The pain is too slow. Would we heal faster, if we hurt sooner?
We were the kind of couple that would make you sick – always together, holding hands, staring at each other, kissing in public. We got to a point of forming a telepathic link – finishing each other’s sentences, calling at the same time, making tea not asked for yet, and many more symptoms we hadn’t noticed in time. We called it love and hid away from the world.
We had to make adjustments – moved our bed to a wall, so we would get up on the same side, we bought a bigger bathtub, and a large blanket to cover four feet and sometimes also my face when a movie was scary.
‘Me too,’ I said and took a sip from my love-hearts mug. He added a bit of sugar and stirred my tea.
‘You’re welcome,’ he replied out loud to the ‘thank you’ in my head.
Then, bit by bit, it started getting uncomfortable. I was hangover every Sunday, he got cramps every month. We blamed the atmospheric pressure, something we ate, or bad sleep. Friends grew strange and rare, they didn’t get us anyway. We were just fine all alone together with our three feet under the blankie eating popcorn with caramel.
One winter’s night, when he dreamed about piloting a jumbo jet, a little thought appeared. I buried it in the darkest corner of our mind, where it should have died, but it grew instead, tingling and itching. I took it out sometimes when he couldn’t see it.
‘What’s wrong?’ He asked for the first time in years.
‘Nothing,’ for the first time I lied.
Making love was effortless as we had grown into each other. It was a distraction, but not a very good one, more like masturbation. That small idea only got stronger, turned into a secret and cast a shadow even on our bath time. The blanket was too heavy, bed too soft, water too wet.
On the last day, when only his left elbow and a few toes were sticking out of me, we went to a doctor.
‘Can you cut him out? I want to be free.’
When we say forever, you know, we don’t mean it.
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