The Mender


And I kissed him then. But it wasn’t like our old kisses, snatched from the buzz beneath our feet. When we kissed, it was like we had just stolen all the most precious, most beautiful moments from the world, gathered them up and packed them into eachother’s lips to savour for ourselves.

But no, this kiss wasn’t like that.

At first, when he touched me, I thought it wasn’t that special. I didn’t feel that electric snap that everyone else cried over. I didn’t feel my legs turn to jelly, my head didn’t spin, my heart didn’t race, my stomach didn’t flutter. I didn’t feel any of these reckless clichés that I swam through daily to find some explanation for it all. He didn’t seem to have any effect on my body at all. But I soon realised that it wasn’t because that fire wasn’t there; I had no feeling whatsoever. I was sealed, like a new toy that’s been packed into an impenetrable layer of plastic. People had tried to break through before. They had grabbed and torn with greedy hands, desperate to break me out of my packaging and play with me. But none had succeeded yet, and I was simply thrown back onto the shelf in frustration.

He was calm. He saw that what was inside was worth the time and patience. With careful hands, really, full of care hands, he ever so gently edged his way along the seals of plastic, peeled off the tape, steady, steady. And finally, after working day and night, to day to night again, he freed me. But I wasn’t ready for it, for this blinding razor-edged world of colour and light and air, and I shattered.

But still calm. Still patient. He studied me, lying in pieces on the floor. He didn’t sigh, cover his face with his hands and despair over his wasted time trying to fix something that was just too broken. Instead, he knelt down slowly, inspected the pieces silently, analyzing, adjusting, his mind clicking through options and methods and techniques. He took his time. He handled piece by piece, examining every twist and turn, until finally he knew the best way to approach me. He took out needles and threads, selected the finest of both, and began to sew the parts of me together until I was whole and perfect in his hands. And he cherished me. That’s when I began to feel him. All of him, through and through, the smooth and the rough, and the sensation was like smashing glass windows of a skyscraper one by one, each more dizzying than the last.

But one night, I saw the strength of the feeling waver, for a split second, like one of our candles. Just once. Briefly. But it was enough to plunge me into terror, because I saw the same flicker in his eyes. I knew instantly that he was preparing himself to depart.

You’re not done yet! I shouted. I still need you! I’m not fixed yet! I smashed my body with hammers, threw myself from windows, desperately trying to re-break myself to make him stay and fix me once more.

I look at him now, my mender, but he sees nothing of the same back in me. I can’t fix him. So I kissed him then.

The kiss said, You’ve ripped me out of my shell! You tore me away from my safe cage and now I have nothing to protect me! Now I am bare and exposed to everything and it’s all sharp! It said, you can’t leave me like this.

It said, there’s a darkness coming. It said, I’m scared. It said, there’s nothing pulling you in except for black holes. It said, I know what you think about when all the lights are turned off and you think you’re alone. But you’re never alone. It said you’re never alone now. It said please, please don’t leave me. But he still did.

He was a mender. But now I was mended.

It said goodbye forever, now.

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