“We need curtains…” I muse, eyes scanning the sitting room, brain intent on changes. “And everything else must go!” I shout, bursting with new energy from my chair while you smile into your beard.
“But you hate curtains,” you reply. “And why now?”
“Because I hate nosy neighbors even more. And besides, we’ve got work to do. What better place to start than right here?” I say, distractedly, piling the couch cushions up into the middle of the room, eyes dancing with fire.
“What ARE you doing?”
I look at you pointedly, shaking my head in shame. “A fort, genius. What does it look like?”
I’ve decided, you see, that this sitting room needs another layer of protection. Part of me wishes it weren’t true, and that we could throw the doors open instead of putting an extra set of locks on them, but the time just isn’t right.
You don’t look convinced. The exhaustion you feel at even the idea of such an undertaking is apparent in every shadow the fire throws onto your face. A fire you’re currently staring into as if the end of the road is buried somewhere in the ashes.
I cross the room and sit silently beside you, cradling your face in my hands. “Everything is going to be just fine. Close your eyes.” You oblige. “Knowing exactly where you are. Knowing exactly what this place is for. Understanding, finally, that it was built for just this purpose.”
Taking your hand, I lead you into the fort I’ve constructed, shutting us in with darkness.
Wrapping myself around you in another cocooned layer of protection, I whisper, “Ok. You’re up.” I can feel your eyebrows raise in question. “It’s time. To bring the light to this place. Just like you’ve always done.”
“But I don’t know how!” you reply.
And I just smile. There isn’t anything left to say, and there is nothing left for me to do but wait. You know what to do, you have always known what to do. You hold the darkness closer than you have ever held anything or anyone, yet somehow still always at arm’s length. But “here we are inside it.”
Then, a flicker.
And I know that even though I can’t see it, the fire in the sitting room is dancing.