By: Bethelhem Teame
When he leaned over and kissed me goodbye, I closed my eyes with the anticipation of the incoming torrent of emotions and all the tingling feelings and the rising butterflies from my stomach; ready to embrace all the mushy feelings a kiss leaves you with behind.
That feeling that makes your heart beat a double, your hands sweat a river and your breathe quickening and slowing at the same time, that unfathomable, indescribable feeling that levitates you from the ground. I closed my eyes and waited for that brief yet sweetest moment of euphoria.
However, it was not there. Nada.
No heat, no fire or euphoria.
As if a small spark was lit and stolen by the cruel wind of the wild.
A twinkling star from afar shadowed by a dark daunting cloud.
Grudgingly, I placed my hand on my chest to feel the presence of my heart. I was too afraid to face the outcome. There could only be one answer for the absence of any form of emotions from the heart….and I shudder to even think of that. Has it then gone cold, my heart? Chilled, frozen and sank to the bottomless and fathomless sea of the unknown and the world of lost? But to my short-lived relief, my heart was there and very much alive. Beating calmly despite the raging and roaring fire that threatened to consume everything in sight.
My heart remained unmoved, unaffected, cold and distanced. An aloof observer, at the back row seat of the magic show that’s gotten the town children squealing with excitement and the grownups gasp with delight. Unmoved in the magnificence of passion and love.
I pressed my hand closer to my chest this time, to hear its regular thumping against my chest, against my hand-it was loud and clear and very much determined-yet unmoved and unexcited and in the dark. It is beating, isn’t it? At least, it is alive….
I said my goodbye in a low and beaten voice that resembled a whisper and strange to my own ears and his alike. I couldn’t find my vocal cords or volumes at that point of time. I couldn’t find, summon or order anything in my system in the meantime. I was too stunned to do otherwise. My mind was in turmoil; frantic asking hosts of questions with no particular answer that would calm me down. Can I be alive outside and dead inside? Is this even possible in human life? How can I not feel anything at all when he looked at me with love, hold my hand gently and kissed me goodnight? No bells were ringing in my head, no fire in my eyes, no passion in my heart…..
I am ruined. Damaged. A woman with a defective heart. “The default?” you might ask, my heart is as silent as a still waters that runs deep down, all the raging fire of love and life that is within frozen and buried down in the dark. Unreceptive, unflinching, unwelcoming, perhaps dead inside.
If I should blame anyone for my cold heart, it should be that man I met once. Hey, Mister, I am putting you on the stand for this state I am in now, for I never was like this before I met you, known and loved you one time in my life. I should have made you draw a blood oath, when I handed you my heart on a platter to do as you wished and pleased. Will the law be my side, if I should sue you now for the damages you have caused to my heart? Of course! Of course I gave you my heart; but I didn’t know you will be at liberty to change my heart into something I barely recognize; a butter in the fire of your touch but in others’ an icebox that can’t be molten down.
Nothing makes sense anymore. No lover fills my eyes or excites my heart.
I am thinking to ‘factor setting’ my heart, to the way it was before when it listened to logic, reason and my mind. To its original settings and beating style. Long before it learned to skip a beat and drum double at the sight of you or a glimpse of your smile. It had troubled me a lot to feel my heart functioning out of the ordinary, out of the custom and nature in general. My heart wasn’t normal anymore after experiencing and sharing all sorts of emotions that I still haven’t figured out, I am still at loss of naming out those feelings one by one. Can I choose the option to ‘factory setting’ my heart and rest it to earlier version in time or life?
Either it is ‘factory setting’ or going back in time. I want to turn back time. Rotating the two hands of the clock to the time right before I come to know you and opened my heart. Before the time I stretched my hand to greet your hand. Right before I told you my name and heard yours for the first time. I want to turn back the days on my calendar and go back in time and avoid our serendipity that we thought was the most beautiful meeting of our time. We promised to stay true friends when we parted ways at the crossroads we faced in life….but friends don’t steal a heart from the save cribs of friend’s ribs and walk away without turning back. What would you do traveling with an extra heart in your trunk that belonged to someone else who desperately needs to have a heart to live the life you wished her to have with the last kiss of goodbye and all the mushy feelings your kisses leave me with behind? That brief yet sweetest moment of euphoria….That last kiss was the last thing that set my heart on fire for the last time.
Did I by any chance use on you all the emotions I had? Do humans run out of emotions when they are still alive….while their heart is supposedly beating and symbolically circulating the blood? Like what mine is doing right now, indifferent to everyone else around? Where is the excitement of love and loving now, that I had felt with you once? Maybe I am emotionally drained, my love fountain has run dry during the course of our love life? Did I use the abundance of my beautiful resources only on you that now I have nothing to spare or offer others from my heart?
Then am I alive, now?
Checking one, two, three….I can feel my heart beating inside my chest and my pulse is normal, my sense are functioning just fine. But my heart is devoid of any emotions and I no longer get exited or get the butterflies in my tummy the way I had once.
I think I am alive.
In our world’s dictionary a heart beating is a symbol of life. So I am alive. It is beating all right. But not they way it did before your path crossed mine. I want to ‘factory setting’ my heart; to the way it was before, when it was bubbly and alive, when I got those rushes and get excited about love and life. It is beating all right. But it seems I am awake while my heart is half-awake, half-asleep and iced.