We tell each other the same story every time: There is a boy and a girl and they need nobody. They always have somebody and they never have to ask for love.
I believe you and you believe me. After all we don’t really have a reason not to. We’re used to this modern world of the strong and independent, of Mister and Miss I-don’t-need-anyone-to-be-happy. It feels right because our ego is unaffected. Life goes on and the risk of getting hurt is none.
So we shrug our shoulders like they bare no weight. We turn our faces like none is worth remembering. We walk away as though there is never a trace of our lingering glances through the crowded street. Like the encounters we had were only dreams that we would never be able to recall and our hearts didn’t skip a single beat for the possibility of what could be.
We burn the chemistry that for one moment had felt like that was it. Then we take a step back and refuse to break our walls. Quickly we shut down and no one is ever let in.
I have done everything… because I like how cool and chill people think I am. I get off on the control I have over my emotions… until one day and for many days surrounding me are the faces I don’t feel a thing about and the souls I cannot touch.
I’m trapped between my shivering skin and the heated bodies that feel foreign on mine. I’m forced to think of a name and all I find is the void inside me I’ve been trying to cover up.
But I fail. And I crave and I ache. I see you reach out but never dare to say it out loud. I hear you cry silently behind the happy smiles that can easily deceive anyone.
Darling, you might be able to wipe away your tears and put on your favourite mask but I can still taste loneliness drying on your cheekbone. I can sense emptiness when your feet navigate their way towards me, when your lips find mine after our last drinks and sometimes even before your first.
I know because we’re no different. We’re the young people who speak the same emotional language. We are too proud to admit we are lonely and on this chilly night all we ever want is a genuine smile that is only for us. Then maybe even love in our sobriety if we ever dare to whisper that word.
Though I’m sure as soon as the sun comes up and we sleep long enough for our night to become a memory, we will both forget about this and tell ourselves we were being mistaken.
We will feel embarrassed and hurriedly conceal it. We will act as if nothing has happened and keep waiting to be blown away, for the day all the fantasies we have for our future are finally fulfilled and we meet our ideal self who definitely never has to ask for love.
We leave our vulnerable moments swept away by the current of time into a long gone past, and join the force of the strong and independent who have it all together. We’re smart. We’re capable. We will go on to do great things and our lives will seem perfect.
But is it so? Will our lives ever be perfect? When the night comes again and alcohol gets into our system, when our minds are cluttered with thoughts that show no mercy to our fragile souls, like when we joke about sleeping cold on a bed of money but it’s getting too real to be funny, and we look around and we see no one, how are we going to hide from our demons?
How are we going to pretend? How are we going to lie to ourselves again? The truths are stripped naked in front of our eyes and we have nowhere to hide.
Tonight, darling, you might be able to wipe away your tears and put on your favourite mask but I can still taste loneliness drying on your cheekbone…