Solitary Confinement for Two

by HelluvaGirl

I am glad we have a long drive ahead.

Going on a trip by car is one of the best things in the world: you live the anticipation of arriving but even more pleasurable is the feeling of in between. You are not where you were, but yet neither where you’re bound to. It’s like hanging nowhere. I fell in love with this state of transition taking trains to see My Second First Love when we were 18.

Now the tension is high. He looks a bit offended (pfff seriously?), though I can’t be sure as I’ve never seen his face like this. He has never been mad or disappointed, or annoyed with me.

What are we going to do these couple of days now that we don’t even talk?

I am glad we have a long drive ahead. Both silent, with our own thoughts, we watch the fields and forests fly by.

Why would he do this to me?

If I’ve been hesitant before, I have not a single doubt now he was the one to serve me drinks with meth while having that Halloween rave back in the day, when Girlfriend was asking what was up with my eyes and I had no clue. I was dancing like never before and everything felt so exciting! We had cocktail showers on the night club balcony, girls licking drinks off each other’s bodies, and I remember his devilish eyes smiling as he watched us from behind the bar. Everything was on the house that night.

When my body couldn’t stop “partying” for the next four days, DJ Boyfriend got furious saying our friend must have shared some crystal with me without asking as he was on it that week. Those kinda drugs were never my choice – but then again, I joked it was unintentionally the best party of my life. I just didn’t want to think he did it that way, to me.

Now all of it started fitting the profile. The thing I said about us having a little something in common, the two outsiders… it would brutally make sense now.

As we pass by Merkine, he sees the sign directing to the pyramid.

What’s this about?

It’s a place this 16 year-old guy dreamed and built, saying it was God’s will. It’s supposed to heal people.

Heal people… I don’t know if he sees the irony, but suggests we go and see it. Of course, why not – never been there before.

As we get off the car at the homestead, he takes my hand. I don’t pull away.

We walk into the huge glass dome with an intricate triangle-shaped construction in the centre. I can’t take this seriously, thinking to myself how the guy got the sponsors to believe his story. A lot of money here… And quite a number of people praying. Couples, disabled, in search of answers. There’s sacred water running from a huge container. Some plastic bottles stocked in a box next to it.

Strangely, it’s way colder inside than outside. We walk around separately, I take a booklet, we look at each other and leave.

Driving away, I read from the booklet out loud. There’s a part about tourists who come in, walk around, skeptically dismiss the whole idea and leave.

It’s about us.

He disagrees:

It’s not true, we did have a physical sensation in there: I felt very cold. And you too. It must be working.

I giggle. Then say:

The pyramid does nothing. Faith does. If we had faith, we could heal our wounds in our own kitchen.

That’s true.

In the resort town we go for a walk, then visit a sushi restaurant. The silence is heavy.

You look exhausted.

I have things on my mind.

I looked at it differently before. Now that you shared your point, I feel guilty. I never wanted this to be like this.

I know. There are two issues: that of health and of trust. My well-being is not just my personal interest: raising a child, I cannot be careless about the quality of my life. So first, I want to know everything about it. Every piece of information available. Then I’m having tests done. That will answer the first question. Now, trust… I don’t see how we can go back on this one.

Everyone understands everything, yet the question hangs like an axe above our heads. And it’s also funny how we are trapped together for several days, with all the emotions and thoughts circling our minds; with fear and regret, and disbelief. There is a point in this. There’s always a point in not running away.

There’s a Shrovetide fair in the town square. He buys me African soap and some Lithuanian deli for himself to bring home.

Late at night at the hotel we have discussions on things like Russia and current pace of life people are racing in. Hot topics serve as an escape from what’s really bothering us both.

At one point, as he lies next to me in bed, his face looks soft and handsome, and a bit defenceless. What if I kissed him? What if we made love?

And right there I realise what’s the drag. I don’t love him. If someone I love told me he was sick and could infect me, I wouldn’t pause to think if I still wanted to be with him. If someone I love was lying there, down with a fatal disease, I wouldn’t blink before making love to him.

Love is like faith a bit. It may not cure but it surely takes away fear and doubt, and judgement.

Next day we spend the morning separately. He is in the sauna while I sleep, I eat breakfast as he takes a walk. I wander in the town as he naps.

I am scared and tense, and I want to talk to someone. I call Girlfriend and Mrs. Nielsen, and nobody picks up. I have to stay with it, I tell myself. No running away. Here’s my opportunity to practice what I preach. Don’t fight, accept whatever comes to you.

It’s cold. I walk for two hours.

I meet him at the restaurant and, before we go to a spa, he suggests he leaves tonight instead of staying. I ask if he has a place to go. Not a problem, he says.

From that point, I start waiting for a moment when I’m finally alone. The time slows down, that bitch.

At home, he packs his things, including those he meant to leave for the time he comes back. I feel relieved.

Sorry it came out this way.

I know.

Let me know how you are, ok?

Sure. Bye.

The sad part is, he’s not someone I’ve met on Tinder a month ago. We were friends for 15 years. Were we?