Fall arrived, with a grim look on its face. Storms raged as early as September, and the beautiful golden and red leaves were soon but a memory. I tried to make sense of all that had happened. The magnetic passion that had enslaved me.
I sensed the dangers of a relationship with someone younger than me, even if only by a few years. Therefore, my mind tried to persuade my body to stay away from this young man. My body wouldn’t hear any of it. As in a trance, I returned to mr. X, bound by the mysterious magic of the spell he had put on me.
I panicked. I couldn’t will myself to escape these feelings, this attachment that had started to form. So the subconscious took on the task of trying to push him away. I acted out, in the fashion of a true villain, to make him leave. These efforts were futile. He stood strong, a young oak tree which hardly felt my sticking him with needles and pins. He looked at me with a steady gaze and simply said: “If you want to get rid of me, you’d better say it out loud, cause otherwise I’m not going anywhere”. His green eyes so calm, as the woodland river of my childhood home, gilded by the rays of the afternoon sun…
Something heavy tumbled down, within. Big rocks crumbled, rolled down a mountainside, no, that wasn’t it, it was an iceberg which melted and let large parts of it fall into the Arctic ocean of my soul. It must have been there always, so heavy for so long, that I didn’t recognize the feeling of sudden lightness. Instead of relief, I felt untethered, a balloon let go up into the sky, only waiting to burst. But my heart had been freed, its ancient glacial prison, blown to pieces. Now it was only me, my mind, which stood guarded still, hesitant. An old prisoner, who can not believe he is free to leave, even when the warden tells him so.
My voice trembled and broke, as it told about the fears, the wounds of the past, the worries for the future. Mr. X held me and I could feel the smell of his skin. It smelled like all the security and freedom, that came over me whenever I travelled up North by train, spotting the mountains of my forefathers through the windows. Mr. X smelled like home…
He repeated that he wasn’t going anywhere, but that if I kept pushing him away, he would eventually have no choice… I nodded, quietly. I understood him completely. Who could stand something like this, someone who created drama out of thin air, to smother a budding romance? Was I crazy?
For the next few weeks, we laughed at each others’ previous attempts at upholding distance and an air of nonchalance, by only seeing each other on weekends. We started seeing each other regularly. Then more and more frequently. It was like we had been wandering in a desert and suddenly found a spring of divine nectar, and now couldn’t stop drinking. My heart fluttered once in a while, fearing the spring would dry up any second. But I grabbed a hold of myself, firmly told myself to not let old fears hold me captive, to not let them burn to the ground the most beautiful thing I had encountered since… ? A lifetime ago. Maybe even the most beautiful thing that ever was.
We would go for drives in his car, out on the countryside. We visited small villages with old houses and bohemian coffee shops. We went to flea markets, antique shops, the cinema, restaurants, hiking in the forest. We went everywhere. He told me everything about his training at the Police Academy, which would be about 2 years long. I told him everything of my studies, which were about helping people. He admired that. We talked about old ghosts and Kodak moments of the 1990’s. We laughed at silly things. We were a French romantic movie that you want to watch again and again. We were the image of joie de vivre.
As we came home one day from a drive, we were lying on his bed, holding each other. We listened to the rain on the roof, the outside world merely a faint memory. I looked into his eyes, now luminous and radiating joy. The kind that you feel before you are weighed down with the woes and troubles of adulthood. Did his look say…? But no, he stayed quiet. I opened my mouth to speak, but stopped myself. “What were you going to say”, he whispered, as to not disturb the moment, the sound of the rain, or my thoughts. “Nothing”, I said and managed to produce a pale smile.
I loved him. That was what I was going to say.
I had been standing at the edge of a cliff, looking down at the glittering sea below. And I had let my self embrace the fall and surrendered to it. I had not even noticed it happening until now, but I had done it, all the same. I just hadn’t told him yet….
To be continued…….