She was staring off into the distance.
He cocked his head to the right, studying her features in the dim light, trying to remember when they'd stopped talking and why. It felt as if a silence had just descended over them, turning them to petrified humans, left to sit at the mamak for eternity.
"It doesn't quite work that way," she said, startling him. "It's darker than that. Deeper than that."
"What do you mean?"
"It's like I'm falling into a black hole. An endless black hole. It's just falling, forever and ever and ever. I don't stop. My stomach's knotted up. I don't know if my eyes are open or close because I can't see anything. I can't ever see anything. Then I wake up."
"What do you do when you wake up?"
A half-smile wavered on her face. "I stop falling."
He tried to make out if she was teasing him, but he couldn't tell. She was staring into the depths of her tea, stirring the ice around with her straw. He couldn't quite recall how they got into this conversation - it was just one of those things that had happened.
"What do you do about it?"
She looked up at him. "What can I do about it?"
He paused, holding the words in his head, waiting for her to continue. Instead, she looked back down at her drink. "Have you tried praying about it?"
She sighed. "To what end? It's just a dream. Why would God care about something like that?"
"Because it's a recurring dream. Because you're losing sleep over it. What if... what if it's a vision or something?"
"What - I'm having visions that I'm falling into a black pit? Because that makes so much sense, you know."
"You don't have to roll your eyes at me."
"You don't have to be so holy about everything."
"I'm not trying to - " he broke off exasperatedly. "Look, you asked a question, I answered it the best I know how." He could see the lines on her face, the dark circles around her eyes.
She breathed out heavily. "I'm just so tired. I wish I could stop falling."
I could go for a cessation of failing, too. It's so exhausting. I like that you made it a theme here.ReplyDelete