Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gunfire and Scars

You heart is not open,                                               Don’t say it’s over
So I must go.                                                              ‘Cause that would send me under.
(“The Power of Goodbye”, Madonna)                      (“Under”, Alex Hepburn)

Cold damp air rang with the echo of her steps as she trod along a long dimly lit hallway. Her high heels marked each passing moment with a loud “click” whereas her thought rushed back in time.

This bleak windowless corridor with multiple doors on each side opened a gateway to another alike but brighter and more cheerful hallway separated from “here and now” by more than a year and by approximately       2, 270 miles. Muffled by the carpeted floor her footsteps didn't disturb the silence there.

When she walked down that corridor joy and anxiety would fill her chest. She could never quite explain that nervousness that would grasp her before she would push the door open. Maybe subconsciously she anticipated changes and feared that every time might be the last time.

A steadying deep breath and she would make her entrance into the room. Emotions would immediately switch to the peaceful side, the effect he always had on her. A tide of warmth and care would surge over her whole being. Every cell of her body would respond as he would lock his arms around her. And then she would slip into that special state of mind: the awareness of his presence.

She pulled the key out of her pocket and pushed it into the keyhole waking back to reality. He wasn't here or maybe it was she who wasn't there. Her desire to see him again caused a dull throbbing pain in her chest. After being countries away for all these months she still longed for him. Getting over him was impossible neither during the periods when he was seemingly oblivious of her, nor when he would suddenly break into her reality with his text messages stating he missed her. She was constantly swinging between the desire to forget him and a determination to fight tooth and nail for being with this man, the man she felt was so right for her.

But today was different. As she got into her room she hurried to switch on her laptop and scrolled down her Twitter feed. The news she feared the most appeared frequently on the page. His earlier text message brought a relief: he wasn't hurt; he wasn't even there when it happened. But some dark inexplicable motives pushed her to investigate what the scenario might have been.

The information was horrifying. There was gunfire at his work place. An armed man shot 12 people dead, among them were civilians and contractors.  The murderer made his way through the guarded entrance and randomly aimed at employees unaware of his heinous intentions. In chaos and panic that followed people tried to escape the premises. Some of them never made it to the exit. Though the killer was shot as the police tried to take control over the situation, she didn't think his death made it up for his crime. How could he do it? How could he shoot down real people who had friends and families? The police reported his motives unclear which made her wander if the murderer knew he would take his reasons to the grave.

Suddenly she was seized by gratefulness to the chance that kept him away from the Naval Headquarters that morning. Tears streamed down her face. All the wrong things in their tantalizing “relationships” didn't matter any more. She discarded how their recent conversations made it seem she might never see him again.

She just wanted him safe. And then there was this necessity to wrap her arms around him, to run her fingers on his face, press her cheek against his chest to make sure of his physical existence. Every mile between them felt like a scar in her soul…

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