Mr Heart’s death was no surprise. His neighbors, his friends, his coworkers, they all knew this day would come: either he’d end up dead, or she would. The fact the temporary win was hers would prove to be more than mildly ironic. She, without him, could not function. She would crumble, decay and eventually vanish without a trace.
Such a waste.
They’ve always been together, never apart, happily sharing life together – traveling, learning, living everything for the first time. It was time of growth, of innocence, a time where they thought they’d be getting along forever.
And then things began to deteriorate. He was too emotional, she was too detached. He was over empathizing, she was over analyzing. Everything was a battle, everything was a fight, they rarely agreed on the most basic of things.
Love interests joined the picture occasionally. She was always trying to appease, he was trying to accept. She constantly doubted his interpretation, crushed his elation, and removed the shroud of love from his eyes. He lost control, stumbled, absorbed and connected. He immersed his entire essence into the relationships almost indiscriminately, risking his soul.
The love interests always left, scarring them both. She was the one to calm him as he cried through the nights, begging him to stop, to give up. It was better this way, she reasoned, as she always had, and always will. But he wouldn’t, and he knew that deep in the unreachable recesses of her mind, she didn’t want to either. He was right, but he wouldn’t know it. Not until it was too late.
They tried separation therapy. He was to do his thing, she was to do hers. She went back to school, immersing herself in her studies, allowing nothing to interfere with her quest for knowledge. He picked up Arts and writing, producing imaginative concoctions of bizarre exotic worlds with layers of love and devotion and lust. She kept them all sealed in his drawer. Such a waste.
The separation was short-lived; they couldn’t stay away from each other’s business. He judged her continuously, flooding her with emotions; guilt and loneliness and love and despair. She undermined him relentlessly, casting suspicion, spreading doubt, fermenting mistrust. Rationalizing his world out of perspective.
He filed a restraining order, but there was no one to uphold it. She cut his access to the world, but he burst outside while she was sleeping. They fought relentlessly, none of them trusting the other, none of them able to let go.
He loved her, and she loved him back, though she would not have called it that at all. She would have explained it mathematically, with equations and graphs. She’d have used medicine and chemistry to reduce his romantic notions to analytical statements of the mind. She was his, all his and he was hers, but none of them could live like that; it was only a matter of time.
Mr Heart’s death was no surprise, not at all. His sister killed him in a last act of rationalization. He died knowing she would follow him soon. She couldn’t live without him. This, as irony goes, was his last act of romance.
She buried him without tears, in a grave of rationality, leaving some room for herself. The gravestone, shiny and grand and full of his essence, displays a simple message, testament to the life they should have had together.
“Lucky are those whose mind and heart get along.”
* * *
Written as a response to the poem “It’s Raining in Love” by Richard Brautigan.
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