Unfaltering Tourniquet

July 10, 2009
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Ink marks smudged on our hands, the translucent moon beaming through that wide-open window. We both taste success on the tip of our tongues--and, at last! the light flickers off, now engulfed in an impenetrable wave of ashy fog.

Waving your arms so slowly, as if you are swimming in a blackened pool full of tar, you banish the dust floating in the air to the walls beside us. You turn your head back to smile at me, and flash a thumbs up, beckoning me to reach your striding steps.

I could close my eyes and still know the exact layout of this empty, abandoned penthouse. Upon a whimsical urge, my eyelids fold down as if they were the shades on an oval window, and I grab your arm, taking you in surprise. I cannot see this, but I feel it in your skin. The hairs on your bare arm stand up from the cold touch of my pale hand, but you do not dig into the floor with your heels.

All because of your trust in me, I am so sure of that.

In a silence that has become completely comfortable to us over the months of coming here, I scamper throughout the rooms, never losing my way. Only my right hand guides me in those few slight moments of uncertainty.

But, alas! I am a mere human, purposely devoid of that precious sense of sight. Coming to a frightful stop, I keep my eyes closed, but instead of using my hand to feel my way, I turn to you. Loosening my grip on your forearm, I go down to your dirty, calloused hand. You wrap your fingers around mine, and my heart leaps in my chest, quickening its pulse for a few moments. Something new has surged through my nerves; it feels somewhat like electricity, but still not the same element.

And without warning, your warm hand comes to a rest on my cheek, hot breath on my face. You softly caress my face, and then pull me in close to you, wrapping your arms around my torso.

"Open those beautiful blue eyes, please now, my dear?" you ask. "I already miss their striking gaze. Do you have to make me feel so ravenous for those gateways into your soul?"

Your low hum of a voice resonates into my ears and finds its way clear into my depth of understanding faster than before. Somehow, this increases my belief that if you shut down one sense, the others more than make up for it. Even if it is purposefully--because at the moment, all the distractions that come from sight have disappeared.

"You are such a tease, my heart," you say, lightly resting your chin on the top of my head. "However, you know not how long I can wait. I waited twenty-one years for you already, so what are another few?" You chuckle, and pull me closer so I am unable to get away from you. I don't even believe I could if I tried, and why should I when this is the only place where I feel and smell clean? Beyond your protection, everything is touched with dirt and traces of musk.

I sigh softly into your chest, and relinquish my eyelids of their duty to prohibit me from laying eyes on you. You may not be perfect on the outside, but looking into your emerald eyes, your soul has always cried out to mine. Nothing could be more perfect in this rugged, ancient dwelling--just spending my time with you is enough. It tells me that you care, that you love, and that you just wish for me.

In our privacy, I can feel another presence with us, though. However, it makes me feel even safer, because He is watching over us in this dangerous project. I know we will get the true news out, but for now, I whisper my only wish into the warmth of your hold on me--

"Let's just stay this way for a while longer, sweetheart."

You look down into my eyes for the first time since our little escapade through the shadows that have taken over this building, and kiss me on my cheek.

"Whatever you wish for, my love," you whisper, "All I have to say is God be with us."

I glance up at you, taking a hand out from our embrace. I let it travel up to your scarred face now, tracing the most recent one. You take a moment to shiver from the memory, but I keep it from going any farther with my smile, wordlessly telling you that it is in the past now. We escaped and we will keep on doing so until we can face them with a force so incomprehensibly strong.

"True, but we must have faith. Without that, we will go nowhere, dear. With Him, though, we will find our shelter, and our victorious outcome."

At last, you give me a small grin. But then--what? You let go of me, and I wonder why--that is, until I see you produce our first copy of "The Tourniquet." I reach out for it, and grasp its purposely torn edges. It is a prized treasure to us, that one newspaper.

"We can reach the world with this, my darling," you say.

I reach up and lightly touch your lips with my forefinger, silencing you in order to correct.

"No, my dearest man, He will work through us. The world will be reached, and saved, through Him, if it truly is His will. The darkness will be lifted."

With that last word spoken, we relax in each others arms, just for these few moments of peace, letting these steel gray walls be our shelter until we must be beckoned out into the presently dank world beyond this temporary abode.





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