I thought I had grown from my childish reactions. I thought I had gotten over my impulsiveness. I thought I had become mature, an adult: self-controlled and rational. But I assume I was wrong when it comes to the matters of the heart. Although anger and pain shot at me at first, I could not help myself from opening my arms and rushing onto Harry. I had only seen him days ago, but somehow this time felt different.
I held him tight for a long time, and he did not seem to want to break from my arms. I could feel people’s eyes on us. The waiters wanted to close up. But I only wanted to stay in Harry’s arms on this first day of the New Year where it felt for just one second that I was happy. Happy I could fly sort of happy.
Little did I know that in a few hours, this happiness will burn up, and leave nothing but pain, excruciating pain. Little did I know that in a few hours the drama between Harry and I will conclude. Little did I know that in a few hours, I will lose Harry, and we will become something that was beyond repair.
I was confused though. Wasn’t he supposed to be with his own friends? With his partner?
“You’re coming with us?” I asked him without releasing him from my hug.
“If you want me to.” He smiled.
I wanted to tell him to stop smiling. I hated the good feeling his smile brought. But I guess I was a masochist of some sort. I had diagnosed myself as an emotional masochist because the more Harry hurt me, the more I felt myself fall in love with him.
We left Bardo and Hamra was still buzzing with drunk people still partying till after dawn. My friends wanted to have breakfast somewhere. But I wanted to drink more. I was tipsy. I wanted to be drunk. So we bought Vodka on the road, and decided to resume our drinking at my house.
It was already morning when we got there, and my family was still sleeping, so we went to my room. One of my friends sat on the sofa, another lied on the bed. Harry sat on the edge of the bed as I got glasses and ice for our drinks. When I got back my two friends were snoozing. Harry seemed nervous. I made him and myself a drink. But he said he would be driving, and did not drink it. When I look back, I do not think the driving was the real reason he did not drink.
“Come with me.” I stretched my hand to him indicating we leave my friends sleeping and go to another room.
He took my hand reluctantly, and I took him to the living room. We sat next to each other on a sofa and turned the TV on. I honestly don’t remember what was on the screen because my mind was too busy focused on Harry who sat silently and decided to have a few sips from his drink after all. We talked random chit chat to break our nervousness. Just last week when we met, it was easy and comfortable, what was it about that night?
“You know I still love you, right?” I said to him with my eyes glued to the TV screen.
It felt weird, I wanted him to say something, anything to break that painful silence. I was fed up with it. I wanted him to say something hurtful, something that would kill me, maybe then I would understand. But it’s been two years, and I had gotten used to this language of his. I looked at him. His eyes were on the TV screen.
“I know.” He said. “And you know as well.”
“I know what?” I did not know. I know that I love you? Or do I know that you love me?
The alcohol had worked its way. I asked him if I could wrap myself in his arms, and again, reluctantly he said yes.
He hugged me and I could feel his breath on my skin. Softly, I felt myself snooze in a dream.
“You and I are something different. Something good. I could not wish anything else for us. I always want it to stay that way.” He started all the while squeezing me.
Being the emotional masochist, I was used to burning my own heaven. And in that paradise, where the pains of the world were gone, in that paradise where Harry was finally hugging me, I started the spark that would eventually burn into a hell.
I broke off his arms, and looked him in the eye.
“No, I don’t want it to stay that way. I don’t want the whole ‘different’ thing you keep talking about. I don’t want the fact that I don’t know what we are. You’re in a relationship, I’m travelling, and right after that you’re travelling as well, and only God knows where and when. I want to know if we’re going to be together again. I want to know what to tell myself.” Anger was circulating inside of me, and my voice began to reach a level of panic as the pounding of my heart became audible causing earthquakes and volcanoes.
“Maybe we will. I don’t… I don’t know… In two years where we will be. We may be married or just friends. I really don’t know. But right now, I think we both have to focus on other things. We cannot afford to rush things and risk the damage of not working out.” His tone was casual, but I could feel his chest that was heaving with nervousness.
“Harry, I’ve waited for too long. How long do you expect me to wait? I can’t just mute my heart and sit by as you figure out what you want. You’re a coward, every time we have an intimate moment you screw it up. Every time I look in your eyes you look away.” Ironically, I was the one who had been screwing up that moment.
We started arguing, and I ended up telling Harry everything I had been feeling. I was gushing out all of my emotions uncontrollably. I wanted to stop talking, my mind was screaming at me to stop. But my heart had been silent for too long a time. It was its turn to talk.
I told him I could not even begin to express how in love with him I was. My tears had start running, and I was mumbling things I was sure he did not understand, but with every word I said, I felt Harry’s panic rise, with every word, I felt his eyes move out of focus, zooming in and out, looking for a way to escape, until he finally stood up.
“You’re drunk. I really don’t want to go into this right now.” He said as he started to pick up his things, shaking his head, while his hands fumbled and trembled.
“What, seriously? You’re just going to run away, again?”
He did not answer, instead he walked out of the door, and I heard the front door open. I followed him and saw him standing outside the house waiting the elevator, tapping his foot against the floor, and pressing the elevator button continuously.
“Where are you going?” I could not believe it was so easy for him to escape. But he did not answer. I wanted to knock him out and pin him to the floor until he finally told me what he felt.
“Don’t you dare,” My eyes were crying and my voice was cracking, my mind was buzzing and panic was taking over me. “The minute you get in that elevator, I swear to you, will be the minute that I will start forgetting you, believe me I will do whatever it takes to erase you out of my memory.”
The elevator reached the floor. And he opened its door, and looked at me. Just then, I saw his red eyes. He’d been crying.
There were a few seconds of silence, through which I convinced myself I had gotten to him, and that he will be back inside, and that we will talk it over and he will back into my life. In these seconds I built myself a fairytale, and convinced myself that heaven was not burnt. Through these seconds I destroyed myself for allowing something I should have taken out from the roots two years ago. Through these seconds, I allowed what was destroying me: hope.
“I will… never… forget you.” His voice was cracking, and his tears were running down his cheek as he said his final words. My heart was squeezing, the blood was draining from my veins, and a shower of flames went down from the skies, burning the remains of everything I’d held dear. Harry looked away, staring at the empty elevator, and went inside. 3 seconds it took for the elevator to drop, and 3 seconds it took for the flames to swallow my heart and turn it into ash.