The air was cold and the ground was covered in snow. My legs shook inside my snowflake covered stockings and the furry balls on my moccasin boots swayed back and forth. I was waiting for him outside the bus loop, looking left and right, not sure in which direction he was coming. I didn’t know where the Crest Institute was located. He went there on his own accord, checking himself in to a place where the painfully depressed and the suicidal went to have some sort of convalescence. I was out here in the cold because I was feeling bad for being so angry, for not talking to him for months. I wanted to make it right even though I knew he didn’t deserve it. My phone rings and it’s him, asking me to meet him at the mall, I turn to the right, shuffling my feet and pulling the hood of my red coat over my head. It’s a weird mall, there is a college campus stuck to the side, the whole building entwining into some sort of an education shopping centre.
The big Christmas tree has been taken down and the court yard looks bare and cold. I see him coming from the side wearing too thin of a jacket, his face red from the cold. We embrace and his ear is cold against my face. I scold him for not dressing warmer he smiles and says it’s cold outside. We go inside the mall and he stops to phone the institution, explaining that he will be back an hour later than he promised. I am staring intently at is face, trying to find some sort of a mark that may explain the situation that he is in. He feels sad and far away. I grab his face without thinking and ask him what kind of drugs they are giving him. He tells me nothing more than he usually takes and tells me to stop being so dramatic. It is when we finally sit down with our coffee that he tells me he is also taking Ativan. That would explain that far away feeling I am getting from him. I express my unease about them giving him Ativan. He assures me this is normal and it’s only for a bit. I let the subject drop and let him stare off into space for a while. It’s been a while since we have spent any time in each other’s company and we are awkward and slow of words. He asks me if I want to see the place he is staying in, I ask if I can see his room and he says that no girls are allowed in there. He thinks I am suggesting sex and he gives me that smile. I shake my head and laugh. He is now convincing me we should find somewhere to go have sex. I laugh some more and shake my head, but I am following him.
We walk through the mall and down corridors, the whole thing seems surreal and we end up outside again. We walk all the way around so we can get back inside the mall. This time we find a corridor that is long and winding. We find a corner where there are no cameras. He is coaxing me and I am laughing, from nerves, from guilt of even being here in this corner with him. We start to kiss and all I can taste is the mint gum in his mouth. The snowflake stockings are around my knees and his penis is in my hand. He turns me around and takes me from behind. My hand reaches out to the dusty wall as he slams into me from behind, the hood of my coat keeps falling onto my head. I don’t feel passion, I don’t feel excitement. All we are; are two bodies, rocking in a corridor in a mall somewhere in the suburbs.
We used to be two people that for over a year tried desperately to love each other. But we were afraid of loving too much or not enough at all. The crazy in our heads made us toxic and poisonous and here we were, he was trying to fuck the pain away and I just needed to feel something. But the pain was still there and I still felt nothing. We were just two people rolling around in our human and trying to feel okay about it. Our heat of the moment didn’t last long and we readjusted our clothes and slipped back into the mall, like nothing happened. But I could feel the wet in my underwear and I could see a part of him closing back up, disconnection. We headed to a restaurant and ate as companions and talked about our crazy.
We said good bye over calamari and potato skins and coco cola. We summed up the reasons for our failures and the reasons we should never be together. We even talked about the failures of all our relationships and shared a moment that we both understood. We left the mall of education and he walked me to the bus stop. We kissed and said our goodbyes. I told him to take care of himself and if he needed me just to call. I made it clear that I would not be calling him and left him to his walk alone, back to the place of sadness and loss. The only thing I feel now is release. No more anger, no more sadness. I left it all in the corridor of the mall.