Maelstrom

Who knows how long ago it all began. You are bound by it, cornered by howling winds, by the death you cause again and again, by your sorrow, by your loss. This memory remains, this small moment. It is yours and it in turn possesses you. And again and again the tale begins and ends…

“I already have.”

                He turns to you, sighing, “Have what?”

                The knife in your hand. Gasping, he says your name, a question already answered. In a moment, he is dead, and you are gone in the storm, carried back to before, back to the moments where he yet lives.

You do not know how long this maelstrom lasts. Only the knife and what you must do. An action, performed in rote like you’ve done it one thousand times before. His back is to you. He is leaving as promised, as he must not and, you are sure, will never do. The storm rages. Perhaps he sees the house, and a door he heads towards, but it matters not. The abyssal winds never let him leave.

                “Wait!” You say, arms wide in supplication. He turns, sighing, ready to rebuff one last attempt to forestall the inevitable. What he believes is the inevitable. You know differently now, perhaps he too remembers the past as it rounds the corner to bear once more. Eyes wide, he sees the knife. He says your name, questioningly, in disbelief.

                “What are you doing?” You see him in triplicate, packing, leaving, turning back toward his end, all at once. Every moment has happened, is happening, will…

                “I’m sorry,” Salt on your cheeks, you don’t remember tears before. Your heart is cold, still so cold. And as he retreats, you advance. The storm closes around you, the whistling gusts eat his words.

                “You don’t have to do th-,” Once, twice, three times, his blood erupts around your blade and over your hand. A volcano, a geyser, slackening quickly like the ardor of a lover, first powerful, then dribbling as they take their full. And you realize. The storm twists you and buffets you and carries you back to where you belong, him lying there on the ground still. Him standing, ignorant to his own past and future self dying on the floor.

                “Yes I do,” You reply, but it already begins again. Him receding, him leaving, you following to stop as you must, have and will do.

                “I’m leaving you,” He says again. His suitcase by the door. In the storm outside, or perhaps not, not anymore, there waits a taxi. This time you remain silent. The knife, like before and before, already cool against your palm.

                Unnerved by your reaction, or its absence, he persists. Something in him perhaps whispers that he may not leave, never has and never will. “Don’t you have anything to say?”

                “You do what you must,” You finally reply. Stepping forward, he finally sees the knife. “And I’ll do the same.”

                Fear is there this time, as always, but now something new… recognition perhaps? The winds cage you in. Thunder and lightning and his resignation encompass the universe entire. His acceptance of the hell that claims you both.

                “I know,” The tears on his cheeks mirror your own, “I’m sorry… for us.”

                “I’m sorry too.” You step forward, step forward, step forward, and stab, stab, stab. Your lover, he dies, and dies, and dies. You weep, he bleeds and he bleeds, you weep. And always he is understanding, this is what happens, what happened and what is happening still. You are blameless, or have become so. The people you were lost long ago in the past, before this moment had become eternity. Like two ships capsized in the night, your bow plunged into his stern. You are bound, spiraling to the bottom of the ocean that roars and rages over this replayed memory. You are stuck. Together. Forever.

                The world is become this moment. And neither of you can ever leave.