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Characters Stories

 (Be Extravagant)

I wanted her. I needed her.

She saw me occasionally.

I had preferred it like that, when we first met. I liked to see her and she liked to see me and then over time, I started to need her and she started to want me. I started to want her over my breakfast, her smile spewed over my muesli or pancakes. Her smell would embrace me like coffee, rushing through my veins giving me droplets of her social fluency and her charismatic nectar.

She became sustenance for my daydreams and I adored the feeling of losing myself in her presence. She both overwhelmed me and soothed me- she was generous like that.

She enjoyed me slowly. Tenderly and patiently feeding me small spoonful’s of her being. She often felt like soft whip and I a child with no teeth. This understanding sat undisturbed between us, she was kind enough to never mention my poorly disguised desperation and I never discussed her fading presence and ‘nowhere’ moments.

She was sly and cautious around, my kind.

My kind was prone to loneliness. I was particularly prone to crippling fear and anxiety. A sensation that was similar to quicksand, each grainy molecule gluing itself steadily along each pulsing muscle. I never fought back. I sunk at the same speed as those struggling to land.

I wanted and needed connection. I wanted and needed her.  

She was not like me. 

 This is why I wanted her. I did not know much about her kind, but I had read a few books belonging my grandma and I had observed her transformation into the water and thus I believed I could bring one to land. I observed each marking and description in the book with a tender scrutiny that allowed me to dutifully serve the desires of oceanic ancient spirit. I collected 7 shells, 3 rocks, and 2 feathers and placed them in formation in the instinctual setting rather than the told ones. Grandma always said the wisdom lived in-between the words and letters were only representations of the feelings felt.  

  I waited patiently- guarding the offering with my back arched to the sky and my head tucked into the shore- my knees bruised against the rocks and my heart sat was served neatly in the middle. On the 5th day she appeared, dressed in the clothes tucked behind my feet. I took her hand and led her home. In the early days, her  fingers were always around mine.

I could see that her time-travels had wounded her in a way that curiosity was the depth of her connection to me. She despised all humans that ran towards others rather than themselves- but she understood this as the human condition and thus responded kindly to us.

This conclusion was not based on my need of her but my infatuation. It began slowly; and grew at an expediential speed. I would check her social media platforms with a regular recurrence- I would wake up every morning with her smell and long to see her face. I would check to see if she was sharing herself the world. She never was.

She existed in a timeless space which had not anchored itself on virtual connection.

I grew in desperation and began checking her friend’s social media to see if they had any pictures of her. They did. Her friends loved her- she was someone to love with eagerness. She was intelligent, passionate, deliberate, fearless in an Audre Lorde type way. She was honest and caring but somehow mysterious in the deepest depths. She was beautiful and compassionate.

She was a delicacy of a vibration that could only be born and transmitted after travelling to each port in the country- picking a luminous shell (uncracked) and returning it to the Atlantic Ocean in a basket as an offering to the gods. I did this for her, before I knew her; I had dreamt and searched for her. She was that incredible and she was not real.

No one knew this but me and everyone else who loved her. For those who met her in passing, or in short durations believed she was as permanent as trees and edible delights but I knew that she was pure imagination.

It was not that she did not exist or that she was an illusion but that she was not real. Real in the sense of Reality. Excites. Adventurers. Loosely. She was not really a person in the way we (humans) were persons she was an experimentation of a person. A person that granted space, luxury and personal prowess to all that met her. She was a being born to fade, disperse and evaporate when the time or logical conclusion had been served or met. Similar to the ocean hitting the shore, she was a movement that calmed, collided and caressed.

The timing of her eventual disappearance was a mystery to everyone, including her. She preferred it like that; since she was a returning undying spirit it made time less boring. She liked to teach the surrender to life without time and thus I always had to be ready. To love her was to know that she would go, thus she demanded your presence and present.

The best gift.   

I had hoped that she would never leave me. She had confided in me one night that only a few persons would stay with her through the duration of her time- travel on this planet. She never made any promises but she did say, she loved me.

She said this to everyone.

She meant this with everyone.

