The sadness is almost suffocating. It nearly overwhelms you as you take your laptop and put it away… It is no longer needed, no longer necessary, and you can't help but feel the same way, somewhere in the back of your head.
Squashing those depressing thoughts, you crawl back onto the bed, scowling at the sheet that keeps escaping from the corner of the mattress, but not bothering to fix it. You prop the pillows up, attempting to get comfortable, despite the ball of uneasiness lodged in your belly, weighing you down and trying to keep you from moving. You eventually lean back, sitting next to one of the most important people in your life. She is your friend, your confidante, your closer-than-a-sister relation. She is perusing YouTube, clicking random things, but not really watching.
Slightly, you watch too, breathing deeply to keep the tears from overwhelming the carefully built dams you have constructed, edifices held up by will alone. In the silence that settles, only punctuated by the ceiling fan as it makes its endless rotations, you get lost in your thoughts. You barely see each other, you and her, and when you do, it always flies by. Without fail, when it is time to part, you both die a little on the inside, and every time, it is harder, more heart breaking. Faintly, you wonder why you do this to yourselves. Would it not be easier just to stay apart and not deal with the sharp rip as one of you has to leave, the sadness that inhabits a small, hidden corner of your mind that threatens to overwhelm you when you think too hard about the fact that the only thing that keeps you together is a few feeble lines of communication – text messages, IMs, weekly phone calls? If technology were to fail, you think to yourself as she clicks on a video, finally settling on one, you would be alone, all alone, never to speak to each other again.
A chuckle from your right pulls you from your callous, cold, spiraling thoughts. She is laughing, something you think you are incapable of. Slowly, you realize that you are exhausted. The worry and gloom has zapped your strength and you glance at the clock, realizing slightly that the time might also be a major player in your fatigue. Your eyes travel up from the time to the video she is watching and your expression changes as the hosts laugh and joke and yell.
Eventually, you both lose yourselves to the videos. One turns into two, two into three, and you both laugh at the right moments, as if by some hidden cue. It is a game, a play at normalcy that tries to battle back the melancholy that threatens to overwhelm the both of you. She says something; you hum in response, too tired to really open your mouth. Your head is becoming hard to hold up, like someone is pouring mass onto you, trying to get you to succumb to sleep. You fight it, but you are losing. Your eyes begin to close and you scowl.
Suddenly, it occurs to you to use her as a living pillow. You lean your head over, resting your cheek on the hard angle of her shoulder. Your fatigue lifts slightly as the strain of holding up your head is released. Her shoulders tense for a half a second before she relaxes too, and you both continue to watch the videos, somehow with renewed energy. Ultimately, her shoulder becomes painful against your face, so you grab your pillow and stuff it between her collarbone and cheekbone before putting your head back. Now, you are content and comfortable; complete.
The next few minutes pass in serene silence, an absolute difference from earlier, when the air was stifling with dread. You both enjoy each other's company in that ringing peace, reassured that no matter what, you will always be friends. Nothing can come between you. Hell and high water will not separate you; neither will something as trivial as a lack of a means of communication. You vow silently to each other that you will not forget this moment. It is sacred, almost life-altering, even if it would seem inconsequential to anyone else.
This is why we do this, you think to yourself as you take a deep breath. This is why you bear the separation, the impossible moments during that last hug in the airport when you don't want to let go and you wonder who will have to be the one to break the hug first, and the horrible, heart wrenching waves you send to each other as you walk away from security toward your gate.
These small moments where you simply enjoy each other, live together in perfect harmony, possibly thinking the same thoughts and breathing the same air, as close as you can possibly be and still be separated. These are the instances that make it all worth it. These are the flashes that change you, make you realize how lucky you are, help you through the trials of separation. Truly, these moments outweigh the awful goodbyes.
You take another deep breath, renewed mentally, despite the fatigue plaguing your body. With another heave, you glance upward, to that space above your glasses where the world goes fuzzy, and look at her face. You mutter something, a phrase that somehow conveys that you are okay and you are enjoying this moment more than the giggle-spells and the inside jokes, a message that you don't want this moment to end, despite the lethargy about to overcome you.
"I hope I don't fall asleep…"
You can only pray that she gets the message and shares your sentiment.