Sometimes she is powerless in the execution of control over her own inhibitions. She feels her emotions too strongly and her heart warms with terrifying sensation, quickening to the pace of her thoughts as they begin to run wild. She peeks behind the curtain of his iris, and sees a thousand million trillion neurons, connecting, dazzling, snapping at her senses as her medulla works into overdrive to make this moment end fast, cut short, be gone.
In a single moment time will become irrelevant. All that exists is the space between their two bodies, the overwhelming awareness of their breathing, and the weight of the words that they both know in an instant would fall off her tongue too easily for comfort. The jolting sound of a spotlight igniting makes their chests contract, as does the silence of a million eyes watching, the ghosts of a past that dwindled to nothing.
He watches her lips formulate the first syllable as if his eyelids had been pinned to his forehead. It was like torture out of a novel scene, forced to watch something die in front of you so that it is memorialized in your brain. His cerebral cortex is abuzz with fresh blood as she moves on to the next consonant, zapped to life out of a slumber so that he feels like he has just brutally woken up to a horrifying reality he thought was just a dream.
It’s happening. He can’t believe this is happening. The sound of her voice is oddly flat. Impassive. Final.
“This is stage fright. It’s a physical reaction to shock. The consequences of heartbreak hasn’t set in quite yet.” [Click To Tweet!]
She knows he asks questions if the answer is already plain, otherwise he wouldn’t dare. He’s just too much of a coward to say it himself. She thinks she knows. Even in this moment, she thinks she has him all figured out, like with the crescendo in the sound of his footsteps as he came home from work, or the heaviness of his shoulders when he was focusing on a task. If she hadn’t figured him out then she wouldn’t be playing this game with him in the first place. She wouldn’t say what she is in the middle of saying right now. In this moment. Irretrievably.
It took him a second to realize that she is finished. He blinks.
She said it.
Now he won’t have to.
Bitter relief mixed in with adrenaline, racing through his veins with a barely contained excitement – not the kind of excitement he had felt ages ago when she smiled at him for the first time, or let certain I, L, Y letter words sneak out from between her lips. This was the kind of excitement that came right after driving into a ditch and realizing you had survived. This is stage fright. It’s a physical reaction to shock. The consequences of heartbreak hasn’t set in quite yet.
“Good.” He is in the middle of blurting this out when she finally looks away and their cord of communion breaks. He has a notion that he will take to bleeding inwardly. She however, he is sure, would forget him.
“Good.” She doesn’t put her vocals into traction when she ghosts his own speech, instead letting the word echo and fall into the space between them, filling the void with something mutually acceptable to both of them. It is the first time they are agreeing on anything. Or at least, in this moment, this irretrievable moment, they do.
It does not matter that in the matter of weeks, they will close that gap again and continue on renewed, rejoiced, and heavy. It does not matter that this moment will chatter before suddenly falling quiet. On a snowy white night in Dresden eleven years from now this moment will claw itself back out from the depths of their hippocampuses. By then, crescendos will not matter.
For now, they breathe. The hot light dims. The curtain falls. They are thrown into the dark, and walk off the stage in opposite directions.
On to the next scene.