Liam looked at Jessica. She was laying next to him on her bed. The only light around was the flickering light of the TV. But it was enough to make him see her face. It seemed emotionless. Liam opened his mouth and closed it again right away. She must have realized, but there was not the slightest expression that showed it. She didn’t even look at him. Her eyes were fixed on the TV screen. Liam knew that she wasn’t even half as interested in the commercial as she pretended to be.
He opened his mouth again. And once again closed it without saying a word. He simply didn’t know what to say. There were things on his mind, but where should he start?
Jessica was still pretending not to realize. Pretending! She had become world class in pretending.
He thought about getting a bit closer. It was worth a try. He moved. And so did she.
In this moment the space between them was not only metaphorical. And it grew bigger and bigger. Unstoppable. Irrevocable.
“Jess?” “Hm?” She still didn’t look at him. He waited with the hope she would finally do. Nothing happened. “Jess?” he asked again. Same reply as before, but she didn’t move. “Jessica!” he said more intense. “What?” she asked and finally looked at him. And now that she did Liam didn’t know what to say. “What is it?” she asked annoyed. “What’s wrong with us?” “What do you mean? I’m pretty fine.” She definitely was annoyed. “No, I mean what is wrong with US? As a couple.” She gave him a weird look, but didn’t answer. As only he could see her face better, her eyes would show her what she was thinking.
“Listen, it’s not how it’s supposed to be like between us. It’s not what it was like before. We’re becoming more and more distant.” “Ahhhh come on…. You’re crazy.” “No, no I’m not. Or can you honestly tell me that everything between us is totally normal?” That short moment of silence was answer enough. “See, you can’t. But if we don’t do anything now, it will soon be too late.” She was looking at him. Emotionless. For a long time the sound of the TV was the only thing to hear. Maybe it was already too late. Something between them was broken and Liam felt as if she was running away from him. He felt lost in this relationship. Liam always thought that they belonged together. Their love has been like home – a safe place. Now he didn’t know where he belonged. Jessica seemed miles away and he didn’t know if they’d ever find back together. He didn’t know if they could find their way back home.
“Could you please say something?” Liam asked only to hear something else than his thoughts. She remained silent. “Jessica, please! Say something! Just anything!” “I don’t know what! What shall I say, Liam? I don’t know!”
“I think there’s no direction left for us to take.” Liam said silently. “So you think it’s over?” She almost sounded relieved. That was it. The sign. She wanted it to be over. There was no direction. They had walked a long way together. They had come far, but now they were standing in the dark. It was over and Liam knew it. He got up and nodded.
It was time to go.
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I sat on the ground and watched the show. The show – that’s what it was. All just a play. I remembered a different time. We had been happy. They had been happy. It wasn’t like that anymore. It felt different and it was. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew there was something.
Once again I had the chance to compare them to others. I had done that before, just to end up with the same result over and over again. They were missing something the others had. Of course they couldn’t be exactly like every other couple in the world. No person was like any other person. Comparing persons to each other is just pure dumbness. There can never be a satisfying result. Every person has got something special. And they were special. Of course they were. Like anybody else on this planet was special to someone. But they also used to have something special.
Every couple I had watched during that time seemed to have something special. Something between them, that somehow connected them even if they weren’t touching. I felt something around them. Something I still got no words for. And I was sure I haven’t felt that around my parents for a really long time. Actually I couldn’t remember how long. It must have been a while.
My mum used to glow. Of course not literally, but I could always sense the energy around her. Her strength, her energy, her contentedness. Where did that go? She was smiling, but was she really? I felt like the answer was no. I remembered a different smile. An honest one.
And my dad? His eyes. His eyes changed. As if he was constantly asking for something. His loving eyes were merely questioning. I don’t know what that question was, but the expression became stronger when he looked at her.
I have never seen them fighting. People fight when they have problems with each other, don’t they? They tell each other what’s wrong. They tell each other what makes them mad. They tell each other what needs to be changed. They fight and they make up again. Don’t they? They fight, because they care. They fight for a change. They fight, so things can become better again.
I think they forgot to fight. I didn’t knew it back then, but I do now.
The weird questions I was asked a couple of times before popped to my mind. Others must feel it too. There was something wrong. But I didn’t understand. They hadn’t been fighting. They never had any problem. We had been perfect. We had been perfect together. We, our family, we loved each other. What had happened to them? What was happing right now? We were meant to be together. Our family was perfect. There was no fighting. There was love. Well there used to be.
All was different. I knew it was. Even though they didn’t say anything at all. Even though they were putting on a show. When I watched them I saw two people that knew each other for years already, but they seemed like strangers. They had shared a love, they had shared a life, but still they seemed like strangers. There was no connection between them. There was nothing special anymore. No mysterious power. They were just strangers.
My mother looked up and smiled at me. A more honest one than I usually got to see on her.
“Don’t you wanna play with the other kids, Lilly?”
Larissa’s eyes followed a raindrop that was running down the window pane. Another one. More and more. Some were racing. The rain became heavier and Larissa gave a sigh. She used to love the rain, but now she couldn’t stand it. The rain played drums on the window pane and every drumbeat seemed like mocking to her. The rain was mocking her. That was Mother Nature’s way of laughing into her face. Every drumbeat reminded her that he wasn’t here with her. The rain against her window brought back sweet memories. Bitter sweet memories. Sweet because it was such a wonderful time and bitter because it would never be like that again.
The rainy days had been by far the most beautiful time she have had the last three years. She had snuggled up in one of Marcus’ pullovers and he had held her in his arms. They had just been staring out the window and had listened to the sound of the rain. Sometimes they had been betting on the racing raindrops. The winner never got anything, but it had been fun anyways.
Marcus used to say that he loved the rain because the world seemed so different afterwards. As if the rain washed everything bad away. There had been a time when she knew exactly what he meant. Now the only thing that seemed different to her was the rain itself. It was by far lonelier and no longer fun. All there was left was the mocking.
Instead of enjoying the moment she tormented herself with the memories. She tormented herself with the thought that he wasn’t there. How much she wished it was different. How much she wished that Marcus was holding her and whispering into her ear. The rainy days were the days she had felt closest to him. They had shared secrets. Marcus had told her about his dreams. He had planned a future for them. He had told her about the beautiful children they would have. That he wanted his little girls to look exactly like their mommy. How he’d frighten away every boy that would come to close to his little girls. How he’d teach them everything he knew. And the house in the green, where they could sit and listen to the rain for the rest of their lives. The house that would have enough space for a big family.
That was all gone. The great time they’ve had was gone. Just like Marcus. They parted and Larissa was alone. Staring out the window and listening to the sound that she could no longer stand. The steady, bothering drumbeat that hit her heart. The one thing that she could no longer stand – the rain against her window.