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I suppose that you could say it all began with the moment when he first turned his back to me, walking away down the road and laughing at my folly. Or perhaps it was earlier than that. Perhaps it was when we were children and he was cruel for the first time. That time when we were so young and yet possessing the ancient wisdom that is the inheritance of all newly created beings. That small kernel of pure knowledge which is implanted into every soul at the moment of its creation, only to slowly fade and tarnish, grow dim and weary with the pettiness of others.
Whatever the reason, does it really matter? After all, you can never truly know, never truly understand. So why try to?
One person came up with a theory I kind of liked, about why it happened. They said that it happened because it happened, and one day it will inevitably happen again. It is a beautifully unsatisfactory explanation.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that it was him walking away which began the whole messy business.
We were walking. We argued. He turned. He put his back to me. He took the first step.
That far I can remember very well. But after… after, I can remember it in the purest colours, perfect crystal, that clarity which we all lose when we grow up. I can remember it was so beautiful.
Opening my eyes as wide as I can, I paint the images of my mind on the walls of time and space. I once again walk through my sequence of steps. That elaborate dance of breathing a memory.
He stepped, I stepped, all in perfect harmony and synchronicity. I breathed, and breathed. And then the rain began. Every drop fell exactly where it was supposed to, landing with unmatchable precision in its allotted moment, allowing itself to be torn apart and made one with a larger whole.
This remembering is so delicious. I can feel the phantom drops on my hair, my skin, seeping into the very core of me.
He stepped again, another, and then once more. The timing matching with absolute precision my own beats and movements.
My favourite part is coming, the climax of this, my remembering. Any moment. No- at its moment.
The light, that dazzling light which turns the falling rain into diamonds far too precious for a clumsy human to ever collect, wild shards of pinpoint brightness which are wonderfully free and will never be bound into something as crass as a jewel setting.
And I feel it, the now sodden fabric of his blazer. It clothes him in mottled darkness as I grasp him by one bony shoulder.
The lights are closer now, no longer one unspoiled mesmerising flood but the eyes of a hungry beast.
A brief second of force. It doesn’t last any longer than it is supposed to. That would not be right.
Everything is done with faultless grace and impeccable animosity.
And he is gone.
And I am here
And I remember it all. Perfectly.