Issue 35, Final Fringe

I Will Miss You When You Are Gone

by Jacob Driscoll Issue 24 11.15.2010

1.

“I’m fine,” my love once lied, the oldest and most tired lie in human existence, a lie that reaches back to the garden of Eden and the serpent’s first words.

(“How are you doing, Eve?”)

(“I’m fine.”)

(Thirty-seven billion lies for thirty-seven billion generations.)

“You’re not fine,” I told her, annoyed. “Telling me you’re ‘fine’ is just a ploy so that I notice you’re not, so why not just say it? Why couch this in Machiavellian manipulation?”

“I’m supposed to be fine.”

“Kitten, I never cared about what you were supposed to be. I care only about what you are.”

“But I care about what I’m supposed to be.” She paused, thinking ahead like a chess master. “You can’t do anything to help.”

“But what if I can?”

“You can’t,” she snapped, vicious, angry, closing her eyes.

“So you just want me to notice that you’re not fine?”

“I’d hope you would notice that neither are you.”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine, either. That’s my problem. You just think you’re supposed to be.”

Damn. “If I have any problem, I’m not aware of it.”

She leaned into me then, and caressed my cheek, rough and patchy after a weekend of not shaving. “This isn’t right, darling. This state is unsustainable. I can’t linger while the earth dies slowly around us. I don’t work like this. We’re getting it wrong. No matter how often we tell ourselves that getting it wrong is part of our appeal, it makes things difficult. I can’t balance here anymore.”

She briefly touched my wrist, and lightning shot through me.

Her look was I told you so. Her words were “How much longer can we spin in this ever-tightening orbit before one of us gets slingshot to the other end of the universe?”

“I don’t intend to slingshot. I intend to crash into you, full speed, making such heat and pressure that we will become a new sun, and our planets will be blind from our light and tropical from our heat.”

“You want to destroy yourself? And me?”

“Yes. To create an  us. We will save the world by creating a new one, as filled with our love as this one once was.”

Silence.

“A bit too cliché, huh? I’m sorry.”

“No…”

“What?”

She threw her hands up in exasperation. “Tell me something horrible.”

“Come again?”

“Tell me that you’re in love with someone else. Tell me that your grandmother died. Tell me that you’ve suddenly become a Buddhist monk. Tell me you’ve got herpes or AIDS. Tell me you’re dying of brain cancer. Tell me this is all a dream. Tell me something honest and awful.”

“Why is that?”

“It has to be you, darling. It has to be you. Tell me anything to set me free, as long as it is you, not me.”

“You want out that badly?”

“I don’t want out at all. It’s horrifying. Horrify me.”

“But none of that stuff is true.”

“Oh no…”

“What’s wrong?”

“Quick summary: I adore you. Always you. Only you. I can’t stand it. You’re a star to me, the whole sky, the whole goddamn galaxy, everything in this universe doomed to entropy, you are it.”

I saw fear in her eyes for the first time since that dramatic moment of high danger on the train.

She told me: “Push me higher.” We kissed. “No. Higher.” I proposed. I could never deny her anything, ever. We both knew we were doomed when she said yes. She could not choose creation.

continue: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Jacob Driscoll

Jacob Driscoll

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Jacob Driscoll believes that you are a good person. He wants you to know you are not alone. He is cheering for you. Jacob lives and writes in Brooklyn. He has written interactive fiction for EN Publishing, including The Indomitable Fire Forest of Inennotdar and the upcoming The Dying Skyseer. He knows you can pull through this.