Here is a small one-bedroom flat, on the 4th floor of an apartment building with no elevators. It smells of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, with the frother’s hiss loudly filling the quiet spaces. The sun shines through the small window, creating faint lines from the shadows of the grills.
It doesn’t have much, but each corner has been a witness of the warmest memories. A stolen kiss as one works tirelessly in the middle of the night. A hug from the back as one washes the dishes. The quiet laughter in between sipping wine, as the city falls deep into slumber.
Here is a witness to a love that continues to blossom even after long stretches of time. It has seen tears, struggles, and celebrations. It has its share of growth and progress, experiments, and successes. It has become the listener of dreams, of whispered wishes, of hopes of a better future.
From a space with nothing but a sink and freshly painted walls, we filled here with the most tender parts of who we are. Here has become our home.
The sun slowly seeped through, faint light coming from an overcast sky. I poured myself a cup of coffee, played low music to accompany my solitude, and picked up my journal.
Most days look the same but not one is truly identical. Hours are spent in front of a screen, filling the void of wanting to explore places, wanting to be with people, wanting to stay safe and sane despite it all. For months with no end in sight, it has all been about ticking to-do list and dreaming to be someplace else. A healthy dose of isolation is helpful for introspection; too much can make you question how you live life.
I rummage through my thoughts, deep-diving into cracks and crevices of my soul that I never knew existed. On good days, I fill myself, meditating, and doing yoga. I hear my bones crack as I pull my limbs into different directions, my mind wandering through the past, my breath the only anchor to the present. On not so great days, I drown myself with work, taking back-to-back meetings, holding on to busyness like a badge of honor.
But lately, I’ve been learning how to take pauses and be comfortable with ennui. I watch the clouds as they pass by. I stare at my plants, taking in their colors, observing how the leaves unfurl. I feel my shoulders, massage my aching back, and sit still. I listen to the silence and let it embrace me even for a few moments.
Until he comes back, I am alone, but I do my best not to be lonely. With most days spent by myself, I discovered how to be at home– with this body, with this mind, with who I am.
He lied on his back as I crawled into his arms. I placed my hand on his chest. We didn’t say anything, but we were comforted by the silence. The hum of the fan, the bright moon looking down on us, the fresh scent of our newly laundered sheets. It was all I needed, and then some.
When I am with him, I am myself; not the prettiest version, but the most sincere, the most truthful me. For thirteen years, we grew together. We made the wrong decisions, learned hard lessons, and became wiser every time we fail. But through it all, we never let go of each other’s hands.
Some may say that we’ve found each other a little too early in life. Both naive, reckless, and in the midst of growing up. But I beg to differ. They say that love arrives exactly when it’s supposed to, and the universe pulled us together because it’s the right time. We evolved, we matured, we changed, and became who we were because we were together.
No matter where life brings us, I know, he will always be home.
This piece is originally written for Moment Studio‘s Here, Now Workshop.