“What’s it gonna be tonight—Dirty Harry or The Notebook?”
“I am not watching either of those movies ever again,” I say.
He drops his jaw and stares at me like I just put a gun up to his temple.
“What did you just say?”
“Wes, come on. I’ve watched each one of those movies with you every single week for like two years now. I love you, but I just want to watch something different. Why don’t we go out for a change? Let’s actually do something.”
“What do you mean do something? We always do something. Am I boring you?”
I groan and put my hand up to halt the path this conversation is leading us, “Fine, let’s just watch The Notebook.”
He frowns and shakes his head back and forth, raising his eyebrows, “No, no. Let’s go actually do something,” he mocks, “Because you don’t want to watch either one of my favorite movies of all time ever again. It’s fine, let’s go. Where you wanna go?”
“Wes, seriously, it’s fine. I enjoy watching the same movie every week. It’s fun,” I force a half smile.
“Oh shut up, Jane. I see right through you. Let’s go shopping and try on expensive clothes we don’t need and go get some makeup and then some ice cream that we’ll feel guilty about five minutes later and blame on our innocent boyfriends, because they made us shove it in our mouths—“
“Wes,” I cut him off, “I don’t really understand what you’re doing right now, but it’s kind of bugging me, so quit it.”
“Oh, so I’m bugging you, too? First, I’m boring, now I’m annoying-- what’s next, huh? I’m just a bad boyfriend, aren’t I?”
“Is this a joke? First off, I never called you boring, and I didn’t even call you annoying. You’re putting words in my mouth right now.”
“Gosh, I’m just terrible. I’m boring and annoying which makes me a bad boyfriend and I put words in your mouth. Just terrible.”
“I don’t really know whether to laugh or leave,” I admit.
“You know what, just leave. If you don’t wanna be here then just go home. Cause I don’t want you here anyway.”
Hearing him say he doesn’t want me there almost makes my eyes sting with tears. I was ready to laugh at the situation and compromise with him, but now I really do want to go home.
I press my mouth shut, grabbing my keys. I rev up my car and plug in my phone, playing “Eros” by Ludovico Einaudi.
The high notes of the piano exchange turns while a deep note creeps in and scares them to a soft resonating halt. The high notes regain composure and creep back in, slowly and cautiously, until the deep note scares them again. Finally, the prancing notes take off as the pulse of the deep notes come at a steady pace, three hits at a time. They are at a battle now, fighting for attention, fighting for their turn, fighting for what they want. The deep notes pulse harder now and the high notes whine, longing to win the battle.
One. Two. Three.
One. Two. Three.
The cracking and crashing all around me drowns out my hearing, my vision blurs, everything smells burnt and dead. My vision blurs to black.
“She’s gotta be okay, she’s gotta be okay, she’s gotta be okay.”
I hear a familiar voice pacing back and forth, revisiting each word with hostility and fear.
I push my eyelids open and my blurry vision clears. I am in a hospital. In a cot. Wes is pacing back and forth with his hands on each side of his head. I hear pulses of notes doing cartwheels in my head and I remember. It was a car crash.
“Oh, baby, oh, baby, you’re awake. Does it hurt? I’m so sorry for everything. I love you, I love you. Oh, God, I love you.”
I open my mouth, and rest my hand on the cot to lift myself up, but I can’t. My body aches and each muscle screams at me to stop. Pain pricks my eyes with tears.
“I love you,” I choke out.
“I’m so sorry for everything I said, I really am. I will never ever get mad at you again, I swear it. I am going to love you until the day I die,” his words start to become distorted as tears run down his cheeks, “I got that phone call and I thought you were dead, Jane. I mean I didn’t know, but what if you had died? I would’ve lived the rest of my life in agony. I probably would’ve killed myself, Jane. I promise, I swear to you, I am going to be the man of your dreams from now on.”
God zooms in from the tips of the universe, past the galaxies, through the solar system, past the planets, and finally, he reaches Earth. He narrows his vision down to this hospital. This cot. And there in that cot, with pain up to the tips of my baby hairs, he nods his head in approval and draws a smile on my face.