Gravity separation is the idea that two items can be separated by weight, using gravity as the filtering factor.
The idea that a soul weighs twenty-one grams has always seemed a bit foolish to me. However, the soul must have mass, and our souls must weigh the exact same, down to the milligram, because there’s no way I can imagine we would have found each other if not for the gravitational separation. Everyone else had been filtered out from the world, and we went colliding into each other like atoms in a molecule bound for an inseparable chemical bond.
Together here, our souls float, the weight of our two lives hurling through the atmosphere, and it is not without great appreciation for the divine that I get to experience the realization every day that you are mine.
Suppose it had not been for the flurry of coincidences that took place in our lives. In that case, it could have been an eternity before gravity finally took hold and heaved together the age-old right place, right time opportunity.
The scene is ordinary, two people a few miles from each other, never knowing the other exists, until one day, the worlds crash together to make a new universe.
One morning commute, the A train breaks down, and we are all stuck in a subway car with nowhere to go. There’s a stifling feeling to the stagnant air, the stench of stillness. In the absence of the squeal of steel on steel grinding down the track, there is a collective breath, in, out.
Buzzing headphones jammed in ears, newspapers flicked, pages turned, the rustle of slacks in uncomfortable seats.
I’m standing with my back to the doors, wringing my hands, the sound of my skin tense with anxiety. Uncontrollable travel makes me worry. But you, you are all cool, all calm, like a placid lake at the end of a rushing stream. You are an open meadow in the middle of a forest of dense evergreen trees that’s full of light with the soft brush of lavender amongst the buzzing of bees.
My eyes dart past subway maps, unintelligible ads that have been graffitied over tenfold until they finally land on yours, serene and shiny emeralds. You give me this inviting half-grin where your teeth gleam, clean and white. You pat the plastic seat next to you, close your book, move your bag, shift your weight. I move across the flecked floor with two soft heel clicks.
I sit, you smile, and that’s it. Everyone else on the dreaded trapped passenger car is poof, gone. In the perceived absence of straphangers, there is clamoring buzz that must be the sound of our hearts.
Your hand settles on mine to stop the wringing, and all of a sudden, my brain is ecstatic, synapses firing in all directions, a tiny combustion tank.
The nice to meet you’s and casual pleasantries are telecommunicated as if they are a formality that doesn’t matter in an electric connection such as this.
“Emmett,” you say with a broad hand on your chest.
“Emily,” I grin, side by side, eye to eye.
Pupils dilate. Green irises, brown irises, the same colors as earth, give birth to a new life. A cohabitated planet that has never existed before and will never exist again, uniquely ours, now and forever.
We will monogram our napkins with our shared initials and prepare coffee to the other’s exact taste for eternity and never get tired of it. We will do crossword puzzles and eat browned buttery toast over talk of morning weather. We will hold hands on trains and dance in rainstorms, sweetly coercing the clouds to cook up excitement meant just for us.
There will be decades of late nights that suspend place and time and bottomless bottles of white wine. Walks with paths that lead to nowhere, if just for the collective journey.
Long haul trips with never-ending road stripes down the asphalt veins of the west. There are mountains to climb, waterfalls to wade under, and red rock deserts full of dust.
I see it all in the reflection of your eyes on this train ride. The assembly of a world takes place in between our irises, forming its own new state of gravity.
The lights flicker, and the obligatory screech of the subway commences as we lurch forward through the previously suspended commute. The train car shakes the surrounding commuters back to life as the car populates with seemingly glossy-eyed grinning faces.
“Coffee?” You pose the question.
“Exactly,” I stand, and the doors slide open.
The world above the subway platform has no gravity. We are suspended over 5th Avenue, yellow taxi cabs moving in slow motion like the docile flow of golden honey.
We duck down a set of cracked concrete steps into a coffee shop with soft foamy cappuccinos and worn leather sofas. We sit. Noses poised toward one another, weather vanes in this new world. Shoulders prop up necks that fight the shear force to have our lips touch. Feet positioned in the southern hemisphere converge into new bridges as the tips of our toes brush.
There are no lulls, only smooth communications, intentioned listenings, collective silences where we catch our breaths. Foamy top lips and quick tongues with gleeful laughter.
It is comfortable and warm in this new cumulative coffee cave, where our cups clink and hands graze.
Suspended between our two outstretched fingers is magnetic creation. An enigmatic touch that will blossom into me knowing every version of you. Everyone that you will ever be. The opportunity to love every step of the way, through every growth spurt and every setback, none the same. There are Christmases to share and new birthdays to create.
With its unique waterways and its new north, here in this world awaits decades of authentic happenings and discoverable things. Two souls had a weighted encounter on a train that catapulted forth a new perspective seen through four eyes.
Forget love at first sight. This is a gravitational phenomenon.
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Nicely done! Great use of science. Isn’t that what romance is? Chemistry, biology, earth science… Enjoyed your interpretation!
Thank you for taking time to read my story and comment, Cindy! :) I appreciate it!
This was absolutely awesome. I loved the interpretation of the prompt, and using scientific basis as your driving thesis for so much of the imagery. The imagery was wonderful and your prose was absolutely stellar. So many great descriptors where I'm just like "YES". Plus you ended on a happy and strong note with a closing line that felt like a mic drop. Just.. heck yeah! This was great.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, Colin. Your comments absolutely made my day! I really appreciate it!
My pleasure! This was great!
I enjoyed your story very much! I remember imagining all those things when I first met my husband and how they all happened (except the monogram napkins…I don’t think we’ve done that😂). I love the line about their eyes being the color of the earth. And how he gently calmed her anxiety. Very sweet, romantic story with a happy ending. 😻
Thank you so much for taking time to read my story Sharon! I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Thank you, thank you.