Reliquary

The sun was coming up as he stood there, sitting alone atop the mount overlooking the city, eyes on the horizon. The sky gradually changing from pitch black to bright blue while his mind wandered somewhere else, untouched by everything happening around him. He didn’t want another day to begin. He cared not for the beauty of the spectacular vision before him, for it didn’t reflect the turmoil within. He would gladly trade eternity for the night coming to an end. He would renounce his will to live if it meant staying with her for another moment. Why is the moon fading away? Why is it going? Why is the day coming? Why does the sun insists in climbing up to its rightful place in the sky? It is not right. There is no beauty in the horizon announcing the dawn of another day. Not today.

He remembers another occasion he wished time stopped. They were sitting together, sharing confidences, watching the flow of the ocean waters coming and going, like an eternal cadenced dance. She would look even further, see even more. “Imagine the waters being still”, she said, “imagine it is the islands moving, back and forth, back and forth, like they are dancing over the ocean.” She saw poetry in everything. They looked for images in the clouds, the setting sun forming interesting shadows in the fluffy formations. A bunny, an elephant, a dog. Her images were always more complex, she could see the beauty beyond what normal eyes could perceive. See? It is an Indian, her long hair over one shoulder, and it looks like she is wearing a necklace. It is just like the picture in my preschool spelling book. I is for Indian. She loved those books. Every letter had a different color, she imagined the sentences like a rainbow coloring the pages. What color was the A in your spelling book? The sunset was beautiful, as was her. He wanted it to linger, the dusk to last forever.

That’s when he sensed everything changed. What was happening? How come no one else had noticed the world going upside down? How come there was such peace out there when there was turbulence inside him? “I was peaceful”, he thought, “I was quiet before you came, before you arrived in my life.” But it was too late. She was there, the sun was setting, the Indian with a necklace had vanished from the sky. They could no longer see the islands dancing though the music of the ocean was still playing, following the fast beating of their hearts. It was too late. She was there, head in his shoulder, hand in her hands looking for warmth. It was too late. It was love.

Then, the sunset. Abrupt, unwarned, swiping through like a reverse seeder, removing every last bit of hope, leaving behind only the dust. Leaving behind the emptiness, the sorrow, the gruesome image of a vessel ready for receiving life but forever unused, like millions of clay pots with no flowers. Without notice, she was gone, right when he was ready to finally give her what he hadn’t given anyone else. He stood there, finger on the trigger, unable to fire, looking at yet another place where she went he can’t follow. He was ready, and something has to be made out of everything he hoped giving her. What is he doing? An altar, a temple of the relationship that never was, a mausoleum for the plans never to be achieved. A shrine for that sunset that should have lasted forever. An immense reliquary for the love cut so short.

“Everything that was built to last in this world”, she said, “everyone who ever worked to build everlasting things, they were fueled by love”. Love, the real seed, the beginning, and the end. All it needs to bloom is water and the sun. “I’m the rain”, she said, “I’m the rain for your sun, I’m the rain for you to dry”. She whispered in his ears, like a bee buzzing its wings, ready to pollinate what was being born within them. “What are you doing?”, she would whisper now, “Why build it? Why keep remembering what never came to be?” He sees nothing else. With her, he saw her phrases colored with each letter on their spelling books. With her, he was able to recognize the beauty in everything. Now it is just millions of colorless sentences. “Why? Why a reliquary, when you can’t live on memories?”

Why is the morning coming? He wants the opposite, he wants the sunset. That sunset, the one that should have lasted forever. Why is it dawning? There’s no sense, there’s no use. Why another day? Why another life? He would gladly trade eternity for the night coming to an end. He would give anything to have another moment with her. Why the vessels that can’t be filled? Why the trigger that can’t be fired? Why is she going to yet another place he can’t follow? That’s not what he wished for. He wants the sunset. He wants the dark. Why the sun, if he won’t be kissing her lips?

It happened. Swift and thorough, erasing what was yet to begin, what had just been born. It was too late. It was love.

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3 thoughts on “Reliquary

    • Thank you, Ellen, it is very kind!

      I’ve tried accessing ellensfoodforthought.wordpress.com but it seems to be no longer available. Did you move it somewhere else? I would love to read your stories!

      Like

      • Yes that was my old site but I have a new one called ellenjustaglimpse.wordpress.com where you can read all my stories! Thank you very much!

        Liked by 1 person

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