Awakening to another day, the Sun beginning its climb high into the heavens with prayers for deliverance. Fortunate to be alive and still more fortunate to have love in these times. Glancing over to watch her sleep, fully clothed and carrying all of her earthly possessions, I was amazed to see how peaceful sleep was still a friend to her. I, on the other hand, watched the night with trip-wire ears and source seeking eyes while conversing with my beliefs for fortification.
She was beautiful; a flower in bloom amidst the harshness that surrounded us. We’d been together for quite some time, before “the Event.” The exact amount of time is hard to know, because years are no longer measurable to me.
We would need to get up soon, if we were going to find food and water before making it to the next area to make camp. Always on the move. Never sticking to one place.
In the morning hours, while she still slept, my thoughts would swallow me whole. Even with so much social isolation, I still carried the desire to journey into myself; seeking solace and seeking His voice. But we never spoke into the Silence because the Silence spoke back. Given enough opportunity and conversation, it would drive you crazy.
Memories spoke to me with the familiarity of a yesterday though. Things had been so different then. We made plans to buy a home and decorate; minimalism with exuberance. Ethnic figurines and tomes from worldly travels courtesy of Pier 1. “Huh.” We stayed in a gutted out Pier 1 a couple of weeks ago. There was good wood still left in the walls of the place.
Before “the Event,” I used to think I’d never marry again, if she and I parted. I mean really, the stuff we argued about seemed Epic at the time. But perspective can change anyone’s outlook.
Looking on her now, when the harshness of an ordinary day is washed from my eyes, the softness of her smile and brown eyes come back into view. I remember just how beautiful she is. My God, just look at her.
Remembering how I watched her walk across the room in our home. Such an ordinary room in contrast. The light traced down her hair and onto her shoulders. I knew she couldn’t see it in my eyes then, but the cliché of time slowing became relative. In those ordinary moments, she remained extraordinary. The dullness of the designs of the chairs and table retreated into the background. The shabby Chroma of the room blended into obscurity. And I knew she couldn’t see it in my eyes, because I was supposed to be listening; risking the consequences to observe the lines of her cheeks and the brown of her eyes. But my God, look at her. In the haze of my unremarkable imagination, she shown the brightest. She danced the lightest.
Unfortunately, for us in those days, the small loomed large enough to put a distance of time, not of space between us. Irretrievable time.
I leaned over to wake her. Hating myself for disturbing her, but we needed to start moving if we were going to gather enough supplies on our way. These were the only viable places where a safe haven was guaranteed through the night. Strangely enough, most of the time we didn’t have to share them with many other travelers. The other areas were unsuitable because of the sourness of the soil. Rubbing the dirt between my hands, I joked to lessen the desperation of the situation, “God is gonna be pissed when he comes back and sees what we’ve done with the place.
I turned to her and asked, “Are you ready to go?” At that moment, I heard twigs cracking under weight in close proximity to us. We froze like deer. Breathing shallowly, we made eye contact with one another, I hushed the words, “move, move, move.”
by Malakhai Jones
© Copyright 2016