I wanted to be special and thus she would undoubtedly break my heart.

I was running from this truth but she growled into my ear, on a dark night and said, I would be okay.  It was scary to see her read my mind and comforting to know that that I would survive it.

She was a luxury in all the ways I could manifest. She would lay me down on the bed and kiss into my thigh, slow and steady- telling me each way that she could not wait to get to my centre. She would repeat this until she was at the juncture of my body and then move her tongue higher until she was biting and nibbling at my solar plexus- feeding it her energy and igniting my own.

She liked to tease me like that and I liked to be teased.

I liked her wanting of me. I liked her kisses. I loved how she loved. It was particular and it was her own.  I could never understand why she wanted and had chosen me. She was polyamorous but always said it was never the right constellation or time. She never found the right humans to indulge with- at least not in the same time lapse or same life field. It always got messy and she had gotten tired of the jealousy and the noise of unprocessed emotions.

She could be deadly sometimes.

I disliked her coldness it made me see the tiredness of her beating heart, a reminder that her time was running out. It was a reminder that she was not like me. She had other hearts, ones that were private, and hearts that were eternal and did not pump blood around her. She had hearts in other dimensions and I was stuck wearing mine on my sleeve. She wanted me like an indulgent treat.

I always felt like I needed her like the breath in my lungs.

I would try and please her, make her laugh, do funny gestures and dances that only made her feel pitiful and me regretful. She never understood why humans amused one another rather than be with one another. She would look at me and smile cheekily, reassuring me that I was beautiful without jazz hands. Such a smile reminded me of being different. She only drank water and shells while I consumed carcasses and diet coke.

She was my favourite reassurance, with her I felt special. I was like her but with a different space and light glittering along my inner surface.

I got sad when I would think of her leaving. I got sad when I saw her move away from me; I got sad because I could not blame her for moving.

Each time she came around, she would comfort me. I could see it was draining her, my need of her, was repelling and repulsing. It was venom to her blood, an oxymoron for her being- for she as not real and I was. She started to shed fur around my space, a signaller that I was hiding and piling emotions enough to make her land-like.

I could not stand this sensation, this look in her eye. The wolfish glare.

She became more lucid and came over less and less but her presence was with me- more and more.

I was still checking her social media platforms. Nothing. She was nowhere to be found, seen or captured. Her friends faded away slowly, maybe they were with her, and maybe they were smiling and laughing without me.

Her favourite place in the city was a jewellery shop dedicated to crystals and other sedimentary stones.

I would walk past everyday, hoping to see her.

I would look longingly at each stone and item of jewellery- wondering what would suit her. I would package them up and leave them at her door. A reminder that I was here and I was hers.

Looking back on it I should have given her oceanic water. Her source but rather I clamoured her with material delights that delighted my sensation but denied her presence.

One day as I was sneaking up her front stairs, she opened the door and smiled and said

“It’s you, I could have guessed but I liked the mystery.”  

I smiled

“It’s me.”

“Come in” she gestured for me to sit down and unwrap the gift.

It was a necklace made of 5 crystals- amethyst, tiger-eye, unikite, rose quartz and a moonstone placed in the centre- wrapped with colourful threads and handpicked shells.

“A delight so sweet you can eat it, so beautiful that I don’t want too, similar to you.” She giggled.

I snorted. I was nervous.

“I made it myself”

Handpicked each crystal and placed small shells collected from numerous beaches and interweaved them together. She smiled as she turned around slowly so I could place it around her neck.

My hand lingered on her shoulder and she turned around and gave me one last look that reminded me that she saw me as human, a tender, caring human. She giggled that giggle that felt ludicrously sweet while horse and deep with a maniacal slant.

 She opened her mouth and bit her lips one last time before falling into a pool of water on the floor. It cleaned my feet and washed away my need for certainty. A pool of water that placed me into a pact with infiniteness, it slowly spread into a river that flooded the whole apartment with ease. She was everywhere and everything once again.  

Other than my feet, I was dry and left holding the last piece of the puzzle- the necklace that made her real, for me.

Photography by Daniela Florez

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