The Forever Home
He says my eyes are the same teal ocean they were when we worked together on that campaign after college, gently wiping away escaping saltwater as the white walls scream ‘hospital.’ It’s my fourth week here, and his 28th night sleeping on the shabby green lounge chair they provide for relatives. I’ve barely slept, spending most nights tracing every wrinkle on his face, every loose piece of chestnut hair falling into his closed eyes. I let the humming of the heart monitor become a symphony, as I remember all the things I almost wish I had said to him, but haven’t yet. I always think there will be another day. He knows something of you. Towards the end, I feared he might know that I always loved you the most. If he did find out, he never let it affect the way he loved me. He was good to me. Beautiful, in fact. I know it’s nearing the end. My breath becomes more shallow, an elephant sits on my chest. He doesn’t want to close his eyes because he also knows, but sleep wins the night.
My eyes can’t stay open any longer. Darkness closes in on his own saltwater-stained face but is soon replaced with those techno lights from the millions of EDM shows on Biscayne Bay you took me to.
I am dizzy from the trip, or perhaps, no, am I, tipsy? Blonde curls fight to block my vision. My hands caress what seems to be a ‘Happy New Year’ tiara digging into my head. I look down at a metallic silver dress I remember wearing once on that island you took me to. I might have also worn it on that night we got back together at SPACE. A glass of champagne in my left hand confirms my tipsy state of mind.
It’s dark, besides the techno lights. A club, perhaps. Waves in my champagne glass confirm the bass of the songs the DJ is blaring. I’m oddly comfortable, despite being tipsy and appearing in a new, yet familiar place. I’ve been here before. There’s the guy that broke in and danced between us over a thousand times that night. And there’s the couple that invited us to go scuba diving off the coast the next day. We never made it.
And there’s you. Just as you looked in college. Hair spiked, one dimple on the right cheek. Teeth as white as the snow that was coming down the night we tore apart. You’re smiling as though it’s as normal as could be for me to appear before you, years younger than I was in that blank hospital room. Your hands effortlessly wrap around mine, as though they never let go. You ask me how I’ve been, how it feels now. I suppose by the sweat on your face you have been here awhile.
“It feels like coming home. It feels like seeing a part of myself after it was away at sea for years.”
And as the techno lights become a second party to our meeting, I realize we were never apart at all. Though Earth tore us apart for a couple of decades, it could not change the fact that we were always one vibrant soul, only briefly torn in two for one lifetime. After a lifetime of searching, I finally made it home, forever.