I often sit here thinking of Yanni and I gazing from this window. Why he had to depart. The circumstances of our demise.
We used to rise together every morning just before the sun slinked up slowly in its sluggish daily parade. Within minutes of arriving it enlightened the silhouettes of the rooftops opposite, bringing them out of the night and back to life.
I’d always open the window first and let the world in. The orchestra of early birds chirping acted as the free city-wide alarm clock, a signal for Yanni to lean over the bedside table and adjust the record player needle. The recurring string composition, soft and adagio, introduced itself once again as the backing for this habitual period of calmness. I’d return to sit on the end of the bed before feeling his movement behind shake me. His hands and arms, slim, hairless and tanned, would slide and meet around my waist. Then his head would rest on my shoulder without deadweight. I would feel his warm breath on my skin, his deep breathing to appreciate my bed scent. My heart would bounce in my chest as our fingers became entangled. The coolness of the ruffled bedsheet gradually grew lukewarm beneath our bodies, and then hot in the ever-present sunlight. I’d close my eyes to listen to the beautiful music and our harmonious breathing. Peace. Pure and unequivocal peace.
After, Yanni and I would gaze on the piazza below at the steady procession of people filtering to and fro like transient vessels in the open ocean. I was always intrigued to consider how they would react if they were made aware of us watching them, observing their routines like some almighty beings up on high. It was our one time of day to reflect together and share our love entirely alone before we succumbed to the chaos of the outside world.
And yet all that balance, purity, peace and affection dissolved instantly when our trust was dishonoured.
Betrayal is a senseless act of heartlessness, selfishness and greed. When Yanni’s deceit became apparent to me, I responded. Betrayal is an action with a close twin; revenge being the identical other.
I would often rise early. Take a cup of coffee and sit in my chair by the balcony. The voile would breathe in and out with a life of its own in the ceremony of dawn. I noticed them across the piazza one morning, months ago, and ever since, I’d been fascinated by their routine: her monotonous habit of sitting first to contemplate her innermost thoughts, always to be followed by his gesture of masculinity, snatching away the delicacy of her loneliness by holding her like a cage does a trapped animal. Apparent silence ensued from then on for an immeasurable amount of time.
This daily indulgence was how I discovered another arriving in her place. As soon as she left to begin her outside life, his other ritual commenced. He would release the roller blind to allow privacy for himself and his secret guest. I’m not naïve enough to consider anything other than a single explanation for two people to be concealed for hours behind the sanctuary of a drawn shade. Only the next morning would he reappear with his original companion and act out their ritual again with the loyalty expected of him.
For weeks since, the game continued. That was until this morning as I watched her rise earlier than normal. I was held in suspense, concealed in the shadows of my balcony, as she moved to the window and closed the blind.
Image Credit: Ava Sol