I wake with the light as it dances delicately through the thatched roof onto my face.
The morning air pervades our hut invitingly and I long to throw back my blanket to feel the fresh sea breeze on my skin. I am hot and feverish from the nightmares that trouble my sleep. In them, you are gone.
A gentle roll of my eyes towards you confirms that you are still there, chest rising and falling in perfect rhythm. I want to watch you sleep forever.
I long to tell you that your lips are kissable and your eyelashes brush endearingly against your cheek. I want you to know that if I had time enough, I would kiss every freckle and scar adorning that face that I adore. But you are at peace in another world, and love prevents me from bringing you back to our painful reality just yet.
I ache to tell you that I see the goodness in you. That the raging fight we had last night doesn’t alter the brightness of my affection. Though we screamed and cried, and I felt completely alone in that moment, I knew deep down that I wasn’t. You were there, a torch in my darkness. You still kissed me goodnight with lips that, though they did not smile, loved me all the same.
I want to ask you to forgive my flaws, to forget that I have hurt you. I want to tell you that I will never do that again. But it would be a lie. I will. And you will hurt me too. That’s what people do. Even people who love one another. Especially them. We can’t give another the key to our soul without the expectation that they might tread heavily there sometimes. It’s the risk we take that makes loving so beautiful.
If life were simple, we would be as we were at the beginning, walking softly on the shifting sands of time. We would talk long into the night about the things that create child-like wonder in us. We would not be tired, nor stressed, nor frustrated. We would hold hands and pause to gaze at the brooding moon. The moon who loves the sun too much to keep her in darkness, making way for her to rise in glory each day to greet her devotees. You make me feel like the sun.
We would forget the things that torment us in the dead of night. The monsters, that live inside of us, not under the bed as childhood once taught us. The things that make us vulnerable. The things that damage us. The thoughts that leave us wide-eyed in terror, mouths silently screaming. Those things are banished when we laugh together in sunshine.
Could we live then, in a world with no night? No darkness? A world where the bright light of ecstasy shines eternally?
Without the pull of the moon, oceans would crash into cities, and blissful dusk would never relieve us of our torturous routine.
Creatures of shade would be banished forever, never sharing their beauty with our glorious world. Reviving sleep would be a distant memory as exhausted we toil on through all of our days in punishing glare.
Life would go on, but a shell of a life. For without the night, could we ever truly appreciate the day?
When you wake, I will tell you my truth; I embrace our darkness, so that I may love the intensity of our light.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Saptarshi Mandal/Pixoto