by Arooj Muhammad

The sky let out a rumble as the clouds darkened, a deep murky grey devouring the horizon. I felt my heart race in angst as I looked at him. His soft, sandy blonde hair, that I had once run my fingers through lovingly, blew hideously in the wind. He looked different; the once loving, soft expression on his face, shown only to me, had changed to a look of pure indifference and callousness. His electric blue eyes once holding so much compassion and love were now empty, drained of their pure pools, now reflecting only hurt and pain and anger and impassivity. It was almost impossible to attempt to guess what he was thinking, his face painted with indifference. 

‘Listen, it was just a bet,’ he said. ‘I didn’t think you would get so attached!’ He spoke harshly with a roll of his eyes.

Was that all I was to him? A mere bet. Every soft spoken word, every hug, every kiss that we’d shared: it was all a bet? Of course it was. Why would it ever be anything different? I looked down, avoiding eye contact, my vision blurred and betrayed by tears painfully pricking at my eyes. My heart shattered with every prolonging syllable of time. In this heartache the sun won’t shine, birdsong passes as if the melody can’t glide through the air as it once did before; but the truth is, I’d rather forgo comfort than keep a lover who doesn’t love. So, instead, I will let this heartache be my teacher and the reason to keep seeking one who can hear the playful calling of their own soul. I nodded silently, refusing to look up. I can’t look at those blue eyes the same. After months in the darkness, the sun is unwelcome to the eyes.

I remembered how much I loved those blue eyes: they glowed like fire that survives in water, if you can imagine such a thing. They were playful, yet serious when he became the man the world needed him to be. My heart ached as I held my breath in, a futile attempt to not cry in front of him. No, I can’t let him know how much it hurts. I nodded again, this time more clearly before I meekly muttered a soft ‘okay’. 

A scoff escaped his lips as he stepped forward, bridging the gap between us.

‘Okay?! How could you possibly be okay with this?’ he spat painfully, his voice laced with a venomous pain. ‘Aria, look at me,’ he snarled, grabbing my chin and forcing me to look up at him. I felt tears streaming down my face; I couldn’t take it anymore, my heart bleeding out in agony. Tearing his hand away from my face, I turned my back on him. His look of once pure aggression, in an instant, was replaced with a visage of sheer shock. ‘I’m sorry,’ he whispered, his head hung low.

‘Just go’, I said, each syllable a choking struggle. Falling to my knees, I heard him turn his back to walk away. A life of higher joys is a life with more tears of all kinds. Every blessing is a curse. A painful wracking sob escaped my trembling lips as the heavens gave way to their buden; it poured. Rain mercilessly covered the starving sod as I grabbed strands of grass, letting out all those locked up emotions into a sob. My sadness is that you broke your promise to cherish and love, to protect, to honour, to care. If ignorance was bliss, may I never know peace.