It started when she was eighteen and he was seventeen. So he told her he was nineteen. It started with him lying and proceeded with her letting him lie and it went on the way that type of adolescent romance does. Fumbling along through uncertain awkward, clumsy moments. Lost footholds, accidental brushes, misplaced hands and glances caught in the wrong place, lingering looks, laughter held too long. Anxiety adds weight to trifles and gestures and words made and said and maybe not so well understood. Love is a foreign language to everyone who speaks it. It is never properly understood. So that is how it started. Maybe it started later. Maybe it started to end there.
Maria doesn’t believe in love. He is why.
I can’t tell you but I can tell you what they said. Not what words they spoke, but what they said.
Jacob: This sucks. Why is everything so empty? Why does the air feel empty? The air. It feels empty. As if something isn’t in the air that should be there. I hate this, this feeling that you are not there. You make things empty even when they shouldn’t be. It is just being without you and it is being without anything. I hate this. Leave me alone. Let me walk streets the way other men walk streets, without the streets feeling endless and the walking in vain because it is not to you or from you. Leave me alone. Can’t I just walk a fucking street?
Or don’t leave me. Come to me. Come to me. Fill these spaces.
Maria: You know what I need? Just one thing. A single, polar, absolute. An axis. Just there to mark the centre. Everything will revolve around it, everything will emanate from it, and it will always be there, like the certain unchangeable meaning, the answer, that thing. I need that.
There has been too much chaos, too much, even now, so little of what I am or what the world is blurs and whizzes around me and I can’t hold onto it.
I dreamt once, maybe more than once, maybe I keep having this dream then forgetting it when I wake up because I cannot remember when I dreamt it, but I remember it vividly. In this dream I was in a pitch black place. Pitch black. Total darkness. But I was moving. Really fast. I think that dream lasted for like just a few seconds, but I remember it often. Pitch black, not even knowing whether I am falling or flying.
That’s what you were to me. You came in like this light. You were so sure of the things you said to me that I believed you. I believe them still. I believe them about me, and I believe them about you. You will be my pole star. you will be my anchor. You will be the light I fly up to, or fall down to. I will believe you.