Nothing. There is nothing but a void. Searing white just lies there, impatiently waiting for something to form. To happen! But no. Nothing. It's silence incarnated. It will not speak. It will not talk. It just stares, maybe even glowering.
You shake your head and grunt, placing the pencil down and rubbing your face. You take another peek at it to see if it said anything.
Sigh. Hopeless. How hopeless. Like trying to grab white clouds from where you stand and twist them into amusing balloon animals. Or make something like burnt coals flower into pretty shapes and myriads of colors.
You push the chair back, get up, and walk around your messy room. Paperwork is sitting on the floor, some sheets with coffee stains. Others, folded corners. They sit all slumped together in heaps, dozing off, content with their words, content with their faces.
Oh how you wish for that. But peace of mind doesn't come to you. Books are spewed all over, and clothes have been draped carelessly around just like the curtains. You step on something sticky. It's three week old pizza. Ew.
Another sigh. Just one breath out. It's as if that breath, that moment of life, will become tangible and float ever so softly to the paper. And then that breath might bleed words on it. An idea might form. It might begin to speak!
No, no, no…That one breath, that moment of life, is nothing more. Just wind in a stale room. A miniature breeze in a quiet house. And how quiet that house is…
You turn towards the window.
The moon is out and smiling within a cluster of slate smoke. The backdrop, a still ocean with swimming stars softly floating on the surface, encompasses the world. Or, at least, the part you're in. The part where people look at the surface above and see the smiling moon and think, "I'm tired."
And like that, children drift back home as if drawn by some fragile thread. Adults drag their feet over to their cars as their mind prepares to doze and they drive away into the sea of night. And in that sea, it is quiet. So very quiet…Only the lapping waves of cricket chirps breaks the silent canvas.
How can your paper speak? How can it gain the will to talk when the night is quiet and discouraging? How can it have a voice if the moon, with the smile as big and luminous as it is, is silent and mute?
Quiet…So very, very quiet…Hush…
Wind…The wind's not quiet. Funny. But they aren't really loud either. Hush, they speak. Hush. They don't want the crickets to speak. They cradle the trees like children and whisper to those chirping crickets to have a heart and hush. Back and forth those trees sway, like waves crashing on the shore, pulling away with a whisper.
You turn around from the window and stare back at your desk. Through that jungle of books, paper, clothes, rotting food, and Gawd's knows what, the paper stares back at you. And what a steely stare it is.
The third sigh of the night falls from your mouth. How you wish you can have the paper do the same. Have a mouth to sigh, and a voice to speak.
Walking across the disaster site that is your room, you walk to the door and down a silent hallway. The walls watch you with half-lidded eyes, falling back to sleep when you have passed. The soft lights overhead hum a lullaby to them.
Into the living room you go, and you fall on the couch. A straight fall right to it like a falling tree. Your own eye lids begin to feel heavy. The TV watches you curiously, with a soft blank face. Blank? No. It's not the same as paper. It doesn't stare white, but invites sleep black. It reflects the night shining behind you, and soon you fall deeply asleep.
You're in a room. What room? It looks familiar. Your room? Yeah, it looks like your room. But you fell asleep in the living room, didn't you?
Confused, you turn around and, through a now clean space, walk back out. But there is something new out there. The air is different. You recognize it…A hush…a chirp…
You round the corner into the living room and there the curtains flutter about, fragile in the hushing wind. The whispering of the trees blows in and snuggles on the carpet. The chirps still break outside in waves as the curtains waver in rhythm. And…
Humming? It's-….Sweet. I-It's strange as it floats so easily over the breeze, but it's sweet in its melody. The notes dance on the air, graceful and light. They form a steady line from beyond the curtains, from the balcony.
Tentatively, ever so tentatively, you go pass the couch, pass the dining table, pass the fluttering curtains. And you see someone. You see someone there. They lean against the balcony railing, singing notes so sweet, and light. You stare at their back for a second, and then realization washes over you. Leaning against the threshold, a smile stretches its way across your face.
"Hey," you whisper and walk towards the figure. They turn around, and your heart melts. It fills your chest up as you gaze upon their dazzling face. They give you one of their spellbinding, beautiful smiles, and you can't help but widen yours.
"What're you doing up?" you ask as you approach them. They take you into their arms and plant a small kiss. Small, but full. And wholesome.
"What're you doing up?" they challenge. You laugh and lean into them, embracing them fully. You stroke their shoulders, calm and content.
Oh, how wonderful this feels. You lean in closer to them, embrace them tighter, the longing gripping your heart now.
