At first, I stare. It’s nothing dramatic, since my eyes had already been on you- like they almost always are, when I’m not too busy being a dumb teenager. I don’t move; I don’t know if it’s because I can’t, or because I’m too afraid to. Either way, I’m as still as a statue, and my eyes don’t move a minute inch as you convey the news to people who aren’t me.
You don’t look at me, but you don’t move to the other room to answer call after call. You stay rooted beside me, and after fifteen minutes of absorbing every detail of your face for the thousandth time, you turn off your phone. And then there’s silence. It’s rare that our house is silent. I’m almost always creating a ruccus- either with endless monologues or by fiddling with some random object. But it is, right now, and I can’t bear it. Things have been hard these days, dealing with blow after blow from every corner, and my heart is vulnerable. This, however- I imagine being struck by lightning would feel somewhat similar.
When the moment of silence passes, you start thinking of ideas to solve the problem. You discuss with all those important people, and it’s funny how I still can’t stop looking at you. I’m listening, I am. I’m listening to every possible remedy, but I can’t wake myself up from this trance. In retrospect, I’ll realize I’d gone into shock. Maybe that’s the body’s way of being irrational, of trying to cope- maybe it thinks that if I don’t move, my heart will be safe for a little longer. I’m numb, and I don’t know how to organize the cacophony in my head. I don’t try.
Your discussion is over soon, and then you look at me. Instantly, it breaks. I feel the tears, huge and warm, welling up and then rolling down rapidly. There are a dozen different ways to cry, and this time, I weep. You’re there immediately and you tell me not to cry, even as I fall into your arms, feeling like a stupid, silly child. I hug you tight, so tight, and all the while you’re telling me there’s no need, that we’ll fix it, that even if the worst happens, it’ll only be for a while, and please, please don’t cry.
I soak in the warmth for a few more minutes and then I’m walking away, because you have things to do and why am I so weak when I have to be strong?
I regret leaving immediately; crying into my pillow has never ever been as comforting as crying on your shoulder. I need you.
[My way of coping with an avalanche of an unfortunate event. Bear with me?]