She had a bruise on her skin and a mosquito bite on her foot. She brought it to my face and showed me the crimson bump on her ivory skin. I told her, “Don’t scratch” but by morning, specks of blood clotted beneath the raw surface.
She could cite quotes from books I didn’t know existed at times when it was most appropriate.
“How many have you read?”
“If you consider how many books there are in the universe, I’ve read very few.”
She always talked about the universe. Never the world. This was because she believed our earth was not the only one. Millions upon millions of planets; stars, suns, moons and galaxies; infinite universes across a myriad of time spans. No, she couldn’t believe we were alone.
“I thought you were my one in seven billion, and now you tell me the chance of us meeting was virtually impossible.”
“Improbable, not impossible because here we are. The universe knew.”
“Do you really believe the universe cares?”
“Of course, I do. Some things are just too improbable for it not be considered higher intervention.”
I asked her once if she believed in true love.
“All love is true. Whether you still feel it now or not.”
“Will you always love me?”
“I will always love you even when we’re not together.”
“When? If or when?”
Naturally, this fuelled an argument.
“Do you not see your future with me?”
“Of course, I see a future with you, but that doesn’t mean it will be the future.”
She accused me of being overly sensitive and I said she would be too if she had just found out our love was based on borrowed time.
“I constantly feel like I’m too much for you.”
“But I love you.”
This was how my troubles were calmed. A four-letter word nuzzled in a phrase reassured me we were doing our best.
Very few people do their best.
She would cover me with kisses, strands of her blazing blonde-red hair tickling my neck. This too silenced my qualms.
She cut her finger once. The blade sliced through the skin of her index finger. The sight of her insides leaking out made her immediately sick. I wrapped the kitchen wound and rubbed her back as she convulsed over the toilet bowl. She slept until the next day when I cleaned her finger once more, her eyelids tightly shut. I kissed her ginger lashes and whispered that everything would be alright.
That was before.
Perhaps I was overeager. Too eager to love. Too eager to be loved.
She was my world.
I was only one of multiple universes to her.