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Chapter 1 : I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
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“Oh, but Tobias, I want them!”
The echo of my soft, pleading voice drifts through the lurid murkiness of the years. I sit on the bank of the sordid river. It is gurgling like the stifled choking that wracks my weakened, old body. Distance distance distance of time and space, the past and the present always the pastpresent, the presentpast descend over the landscape – fearful, a prison halo of memories. The spring rain slips quietly, a mournful spirit, down the bank and into the river.
(already gone, the one that got away, drowning plunging swamped – living, a trampled soul)
“They’re so pretty! Please, Tobias?”
I touch the frayed edge of my robes. I wonder where my life has gone. People use that phrase “it seems like just yesterday” and I don’t like it. It can never never never be yesterday or tomorrow, it is today. Hopelessness clutches at my heart and I claw desperately at the front of my robes, at the sting of perpetual ant bites. The muck beneath my robes sends me inches down the bank - I lay there immovable by emotions or survival or common sense, a manipulation of the cruelty and naturalness of nature. I can no longer physically run away.
(we found love, we lost love, crying crying – heart shatters)
“Alright, alright! I’ll go get them for you now, darling.”
Huffing whispers of Muggle motorcars on the bridge interrupt my reminisces. I am brought suddenly and irrevocably into the reality, a sublimity worse than even memories. A decaying leaf from the previous season flutters helplessly on the ground, its dull pallor sending the phantom of your eyes to blur mine. Fifty fifty a hundred thousand years have passed reluctantly. Each second reaches out its grubby baby hands, clutching desperately at what weakens under the sunrays of a despondent subsistence.
“Ma’am? Ma’am, are you alright?”
It takes a moment an eternity a moment to react to the voice issuing from behind me. I turn around slowly. What I want most is to see a tall and dark and scowling man looking down at me, asking why the hell I’m sitting in the mud. This glittery vision pulls at the corners of my mouth and I hear, faintly through the cosmos and years and shabby veil, a distant, croaking laugh. What I get is immeasurably imprecise. He’s a young fellow with skin the shade of a peach and crinkled eyes.
“Oh yes, yes, I’m fine,” I mutter vaguely, waving my hand in deference to his question.
(you don’t know him like I do, crazy don’t you know that I love you love you – inconceivable panic)
Tobias rushes out the door. I linger on the sweep of his broad shoulders hunched in preparation for the downpour.
“But, ma’am, you’re covered in mud, not to mention it’s really cold today.”
“Really, I’m fine.”
I turn back to face my murky river with my murky thoughts. They said move on, so where do I go? The pastpresent drags me, tugs me, berates me and I am nothing nothing nothing. I am thinking of you. In the rain, I am burned. Flesh is stripped away with the pull of each memory, each bubbling emotion – a hot, scalding cauldron of love that removes that which it seeks to shower with affection. Truth walks across my being, leaving freckles – marks of emotion, of gut-wrenching, Hellpain, of birds, of fleeting happiness, of emptiness.
(the emptiness, the void, it is filled with oblivion – I am sorry)
I am sitting on the duvet, wondering what is taking Tobias so long. He is always quick to make sure he sees me as much as possible. The rains leak down the sagging wall in the kitchen, hitting the bottom of the pail.
In vain, in utter depravity, I have tried to ascend beyond my nightmares. The thing is, I can’t fix the broken jagged diamonds of my heart with Spell-o tape. For the first time, I look to the opposite bank. There, nestled between the roots of a dying oak tree, is a daffodil – a solitary flower, a piece of history history effaced with insensitivity.
Standing stumbling falling, I slide down the bank and reach the river. I want the daffodil. It’s the only thing I’ve wanted in fifty eternal years.
(bleeding, dripping into a cup of remorse and regret – the foundations crumble)
There is a knock at the door. Tobias would never knock on the door of his own home.
The water is frigid, rigid with indignation at my violation. It begins to weight my lethargic calves, then my thighs as I struggle to reach the opposite side. It is a marvel that the horrors of the past and the multitude of screams in my nightmares do not make me buoyant. Do tragedies not pervade our senses of lively happiness?
(lighted candles flicker, they die die die – a thousand years)
I hurry to open the door. A man, not mine, stands there.
“Ma’am, please come with me.”
The current of the waters and the depth demand that I propel my arms. It takes my all of my weakness to keep from slipping under. I can see where the sand and deadened deadened deadened grass meet. I am so close to the edge, to the daffodil – buttery delight, soft elegance.
(struggle struggle struggle, the centuriespastpresent rest heavily upon my shoulders – when I look at you)
He leads me to the riverside where something is covered with a torn tarp. He takes my clenched, wet fist and motions for me to follow. Pulling back the suffocating trap, I see him. Tobias lies, eyes closed, his fist clutched around three buttery daffodils.
Before the waters choke me kill me beat me, win – Tobias.
(the waters caress me, the daffodil daffodil daffodil is the last thing I see – I love you)
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