We sat there in almost silence. The background noise of Burlesque coming from downstairs, the tip-tap-tap of the keyboards ever clicking against soft, finger tips. Together, we ate our modest dinners of chicken rice, packed in white styro-foam boxes that we knew were so bad for the environment and yet continued to use anyway. I longed to reach out to him, a gentle caress of the cheek, run my fingers through his hair, but instead my gaze focused downwards, and I continued to stare intently at the bits of chicken and yellow oiled up rice that slowly, but surely began to levitate from my spoon and fork into my mouth. He said something then, something which jolted me right out of my routine induced stupor. "We don't spend enough time together." I was surprised. "not enough time together? What do you mean? We're spending time right now... in fact... we spend pretty fair amount of time together." You said nothing. But I knew what you meant. How long has it been since we had just a day to ourselves... I let my thoughts bring me back to this morning.
You lay in bed... with me. Next to me. Although actually that bed was nothing more than a series of sheets strewn on the floor. It's not that we didn't have a bed, we did. But the years of usage, coupled with the occasional dampness and the decay of wood made it sure that the bed wouldn't support the weight of two anymore and so we decided that we'd much rather make do with the floor than sleep separately. And I'm fine with that. In fact, I quite like sleeping on the floor. I heard you waking up and I pretend to still be asleep. You nuzzled against my neck and I returned the favour. I don't know how long we lay like that. I didn't care. If I could, I would stop time at that particular moment. I didn't want to get up that day, didn't want to leave. And so I tried... I hoped, and wished that something would happen that would preserve that moment forever in time. In fact, I tried so hard I even ignored the throbbing sensation in my bladder urging me to answer the call of nature like it did every morning. But I guess I didn't try hard enough because before long I kicked off the sheets, slipped out from under your arm and walked out the door and to the bathroom down the hall. There it was, the momentum had started... the day was moving on.
I stood in the toilet for I don't know how long. My toes tapping on the slick blue tiles, contemplating whether I wanted to go for a shower or crawl back into bed and try stopping time some more when I heard your voice call from the room, "Hey Cy! Come! She's coming out!" There. That' made up my mind for me. Wrapping the towel back around my waist I'd come running into the room. "Look Cy! She's coming out!" The butterfly seemed to strain against the shell of its chrysalis. I couldn't help but smile at your excitement, your anticipation. I remember having the same feeling of elation when I watched a butterfly eclose for the first time. True, I'd seen this probably like a hundred times over now, but I understood that it was your first, and I understood what it meant. But most of all, I was glad to be able to share that with you. I know these things hardly excite me that much anymore - though they still do to an extent - for your sake this morning, I was. "Quick!" I said. "Grab the camera!" And so we watched, as the little orange butterfly freed itself from the confines of her former life, and I held your hand as you held mine, and for a moment time did stop and everything was perfect.
Fast-forward back to the present. We washed the plates and made a dessert of pineapples. You headed back to the room to do your work, and I gave you an hour to do it. Still I pondered on your words. "We don't spend enough time together." Still I knew it was true. I went downstairs and watched the remaining half of Burlesque while you were gone. Talked a bit to mum and dad. Even had time to take a shower. "I don't want to regret anything," you said. "I don't want to have to regret not spending enough time with you when you die." And this I knew to be true... quite simple because time is never enough. We can spend a billion holidays with each other... take an entire year off to go see the world. But like all things, time eventually catches up, and things eventually end. I will die one day, I suppose. I do not like to think about it... but we all know it is there. We all know it is coming. And when the time happens, I suppose you will feel like you have been cheated of me as much as I have been cheated of you. But I also believe that there are these moments, these moments that have become preserved in time... when we cuddled in bed all morning and watched as the butterflies crawled out from their chrysalids, when that second seemed like an eternity... that we will have and treasure in our hearts, for as long as you continue to live.
|Timeless, don't let it end, no. |
Now that you're right here in my arms where you should stay, hold tight baby.