Jonah looks away while he’s talking, as though his answers must be recalled from the horizon. ‘It’s like living next to a lake that sometimes floods,’ he says. ‘Some people are never bothered, others are over prepared, and some just get inundated.’ I put my hand on his cheek and turn it towards me. ‘Which are you?’ His eyes stay far away. ‘I suppose I’m the lake, or the fear of the flood.’ I place my lips against his, tasting the salt and tremble that lives there. When I pull away his eyes bore into mine, looking for answers.
I wake up early and sit with my doubts in the pre-dawn purple hung over the sky. Traffic waves wash up and down the street, the reassuring rumble reminds me of my childhood beach, and down that tract, latterly the lake. Frozen in my memory, every grain is sharp, the edge foam crests perpetually, sky a vivid blue, hawks hung on currents, her hand on my shoulder, warm but for the cool, thin band of metal, silence taut between us, warn like a shawl. I sit a minute in the haze, visit elsewhere, ready myself for the day.
We sat by the lakeshore singing our praises, a harmony backed by the gentle lapping of wind moved water and ingrained natures. We decided then that truth was indeed subjective, and having been subjected to lies in our lives, promised that love would be our new reality. This is something we are allowed to feel, we said, though it sat unspoken as the truest entitlement. Later we would hold hands and split silences, staring at one another’s shifting irises, and laugh at how easy it had become to be honest with ourselves. I love you, we said, in truth.