we take in our own hands and he will never confiscate control of his own life to anyone or anything. It was the right thing to do.
Struggling with the broom and the soft hiding dust, he muttered to himself: “I was just being practical. We were never meant to be together, so leave me alone!”
Though how they affected each other was beyond him.
He cared for her but he would never let anyone walk on him willingly or not ever again. He loved himself more.
He moved on and so did she. But moving on turned out to be different from letting go. He remained attached to her shadow, her voice.. it was good to keep her on the side of his life where he can count on finding her whenever he needs but never let her in.
It was all in his hands until she decided to tie the chord of the speaker around his neck and set her shadow free … forever.