“There’s something I need to tell you.”
I place my wine glass down and look over at the girl on the other side of the table. Her hair is long and hangs slightly over her face. She has to push it out of the way every couple of seconds, just to make the sides of her features visible.
“Go on.” She picks up her own glass and takes a sip of the sweet liquor. I watch her face stutter over the honey-like flavour before the sharp notes trickle down her throat.
And I can’t say it, can I? How can I possibly say it when the inside of me is falling apart? How can I put into words, that she is the only reason I have to live?
I’ve been feeling like this for a while, right back before the trip. Of course I have. This numbing feeling and the grating apathy that runs down me; it rubs at my heel like a varicose ulcer, ready to burst it’s banks.
I have to focus on the edge of the wine glass to calm me down; I have to focus on the street and how the orange glow makes the road glisten with the layer of fresh rain.
I look over at her and, suddenly, everything is lost. I’m lost in the way her face floats; I’m lost in her eyes; I’m lost in her rounded face and chocolate coated skin.
“I think I’m… I’ve been thinking about killing myself.”
Of course I can’t do it. How could I do it? How could I do it now that Craig is gone? I’m too weak. I mean, he’s gone, and I can’t do this without him.
“Wint?” Her eyes start to glisten like the passing strangers. I can’t do this.
“Everything is numb, Abioye.” I take another sip of wine. “I find myself doing things just to take the edge off now-a-days. I drink.” I motion to the glass before pouring myself another, “To try and make the time pass faster, but it just makes me more depressed. I raise the volume of my music up a little too much ‘til my ears start to ring; I try to sleep for as long as possible just so I don’t have to face the day. Ever since Dan died, there’s just been this emptiness that leaves me feeling… You know, I can’t start a conversation; I can’t hold one. I’m scared I’m gonna lose myself again.”
Her hand reaches across the table; her fingers pushing in between my subtle storks.
I look up at her, trying hard not to break down.
“I think I’m falling for you, Abioye. I think I’m falling in love with you. And how could you love someone like me. How could you…?”
Her face is lost as I start to lose focus.
“I want to live. I really do, but I don’t know how anymore. I’ve lost myself.”
“Wint.” This time it’s with certainty, “Craig meant a great deal to us all. He was funny, he was loving; he loved everything about this world. And, I think that’s why we couldn’t save him. We couldn’t save him because he had this irreconcilable need to become one with the Earth. And after everything, the trip, the people we’ve met, our troubles before all this started, now Craig…”
She sort of stops, to collect her thoughts.
“We are all strong, Wint, and we are all worth something to someone. Craig knew we loved him, and maybe that’s way he did it. We’ve all got blood on our hands; so if you want it steadying, just ask me. Because, whatever your decision, I’m here for you. And I would give everything to spend my years with you.”
The orange glow of the restaurant shimmers, like the fairy lights they’ve added to heighten the way the world moves. I don’t know what I’ll do, but with the funeral on Saturday… I’ll have to stay for that.
I look over at her, one last time, before taking another sip of wine.
Our worlds moved faster after that.