I thrust into that grand veranda with angry steps trying to inhale some fresh air hoping it would wipe away the outrageous waves of anger sweeping me off. I stop at the fence stretching both arms to rest my trembling hands on the cool, white marble. I close my eyes and inhale more air trying to imprison a rebellious tear threatening to break the gates of my eyes. “Don’t you dare fall!” I open my eyes widely for the autumn breeze to dry them out. The indifferent noise of that ball inside the palace makes me feel sick. I hear your footsteps approaching so I stretch my back and put that dignified look on my face.
“Why did you leave?” You say while grabbing my arm to force me to look at you. “Won’t you stop acting childishly?” I snatch my arm from your strong grip saying: “Childishly? Ha! You should listen to yourself. After a second thought, no, you shouldn’t. This is the only thing you are good at; listening to yourself. You listen to nobody else. Just you!” I see you pressing your jaws hard together. I look at you with defiant eyes and a raised chin. You grab me again, this time with both elbows drawing me closer to you and say in a low voice from between your teeth: “Why do you have to be so stubborn?!” I feel a weakening numb creeping over my body starting from where your grips painfully and possessively imprison my arms. I push you in vain with a “let go of me!” that I tried to charge with all the frustration and anger I feel towards you … and me! My efforts are useless in the face of your strength. You leave me struggling for a few moments pointlessly just to prove that if you would let go, it would be because you want to not because I am trying to free myself. How much I wish I could scratch your face with my nails, to break your imprisoning arms? I stop my attempts and raise my eyes to face yours and command in a low, sharp voice and closed teeth: “let go!” You do, and I shake myself off the weakening effects of your touch.
I slightly raise my dark blue dress and rush through the marble stairs at the right side of the veranda leading to a spacious, neatly designed garden. The narrow lanes were lit by lamps standing behind wooden benches every few meters. I walk aimlessly leaving the lanes guiding my burdened steps. They lead me to a wooden tongue laying over that vast lake. I take slow, careful steps with my high-heel silver sandals. I think of how much I hate shoes and that I prefer nothing in the world more than walking bare-footed. I reach the end of the tongue and rest my hands on the coarse wooden fence. The breeze is stronger and colder here. I wrap my arms around myself when I start shivering. Then I think, no, let me shiver… maybe if the shiver is strong enough it would reach my heart and I would be able to cast away the love I bear for you. I look at my left hand, to that shiny ring. I wonder how come it still fits my fingers despite all the invisible thorns around it.
Why did you let go of me? Couldn’t you hear the silent “never do” hiding behind my angry command?! The moment I wanted to scratch your face with my nails was the very same moment I wanted to kiss every inch of it. The moment I wanted to break your arms and run free was the very same moment I wanted to lock them around me forever and remain there for the rest of my life, in the prison I chose. Why couldn’t you feel that with every push I was reaching an invisible hand trying to draw you closer to me? Why couldn’t you understand the bitter strife within me? Why couldn’t you understand that despite all our differences, struggles and fights, there is no better place for me to sleep but in your arms?
I hear the low moaning of the wooden boards of the tongue announcing your presence. I look up there to the sky with that half moon and million tiny stars with pleading eyes and whisper: “Give me strength!” I remain motionless when I feel you stopping a few inches behind me. I close my eyes in painful anticipation when I feel your hand about to touch my shoulder but stops half way. I can feel the struggle going within you but… I cannot step forward to fight … for myself… for my man … for us. You have to admit first that I exist. You have to admit I am a worthy warrior then I’ll just lay down all my weapons for you.
You move to stand beside me and lay your left hand open on the wooden fence waiting for me to accept it by laying mine in it. I look at the ring in your hand and see that it perfectly fits your long, masculine fingers. I stare at your stretched hand for a few minutes wondering when would you get impatient and withdraw it. But you do not. I sigh in relief and gently put my right hand on yours where every finger of mine covers a finger of yours. You immediately try to hold my hand in yours, take it in, inside your big hand. But I struggle out of it and force you to lay your hand open again and admit my hand to be visible in yours. Finally, you accept admitting that I have a hand of my own… a visible hand. Only then, I hold your hand with both hands and raise it to kiss your fingertips. You withdraw your hand and lay both hands on my shoulders to gently turn me to face you. I see two affectionate moons reflected in your beautiful, dark eyes. “I will never let go of you even if you kill me while demanding it.” You say it with a tender smile on your most endearing mouth. I close my eyes and bury my face in your shoulder whispering: “Don’t you ever do.”