I Will Go Now (Story by Risa Peris)

The moon glowed so brightly that it illuminated the dust on the dresser and your hairbrush riddled with hair. You were sleeping soundly. I could hear your steady breath and the occasional snort that made your arms fling upwards as if you were drowning. Ten years. That’s how long we had been together. We’ve had no children. You have a condition and you revealed that in our second date. I sympathized and comforted you. I didn’t mind. I never really wanted to be a father. I only wanted to write books. I wanted to be a famous author. I have published two books but hardly famous. I’ve received a few good reviews. Lukewarm. That’s how I would describe them. You were so proud of me. I wasn’t proud of myself. I am not proud of myself.

I got out of bed and stared at the bone hunk of moon. I could detect the Sea of Tranquility embossed on it. It was lovely in its otherworldliness. I imagined myself on it. Separated from life, humanity…books, writing…you. I could imagine myself without you. This bothered me somewhere deep in my stomach. It was the opposite of butterflies. It was a brick inside. A coarse one as it chafed me.

I looked at you again. Your dark hair was fanned like a web across the pillow. I was going to leave you. I knew it. I didn’t know why. I would never know why. I blamed the moon. It made me think of time and infinity. It made think of my death. Yes. I would die. Alone as it should be. As it almost always is. I loved you. Yet, something in me was wrong. Pocked. Like the moon. Like acne. Why did I think of acne? Oh, yes. I had it terribly as a teenager and into my 20s. I had no girlfriend until you. And now I will leave. Because of the moon. Because you deserve better than my false vanity and irritating arrogance.

I will go now. Into the night. A night that never ends, except for the light of the imperfect moon.


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