(Trigger Warning: gore)
You thought you never loved any other as much as you did him, face blocking the sun, beams surrounding him like a halo. Forcing your eyes open against the light, you could only remark how his eyes were the color of seawater, bulbs of greenish wonder. You pictured yourself diving, head first.
You don’t remember much of how it happened. Figments of the scene haunt you with their incompleteness. The one thing you know: he tore you open. You know for a fact that it happened literally as well as metaphorically. One moment you were sitting shotgun, flickering through the radio, and the next he is tearing you apart.
You know this because they told you. When the paramedics arrived he was preforming what he could to save you. He sterilized his hands with the vodka left from the camping weekend. He stuck his fist inside you, desperately seeking for the bleeder. It was just behind your stomach. He materialized cloth that would keep you from drowning in your own liquid. He was dripping all over you and they had to take him by force. It happened fast. He forgot the linen inside you. Leaving a mark deeper than you knew possible.
You fantasize about this piece a lot. The one that is also him. Whenever you find yourself alone, you let your fingers roam the lump on the bottom left of your spine. You explore the uneven surface of the scar. It feels warmer than the rest of your body. As if your entire being is still fighting for it to heal. You never tell them but you fear you will someday reject it. The foreign piece. And you will lose him again.
You remember days when this all seemed impossible. When you were so closed off for the possibility of love, that you missed the shiny boy awaiting your affection. But you needed to take it slow. It did not come as easy for you as it did for him. You had to unravel how to feel safe and still remain open. You had to understand how to trust a soul enough to signal surrender. You had to accept the joys and sorrows of carrying another in your bones.
But he made it seem too sweet. As if he dripped honey in all of the gory bits of life. And yourself. He lured you into believing that there was a way out. That you needn’t be stuck in a carousel of fighting and fleeing. That you could be free of the illusions that tormented you. That there was such thing as righteous love.
And day, after day, after day of him trying to convince you of happiness, you found him lying stiff under the arid sun. Your chest raced and your mouth dried and you wondered if he was still there. As he pushed himself up on an elbow, unaligned torso, hand covering his face, you finally gave in.
Slowly, you noticed summers were no longer only the season of strawberries and watermelons. They were the time of year you would run as castaways to the nearest beach town. You would spend days immersed in icy waters reminding you how to fully breathe. You would use your bodies as boards and half-surf the tiny waves that came from behind you. You would release your weight to the saltiness enveloping you, letting it hold your bodies in a way you felt you were flying. You would look straight into the moonlight, challenging its power, and demanding God to be no more than a star. You would sleep on the sand with your bags as pillows and the night as shelter. You would wake up to the triumphant symphony of cicadas announcing another blissful day.
You were always on overdrive. Because he was fast passing and spontaneous and fickle and you tagged along. Life is an adventure, he would tell you. And you were living on the edge of your seat. But when you started to shiver, he would stop the car. He would let Joni sing melodically and pull you out to dance whatever steps he made up then and there. You would rest your head on his head. You would hum your disparities like they never existed. You would sing profusely to one another ‘I want to shampoo you, I want to renew you again and again.’
A decade later and this song moves you to tears. The figments of his face materialize in front of you and your hips swirl on their own. As if they had always known what do to. But it’s naïve to believe the same. It’s painful now. Almost unbearable. You finally confess to a doctor. They say you need a proper surgery. You never healed correctly. They say this thing could kill you. They need to tear you apart. Again.
You wish you could call him. You wish there was a straight line to the sky. You curse what heaven ever brought you apart. Or together in the first place. You realize you can’t keep denying yourself. You can’t keep choosing him over you. You can’t keep clinging to what has already let you go.
You drive yourself to the hospital. You change your clothes and you prepare for surgery. You lie down in bed. They take to a room. You hear soft chatter. A bright light suffocates your eyes. A couple of faces interfere, blocking the brightness, beams surrounding them like a halo.
You let your fingers find their way to him for the last time. You press the lump. You swear his bulbs of greenish seawater are staring down at you. They ask you if you’re ready. You’re not sure how to answer them. You look up again. He is there. As if in a dream, you hear him humming. Know everything lost will be recovered, once you drift into the arms of the undiscovered. You say goodbye. Or hello. You can’t really tell the difference. And they cut you open.