Airian and I dated for a few months. I have to say that those months were the happiest I’d had in a long time. We did things that couples did. Cooked together. Played with her camera together. Saw movies together. Introduced our respective friends to each other. Fought on occasion. Nothing major.
But she was everything to me.
It's almost indescribable the way she made my heart tremble. I didn't want to spend a moment away from her and you bet your ass I was up hers the whole time. It was reciprocated. It was wonderful. I felt like I could fly around her, I was that lovesick.
“So explain it to me again,” she said one day as she added more vegetables to the hot pan. I turned off the oversensitive smoke detectors so she wouldn't set them off. My cooking capabilities consisted of Ramen and TV dinners, so she made sure I ate right every weekend or so. “You walk the dead down to this beach and they row off?”
“That's the pattern.”
“But where do they … you know, go?”
“You obviously get paid.”
“Enough to survive comfortably.”
“Don't you ever wonder why you were chosen to do this?” she asked, putting the pasta into a pot of boiling water. Every motion she made was captivating.
“All the time,” I admitted, handing her the pepper. “But it's not like I can just ask.”
I never told her about Marcus. For some reason I thought his presence on this earth should be a secret.
“That's bullshit,” she told me, pointing the spatula at me. “Is there a way to complain to some kind of death supervisor or something?”
“What happens when you don't do it?”
“Never tried. Something bad. I feel it.”
Arian drained her pasta and lathered it with butter and garlic. “Are you scared?”
“About what?” I asked.
I thought about that and lit a cigarette, dragging deeply and exhaling slowly. “I'm just like anyone else I think. I’m alive, so I can't know what lies beyond that beach. It's that simple. Everyone fears the unknown.”
“Not me,” Arian laughed. “I get excited.”
I wrapped my arms around her from behind. I can say I cherished every moment when I was with her. I swear the sun shone brighter in her presence. My whole world was more enriched, and good god she was my everything.
I couldn't have been happier.