By Jacquelyn Seerattan-Waldrom
This is one letter that I’ll never send and one more letter that has finally made it out of my mind and onto tangible paper. You don’t know how often I’ve written to you and I don’t ever plan on telling you. Who am I to betray the secret solace of my mind to even record its privatised on goings? To flesh out the scenic ambience which no words could ever condemn to justice. And who are you to spur these things? These messy but altogether complete segments of instance which string together with a symmetry only two hearts can chorus, and only two sets of hands can support?
You are the subject of my every remembrance and the foundation of my every fantasy – the warm after-heat ingrained into the mattress and the rolling summer wind which casts away my cigarette ash. And what is this, if not love? The love that novels tell and the colourful adaptations that films recite? What if, for all of this time, love has gone wrong? What if romance is old-age sounds being strummed on a guitar, at the forefront of an orange sunset, where the prospect of home isn’t a destination but a feeling? A feeling of constancy that can never seem to separate. What if love is us and we never know it? What is love if it is never said? Can we really know love if it’s only ever been told by everyone else? But enough with the questions now. I know how you hate those. There is nothing I would want to be which would spark hatred in you, even for a moment.
And I’ve noticed it, noticed you.
You’ll lie with me some nights. Slumber filled yet all but vacant as your dreams play across your lips like a reel of furtive pleasures and plights that I’ll never get to see. Ones that I’ll only ever know through the boyish animation and articulation of your lips. I’m not a writer, Freddy. Never knew a pen until I was meant to, always knew your soft circle of arms around me and the sweet smile that braved every one of life’s hits. You’ve been hit enough, Freddy, and so I’ll shield you from the brunt of my feelings as best I can. Nothing tortures me more than the foe of uncertainty. And that, frankly, is what this is. What everything is, beneath. I kiss you and I taste satisfaction. But how can I know I am sating a sought after love when I have never had to search for you?
Even now as I write this: scrawling on scraps of ripped pad paper, you sleep just over my shoulder. I know you’re not faking because I hear the way you lungs breathe. They’re lighter and looser when you’re submerged in subconscious; heavier and tighter when you’re sneaking stares at me. Because you love me, Freddy: all of you believes it and all of me could never negate the possibility, of that most precious commonality that speaks about the hearts’ meet. I’ll forever wonder if a kiss to you means a kiss to me. I’ll forever be worrying a whisper to you means a commitment to me that I’ll never be able to fulfil.
Do you see now? Do you see now why if I say it it’s as wrong as it is right? To love you is okay, but to say it is to promise, and I can’t promise you that love is what I give to you.
You’re waking up now. Hold on. No, wait, that was premature. You’re asleep still; sheets tangled at your shins and hand outstretched and scouring. You want me to hold it. I do. That’s why you always find it that way. What you don’t know, another thing I will never tell you, is that the holding is the beginning exactly as it is the end. The mystery of the middle will forever be a riddle to you. Because when I put my lips to your knuckles, I mouth over and around. Test, taste and key in the sensuous coding of your limp, pretty fingers. Here I explore the possibility of a sure love. But in the end you always move – fidget as is the natural reaction. And then my hand finds yours again and latches without the insinuation of temporary care.
I think I should do that now, cradle you before you catch a chill on your bare back, which shivers through your bones and itches out a sneeze. I’ll do that, hug about your body, bring you in and stay. And during and afterwards I’ll say it’s for you. But listen to me now, before I let myself roll into the covers and sink into the scent and authenticity of you.
It’s never just you, Freddy. I always want it too. It is always that I never know just how much.
Jacquelyn Seerattan-Waldrom is 20 years old and has been creating and enjoying stories, poems and the like from a very young age. Currently, she is a second year Psychology student at Manchester Metropolitan University.