Beloved (part 7 of 7)

So they heal quickly; it’s what they’re manufactured to do. She’s on her feet by morning; she wears his t-shirt and pair of his jeans into the bazaar to buy fresh clothes, and returns in denim cutoffs and a Coca-Colat-shirt that’s seen better days. Also a pair of thick sunglasses. He does not ask her where she has been and she does not ask him how he has survived apart from her; all subjects are now sterile, cauterized. Heat-sealed. She won’t meet his eyes. When they talk, if they talk at all, it is of simple, common things.

There is, however, a bright spot: he buys two tangerines and they eat them when the night grows hot with stars, and the juice covers fingers, chins, hands, mouths. He can’t find napkins. She laughs at his ridiculous helplessness, and he laughs at hers. Or they are laughing at their memory of laughter. Moments like this return at odd miraculous intervals on the journey home, when by some light, they are transformed. He loves her again, and she loves him. These are only moments: he knows she will never forgive him for hanging his present around another woman’s neck; he will never forgive her for refusing to let him catch her when he tried to break her last, brilliant fall.

Then later, as she stands in his room, upon the return, and notices that he keeps the torn Paris scarf tied around his bedpost, she asks him: “How did we end up in this place, how could we become so stupid, so unseeing, so given over to blindness? I once swore I could not live without you. But I am living, at least by threads, and it’s enough. It’s enough. It will have to be.”

His hand traces its way to her hand then falls back to his side. Then they walk away, both dreaming of that drowned grass field and the garden of lightning in the sky, straining to read the vows of love written on each others skin. But it’s raining too hard, for too long. By now all the letters have washed away, and all that’s left is a stain of blue, an indigo splotch of ruined ink from the lost words: Lover. Beloved. Lover. Beloved. All drowned now.

Drowned in blue.

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