“We should be touching down in about 15 – 20 minutes for an on-time arrival. Current weather: we’ve got light winds, a few scattered clouds. Temperature is about 19 degrees. We enjoyed having you on board this morning. Thanking you for flying with Emirates.
Flight crew please prepare for landing.
I looked at the window and all I see are clouds. The weather seems to share my gloom. Matt was still asleep. I decided to let him sleep off the last 15minutes of the flight. But people started shuffling in their seats, rousing Matt.
“Good morning, sunshine.” I said softly
Still distant. No luv. No sweet talks.
“Almost there.” I said looking at him
It was like that the whole way ‘til the exit doors of the airport.
“Is he picking you up?” he asked, breaking his silence.
“No.” I answered
He swore under his breath.
“It’s okay. I’ll take a cab.” I volunteered. Unsure of how things are.
“I’ll drive you home. No sense in paying for a fare. You’re place is on the way.” He said, grabbing my luggage.
Turning his back on me, he headed for the parking lot without glancing to see if I was following or not. I wanted to be mad at him for this, for the silence. I wanted to grab my luggage and storm off. I wanted to scream – of all things. But I find myself following him to his car. I find myself wanting to hug him and apologize for the things I said or did not say. But instead I let the silence deepen. I let the unspoken words widen the gap.
Home. He walked me to my door. Handed me my luggage, said goodbye then drove away. No kiss on the cheek. No flirty banter. Not even a “see you at the studio.” I dragged my luggage inside. Mad at Matt and frustrated at myself that I didn’t try and clear things out. But how could I. I still wouldn’t know what to say. And everything that I say seem to be so wrong. Like heart tipped daggers being hurled at him. I slipped into PJs and crawled into bed. 10am and I haven’t had much sleep the whole flight.
“Belle, I want US again.” He said with a sigh
“We can make it work this time. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have walked away. It was the pressure of trying to build the studio into a success.”
“Between being your business partner and your man, I couldn’t draw a clear line which part of me ends where. I’m sorry. I want to start over. Let’s start over again.” He said looking into my eyes for an answer.
We were at the beach. After all the festivities of the wedding, we finally had time to sit down and watch the sea wash in and out of the shore. It was something we both enjoyed, being near the water. It was past midnight. The place was quiet. One of the hotel staff was kind enough to start a bonfire for light. Temperature was just perfect. I asked for this. I opened Pandora’s box by asking him if he really said it.
“I love you, Belle.”
“I said it this morning. I’m saying it again. I love you. That feeling never went away. I just wasn’t man enough to admit it. Until now.” He said.
Now what? I thought, more confused than ever. I buried my face in my hands to hide the tears now streaming down my face. It seemed a while before I had the courage to look at him, but he was gone. Everything was blurry. The sea somehow had faded into a blur.
“Matt?” I called out.
Confused and still crying I felt something soft rubbing my face. Tried to make sense of what was happening but I was lost. I heard a soft purr beside me. Blinked once, twice, finally making light of what was in front of me. It was Coco, my Exotic Shorthair Cat. He was looking at me with his big round, sad eyes. He was purring and rubbing his face next to mine. I’ve been dreaming.
“I missed you too, Coco. Did Emma take good care of you?” I said, cuddling him.
Emma, my neighbor loves cats and she comes to feed and keep Coco company when I’m not around. Sigh. Matt and Xavi. Why am I hurting this bad? I wiped the tears away, settled back in bed and replayed that whole evening again in my head, for the hundredth time.
“Can you tell me what’s on your mind, please? Don’t make me guess.” Matt pleaded
Silence. We sat like that for quite a while.
“I don’t know what to say, Matt.” I finally confessed.
“You still love me. We both know that. Can you admit at least that?”
“But Xavi…” I said, my voice trailing off. Not answering his question. I didn’t know where the conversation was headed. I wanted to run and avoid this. But I wanted to stay there with him, right beside him. What is happening to me? Matt and Xavi.
“Do you love him?” he asked, looking at the sea, avoiding my eyes.
“I don’t know.”
“Are you together?”
“No. Not yet, I think. It’s different.” I said.
I can’t seem to put everything into words. Something is wrong with me. I feel like my insides are being ripped into shreds. I hate this feeling. I know I was hurting him but I needed to say the truth. What is the truth?
“What about us?” he asked.
“Matt, I…” I left it hanging there. I was clueless.
The sea crashing into the shore filled the silence. The embers of the bonfire were almost fading. I tucked my arm around his and leaned closer.
“I love you, Belle.” He whispered, kissing me on the top of my head.
We sat in silence for a good while. I thought then that things were going to be fine, or so I thought.
After that night, Matt has been cold. Distant. And worse, silent.
Previously: II. Weddings
Up Next: IV. Of Two Minds
4 november 2015