The Edge

It’s near the end of winter, we’re in a rented house on the beach for the night. It’s late and you can’t see a thing except white sand that ends in the black ocean which stretches to the infinite darkness of the horizon. It feels like standing on the edge of the world, the abyss. It’s terrifying and wonderful, just like standing in front of her.

I’m sitting in the leather arm chair. Worn from years of use, but full of character as a result. I hear the shower turn off down the hall. A few minutes later she’s standing in the doorway. She’s wearing my t-shirt, which just like the chair, is worn thin, but full of character. Traitor.

“What’s that look for?” she asks, moving closer. “You don’t mind I’m wearing this, do you? You left it on the sink.” Of course I did.

“No, I don’t mind.” I answered.

I did mind. The shirt will remind me of her now, standing in that doorway looking at me, looking at her, looking like a dream. Looking more like a dream than anything I ever dreamt, but whatever. I dwell on the end of things. It’s my superpower. It isn’t that I can’t appreciate how amazing she looks right now, in my shirt. It’s just, I can’t help but think what the shirt will look like without her in it. Everything ends except my thinking about everything ending, that of course, endures.

A second later, she’s climbing into the chair behind me. My little leather time capsule, now undergoing a hostile takeover. Wrapping her arms around me, she asks “What were you writing?”

“Nothing.”

Her hair is damp and cool against my back. Her breath is warm, almost hot against my neck. Forever the contradiction. She tucks her legs in around me. She smells like my home and my escape. Again, contradiction. I hope like hell she can’t feel my heart pounding. Worse than the shirt, what’s my life going to look like when she’s not in it?

“Liar.” she says, into my neck.

“Well…” I went one “A formal complaint to the universe, since we’re prying.”

“A formal complaint?” she asks

“Yes. I’d like to know why there’s always too much time, but also not enough of it. Ironic, even. There’s too much of it between the moments when I get to be yours. The perfect ones. The ones where you hold me like this, at the edge of the world. Then, there’s never enough during. The universe is funny that way, its got forever, but I only get a blink. I wait patiently for my time and then it’s gone.” There I go again, worrying about the end. Why can’t I stop talking?

“You’re greedy.” she says, but I can feel her smiling.

“I know, but you don’t understand. You don’t have to worry about losing you, like I do.”

I opened my notebook, and in one motion tore out the page, crumpled and dropped it. I don’t need the letter. It wouldn’t make a difference.

“Honestly, even if the universe gave me forever, I’d still fight for one more second.”

I grinned bitterly and said “You can replace me in a heartbeat, but you’re my one and only.” Stop talking. Oh my god, stop talking.

I stood up, staring out the giant window that overlooks the beach.

“Look out there” I said, “We’re at the edge of the world, and we could fall off any second and then I’ll be robbed of you.”

She got up from the chair and stood in front of me, looking into my eyes. She is my real abyss, I could get lost in her forever.. She took a breath in anticipation of speaking, but I quickly kissed her.

Leaving my forehead against her’s, my hands on the sides of her face I said, “Don’t say anything. You don’t need to promise me anything, this isn’t your problem to solve. I’ve got a history of being terrible, doing everything wrong and leaving things unsaid. Tonight, I’m leaving them said. You’re everything to me. Everything.”

I made love to her that night for the first time as myself. Unmasked, I dove into her. It felt like free falling from outer space. I’d like to imagine our souls touched that night for the first time. Afterwards, I stayed awake. She laid there, wrapped inside my body, in my shirt, which was now forever her’s, just like me. I kept my face buried in the back of her neck, in the jungle of her hair. I spent all night feeling her heart beat inside her, inside of me. I rode her breathing to it’s crest and back over and over. Surfing the love of my life. And in an act of mercy, time finally stood still.

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