Fall 2005 – High School Creative Writing Class
Inspired by Octavio Paz “My Life With The Wave”
I met him in late summer, before the seasons turned. He did not visit long. The warm sun still dominated day. Only after it set could he sneak in. Yet it was that very mystery that attracted me. I looked forward to every sunset, knowing he would arrive at my window—for a second, a minute—before sleep separated us.
We did not talk during those first encounters. I was content to watch him move gracefully about my room, his shimmering, silver light falling across my blanket, upon my carpet, over my hairbrush. His radiance was reflected in my mirror, and the room glowed around him. White light, blue light, always shifting, casting shadows. I could have watched him forever.
The room seemed to smell better when he was in it—crisper, clearer. Every sense was peaked. The unyielding summer sun was replaced by his clean, fresh light. I felt alive, invigorated—no more sluggish humidity, no more endless blistering days. I craved only his beautiful, refreshing presence. Each night I kept sleep at bay just a little longer, awake a little later.
“What is your name?” I asked him as summer turned to fall with an explosion of colors—rich yellow, vibrant red, earthy brown. Yet at night, all was blue, gray.
He only smiled and shook his head. It was then that I decided I wanted—needed to know him. I woke up each day longing to go to bed, for it was as I lay in bed that he visited—after the house had quieted and all were asleep.
He would wait by the window, and I would see his light shining through the closed blinds. I would let him in. He would sit beside me and hold my hand. Sometimes he would pace around the room or sit at my desk. On the warm autumn nights, I’d sneak out my window and settle on my porch steps, watching while he played among the trees, rattling leaves all too ready to fall.
“The days are getting shorter,” he told me.
“Yes, they usually do,” I replied.
“I can meet you more often,” he said shyly, kicking at the ground with his silver shoes. “If you want,” he added and our eyes met.
I knew it then. I loved him. I absolutely loved him. I smiled innocently. This was love.
Every night I waited for sundown, anticipating the velvet blue sky. From there he would emerge.
“What are you looking for?” my sister would ask as I stared beyond the glass. The sun seemed to move painfully slow. It seemed to freeze on the horizon.
“Nothing,” I would tell her. She wouldn’t understand. She did not know what love was. She did not know how I felt. I was consumed by thoughts of him. My heart beat faster with each word from his soft lips. Fire ran through my veins at his every touch. He became my sole source of comfort, of excitement, of life—my refuge.
He came every night, despite the clouds and rain that tried to keep us apart, despite the century’s-old cycle. He found a way to meet me, and I knew we would always find a way to meet.
“Did you know,” he asked one night as he stroked my hair, “that today is the shortest day of the year?”
I smiled and sat up. “And the longest night.”
He kissed me then. His lips, like his presence, were cool and refreshing. They were soft and gentle. Mine must be so rough, I worried. But he didn’t seem to mind. He kissed my lips, my cheeks, my forehead. And as the sun crept above the horizon, he said goodbye.
“Do you have to go?” I asked, already knowing the answer. He kissed me a final time and disappeared.
I woke up the next morning under a cloud of despair. The nights were destined to only grow shorter. Our time together was limited. My mind raced, thinking of all the things I needed to do, to say, before he was gone.
I sat anxiously on my bed that night, waiting for him to arrive. I tapped my foot on the floor and picked at my fingernails. I looked at the clock—he should have been here by now. I walked to the window and twisted open the blinds. Light flooded my room as a car neared. It passed and my room was plunged into darkness again.
Finally, he came.
“Where were you?” I asked, looking at the clock again. He had wasted an entire hour. Once again, I remembered our limited time.
“I went to see other friends,” he said.
I raised my eyebrows and pursed my lips. Didn’t he realize our time together was coming to an end?
I did. It was all I could think about. It ate away at my insides. I grew possessive, obsessive. He saw it; he didn’t like it. He began to pull away. His visits were shorter; we argued. I felt angry at his departure and bitter at his arrival. The more he withdrew, the more possessive I became.
Eventually, he stopped visiting. I waited and waited. He did not come. My sleep was restless, troubled by dreams I couldn’t quite remember by morning. I could only recall the black feeling that hung over my heart.
He did not visit at all that week. I waited; I waited every night. I was losing sleep. I couldn’t eat. I could think of nothing but him. Where was he? Why hadn’t he come? Was something wrong? Was he sick of me? Where was he?
Where was he? I asked myself the question every night, every morning…at lunch, in between classes, after English. But I had no answer. I had no answer.
I was in my room when his light drifted through my window. It cast shadows on the floor, silhouetting the oak tree, buds appearing on its branches, in my front yard. The March wind had been whistling. I could not sleep. I prayed for the wailing to drown out my thoughts. I was tired of the questions, the accusations… the wishes. I wanted silence.
“Hello,” he said. I jumped at the sound of his voice. My heart pounded in my chest. I sat up. His sharp blue eyes met mine. I tried to smile.
“Long time no see.”
He nodded and drummed his silver fingers on my desk—beams of light on the golden oak. “I’ve been busy,” was his only explanation.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Fine,” I answered. I rolled over, turning my back to him. He had abandoned me.
“Please don’t be mad,” he whispered and sat on the edge of my bed. His light cast away the shadows. Then, he rested his frosted hand on my shoulder. My skin burned under his cool touch. I ignored the flutter in my heart.
“Things change,” he said. “It’s part of nature… it’s part of me.”
“Well, it’s not part of me,” I said softly. He shook his head. Blue light splashed across my walls.
“It is,” he said. “You just don’t see it now. Change is a part of life.”
He paused. I swiped at the tear slipping down my cheek and across my nose.
“We had a good time, though, didn’t we?”
“Why did you stop coming?” I asked bluntly, not sure I wanted the answer. Minutes passed before he spoke.
“You were too attached,” he finally said. “You wanted something permanent, and I only change. I couldn’t give you what you wanted.”
His words stung. I felt tears fill my eyes, but I was determined to keep them at bay. I did not speak. He stood.
“The days are getting longer now,” he said. He bent over and kissed my cheek. “I’ll see you again,” he promised. I closed my eyes, wishing away the tears that dripped steadily down my cheeks.
I woke the next morning to the sun.