With my elbows propped up atop the windowsill, my hands cup my face as I stare out into the world that is slowly being devoured. Light fading, the sky stained with dark blue ink, colour dissolving into darkness. Only the playful melody of the blackbird resounds across the night, giving us feeble and desperate humans hope that spring would soon arrive once more. Even in the time it takes for the smile to pull my lips at the sound of the hidden bird, I feel the world become darker and darker, the bird's calls becoming less and less frequent, until the world now lies silent. The warm glow from the lamp in the corner begins to shine bright in its reflection on the glass in front of me, making the fading universe outside even less visible. It is nice to feel the silence, that emptiness that feels so whole, that fullness that makes me feel so empty.
It’s odd being in the house alone at night. During the day, there is always some sort of amusing kerfuffle that keeps the world busy - and keeps me busy. Without him, I guess the outside has a bigger influence on me than I thought. I suppose the bright days and swaying trees encourage me to get up and do things, but at night… all I can do was wait for Kiku to return. The silence makes me silent, yet it is peaceful and therapeutic, but… lonesome.
Kiku had decided to stay late at work in order to complete a project, yet that meant his absence would be prolonged into the darkness of night - something that I was neither familiar nor comfortable with. But he can never know… I feel silly, relying on him for so much. His presence keeps me going and so without it I'm lost. Very lost.
I inspect the clock on the mantelpiece - an hour and a half I've been standing at the window, just… waiting. I turn my attention to the brewing pot I prepared some time ago, wondering if it's sensible to make another.
But then I see it.
Two golden rays of hope and happiness that I've been waiting for all day.
They trundle side by side along the road - accompanied by that familiar white noise all such machines produce - before turning into the driveway and disappearing like they never existed. The engine cuts out and the door swings open, and I just make out his silhouette.
He's finally here!
And I feel like a dog who's just re-met his master.
As he heads up the steps to the door, I sprint to it from the inside, opening it wide suddenly and letting the light from the house pierce through the now black night and pour onto him. He looks at me… a little stunned, for I believe he wasn't expecting such brightness to be thrown in his direction. Without another word, he continues up the stairs and into our home.
I rip off his jacket and throw it up on a peg before fumbling with his laces - I guess from having a motionless hour and a half spell, I'm eager to get some things done. He politely declines my actions, yet I insist with a ridiculous grin. Upon swiping off his shoes, I slam a pair of slippers onto his feet before bounding like a puppy into the living room and giddily offering both the current frozen tea or a fresh pot… both of which he declines, unusually.
It is only then that I finally see his face.
His sparkling eyes are dull and hang low, either lacking the energy or the will to meet mine; his skin is pale, chalky, contrasting starkly with the aubergine rings under his eyes; his lips are dry and are firmly shut, and may have been so for the entire day; his hair doesn't catch the light like it always does, nor does it bounce and swing with his every move.
And then it hits me.
And my previous behaviour of an excited and uncontrollable child on Christmas morning must've been the absolute last thing he would've wanted to endure.
And so I'm silent once more. Yet this is not peaceful and therapeutic - simply lonesome. I stand right next to Kiku, but he feels further away from me than when he was at work. In fact, he feels almost like a stranger to me… He's often quiet but not… this quiet. Not this awkward and uneasy emptiness that requires a chainsaw to cut through. Not this electrifying tension that prevents either of us from relaxing. Not this gaping hole between us that forces us apart. Not this—
And then it clicks.
Being careful about the noise I make, I head over the opposite end of the living room and retrieve a chair, placing it before him like an offering. With its marked and stained wood, its fraying cushion and its irritating creaks when sat upon, to anyone else, it would've seemed like a pathetic and worthless object.
Not to Kiku.
For this was our chair.
From the forlorn, drooping and wan expression emerges a faint smile and a gentle twinkle in his eyes. He loosens his strangling tie and undoes his rigid collar button that had locked him up all day, before turning and slowly easing himself into the chair, the object moaning happily from its owner's return as he splays out his limbs and sinks into its pleasure. He closes his eyes slightly and releases a contented sigh. Then he looks at me, and I can just see the warmth gradually return to his face. I smile at him, knowing my role. I carefully sit down upon his lap, then swing my legs over the armrest and nuzzle into his chest as he strokes my hair and rubs little circles on my arm with this thumb.
And it is this silence that is peaceful and therapeutic, that is welcoming and pleasing, that is never lonesome, awkward or uneasy. This is our world, in our home, in our chair, in our love. And nothing could ever be better than this.