I am unsure of what it is that I should do. Half of my heart is occupied with desires for her, despite where it is that my body may lie-- however the other half is filled with the desire for a career that would take my body half away across the world, thousands of miles away from where she will lie.
I have asked her to come with me, but without hesitant she says me. "My family is here, my friends are here, my job is here-- my life is here," she repeats exactly the same way every time I bring it up.
"But our love could be there... and isn't that the most important thing?" I want to say in response, but never do-- instead I only nod and repeat, "I understand."
I am torn between the two things that I love most in this world-- my dreams and her. Both live in a very specific habitat, but those specific habitats are destructive to the other... meaning only one can survive, while the other will die.
My gun is loaded and a bullet must be shot, but which way should I aim the barrel?
I just don't know.
As the rest of their crew went out to a party, Tristan and Troye decided to take a walk to get to know each other and their new city a little better. They ended up in the grass of a dark park while looking up at the stars. Tristan shared a lot of secrets with Troye that night-- a lot more than Troye was used to having trusted in him. He told Troye about his relationship with his parents-- his father more specifically-- and maybe that is why Troye gravitated towards him so much. They both shared in the experiences of abuse.
“I just never could get out of my brother’s shadow, you know?” Troye nodded along even though he couldn’t truly relate, being an only child and all. “I don’t know. I guess he was embarrassed of me… It’s not like I did anything wrong, I just never did things quite as good as my bro did…” Tristan trailed off then continued on with a new tangent, “Do you believe in God? I see you reading that Bible every night… but do you believe?”
This was the first time Troye had ever been truly asked that question. His entire life he was told that God existed and he never really thought about the possibility that he could not exist. He sat with the question for a while, uncovering convictions within that he was previously unaware of. He tried for the first time to mute his father's screaming voice inside of his head and listening in to his internal thoughts and digestions of his nightly readings and personal spiritual experiences. “I do.”
“Then how do you explain this world?” Tristan had his finger on the trigger and was ready to shoot off as soon as he was given the signal.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean how can a God, who claims to be so loving, create a world with so much evil? The abuse, the killings, the deformities, the cruelties of man, the… who would do such a thing to the people he loves?”
Troye thinks again, exploring his mind and discovering he is far more opinionated and informed than he previously believed. He also discovered that he didn't really believe in all of the things his dad forced him to believe in, rather he had his own views that he had suffocated in the corners of his brain. His dad would have answered, "Because God is God and he can do whatever the hell he wants," as he so often did with every question directed at him. But that was not what Troye believed-- he discovered. God wouldn't act in such a careless and meaningless way, there is an intent behind every decision. He formulated his scattered discoveries and formed them into a singular thought.
“I think evilness is the only way he can prove his love... Think about it this way, if it were always light out we wouldn’t even know the concept of darkness… or lightness for that matter. In the same way, if the world were filled only with love, then we wouldn’t know that love even existed. The color white cannot exist without other colors in contrast. We need darkness to see the light. Good cannot exist without bad. God cannot exist without evil. They need each other to exist… So... I guess, he didn't necessarily create evil or thrust evilness upon us, but rather evil exists because he exists.”
Troye and Tristan lied there silently digesting.
“Interesting,” was all Tristan said before the rest of the night was filled with thoughtful silence.
The city lights sparkle in the distance. The breeze flows heavily through the open windows and attempts to take my hair away with it. My packed to the brim suitcase rattles against the backseat as my heart rattles against my ribcage, both of which are as eager as my soul for this new beginning.
My hometown and rotten memories are nearly distant history, only holding my footprints which will soon fade into oblivion. My eyes are set and my headlights are set and my future is set on New York City and the bright lights and skyscrapers reaching as high as I for my dreams. I have no place to live or job to work or plan whatsoever, but I know that this city and its uncertainties will be better for me than any of those certainties in my old home.
I fell in love many times in that run down town, but the amount of despair and heartbreaks vastly outnumber the moments of joy. Old ghosts flutter the town. They live around every corner. They are in the local pubs and crawl beneath the bleachers. They rest in the stitches of my bed's linen and whisper in the dead of the night. I can hardly breath in the streets without my lungs lounging out for a lost dream... You see I needed to leave. To run. To escape. It was the only way to survive.
The city lights are growing closer. My future is brightening already, though the moon is high in the sky and the streets are as quiet as can be. The ghosts are gone. The nightmares are over. My life can once more be filled with light and hope and love and God. The city lights are among me... and I among them.
"What are we?" She asked after minutes of silence-- broken only momentarily by the crashing of waves and the aching in her heart.
She looked over and saw the thoughts scrambling in in his mind. They had known each other since grade school. They had hooked up sporadically over the years. They had been doing so more frequently, intertwined with date nights and romantic walks under the moonlight and sand creeping in between their toes. She was quite aware that their relationship has always been complicated. It has never quite been purely platonic, yet it has never truly reached a point of a relationship-- regardless of how intimate they have become.
"I don't know," he finally mutters only slightly louder than the crashing waves and her deepening breaths. He is more than aware of the love that flows in his veins for this girl. He dreams about her nightly and thoughts of her often distract him from his everyday life. He cannot imagine his life without her eyes, her smile, her laugh, her soul, or her mind. But that right there, that dependency, is exactly what keeps him so unsure of what they are. He has seen friendships birth, breath, and die in the fire so often referred to as a relationship. He couldn't live with himself if he let what they were, whatever the hell it is that they were, die. He needed her in his life, and he was terrified that his self destructive soul would ruin it if he allowed their friendship to take a step towards anything more than what they already were.
"I just-" she couldn't finish the sentence, but they both knew exactly what she meant. But that's just the issue, they knew in their minds that both of them loved one another. That both of them wanted one another. That both of them wanted to jump off the pier of friendship and into the sea of possibilities, but without either one them stating it plainly, they both allowed the uncertainty that wasn't even truly uncertainty to strangle anything that could have ever been. They aborted their love before it could ever take its first breath.
Silence once more peeked out its disgusting head. It looked them both up and down as their hearts shattered and their destiny was brutally murdered by its hands. The waves continued to crash onto the sand. The sand continued to creep in between their toes. And their toes continued to be filled with love and desire and passion. But the silence killed all three.
She reaches down and intertwines her fingers with mine. Her soft skin rubs up against my callused hands.
“Tell me,” she begins, “What brought you here?”
“I visited a buddy here during college-“
“No, I mean here—in life. What brought you to this moment?”
I think about it for nearly two blocks. “I guess I… I’ve lived my entire life following some sort of plan and… I guess I finally realized that the plan wasn't really what... what I wanted. I guess I just needed to figure out what it was that I did want. So I came here to figure that out, I guess.”
“You guess too much.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean just that. You guess too much… You don’t allow yourself to be certain of anything.” The thought floats in the air for a minute.
“What?” She looks up at me with a smirk.
“I guess- I mean, I never really thought about it like that.”
I take a moment to formulate a thought that I am confident in. “Certainty… and its effects. Like, I was never certain if I made the right decision about my studies or my group of friends or my faith... so none of them ever satisfied me. Not because the decisions were wrong, which they still could have been, but rather because... because I always had that uncertainty in the back of my mind... I was always wondering if there were better options out there, better places I could be, or better people I could be spending my life with. So, because of that, I never could enjoy the moment. I was never certain that God was who we claimed him to be, so, I never found any satisfaction in him. Or anything, really. Maybe if I was certain about... what I was doing, then... then maybe I could find satisfaction. Happiness... Love."
With the last word, I squeeze again at her hand. At the moment, she is the only thing that I am certain of.