I hold that name close when I open my eyes to a kiss on the forehead. I see a man before me, smiling a broad smile at me as the buzz of people going to and fro our waiting room. He hands me a box of doughnuts of many flavors then he joins me in my row of benches.
He starts to talk, with a lot of hand gestures like he’s excited, like he’s excited to talk to me. I join in, and we talk between bites. I laugh, then he laughs, then we talk some more, laugh some more. I beam at him as my body stays relaxed. I haven’t felt like that for so long. I realize a long time ago that with him, I can really convince myself that I don’t have to be somebody else entirely. He has seen through me, has known everything about me, and he still appreciates me as I am, and I appreciate him for that. An angry moan of machine snatches away our attention to the big window. A white plane with a blue writings on one of its side touched down and is cruising down the large asphalt field, trying to park itself to a jet-way. We look at the sky. Strips of purple, red, orange and yellow in a beautiful blend decorated with lazy thin clouds. The sun sure knows how to make a grand entrance. ‘It’s beautiful,’ he says as he circles his arm around me. I lean closer and turn around to see an equally beautiful sight.
His hair is black, as black as the night sky atop the British Museum when we sneaked inside. We were bored that day in the museum when suddenly he gripped my hand tight and dragged me to the men’s room to a stall. When we were out, it was very dark out, so dark that we couldn’t see anything. But I could still see his giddy little face above his mobile’s light. I asked a bunch of times about where we going, but he wouldn’t answer and gently led me with the little light that he provided. When he let go, I was already in awe. The great center was the only spot blessed with light that night, and on the big window high up above, we saw silver freckles of stars peppering the night sky. We sat down on the stairs for a long time, talking under the witness of millions of silver dots above. I heard him say ‘Total black-out’ and I nodded. Nature’s supply of lights beat artificial anytime.
His eyes are calming pair of blue, like the clear water of the Caribbeans. The sun beat down on us that day, and the wind created the rustle on the palm leaves. The sea and the sky were both in cheerful blue, each one like a mirror to the other. I was too busy collecting seashells when he yanked me up and throw me in the water. I made him pick up my lost shells then dunk his face in the salty sea and we completely forgot about the pretty white shells after that.
His freckles reminded me of ancient marble buildings taking resides here and there in Rome. We rented a vespa and together, we ventures through the city. Plants decorated cramped buildings on either side of small, tiled roads. Open cafes on the sides with people eating peacefully around the rounded tables and cushioned sofas and chairs wafted out wonderful smell of cooking food. Big, wide domed buildings that had seen so much more than me showcased a hundred years of history, and the fountains right in the middle of the streets spits out water constantly, making the buildings even more majestic. The Colosseum also didn’t cease to amaze me. I held on tight to him as he rattled out facts and stories and I listened intently. By sunset, we were hopelessly lost. We threaded our way back slowly and trusted the kindness of strangers to help us.
‘What?’ Says he suddenly and I’ve realized I’ve been staring this whole time. I shake my head sheepishly and he ruffles his hair before he tilts his head back to sleep, letting me watch him without him actually being embarrassed. I see little scars peppering his arms and legs, each one a mark, a proof of our conquer. The strikes on his elbow was from our hike along the Pacific Crest trail, and the other one above it came from going to an out-bond in Bali. Little red rounded wounds came from the mosquito bites in the Amazons, and the most hilarious was his healing wound on his right knee. He got that one from slipping into a banana peel and fell on the road right next to a complex of markets in Thailand.
But, the most universal symbol of all was, is, and always will be his smile. It accompanied us to everywhere we go. At the museum the second I saw the stars, On the beach when we splashed each other with the salty water, and in Rome when he found out we were hopelessly lost. I’ve felt caged for so long in my own life, my own mind. I was falling in a deep deep pit of darkness and I screamed as I fell, trying to attract help but nothing came. Nothing ever did, nothing ever would. That was what I thought, until he gave me his hand when he caught sight of me on the edge of that one faithful balcony. When I finally agreed to come down from there, that was the very first time I saw that very same smile I now see countless times.
It was a long long road after that, but he gave me liberty, and became my source of power to pull through. He took me out of my hell hole and showed me the whole world just to make me believe again. I remembered vibrant colors back in Dubai, and I can’t forget the sweet sight of the Africans’ smiles. The romantic gondola ride back in Venice, and the big pyramids of Giza was unbelievably spectacular.
A voice in the intercom announces our flight is here and he immediately flutters his eyes open. Suddenly, the people around us abruptly stand up and march towards a door with a lady on the side, working furiously behind a desk.
We get to our feet ourselves and do the exact same thing. But people are in such hurry. Too much hurry. They push their way through, not thinking much about anybody else. A couple of running kids break our laced hands, followed by their worried mother. A busy businessman on his phone bumps me hard, making me drop my heavy case.I drop to pick it up.
When I look up again, he’s a few people in front of me, looking for me as if he lost me. Then he starts to shout my name over and over and over again as he begins to panic. I find my heart beating fast and adrenaline kicking in as I try to slither my way to him. I don’t know why but it feels like I’m losing him for good. Then, his big blue oceans of eyes find me and he fights his way through. We both push as hard as we can but he keeps being pushed back, like a buoy on the open sea. I feel my chest ache the more he floats farther away from me. I scream his name and I let out my free hand to try to better reach him but he is getting small now, his shouts not really audible. I push and push and push but it is becoming hopeless. He’s unreachable.
Then, I feel a jolt of shock so huge everything just zapped out of existence. The last thing I see is his wide eyes and his worried face before I open my eyes to darkness. I lift my heavy head and my eyes automatically squint at the sight. Lights are bearing down in a domed room, with rows and rows of students and laptops, and it is all centered around a chalkboard and a puzzled man with his hair half gone. He’s looking at me skeptically, and shockingly, I realize everybody else is.
‘Miss Monroe, what is it you have to say?’ The professor asks. What is he talking about? ‘Excuse me, sir?’
‘You just shouted out Mr. Kent’s name out loud. Do you have anything urgent enough as to disturb my lecture?’
Then, to my horror I see his eyes boring down on me, without the warmth I just experienced not even five minutes ago. His face tells me he’s confused and waiting for my answer, but his eyes looks cold, like total amnesiac. Those eyes tells me that we never have anything together, that we never shared anything together. I roll up my sleeve a bit, and see thin red slashes, then I catch sight of the little orange bottle hidden inside my bag.
‘Oh, sorry, it was nothing, sir, please continue,’ I reply, because that is the truth. The guy who gave me the whole world only exists in my head, and outside of it, there is only Kyle Kent.
So yes, there is absolutely nothing I want to say to Mr. Kent. Nothing at all.