The colossal significance of my drives home have never been more vivid than now. A crisp autumn breeze grazes my hands, tightly clenching the leather stirring wheel. Moist under my grip. As a consequence of my roofless car, the cold air is forceful and inescapable. Trees on either side billow greatly into me, making this experience all the more suffocating. I am unnerved by the torturous agony anyone would feel in these empty moments. Filled with only the muffled whirrs of distant cars, and the desolate cabriolet engine hum. It is endless, the loneliness. And it stretches out for miles in front of me.
I turn the wheel, a gliding right. I hold my breath. I am faced with the irrevocable extremity of my emotion, which I have tried so hard to avoid, yet so carelessly crashed into once again. And my emotions, they diffuse right through me. Coursing through my veins. Blackening my heart. The wind blows colder and harder as the sea air rushes by me, trancing skin, reminding me of you. All of it reminds me of you, actually.
Above the sea, the crescent moon burns through ominous wisps of cloud, with spheres of lustre stippling the clear, black spaces in between. On the other side of the bay, sprawled out to the ends of the earth, is the view of town, each individual building flickering like candles, creating a single wave of incandescence.
In any other circumstance, such a view would equate to great beauty. But not here. No, not now.
Is it possible to be both enchanted and repelled by such an unknown world? A world I have only watched from afar, which you would blaze on about in our conversations, of its impression of luxury and reality of poverty? A world I have never truly appreciated until your absence?
There is something in the salty air, cutting me, dry-mouthed, that seems all too familiar. And, somehow, I am reborn back into memory. I can remember it all too well.
At the time, I was not used to driving my own cars. But I made exceptions for you. Although I am not a stranger to this road, it meant nothing to me until it meant something to you.
Under the cooling twilight of our past, you pointed this scene out, how your house was amongst these lights, how I would be driving past you every night, more or less. You said they looked like fallen stars, rejected by God and adopted by people.
I don’t think I have ever loved you any more than then. For you to be both within and without. When you said that, I don’t know why, but it felt like hope. And I think that’s what I have anyways been missing.
From then on, I don’t know what happened. I promised to get better, for your sake over mine. And I did. And you didn’t care. So it didn’t matter. And now, very now, these fallen stars taunt me and any remains of hope. Harbouring promises, unkept, as I project my secrets and wishes into the unforgiving chasm of dreams. Why do you fade out of view just as fast as you fade in?
Long after there was anything left to grasp onto, we arrived at a point beyond saving, beyond apologies, beyond repair.
All of my efforts were never enough, were they? Whatever I did was never enough. Whatever I said was never enough.
I was simply not enough.
How ironic is that? To have so much but mean so little.
And I would rather hang myself than know that you only tolerated me for my money. But it’s the truth, isn’t it? I’ve been stupid – the house, the cars, the clothing, the stuff – all of it was for you. All of it is shrouded in my failure, and none of it will ever amount to anything more than wishful thinking. What am I supposed to do now? When everything I have means nothing? Nothing more than a shout into oblivion.
You could have it all if you wanted. Honestly, you could take it all from me and I would let you. You should have asked instead of torment me so. I suppose we have both lost, you lost my money and I lost you.
I try to convince myself if I could start over, if only I could find it again, then maybe...
Maybe this illusion that I've orchestrated - that you loved me as I did you, more than my wealth and reputation – would be real. That isn’t how it works though, is it.
But perhaps how I feel isn’t rooted in you or our past, and that this emptiness I am faced with has always been there. None of this is new to me, and that you were a distraction from it. A signal of hope yet drowned in impermanence and distance. You were never really there. And, maybe, this is my own fault.
I wish I wasn’t so delusional. I wish I wasn’t so desperate. I wish for so much and have so much, but none of it can ever compensate for what I lack.
The lavish abyss that awaits me will remain a destination never reached as I prod onward, impending doom as my guide. I feel too tired to drive any longer.
There is nothing left for me here.
I glance over these constellations one last time, foot on the accelerator, and hand on the gear shift. I can already hear it, like a knell through my conscious. They will find me, and ridicule such a vehicle being reduced to debris. But I don’t care anymore. This way, I can be with you, as I deserve.
And, suddenly, I am floating under the stars. It is cold, but it is worth it.
Because, tonight, on my way home, sinking deeper and deeper into my solitude: I thought of you.
Even after everything, it all comes back to you.
Why is that? Why do I do that?
Tonight, I thought of you.
I’d like to think that is enough.
This is heavily inspired by the Great Gatsby, and is soundtracked to Sparks and Yellow by Coldplay :)
EDIT: Thank you so much to @barelybear for the review, I appreciate it endlessly and I am forever in debt to you!