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ADELAIDE Independent Monthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Mensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I COULD ONLY HEAR HER SILENCE
By Juanita Tovar Mutis

 

 

 

She failed me, failed our fate, failed the memories we could have built together. She stopped. Stopped replying, looking for me, meeting me. She paused the flow of emotions that ignited our connection.

#

I was laying down late at night, watching cars’ lights come and go, filling the room with moving silhouettes. I texted you. I knew from the clues you left on social media and through one of your articles published online, that you were not well. I told you what I tell almost no-one. ‘I really care about you.’ I meant it. I was ready to be there for you, to hold you if you needed me. I was committed to give you my all, my time, my thoughts, my affection.

I pushed on the blue button, confidently, without anxiety. I did it as I remembered the last time we had been together. How your shoulders descended whenever I spoke. The way your eyes widened and your lips revealed a smile when you told me about your recent trip to Paris.

I recalled that after I told you I had recently lost someone, you put your hand over mine and opened your arms so I could meet your embrace.

Snapshots of the moments in which I enunciated my sins to you calmly, completely unafraid to reveal truths that could destroy my relationship, my stability, my life, came to mind. They reminded me how unburdening my secrets made me feel closer to you.

How it made me think that when you said, typed, rolled your tongue to the sound of the words ‘I   L-O-V-E   Y-O-U,’ you really meant them.

I saw myself falling, peacefully descending to the realm of dreams, feeling the warmth that our memories would elicit in my body, resting reassured of the connection that we shared.

#

She didn’t answer. Hours, days, and weeks started to hit me, slap me on the face, hard.

I kept on looking at my phone. There was nothing. She had vanished. She kept on acting as if we had never happened. As if those quiet afternoons filled with uninhibited laughter needed to be erased. As if the dinners in which we sat raw and emotionally naked in front of each other needed to be wiped from my memory.

I could only hear her silence. It was loud, deafening. Pressing. It made my throat tighten, my teeth clench.

#

I went through the motions.

First there was bewilderment. My hands pressing on my phone, eyebrows rising when I would wake up to find no written trace of you.

Eyes not wanting to look, sight avoiding the Instagram page that narrated your everyday life. Feelings being puzzled by the big white smile you revealed on your pictures, the colorful places you visited, and the dark, grotesque humor you expressed on your captions. I did not want to look. I didn’t want to listen to the inner thoughts that pierced and damaged me. They were approaching, pulsing through, slowly filling my mind.

Time kept on flowing, on hurting me with its passing of seconds, hours, and days.

Then sadness rushed through.

I first felt it while sitting on the subway. I was going to meet with your boyfriend. He had a professional opportunity I wanted to take, to seize. I kept on seeing the stops passing by. The car full of faces, began to close in on me. I looked down, trying to breath slowly, catching my breath. A pressure in my chest began to build. My nails now were tightly pressing, closing in on my thighs. That didn’t work. Their voices became too loud, too quickly. The pressure of their shoulders against mine intensified, it felt aggressive. Now with my feet tapping on the floor, I closed my eyes, tightening my grip on the subway pole that grounded me. I kept on thinking: you just gotta endure three…two…one more stop.

The sun came down after the meeting. I could not hold it in any more. It needed to be released, to flood and overwhelm my mind. To rush in and empty me.

I called Karl and told him “I need to not be home, I need to take the night and take it all in, I have to get drunk. I must drown my mind with anything that comes my way. I have to figure out what I’m feeling.”

And so we did. We sat in a dark room. His face lightly touched by the entrance’s fluorescent light. Face to face we drank. Our eyes meeting only when the woman singing in the background stopped. Glances locking on each other in between her breaths and in those moments the saxophone filled in her silence. 

I kept on talking. Couldn’t seem to stop. Fast, quickly. So as not to catch too much breath. Talking to understand, to grieve, to flush the stream of feelings that had been confined within me.

Emotions fell down my cheekbones. Made my throat tighten, my face press up against the inner space of his shoulders: to hide my flushed cheeks, absorb my tears, and shield me from my own sadness.

Now there’s anger. I feel it ebbing, rubbing up against me. It comes, it goes, in cycles, at night, in the morning. I could feel it flaming up my chest after your name lit up on my inbox.

I know it will be gone. Eventually, in time. I need to accept it. I have to gather the patience, the strength so I can bare to watch it disintegrate slowly, unfold right before my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Juanita Tovar

Juanita Tovar is an emerging creative nonfiction writer with only a small scattering of published pieces. She currently writes for Spoiled NYC and acts as the creative director of their art department. Juanita is from Colombia and has lived in New York City since 2014.

 

 

 

 

     
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