Categories > Original > Drama > Gravity
It was mid September.
The leaves had long ago started to glow in various shades of red and orange, creating an illusion of fire on tree tops, before drying out and floating down onto the ground. The weather no longer held memories of the summer as the fall rains arrived to whip and drench the scenery. None of this bothered me - I was always more of fall person. It always used to fit my mood, and frankly, after a summer as disasterous as this one, I welcomed autumn with a hopeful heart.
My name was Nina Hanks.
It feels like a lifetime ago since I last indentified myself as anything other than Nina Nell. You know, I was always so proud of getting to carry your last name. It never changed the way I saw or felt our love, for it was unchangable, but it changed how others did. I was young and idealistic enough to think we were making a statement- that everyone who had ever belittled our love would finally understand, to take us seriously. As seriously as I always did.
I loved your unusual name. I had never met anyone called Holden before, and I was glad that your thick layer of uniqueness covered every bit of you. You were too special to be carrying an ordinary name such as mine. I suppose that is one of the reasons I felt priviliged to acquire your last name - I had received a piece of your individuality. I had been given a speckle of somehing special on my indentity that was so easily overshadowed by the enigma of yours.
But I am getting ahead of myself, now.
I remember that night like it was yesterday - how could I not? We both knew right then that there was something more to that encounter. But that something was too pervasive and life-changing to truly sink in on the scene and neither of us fully registered the lenghts of it, the depth of that mutual understanding that washed over two perfect strangers.
So many people never grasped the entity of our first meeting, and it should have never come as a surprise how they managed even less to comprehend the heart-wrenching love that engulfed us. But we lived it. We felt it. How could we not understand? How could we not remember?
Your soul was bare before my eyes, but I did not fail to see the carefully built walls around it. It wasn't exactly that you let me see past them, but by some intervention of fate they came down as I laid my eyes on you, revealing everything inside.
I saw you. Perhaps that's why I fell so hopelessly and irrevocably in love with you. Perhaps that is why, despite everything that came along, I was never able to walk away.
For I had truly seen you.
When you see aching beauty in something so damaged, you can never really look away again.
Instead of capturing it, it captures you. You were more damaged than anything I'd ever seen before. You were broken, shattered beyond repair. I fell in love with your pain, the crude honesty that lay below its surface. I fell in love with the beauty you managed to produce despite the wreckage that took place in your heart. I fell in love with your struggle, your persistance. I fell in love with the heavenly glow that radiated off of the pieces that you had collected after falling apart a thousand times, and forced back together with duct-tape and glue.
I even fell in love with your cement walls, once I understood that I'd gained access inside. The walls no longer denied entrance, but kept others outside. They shielded everything I had fallen in love with, and I was grateful for having them. I was very attached to my idea of the world, and how it could never even begin to understand the beauty of a trainwreck, the poetry in a walking casualty. 'Love it or leave it' was a phrase I often applied to myself, but with you.. I didn't want to take the chances of someone seeing you and walking away unaffected. You were much too precious for ignorance. I didn't want your soul to be wasted on minds that never had the capacity to see what I saw. They weren't worth it.
I remember the darkened city street, the glum artificial lamps that cast a glum yellowy glow on your skin. I remember your shy smile on your sensual yet angled features and the way my laughter echoed in the dead city as you lowered your eyes to the ground. You were such a gentleman, such a sensitive boy with cotton fluff where others had a lump of lead. I would never claim that you only let me see that part of you - I think we both knew already at the time that there was another side to you. A set of demons ravaging in the back of your mind, and gnawing at you insides.
I wouldn't say that you tricked me with your politeness, or with the innocence of your bright blue eyes. How could you have? Your appearance was enough to scare half of the city folks, and if anything, you were prone to trick people into thinking you were something worse, something indecent and rotten, not the other way around. Yes, deep inside I think we both knew.
You never had to trick me - I came willingly- eagerly- despite having seen the terrors of your mind. I thought I could deal with it.
I thought I could save you from yourself.
It is the end of September now as I write this. The weather reminds me of that night with bittersweet tenderness that lingers in the air as I gaze through the rain drop splattered window.
It wasn't rainy that night though, just dry and windy, and unseasonably warm.
The same as tonight, the faint rain being the only exception.
I grant myself a moment on nights like these to fall into a puddle of memories, memories filled with the night we met. We sat on the ground for hours while the rest of the world slept in their beds. We talked about our lives, about family pasts and things that made us happy. It was such an unlikely thing to do, and never would I have thought that I would be sitting on the cold concrete, exchanging parts of myself that I held onto so tight, with a stranger like you. I don't think I had a choice, though; when fate brings two people together, it hardly asks for permission or preferences of time and place.
When I let myself float in the perfectly restored pieces of my memory, I always end up re-living that kiss. I can almost feel your hot breath on my cold, wind-bitten skin as your soft lips traced the edges of mine. You took your time, studying my features with eyes closed, moving closer so swiftly I had barely time to notice. You were so close, and it felt so right. Everything about you was familiar, and safe. As safe as something as dangerous as you could be...
The icy, metallic surface of your lip ring made chills go down my spine each time it made contact with my skin. I held my breath the entire time - it felt like hours until your plump, silky lips finally pressed on mine. I always used to accuse you later for playing games with me, teasing me by dragging on and making me shudder with anticipation before letting me lose myself in your closeness. You were a good kisser - it was all a perfect mixture of delicate tenderness and some kind of passionate need with an edge to it. It never failed to make the outside world cease to exist.
It was you deadliest weapon, and you never even realized it.
The rest of that night brings a smile to face, not an easy and happy one, but a nostalgically uncomfortable one. After you pulled away, my cell phone made a sound that came off as a harsh reminder of reality in the vacant street. I had to get going.
I was young and, despite my outer confidence, a bit unsure of myself. Despite the fact that since the first glimpse I got of you I had felt an irrational longing and a sense of affectionate caring towards you, along with unconditional trust, a sudden resurface of the insecurities I had thought I'd managed to bury a long time ago, made me run off.
I had driven home with swelled up lips, red cheeks and the scent of your skin still lingering on mine.
I suppose I was scared. Not of you, although many might think I should've been, but of the intensity of whatever had fallen upon us. I suppose I knew all about love after that night, but didn't have it in me to admit and accept it until later. I suppose I did the only thing I knew after getting scared - disappeared into the night with haste and regret.
After I got home, I remember being so ashamed of running away. I was sure you'd think of me as a little girl instead of that been-there-done-that- kind of independent, brave woman I considered myself as.
But see, I'd never understood love.
I had never believed in it.
I think, any possibilities of having faith in such things were taken away from me at a young age. I had seen too many ugly things to restore a belief in something so pure. I had believed in love as much as I had believed in fairies, I'd say; a part of me desperately wanting those things to exist, but the lack of naivety keeping my feet on the ground.
And being as young as I was, I really, really hated to be proven wrong.
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