'Don't let it end. Please, don't. Leave us this way forever. Beam us up in the stars and leave us alone in the sky's depths. Just please, let me hold them this way forever. Let their arms embrace me this way, and let their breath, so full of life, wash over me. Just like the waves of an ocean…or the starry sky and its soft waves of hushing wind.'
You look up and out beyond the balcony. You can see the ocean, the one you grew up by. The sun is glowing red and warm, slipping beneath the cover of horizon, the blankets of night being drawn up. Remember how you miss that? How you miss your home, your family? Remember how you left them for the one thing you love more, only to have your heart ripped in two and be left with nothing?
The grip on your heart tightens.
"We should go to bed," you whisper. You feel the other just hum in response. Neither of you do anything. The silence is long and comfortable with just the two of you there, and then you decided to break it.
"I miss you." You smile. You can't help it. A smile just flowers on your face, and tears trickle from your eyes, as you repeat it, breath shaky now. "I miss you…"
Don't let this end. Please don't…Gawd, don't let this go away.
"I miss you too," they whisper. More tears come, following the previous one down the same trail upon your face. They creep past your nose and slink slowly down, hanging onto the ledge, until…Plink! Tear after tear alights and seeps into their shoulder.
And your rocking them now, choked sobs audible. And how quiet the night seems. Even the chirping and wind has stopped. The trees stand still now, and the breeze is solemn. But the humming, that sweet humming…Gawd, don't let this end.
"Hey," they whisper. You part from them. The sudden absence of their body stops the tears. You want their warmth again, because, apparently, the breeze ihasn't/i stopped. You hold onto their arms, scared to look them in the face.
"Look at me."
You do. They're smiling back at you reassuringly, lips full and lovely. That same smile you fell in love with. But not those eyes. Oh, not those eyes…they speak of parting, and you just want them to be quiet. Tell them to shut up! Don't speak of parting! But you can't…your throat. It's-…It's stuck with tears, your chest heaving up and down.
They reach up with a hand, and lay it softly across your face. They pet your cheek, doing away with those sad, sad tears. You lean into it. You can feel their warmth again. Don't let it stop…
"I love you," they say in the softest whisper, even softer than the wind's. They lean in, and you can smell them. Their own unique smell. It intoxicates you, and entices the tears back out.
One kiss. A kiss so warm and gentle, it wasn't from the lips. It was from the heart. Their own heart…that one that loves you. From the same person who has yours, and always will. These lips, that heart, they embrace you better than any arms could. They give your warmth better than any hands could offer or hold.
Your eyes have drifted shut now. You are lost…Where? Don't know. Lost somewhere out there…maybe, you're in that starry sky where the moon smiles. Maybe, you're in those clouds, drifting effortlessly like a balloon. Or maybe, just maybe, you're lost at sea, in the dark, and it's calm and lovely, and you say to yourself that you never want to go back…
They part from you. But you don't lean back in. No. You don't protest, or cry another tear. No, not at all. You don't even bother to open your eyes, because you're still entranced. You're still lost…lost in a starry sea…
And then, in a voice with more happiness than the smiling moon, more beauty than those glimmering stars, more gentleness than those floating clouds, and quieter than any breeze, they utter four, soft words.
"And I always will…"
You wake up. 'Vision is blurry. You blink and the scene becomes clearer. There's the TV, staring back at you in a caring way. But the sun, not the moon, is in its face.
Sitting up, you look around and see it's true. The sun has come and the light is here. The night has gone away, just like a dream…
A dream…No more shadows. No more smiling moon. No more gentle clouds, or wind whispering hush. No more ocean of stars, or even those lapping waves of crickets. The light has come.
Rub your head. Stretch. Get up. You walk back down the hall, but those halls, light stretched over them and softly shaking them awake, smile in their morning daze at you. It feels nice.
Into the room. It's still a disaster site. Another sigh, but the humor isn't gone. You smile, and the sun returns it pleasantly.
You start to pick up some papers when your eyes fall on something, on your desk.
One white sheet of paper.
It stares at you, but with a tired look now. Has it stayed up all night? Was it waiting for a voice? You stare back. Nothing happens.
Slowly, ever so slowly, you tread across your room to it. And then you see it for what it really is; a loyal friend. The one thing that would wait up all night, every night, for you, waiting for your heart and care. And, when its finally mature with words, it would speak, the fruit of all your effort. Another smile divides your face.
You put the armful of paper down somewhere, push it aside into the corner, get it out of the way. And then you pick up the fallen pencil which greets you like an old dog, and begin to write…