Two souls one house, sitting together in a room but never farther apart.
“ We don’t sing anymore.”, the woman said.
“ I know.”, the man replied, reading a newspaper with the glasses settling in the creases of his nose and brow.
“ We don’t dance anymore.”, she sighed, staring wistfully out the window as she watered a forlorn flower in the window.
“ I know.”, he replied, not even looking up as he flipped a page.
“ I never see you anymore.”, she whispered, watching the sun begin to settle down.
“ … I know.”, he replied, concern beginning to wheedle into his voice and into his rather thick skull.
“ Where are we now?”, she sighed again, dropping the watering can beside the wilting flower.
“ I don’t know.”, the man grunted, studying another article much like the one the week before, and the week before that.
“ This seems endless.”, the woman sighed, straightening a straight stack of books.
“ Time is infinite.”, the man sighed, glancing at the clock on the wall.
“ That doesn’t matter if we are finite.”, the woman replied, a nerve in her jaw beginning to tic.
“ Anything can be endless if you fight hard enough.”, the man replied with a small grin.
“ Will you fight with me?”, the woman questioned.
“ Why?”, the man pondered, glasses sinking further into his brow as he frowned.
The woman hesitated, hands beginning to whirl nervously about herself. Straightening her clothes, brushing away lint before she whispered, “ We can fight to be endless, you and I.”
The man chuckled, flipping the page again, not noticing the rising tension, “ Why would it matter?”
“ Because we’re worth it. Aren’t we?”, the woman snapped, eyes flashing but it was gone faster than lightning as she whirled away to the kitchen.
Silence settled awkwardly, no longer the comfortable feeling they used to hold. She whipped abou the kitchen cleaning and cooking, wiping away non existent crumbs tentatively watching the clock.
After settling the dinner in the oven she returned to find him the same, reading his newspaper, clothes neat and pristine but not an inch of movement had occurred.
“ Why don’t we clash anymore?”, she sighed, a forlorn feeling filling her.
“ Because the paint has run dry.”, he replied with a dry chuckle.
“ What does that mean?”
“ What does anything mean?”
She let the silence settle again but still the tension grew in the room, it was almost suffocating but the man didn’t seem to notice.
“ Do you love me?”, she asked, the nerve in her jaw freezing as she waited for an answer.
“ Do you care if I do?”, he laughed, finally setting the newspaper aside.
“ Of course.”, she snapped, the tic returning and her eye twitched once! Twice! Before she whirled away to the kitchen again.
“ Then perhaps.”, he’d sighed.
“ Mayhaps, may end, where do we stand my love?”, she sighed, dropping his platter before him.
He shifted easily and a light smile bloomed on his face but his eyes did not light with it, “ At the edge of a cliff and darkness peers at us.”
“ Don’t we peer at the dark?”, she questioned, a look of shock flashing through her and briefly the tension lifted.
“ Not here.”
And it returned in a flash, no longer able to be cut- even with a knife.
“ Then where?”, she sighed, exhaustion filling her features as she settled in her seat.
“ Anywhere but here.”, he’d replied with another wry laugh. Her face flashed again, and it was almost like a storm was brewing behind the window of her eyes.
“ Will we fall?”
“ Is it dire? Will we fly? Will Icarus rise again?”, she asked excitedly, reaching a hand for his but hesitated as he took a bite of the meal.
“ Maybe, no, never- who knows!”, he cried excitedly before settling back in dull contentment.
“ My love where do we stand?”, the woman sighed again, no longer a rage but a sad rain on her face.
“ Inching ever closer to that ledge.”, he replied, eyes looking to a faraway place.
They ate in silence for a while but as she began to clean up the mess she paused.
“ Will you let me in?”
“ Into what my dear you’re already standing inside.”, he laughed pointing to the door behind her.
“ Will we ever be the same?”, she whispered.
“ No one’s ever the same, in seven years we are going to be completely different people.”, he replied, tapping at the paper open to his latest article again.
“ What?”, she snapped.
