Gabriel had lost herself. She no longer had any grasp on what to think about anything. Her feelings for Graeme had – and continued to – spiral wildly out of control; she found it impossible to stop thinking about him, to stop looking at him when he couldn’t see, to stop wishing she could bridge the gap between them that she’d dug. What could she possibly do – fall in love, stay on Earth, lead a simple life? There were no options for her. Gabriel would live only as long as it was necessary for her to live, and when it was no longer necessary, she would die or she would be called home, and her vessel would be left on the terra beneath her feet and Graeme would be left with it, and Gabriel would never be as happy as she had ever been. There was no outcome which promised her any semblance of satisfaction. She would always end up having to live without him, that was the one true end to every path that splayed out before her like veins buried in the terra. The tragedy was that she had never felt anything like this duplicitious heart that throbbed beneath her skin. She wanted him, she hated him, she adored him, she resented him. Pumping blood, tainted with loathing or loving. Spoiled before it even leaves her arteries.
So much confliction haunted her, it buried her beneath it and swallowed her up. It had become air, it had become water, it had become sustenance. She could not shake it. She wasn’t sure she wanted to anymore. She wasn’t sure she wanted anything. SO she put distance between them, she separated them like continents. She hoped keeping him at arms reach would be better than keeping him in her arms. She wrestled with these feelings constantly. Every time she looked at him, every time she didn’t. Each blink marked a change in mental progression. She would give in, she would kiss him and love him and enjoy him until she was ripped from the earth. She would push him away, she would make him hate her to prevent him from loving her. She wanted to leave her vessel, to leave behind the millions of absurd emotions she couldn’t fathom, couldn’t sort, couldn’t piece together, couldn’t define. Her whole life was nothing except this one struggle.
Currently, she waited in the parking lot of the grocery store, wishing she had brought a gun so she could shoot him in the knees when he got back. How could he have simply left? Didn’t he understand that she was protecting him? That he couldn’t go running off into situations that would drown him before he knew what was going on? Was it just part of his humanity that he couldn’t see the greater moves, the over-arching tactical plays, the bigger picture? Where was his sense? Was it smothered out by hundreds of years of evolution in the wrong direction? Had their mortal lives on earth fooled humans into thinking incorrectly, into thinking that their intelligence outweighted their intuition? Did he think his reckless urges were his instinct telling him how to survive?
Wrapping her mind around him was impossible. She felt exhausted, as if she’d run a marathon in a circle for days. She knew she was still weak from the blood loss, but she would be fine. As soon as her vessel replenished itself. Until then, she would be dizzy, uncomfortable, easily fatigued, and moody. Check, check, check, check, she thought.
She had no idea what she would say to him when he finally came back. She had stopped wondering where he’d gone hours before, having assumed he was doing something entirely idiotic and poorly planned. The longer he was away, the more she believed it, and the closer she came to the idea that he was already dead.
It was not in the plan, and she knew that; she knew the prophecies, but still, doubt crept in like spiders in the winter. They laid eggs in the cracks in her foundation and she could feel them hatching, spreading like the infestation they were. Paranoia filled the cracks and made her feel too full, like there was too much within her and she needed to spill something out, she needed to scoop out something sloshing around in her stomach or else she would explode with the pressurization of her unbridled emotions.
Was she having a panic attack?
When he came into view, she got out of the car and waited for him, leaning against the closed door. He approached with his hands in his jacket pockets, casually strolling over from the road where he’d been dropped off in a taxi. She told herself, at least he’s alive. She told herself, he isn’t as prepared for what is to come as you are. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Still, when he came within reach, she punched him square in the jaw with enough force that the impact bruised her knuckles.