You would expect me to powerlessly eat through my food, but here I am slurping the ramen. I bring my face closer to the half-filled bowl, using my chopsticks, I ambush and attack on the vulnerable. Pulling my feet up into a cross-legged position, the overly large pyjamas lay soft on my skin, keeping in the warmth at night, allowing me peace as the stars shine brightly above. I press the headphones until they plunge deeper into my ears, blocking out any noise my mind may make.
Sighing, I drink a few sips of the broth.
I stop and look down at my reflection in the bowl, I follow the outline of my face and then rest on my eyes. My eyebrows quaver and my lips slant into a disapproving look, I tug on the cap and pull it down until my eyes could not be seen. I press until the volume goes up above the limit, I hum along to the tunes. Music is like a medicine to me, the more ill I feel, the more I intake.
“I wonder what he’s doing now?” I ask myself.
“He could have come home at the same time as me but…” I scoff.
He would be here tomorrow, it’s fine. A cold cloak wraps around my body and it feels like another weight is dropped onto my heart.
“I love you”, I blurted as I awoke. I found my bed to be cold and lonely. I missed his muscular arm that I dreamt was wrapped around me as much as I missed the smell of him.
I needed to distract myself.
I lightly tap the teaspoon on the teacup, the glasshouse is filled with antisocial bees and plants that climb the large walls. The flowers lay scattered on the grass like frozen flames, bringing their cool blaze to the late spring morning. A wiry man knocked on the door in a great hurry. He thrusted the flowers into my arms with an unconvincing bow and turned more sharply than courtesy allows. The bouquet was all my favourites, mini-sunflowers, white daisies and purple asters. It wasn’t my birthday, and Elijah was still to come back. But he’s the only one who knows my favourites… unless he’s back. I close the glass door and and searched for a label, a card… no instructions, no clue.
“Elijah…” I faintly moan. “Come back.”
I clutch onto my hand bag and tug at my checkered trench coat, I pull up my loose trousers. My trainers just fitting, I needed to buy a new pair. But I had promised myself that I would buy Elijah a present, and I must stick to that.
I ran my hand along the belt rack, listening to them jingle at the buckled. I watched them move back and forth, independent of eachother but bound to the same shiny rod of chrome. My hand dropped to my side as I peered at a brown leather built. I fingered the top, smooth, silky, like suede. Over the top was an impression of leaves on a vine, the colour was more truffle than chocolate and the buckle tarnished almost black over brass. I mentally looped it into the blue jeans in the distance: a perfect match.
I walk home with a smile prying on my face; Elijah will love this. The darkness took over the sky like a blindfold. Stepping into the unilluminating room, I drop the bag onto the sofa and sit on the floor. Why wasn’t the door open? Why wasn’t his smile there to greet me? I press my hot cheeks against the distant, unaccepting floor. I felt a blazing fire burn on my skin and hiccup with each wail.
Suddenly a light ignited the room and a pair of feet scuffle around me.
Slowly, I lift my head up. Realisation slaps me on my face that my throat swells. Elijah (still-in-his-uniform) looks up at me in a puzzled way. I gather my posture and he runs up to me from across the room. Wrapping me in a warm swaddle of his chest and arms, I didn’t want to leave. It felt as if when I was in his arms all my pain went away, mental and physical, mostly the loneliness.
“Elijah…” I cry to him.
“Eliana…” he says as he chokes on his tears.
I chuckle, “when did you ever cry?”
Elijah pushes my head back down onto his shoulder and carries me onto the sofa.
We don’t do anything but embrace eachother. The bed doesn’t feel cold anymore. I have a muscular arm attached to my body day and night. We don’t get called out on any missions every second we try to spend with eachother.
“What are you doing?” Asks Elijah.
“Just writing…” I reply. “Stuff.”
“Is this your diary? Oh…” he says as his eyebrows rise and a cheeky grin kisses his face.
He moves in close, and pulls the book away from me.
“We are so different,
You and I,
Yet together are balance,
As yin and yang,
A perfect match,
A perfect bond.”
He stops then and looks up at me with a sparkle in his eyes.
“Are you going to cry?” I laugh as he nods with widespread arms.
His face scrunches up and pulls me close.
“Did you miss me that much?” He asked.
“Mhmm…” I manage to break out along with a tear.
I stare at the letter on my desk. I clasp the letter close to my heart and decide whether top open it or not. Tearing it open, my hands shake uncontrollably. My tears eyes follow along the words.
A letter to my love,
I have never been very good at talking. Whenever I try to express the emotions whirling in my soul, my throat tightens blocking me from saying anything. So I will write. I never should have put you through the army, I realise that now. I chased after things that looked good, or women who were pretty but never truly had a place in my heart. You were always there for me every time I chased after one obsession or another. You quietly stood by my side supporting me. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I loved you, you were more than just a best friend to me. I could tell you things easily and you just listened. You always made me laugh. I thought I had my life figured out, but I didn’t. Without my knowing from the moment I first saw you real love began to take shape in my heart. I only truly realised it when I saw you at camp. You didn’t know I was there, but I looked at you then and realised that I loved you. You were so different from the other girls I chased. You cared. Love radiated in your heart spilling out into the lives of all those around you. You were strong, didn’t need high heels anywhere and preferred muddy boots over clean stilettos. You weren’t just pretty on the outside you had a beauty somewhere deep within. To put it simply, I love you.
I wipe my eyes and fold the piece of paper. I walk into the kitchen with puffy eyes and a sore throat. Elijah stands over the stove, spatula in hand. I stare for a few minutes until he turns around.
“The letter…” I croak and lean over.
He embraces me and kisses my temple. I lean in to smell the woody scent. I move away from him and kiss his cheek.
“Elijah…” I say.
“Yes.” He says as he prepares for my next words.
“I love you, but you were never a great cook.” I say.
“What do you mean?” He asks.
“Your pancake is burning.” I chuckle.
Sprinting back to the stove, he drops the pan under the tap.
“Oh… you think it’s funny?” He asks as he looks at me.
“I can’t stop!” I shout through my fit of laughs.
He chuckles and runs towards me.
This pandemic has split us up, right? But it’s up to us to stitch ourselves back together otherwise the damage is permanent.