Do you taste the ash?
This fire that burns before me imprints itself onto the dark night.
You lit me aflame once. Aflame, as the tips of this lighter I grasp with fingertips as frigid as the moon. I look up at her, the moon; her sullen eyes. I look back down at the flame; the warmth travels not so far.
A shattered promise sits between my pointer and index finger. It burns, oh so gently. It rises towards my lips. It rises towards my lips, much like those times you planted kisses in the same place.
The moon shuns me.
“What have you done?” Her question trembles under her teeth. I sit in apathy. What have I done.
The asphalt sleeps beneath me, ghost-cold and still. The streetlights know I want to be by myself. Elegant moonlight shines down on the town.
“She can’t be this cold without me next to her, right?” My mind shifts away from the cigarette. “The heater‘s fine, I checked before leaving.”
I exhale once again. The moon cringes. The silence weighs heavy.
Winds shift the plume of smoke into, something; something rather comforting to see under the disgruntled moon and the asphyxiating air.
Spreading it’s wings, it soars about the clouds. It’s feathers of luxurious silks, it’s gaze of warm milk. It’s eyes are deeper than the deepest ocean trenches, a barn owl so elegant.
The silks unravel, into wisps of memory lost to time:
“Good morning, sweet baby.” Familiarity reaches out to me. It’s blurring together. Warmth fills my palms, as the morning light fills to my eyelids. My hand is placed on her waist, trying to wake her.
“Mmmph… no,” she mumbles, sleepy.
“What? Why?” My own voice echoes.
“Mm.” She flops back down on the pillow.
“Hm. Oh well, I was gonna make you breakfast, but by the time you would wake up, the waffles and coffee would be very cold. So, I won’t bother.” I flop my head back down into bed. I feel her body rise from the duvet.
“Wait, what? Why didn’t you say so?! Come on baby wake up, pleaaase!” She begs and shakes me violently. I pretend to sleep, pushing a giggle down my throat, refusing for it to emerge.
The memory faded out, my heart heavy in my ribcage. The cold engulfs me. The barn owl comes back, it’s eyes leading me to another reminiscence.
The apartment glows humbly, the evening settling into the skies.
“Baby, are you done yet?” Her voice hushed as the glimmering city view. Her palms locked, obediently standing beside me.
“Almost.” I say with ennui. Her fingers trickle down her arms and intertwine with themselves. Her lips stutter, sound doesn’t come out them.
“You said almost like, twenty-” She starts to mumble. Unpredictably, my fist impacts the table, my anger numbing the pain of the hit. Both me and her watching are stunned.
”GODDAMN IT WOMAN I’M DONE WHEN I’M DONE!” I stare daggers straight through her. Gunfire shoots through my mouth, erupting into war. What have I done.
It fades out before she could react.
Ivory paints the sable of the beyond. In streaks and loop-de loops it flies so free. Free behind the roof of a house; I follow. I leave the asphalt to slumber, my feet boosts off into the dusk.
It flies so free, so fast. It flies in the direction of my apartment.
I look nowhere but above. Above above above. The owl glows so luminously, it’s hard to lose sight. It’s hard to cut my gaze.
“Who are you, little one?” I breathe through my strides. I keep breathing, I have to breathe. Breathing is all I know.
My breath is all the world is; right here, right now. Me, this owl and my breath.
And a whirring noise.
Where’s that noi-
Headlights flood my pupils, it blinds me. I feel my ribs collide, shatter against themselves. Puncture, pain. Bleed. The trees bid me farewell.
It’s rather cold. Colder than I’m used to. My eyes flicker open, and the stars smile at me. The moon gives me a pitiful gaze.
“The sky… uh, it’s pretty nice here.” I float before her. She nods, her eyes leads me to an unexpected sight. The owl.
”Follow.” Her voice echoes throughout the clouds. I do as she says.
Lively aligned shops come closer to both me and the owl. Lights jingle pass us as we blast. Up ahead, an apartment. Our apartment.
We fly towards the third floor. It takes mere seconds for the faint lights to call for me to come home again. I approach the sliding door, crossing through.
”Darling, I…” Boulders fall down my throat. I clench my fist, and my teeth. The impact of reality really is…
I see her sleeping with her stress-plush, blanket and tears caught in her eyelashes. This, the love of my life; I left her like this.
”i… i’m. home… my love, i’m home.” My mere ghost words cannot cross the threshold of the living, but I say it anyways. I crash my head onto her side as she slumbers, and I sob.
”oh, my darling one, i’m so so sorry i left you in ruin like this. i love you. i love you i love you i will always love you. i wish i got to marry you, and start a family with you. i was reckless and selfish and, fuck. look at where it got me. i’m so sorry baby.” I emerge from my mist tears and caress her cheek. The one with the tear stain so prominent.
”i will always, always, love you. my maxyne.“ tears crash down onto the couch, rainstorms in our eyes.
“noah… please.“ Sleep talk. Has to be. She can’t actually hear me, right? I don’t think so.
”in another lifetime, my dear,” I take her in for the last time. Every sense that remains in me, I take her in.
The sunlight barely grasps the horizon. 4:46AM, the oven clock reads. The lights are dim, I left them on last night. Fuck, Noah’s gonna be so pissed. Did he come home last night? Fuck, I’m fucked if he’s home.
The bedroom is empty. Where in the fuck could he be? God, Noah please be okay. I love you.
I lie back down on the couch, conversating with the ceiling.
The doorbell suddenly rings. Who in their right mind would be awake at this time? Let alone ringing someone’s doorbell…
My thoughts trail off. A man in a pristine, navy police uniform stands before me.
“Hello ma’am, sorry to disturb you,” I remain silent.
“This happens to be the home of Noah Albarn, yes?”
“yes. may i ask what he’s done?” My chest sinks. His gaze breaks from mine, looking down at his feet. The wind whispers ever so pitifully.