The Lighter

by HelluvaGirl

I look at couples as if they lived on the planet called Mutuality, and I was hanging in outer space, watching the strange species, feeling slightly sick.

I flinch hearing those people say the word “soulmate”. Do they even know the meaning of the word? It feels like nobody knows it but me. And I wish they didn’t find out.

Because finding your soulmate doesn’t always mean returning home or entering a state of continuous happiness. It means stripping your heart, thoughts, history, scars, hopes, silliness, vulnerability – without an effort. It’s not work, it just happens briskly, hungrily, with a relief that for once, you don’t construct, you just are. You are, for once, not alone.

For some, perhaps it lingers right there, in that blissful state, for good. Hallelujah.

To others, life happens. Who seemed to be your soulmate, turns out to have been someone waiting for his train in the tube, whom you shared a lighter with. The train came, he left. That’s it.

For you, it takes a while looking at the lighter, coming to terms with the fact what it emitted wasn’t sunlight. It’s just a purple plastic thing to light a cigarette, which you’ll throw away after a week or two.

How could you be so incredibly wrong? How could you go there?

The scope of inadequacy. That’s sickening.

I watch them thinking, do they love each other? If they’re just practical, then how do they muster the patience to be together every day? Have they known more? I hope they haven’t. I hope they didn’t have to go back.