The rain is falling. Pouring. I look down at my shoes as the water pools around them, a leaf floating by me. I imagine that i’m walking on water and I want to yell out, scream out that i’m no saviour. But I don’t think that the leaf will care, and I don’t care much either anymore. I’m still trying to process what she just said.
She’s not coming back. And she says that if she comes back…she’s going to be married. I’m sorry…look, don’t worry about it too much, i’ll see you later, okay? I’ve got class, i’ll text you when i’m done, we’ll get something to eat.
I nod numbly. The leaf is spinning in circles.
Zaiaad? Zaiaad, don’t dwell on it too much.
The leaf spins it’s way into the gutter, and she walks off to class, hurrying as the rain pounds down around us. I put my headphones in, and I start clicking through the songs in my pocket, as the cigarette smoke of a hundred million smokers surrounds me under the overhang, the defining picture of stressed out university students.
I step out, and the rain starts to soak me through to my bone. I don’t care. I want the rain to pound down. I want the rain to remind me of the man that I used to be, I want the rain to bring back the monster that I struggled for years to shut away. He can handle this. I cannot. I can’t deal with this right now, I can’t. The sky has no answers for me, except for more rain. My eyes get blurry, and I don’t know whether or not i’m crying. I think i’m too shocked to cry.
I look up, and i’m behind one of the buildings. I don’t remember how I got here. I look out at the forest, the leaves patter-pattering like small drums under the constant downpour. I look up, through the broken limbs and fall colours, and I whisper one word.
There is no answer. I stare out at the gray sky. No, not today. Today, you will give me an answer. I take a deep breath, and scream, scream at the sky, the heavens, the powers above me, that I want to do something, anything.
My throat immediately goes hoarse with the force of the shout. I can feel it reverberate through my body.
The world does not pay the slightest attention. Not even a hiccup in the cosmos, a momentary lapse in fate. A few seconds later, I forget that I even screamed anything at all, did anything at all. And it would be the moment that I would remember forever, as the moment when I found out that it was all over, and there was nothing I could do but scream at the heavens and curse at the wind. And cold.
It was so cold.
The sun is hot on my back. But this time, this time I feel the fire within. This time, I can do something.
When is the wedding? WHEN IS THE WEDDING?
She looks at me, brown eyes unblinking. I love her. In that second, I should hate her. I should hate everything about her. But her eyes, oh god, those eyes. Filled with so much pain, carrying so much hope. I love her for everything that she is. But I hate what she is doing to me.
ANSWER ME, WHEN IS THE WEDDING?
Everyone in the bus stop is staring at us. I’m causing a scene. I don’t care. I open my mouth to scream at her again. My throat is raw. I am sick. I have strep throat. My throat is so damaged that it’s bleeding.
I can smell the blood in the air. And still yet, I scream on, desperately, hoping, praying, wishing that she will see what i’m trying to say, what’s happening to me. That I can’t do this a second time.
I’m not telling you Zaiaad.
She called me Zaiaad. Not Zai, Zaiaad. Alright. So we’ve gotten to this stage. I inhale and exhale deeply, trying to drive the anger away. It doesn’t work.
I look up at her, and she looks back into my eyes.
I’m sorry…I have to go.
I freeze. What?
My bus is here, I have to go.
Are you fucking shitting me? You have to go because your fucking bus is here? I’m not worth this? I’m not worth missing a fucking bus?
Tell me i’m not worth it. LOOK ME IN MY FUCKING EYES AND TELL ME I’M NOT WORTH IT. DON’T YOU DARE DO THIS IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE FUCKING GUTS TO TELL ME I’M NOT WORTH IT.
She looks away, clutching her bag.
LOOK AT ME. LOOK ME IN MY EYES, LOOK ME IN MY EYES THE SAME WAY YOU DID WHEN YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU LOVED ME. AND TELL ME THAT I’M NOT WORTH FIGHTING FOR. TELL ME THIS ISN’T WORTH FIGHTING FOR.
She gets up.
“I have to go.”
She starts walking. She won’t actually do this, will she? She’s…she’s actually walking away from me. She’s actually going to leave me fucking standing here, holding my heart in my fucking hand. No. No fucking way. Is this fair? This isn’t fair. Not after the things I’ve been through. Not after all the blood I’ve lost. I’ve paid my dues. I deserve to be happy now. I don’t deserve this. She’s getting further away. Her petite body sways from side to side, and I feel like I should run and hug her. I can remember her head on my chest, watching Rachel Ray and laughing about it. I can remember walking beside her, hand in hand, arm in arm, her smile. Her smile. Oh, her smile. Not the fake one that she gave to make sure everyone was okay. The real one. The real one that she gave me whenever she saw me. Everything is on flash forward. I feel like our life is flashing before it ends. Is this the end? Is this how it ends?
Before I know it, the thought forces its way to my lips.
IS THIS HOW IT ENDS?
The bus stop freezes. The whole bus stop freezes. Not one soul moves. I can feel the rage pouring out of my body like a black cloud. The storm is raging, roiling. The monster is back. He stands there, in the middle of the day, his eyes burning with rage. And she does not waver. She does not hesitate. Every step, she takes, her head dead ahead.
This, is how it ends. The sun shining, my teeth bared, her back to me. Her walking away, her footsteps still sounding in my mind on the harsh concrete.
And the heat.
It was so hot.
That was the day that I lost my faith in love. I’ve since gained it back. I’ve since built it within me, so that it’s much harder to lose now.
Sometimes…sometimes I don’t think I have any faith anymore. I type entire letters to her, long, massive letters. And then I hit delete. I hit delete so many times that I can’t even remember how many letters that will never be read. I hit delete so that she doesn’t have to choose again, that she doesn’t have to deal with that again. I hit delete so that she can live without having to suffer the memory of me and who I used to be.
Who she used to be.
The nights are the hardest. The nights that she should be with me, the nights that I spend alone.
The nights that I trust people who shouldn’t be trusted. For a man who spent his entire childhood lying and perfecting lying, and his entire teenage years figuring out how to read lies and decipher lies from truth, I sure spend a lot of my adult years hoping that people are good and don’t lie.
I just want honesty. Is that so much to ask? And it’s funny, because I keep thinking that when someone says “don’t worry, i’m an honest person”, it’s so fucked up because I actually believe them. I actually believe that they’re an honest person just because they say that they’re an honest person. The audacity of me huh? How dare I?
It’s a sad fact that a man who has no reason to trust the world is the one who trusts the most, and the people who have no reason to mistrust the world are the ones who think everything is a lie.