I looked at him, afraid that what he said was true. I knew that there were tears in my eyes. I knew that he was looking at me like he could wish what was true away. I didn’t want him t feel responsible for the sudden breaking inside of me but how could I hide my anguish over the thought? There was so much pain in war, so much death and uncertainties. How could I feel anything but sorrow?
“Say something…” He whispered, gently like he was trying to comfort me.
I shook my head, unable to speak. I looked away from him as my tears fell. I didn’t know what to say. This meant that it was possible now for me to leave him. It meant that everything we had could end because of this declaration of war.
“I have to go…It’s my duty.”
My eyes went to his and I tried to search him out. Could he see the hurt? Did he feel the emptiness that I was suffering?
“Your duty? What of your duty…to me?” I questioned, my heart breaking with each word I let come out.
He took my hands in his and pressed a kiss to my fingers. His lips were warm but the kiss was unsteady. He held the same fear, the same uncertainty.
“I’m coming back..you don’t have to worry.”
I didn’t say a thing, I just held his eyes and tried to hold onto what he was saying. There was supposed to be a promise there but how could I find it when I saw doubt in his gaze the same as mine?
“I love you…nothing can tear me away from you…”
“Not even death?” I asked, my fears rising openly to the surface as the tears finally fell from my eyes.
His brows furrowed lightly and he came closer to me. He took my tear stained face in his hands and he softly hushed me. “Don’t talk about that…”
But he shook his head. “Don’t talk about death…it can’t touch us…especially not now.”
I wanted so much to believe him but how could I if the promise seemed like it could never be true? I held onto his hands that held my face and I let him kiss me. I searched his kiss for an eternity with him. I searched his kiss for the legitimacy of his promise. I searched his kiss for the lasting passion that I had thought I had found in him. But instead all I got from him was the same uncertain gesture I was offering him.
I cried harder, my tears falling between my lips and he tightened his arms around me. He needed me to believe him because he was afraid. He was afraid of what could be lost, of the death that possibly awaited him. I couldn’t argue with his honor, with what he felt was his duty but I could argue with my own fear. I had to be strong for him. I had to let him know that no matter where he was or what happened our love would always be there. I had to promise him that our love is where he could always return to.
He lifted me up in his arms and I fell against his strong chest. My heart was breaking as my arms went around his neck. His hair caressed my skin and his own heart beat in rhythm with my own.
“This will last forever….this is what matters….death can’t touch it.”
How powerful his words were. How perfect his promise was. I trusted him for the night. I couldn’t deny him the need to see me at peace with what he was leaving behind. I had to be strong for him, I couldn’t turn my back on him no matter how much I wished he’d turn his back on this war. I gave him my heart, my desire, my passion and had no intention of taking it back from him.