“You will, either in 2017 or 2019. I see it in your numbers,” he said.
“Really? I would never have thought so. But why can’t I see it?” she replied plaintively.
“It just is. Maybe it will happen faster, in 2017 than in 2019.”
And so the roots of hope form, like an idea. Cobb has said once, and many times at once: An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea’s taken hold in the brain, it is almost impossible to eradicate. A person can over it up, ignore it-but it stays there.
But hope, like ideas, can be insidious. Quietly skating, sliding around, lightly sticking to the meneges of the brain. On this end, it is waiting. Waiting for that one chance to crush it all.
Will it happen, or will it not? If it happens, will it be good? If it doesn’t, how will she feel?
And she continues to dance, dance, dance.
I am sad because I am happy.
In my mind, maybe I already have the answer, but am afraid to admit it to myself, and to him.
The other day:
“How much do you really like me?” he asked.
“Much more than I should,” was the answer I didn’t dare reply.
It is mid-afternoon now, and we are alone in a small, brightly-lit room. Outside, the world goes on its business. Here, time slows down. He sleeps, across the table that separates us. The green sofa he is on swallows him in. His new red shirt is rumpled from his moving about. He stirs, opens his eyes, gives me a crooked little smile, then goes back to navigating around in his subconsciousness.
His sleep allows me time. Time to admire the long lashes that rest gently on his cheeks. Time to memorise the shape of his lips. Time to recall how his hair feels in my hands. Time. Something we have been trying to manipulate since we started feeling something for each other. Saving time, squeezing time, dragging out time, borrowing time, stealing time, stopping time.
Time… This word is starting to break my heart.
I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?