'But the day I stop wanting is the day I start to die. I mean, I'm confident that I will know more happiness than most, but contentment, I'm not so sure on that one.'
'What do you mean?' His voice beginning to take on a perturbed quality.
'Quick fixes. Big highs, irrevocable lows.'
'You've lost me'. The truth is, she never really had him. Not the true her. Not in her purest essence. He loved a version that he had meshed together in a flurry of what his children would need, his mother would approve of and what his friends would covet.
'Maybe I don't even want to be wholly content because the fun is in the search for it! The more lost you are the more there is to find, you know?'
'No. No, I really don't.' His harsh tone brought her back to where they lay for just a moment. 'And you really shouldn't drink so much. It makes you so...'
'Well age isn't indicative of wisdom.'
'Maybe I should go?'
'Go where? It's 4am?'
'Is it? I didn't know.'
'Did you take something tonight?'
'No. Take what? Of course not. Unless, no, no I didn't.' *did I?*
Everything was a bit hazy. She had been feeling nervous (crippled with unadulterated terror) about seeing him. Him. With her. I mean who doesn't self medicate when faced with such (first world) adversity.
She replayed the encounter. It was now on loop pedal.
'Oh hey.' The moment was fraught with ambiguity.
*Why is it always when I'm leaving the bathroom and he's about to enter. Such a fitting narrative. Our relationship, down the toilet, flushed away, lost over seas.*
The conversation didn't last long, and went nothing like any of the 14 times she had ran through it in her head.
He disappeared into the crowd, but in the opposite direction of the bathroom. She was left there holding her memories, of which she couldn't guarantee accuracy. She did have the potential to embellish. And liked to place the past on a pedestal. A ploy to make sure the present was just as satisfying. It wasn't.
A torrent of words swirled around her head. It made her dizzy. Maybe it was the two flutes of champagne she had just swilled in order to power through the evening with as much poise as one can in such circumstances. The ferocity of his prose had had a preternatural verve. And always held her attention. Until it didn't, and she forgot to remember he was waiting for her.
*Fuck. This was my fault.*
'Are you still awake?' She didn't speak. Her snoring wasn't a secret so she attempted a persuasive little half-grunt.
She felt a kiss on her forehead. She breathed in heavy.
He used to do that too. He would put both hands to her rounded cheeks and peck the top of her head. He knew it would grant him absolution for any minor indiscretions.
Her convincing ZZz's, coupled with a turn over on one side allowed her the privacy to continue her futile reminiscences.
They had once circled the Earth in similar orbits. Now, juxtaposed. They were contentious, but real. Raw and so real. Destructive. A tempest. But real. They were. And they just were.