The Same Embrace

Jean-Paul Belmondo & Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard's BREATHLESS

Pecking at the ground, X fought back the tears that were threatening to fall. Not that she was afraid to cry in George’s presence, but because she didn’t know what it would be like to do so in her new body. She was worried it might hurt somehow. Sensing her unease, George nuzzled his nose against her.

“I remembered what it felt like to be in love,” she said “and I realised that without it, I wasn’t really alive. I was merely existing. Like an old crisp packet blowing in the wind.”

“Whose love, in particular, did you remember?” asked George.

With her eyes on his, she noticed the smallest of snowflakes beginning to float around their heads. Light as air, they danced as if weightless, and with each word she spoke they grew in size until they fell as heavy as rain.

“His,” she said. She didn’t need to say his name for George knew it well.

“And why is it his love you seek and not that of another?”

Spreading her wings, X hopped from one foot to the other. Under any other circumstance she would’ve lit a cigarette to calm her nerves, but alas such a dirty privilege was out of reach.

“It’s always been him. Even when I didn’t want it to be. Even when I was with someone else. The years passed and we grew further apart, yet every time I fell asleep, it was his face I saw. Then earlier today, as if out of nowhere, I felt him so clearly. It was as if he called to me. And of course, I came. I’m not sure what I was expecting. It certainly wasn’t this, and yet I can’t say I’m surprised.”

“How so?”

“Being with him was a strange affair; one that made me feel alive while at the same time teetering on the brink of madness. I guess it’s only now I realise that without madness, love is so plain, and only with him did I taste it. Only with him did I ever find myself falling apart then coming together again in the same embrace. It’s stupid it took me so long to realise, but after we went our separate ways I wanted nothing other than to be numb.”

Nodding at her as she spoke, George blinked as the snow blew into his eyes.

“And so you were drawn to this place in the same way he was. Most that come here do so to escape, and yet the two of you came to find each other. What a shame it took so long, yet how beautiful that what you seek is what he seeks also.”

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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