Cadence (chapter 1)

“The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest seem unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.”

Lao Tzu

The phone rang and crackled, sure to be bugged as I picked up the line.

“There isn’t much time. The marriage already happened so it doesn’t even matter,” he confessed.

Panic set in as I spread my hands wide open on the desk’s surface so I could hold myself steady. “No it didnt! What are you saying?” I pleaded as the flames in my mind rose from unholy depths. “When did it happen? Where the fuck was I?”

His laughter tasted like caramel as it sifted between the lines. He reached out to poke my rib through time and space, “You’re so angry, steam is rising off your head. I can see the condensation on your sunglasses!”

He paused. “Out in the field that day,” answering, bluntly.

Confusion, disbelief and fury took center stage as they combined forces into an upside down tornado whipping through the room where I finally threw my hands in the air ready to surrender to chaos once again, “I was alone because you wouldn’t go with me! Don’t you remember?! You never went with me!”

“Then how could it be me you married?”

Sensing the clock ticking, I desperately tried to wring out all the information I could, “This is my choice. It wasn’t a marriage anyway. You proposed and I said, yes!”

“No I didn’t. I am not your destiny. You don’t have a choice in this. If there is one thing in this Universe that you can’t control, this is it. The marriage was symbolic. Listen to me,” he paused and inhaled deeply before disclosing further in a cautiously, sinister tone,

“Elizabeth, your Twin Flame … “

My mind froze as I tried to find a way to convince myself that I didn’t feel the echo of his words resonating within every fiber my being. Lost in the riddle he gave me, I flashed back and wandered to that very day as the phone line clicked and went dead …

I didn’t even have to ask his mother as I shut the door behind me with bare feet soiled and fingers burnt, bringing the chaos within my mind to a swift close once and for all.

“It’s a tower where the Big Bang was first discovered,” she offered me, instinctively.

After an eerie silence, she continued on, “Does that make any sense to you?

I didn’t say a word. I simply walked past his mother and submerged my head in the sink. Inside I was screaming, as exclamations from lovers past coursed through my veins once more, haunting me with no way to escape.

“She discovered the key to the Universe! I’m so happy, I could cry.”

The morning before, her son and I stared through the ceiling, wrapped up in down feathers on an inflatable bed as we floated on a sea of pure white, drenched in euphoria as if a dream that lifted the veil between us.

I was in tears as I turned to him to ask the toughest question of all, “Did I die?”

A moment of silence enveloped the space so that all we could hear was the rhythmic beating of our hearts as our manic state gave way to grief and silent tears.

“How did I die?”

“A broken heart, Elizabeth,” he sighed.

“When did I die?”

“In the beginning.”

“In the beginning?” I begged.

“The beginning of time.”

Sensing my confusion, he turned to me before continuing on, “You see, this is going to be really hard for you to grasp. We don’t have much time together before you have to go home and I need you to focus in the coming days. It is not me that you’re after.”

The next morning, I marched barefoot down the aisle one last time toward a trick of the mind.

Pennies were thrown like confetti and five dollars bills were lit like sparklers in celebration of a divine union. With grass beneath my toes, I ran to meet him under the tower where time stood still and the Universe held its breath.

As I approached, he was nowhere to be found.

Off in the distance in the field, as if by a hand of magic, my phone suddenly turned on. “And So It Goes” played, matching the cadence within the dance between darkness and light.

“So I would choose to be with you
That’s if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you’re the only one who knows”

Good fortune glistened in the air, suspended by the grace that stood before me instead.

My own shadow.

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