Your Dreams Won't Last Forever

Marcos Figueroa

 

I saw him kissing another girl.

 

My heart dropped. Broken mirrors, the pearls around my neck slipping away, slipping to the floor. They hit the ground and hid faster then I could hide myself, my disappointment, my decaying heart. I clawed my jawbone; ever so gently, so soft, my finger tracing an invisible line of comfort that I was losing. My touch would be the only semblance of reality I could stomach.


Four years. Four different years full of fall seasons; of falling leaves, of falling deeper into the welcoming clutches of love. Ripped apart at the seams, anguish and turmoil leaking out of my body to follow a path of listless silence, drifting with the soot and debris that is washed from the streets to a destination of unrepeatable splendor.

 

Alone, truly alone. Drowning in the warmth of blankets, shrouded in the shadows of namelessness; a study in the duality of the circumstances which lead to my sorrow and betrayal.

A fresh snow had left the campus solemn and unmolested. Snowflakes, docile and silent, caking the ground and tress; covering it all, like a irresponsible artist who ruins each canvas with the hasty applying of layers of color, absorbing the landscape into a desert of cold frailty.

 

It echoed my morality. I felt helpless, alone, weightless. I had wished that I never ventured out into that cold night, cursing my restless insomnia that constantly urged me to embrace the cold air that crashed against my surroundings. Like the constant crash of waves on an abandoned, moonlit beach my heart too stirred and stirred. The craving was present and growing with each passing moment. To choose to ignore it, or to please myself? I couldn't bear another moment in my tomb; to escape, to free myself is what I needed to do.

 

I had tiptoed out past the swollen eyes of my roommates, each of them locked into a battle with sleep; a battle I wished I could encounter. Alas, my body strayed from this battlefield, a cowardly retreat into open fields of wide-eyed lust. The lust for life? For awakening? I had my problems, my overwhelming fear of death and of eternal slumber. I medicated myself; with coffee, cigarettes, pills, him. Often times I clung to the notion, that of he was the difference. Between life and death.

 

A sweat broke out on me, my forehead. My body a competition of failure, of letdowns, of functions beyond my control. I picked up the pace of my steps, feeling as if I was walking in place, my feet inching closer and closer to not moving. As if I was an infant just learning to walk. I was afraid that I'd fall and not be able to move. What silly notions! Truly this wouldn't, rather couldn't happen.

 

I had made my way past the streets, past the residence halls, past the parking lots. Into the tucked away paradise I had come to known. The quad, an area crisscrossed and scarred with various walkways and concrete patios, with trees and bushes to compliment the irregular symmetry of the concrete intruders. I had settled into my familiar path, a quiet walk through a row of trees and bushes undisturbed by no one.

The quiet lucidity of this particular night was almost haunting, providing an ethereal aura of stomach-churning silence. I heard the soft crunch of snow under gentle footsteps, the slight breathing that was almost inaudible, perverting the silence of the moonlit tranquility. I sat transfixed and quiet, scanning the landscape for the prowler whom was in my midst. To my right, hidden by a thatch of bushes and trees, I viewed the shadows, two figures quietly embracing, the whites of their teeth and eyes the only betrayer of their secrecy.

 

A rendezvous, under moonlight? How romantic! My heart began to swell; the trembling in my hands receding to the unknown hiding place from which it constantly emerged. I rose from the bench, and peered over the bushes to get a better glimpse, not acknowledging the feelings of debauchery which were racing through my veins. I squinted and strained my eyes, the darkness making my task of identifying so much more difficult. At last! The clouds dispersing in a self-destructive manner allowing the illuminating rays of the moonlight to play Judas to these unknown interlopers.

 

And at once, I felt my heart ruin. My knees began to rot; making it impossible to stand, my body imploring me to fall into a heap of crushed dreams and aspirations in the carpet of fresh snow. I instantly recognized him in that small glimpse of light; exposed as a fraud, a cunning thief of love and trust. Stealing my heart only to throw it on the pyre of infidelity. How could this happen; how could he be so deceitful?

 

I ran from the clearing, furiously and with haste. My feet beating rapidly on the pavement with my heartbeat mimicking each step, playing catchup with the clash of my strides on the expansive covering of asphalt. Weeping, all the while weeping, my eyes stinging, eyelids heavy with the tinge of salt, wounds which grew by the minute. I made my retreat back to my home through muscle memory, for the cloudiness which engulfed my vision was not subsiding.

 

On my bed, I shook and gasped for air. I was drowning in the most bitter sea. Memories began to infiltrate my head; memories which would be swept away by the incoming tides of this cruel sea. I had been reduced to nothing. My sheets were soaked by the loss of love, becoming increasingly more cold and wet by the minute. I clung to this, grasping for anything, any sort of meaning that I could attempt to fathom.

Drifting into sleep. I had lost myself in the throes of sadness. Awakened by rapt knocking at my door, tender knuckles announcing their presence. The door slowly crept open and into the room walked the perpetrator of all this transgression. He wore the expression of innocence; he had no idea that I knew of his sin, his villainy. He appeared as a lark on a crisp summer day, his facial features strong and prominent, his smile mirroring his lust for life. All a facade, all a ruse after tonight's actions.

 

He approached my bed, his steps cautious and probing. The darkness contained within my room, my heart, was too much for him to overcome, even though he had no realization. He continued forwards, unaware of the broken mirror in the closet, the pearls ripped from my neck finding their home underneath my mattress. My jawline was marked by small red lines, a result of my woe and desire to rid myself of him.

Reaching out, he touched me. His scent poured into my nostrils, his touch soft and delicate. I made room in the bed, for him to nestle beside me. He stroked my hair, running his fingers along my skin with the opposite hand.

 

Despite feeling the urge to scream, to cry out in sorrow, to magnify my heartbreak, I regressed. He was here now; comforting me whether or not I wanted to accept it. It was out of my control. I was weak. I cursed love under my breath and fought off the heartbreak he had inflicted upon me.

 

I was drifting off to sleep, welcoming the kingdom of dreams into my heart. I turned to him and uttered the words which served as our foundation; the base of our love.

 

I'll never let anyone come between us.

 

 

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790