Flash Fiction: My Love, Do Not Cross The Ocean

Flash Fiction: My Love, Do Not Cross The Ocean

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I saw this on my timeline again. It always makes me sad.

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No.

Unrequited love, one-sided friendships, limerence, dealing with emotionally distant, abusive, or withholding people…

It’s not romantic.

It’s not heroic.

You might get a high of nobility at first – the deep, blooming satisfaction that you’re crossing an ocean as a grand, selfless gesture. You sail. You expect nothing but the joy of having done it.

But then the storms come. The challenge and drama thicken your tale. Good. Bring it. Wind slaps your hair across your eyes. Salt stings. Love isn’t always easy.  Rain thrusts through your clothes, relentless, and you’re as cold as the ocean now, as restless as the sudden veins of lightning in the sky. You endure, smiling. Love isn’t always comfortable, you sing against the thunder. Though your gut mumbles that you might be lost.

Silence.

Stillness.

You pass the trial. Dawn colours the air golden, and even your bruises look beautiful.

You love, never wondering whether or not they’re worthy. 

The sun beats down. You sail. You wish you could paint this. Your vision blurs. It’s alright. You don’t need to see the fresh blisters on your skin. Love needs no reward. No conditions attached.

Sail on, and thank the sapphire desert. It is so kind to let you cross.

But all at once, like dropping a bone china plate,  the salty brine of an ocean filled with hopes and gestures and possibilities is useless. The water is beautiful, vast, shining. You’re dying of thirst now.

You stare at its endless blue, cup its coolness in your hands, and it feels so good even as it stings the raw cracked skin between your fingers.

You fight yourself. You are not here to take, to demand, to earn. You are whole and unafraid, remember? Taking would be cheating, cheapening this. 

You pace and argue under your breath. The toxic ocean rocks you gently as you crave.

You fight.

You lose.

You reach, splash, slurp, knowing beyond knowing that it is everything you need. The rotten salt brew hits your tongue like an ugly searing brand. You taste it over and over, gagging and spitting and hating yourself.

And now you stand, eyes towards the yellow sun, arms spread like the lone guest at your own crucifixion.

“But the gesture!” You scream. “I AM CROSSING. I AM SACRIFICING. I AM NOTHING BUT YOURS. GIVE ME LIFE. I – DESERVE – IT -“

Your throat catches and surrenders on your last words. You crumple, heaving empty tearless sobs.

The water surrounds you.

Beautiful.

Vast.

Shining.

But you cannot make it pure by wanting.

So I ask you, my love. Do not cross the ocean.

 

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