Prose:  The Break

All I can hear as I lie here is the sound of my breathing. Far off below, lies the city, but no sound makes it up the hill through my thick curtains.
The large low room is dark, daylight held at bay. Life, oh life. I’m alive and last I night thought I wasn’t going to be. It was her, she led me there, but then she was one who many would follow. To their doom or their glory. What happened wasn’t her fault directly, but she had a nose for danger, like a toddler at full pelt towards the road.
My motorbike had first aroused that scent in her, once she had climbed on she whispered incomprehensible things in my ear that the turbulence around my head wouldn’t let me hear, as we rode. Up windy roads, past low dark green trees, the ground littered with the spiny leaves.
My first puzzlement too - did she expect me to hear, or expect me not to?
Neither short nor tall, her small frame neither slender nor large. She was indeterminate, those eyes spoke of sunsets yet were born in the east.

And now silence. Relief. Everything had gone, passed.
Danger. I had no taste for it, always careful in whatever I had to do to live, to not die.

I always wondered if there was any sweetness in her, or if she intended to float, a few inches above the ground her whole life never touching base, never grounding, always ascending.
I did see that she was not always so aloft once, when she stormed her mothers house built of bare blocks with plastic roof. Shouting her mothers name she rested for once firmly on solid earth. Guilty, she turned and looked at me as if to say, now you have me now I am caught. But I will fly again before you can move in for the kill.

I’ve never understood anyone like that. As if every time they are served food they throw the plate on the floor or at the wall. How do they expect to eat? Maybe as the sage says some people are born to be destroyers.
I don’t believe so. She was looking for something in me that would catch her. She wished to run and needed to be netted, like a butterfly.
Yet, I am no collector. Let her run free if that is what she wants.

She nearly destroyed me though. Perhaps as punishment for not being in awe of her. No - in punishment for not having the blood surged through my veins, pumped to impress, driven to capture, her.
And that is how I found myself being chased down a dirt alley, feet getting soaked where mothers had thrown out their soap suds, chased by a man shouting, a balding fierce man wielding a machete. A man from whom I would eventually escape, and settle in panic - heart pounding in a dark corner, sore and broken.
She didn’t think we would be able to take their ill-gotten money, Sunset Eyes just wanted to see what I, the fool, would do to rise to the challenge. And I, waivering because at that moment she held my waist and arm and looked into mine and gave silent promise.

A promise that would so easily be withdrawn.
I wasn’t broken now. I had a tale to tell. She wouldn’t come up that hill again to bring fire and destruction and I could lie here, sprawled out. For my kingdom was inside me, and she. Was gone.

∞  Last edit/update on: 14 / 3 / 2023

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