Finally he seemed to notice some of the tension in the room even as it began to practically choke the woman.
“ Nevermind my dear.”, he sighed.
“ Will we finally grow close again?”, she cried.
“ My dear we are a mere foot apart.”, the man grimaced, concern whispering across his features.
“ Will you hold me, my dear?”, she begged, reaching for him.
“ Never near, never more.”, he said, confusion distorting his features as he opened the newspaper again.
“ My love do you know what we mean anymore?”, she sobbed, the tension breaking like a sad egg. The waves of pain washing through like the yolk falling out.
“ We means more than one but less than whole.”, he chuckled, tapping a poem he’d read just like it a few moments before.
“ Why do we no longer equal complete?”, she whispered, stacking the dishes robotically.
“ Why do tall tales get spun so endlessly?”, he replied with a smile.
“ Who knows.”
She stared at him for a moment before carrying the dishes away. He chuckled to himself and read another article and gently folded the newspaper with care. She returned to find him relaxed, hands resting calmly on his stomach while hers shook like leaves in a storm.
“ My love I need to know now, well and truly- are we going to stand together?”, she asked, no longer full of fear or tension. No, now it was replaced by resignation.
“ You have nothing more to say? Why not? We have stood together so long-”, she cried. It was like the eye of the hurricane had passed and the storm returned just like that.
“ Like two winding trees who start to branch apart.”, he said, eyes focused on the newspaper but again he was a thousand leagues away.
“ My love I must go now.”, the woman faltered, waiting for him to beg her to stay.
“ Why?”, was all he asked. He did not reach for her as the tears began to fall. No soft rains to be found here, only the harsh downpour that leaves one breathless and cold.
“ Because…. Because we no longer stand in the same ground.”, she whimpered, running a hand through her hair as she glanced towards their bedroom where a lone suitcase sat by the end of the bed.
“ How can we not stand in the same ground if we are two trees wrapped around each other.”, he questioned, confusion and a race of anger flashing through his face and frame. He was not fastidious and silent anymore. He stood, the tension in the room seeming to start to break like thin ice and the sun was beginning to rise above the mess.
“ Because sometimes you have to drop kick Icarus and fly away.”, she snapped, even as tears streamed down her face, she could not look away from the man.
“ What do you mean?”, he snapped, rage flickering on his face like the old lights of a house. Stuttering at first but then it spurted on at full length as he began to realize.
“ I mean I am leaving and it’s time you felt the sun’s true wrath.”, she cried, quickly gathering her coat and the suitcase.
“ What?”, he roared, the rage starting to flicker as the rain in him began to fall.
He fell back into his chair, shock and sadness filling his features. The rage left as easily as the breeze as he watched the tears fall on her face. He could feel the tension now, the sadness and fear but it was too late.
“ Good bye, my dear. It is time I passed along- as you said we are finite- but I think it’s time I felt infinite again.”, she sighed, wiping the tears as she reached for the door.
He sprung to life and she feared he’d beat her but he just opened the door for her, a solemn expression on her face. He knew he should have fought for her- but it was too late now. Even as her eyes cried for him to stop her he knew it was too little, too late.
He reached for her but she shifted away, resignation filling them both. They knew they had loved each other, but now it was all too late to save it.
He let out one last sigh as she slipped out the door.
“ Goodbye my dear.”, he whispered, silent tears flooding his cheeks.
“ Farewell my… old love.”, she whispered back, memorizing his face even as the tears filled his creases and lines.
They both nodded, acknowledging the change- the loss they both now held- before he closed the door.
The tension in the house disappeared and was quickly replaced by sadness and the cold drip of loneliness.
Slowly, haggardly, the man settled back in his chair with a sigh and picked up the newspaper. He read for a moment before folding it back up and letting it fall to the floor.
He leaned back in his chair and watched through the window as a lone figure made its way down the road, the wilted flower slowly dropping its petals with every step she took.
As she disappeared from the man’s sight- so did the last petal fall.
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