fiction

We Love like the Moon. {fiction}

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She turned to go inside the house as the night air became too chilly to bear.

She’d been out on the balcony for quite some time, watching the Super Moon rise in all its creamy brilliance behind the bare black branches of late autumn, till it rose right above her head in a halo of magical whiteness. Even the crickets seemed to have stopped chirping in awe. The dome of the purple sky was the dance floor and the spotlight was the moon, on the moon, for the moon.

She could have stayed there unaware of time, but her fingers became painfully numb and her back shivered. “I should have put on a coat,” she thought and headed back in, longingly giving a farewell glance to her friend in the sky. The warmth inside comforted her, and seemed inviting, so she crept down to the kitchen of the retreat, careful not to wake up the others in the group. 

But as she approached the kitchen, she saw his familiar silhouette. He was looking out the window, cup in hand, leaning over the counter. She almost turned to go back and not interrupt his solitude, but he sensed her and said, “Hi, fellow insomniac.” 

“It was the moon,” she said, “I had to see it.” 

“Yes, that makes perfect sense,” he replied with a smile, with only a hint of humor in his eyes.

“Doesn’t it?” she smiled back.

“Absolutely,” he said, growing serious.

“So, what do we do?”

“I think I’ll make myself some tea,” she said.

“Yes, that. But what do we do with us?” he replied, bringing the focus back. 

She turned the kettle on, got a tea bag, and made busy with the mundane task at hand , buying herself time. 

This should not be what they had to think about. 

This should be exactly what they had to think about. 

Finally, armed with a cup of tea, she came and sat next to him on the counter and managed to say, “Nothing, I guess. We do nothing.” 

He let out a sigh and his expectant face lowered momentarily. Then he lifted his gaze so she could see his profile outlined with the soft light filtering in through the window. He said, “That’s going to take all my effort, you know.” 

She smiled understandingly.

“Loving you requires no effort,” he continued, “it’s not letting that love escape my boundaries that is the hard work.” 

Then he turned and looked in her eyes, which froze her smile and gripped her heart. “I do love you, you know,” he said, and she heard his voice tremble at the end. 

Her eyes softened, she held his hand, “Yes, I know that. I sometimes don’t want to believe it, but then I look into these eyes of yours, and there it is. Ready and abundant. And looking back at me. Then I can’t deny it or ignore it. Though I do try to look for the reason to fathom this kind of love. But I can never find it…”

“Maybe that’s why it’s so grand. Because it has no reason to limit it,” he whispered. 

“So what do we do?” It was her turn to ask 

“We love, without disturbing it. Without disrespecting it. Without denying it. Without defying it. Without harming it, or anyone that it touches. We just love. Within ourselves. And let the rays escape and illuminate all things around…” he spoke as if in a trance.

“Like the moon,” she said.

“Like the moon,” he agreed.

Both smiled. And sipped their tea. In silence. And love.

***


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Trained as a neurologist who works extensively with people who have lost their language (aphasia) as a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury, Dr. Arshia Qasim has been intricately involved with human language and expression from multiple angles: from its creative and generative ability that gives it the status of literature to its essential need in the most basic communications. In addition, as a multi-linguist, she explores the interfaces of meaning as they are rendered from one language to another through her translations. She has published a book of poetry, several research articles in medical journals, and writes regularly for her readers and listeners on her blog and podcast. As a full-time mom and chronic relocater, she finds herself and her purpose in writing.

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