Sometimes I go to the movies just to feel close to my sister. She hasn’t physically departed, but our lives have diverged in such a way that one is hardly there to greet the other when she comes home.
We’ve still got our record for now. Ten days is the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other. When our work schedules fail to align, she creeps into my room in the middle of the night and lies across my feet like a cat, purring and hissing through the details of her day. I murmur my suggestions at her with sleep-induced wisdom. Unless there’s a family emergency, we have to schedule at least a month in advance if we plan to be somewhere simultaneously on a Saturday.
So I sometimes go to her workplace to feel close to her. I nestle my head into the plush red seats and kick my feet up. I munch on over-salted popcorn and let it get stuck in between my teeth. I take comfort in knowing that she’s out there in the lobby, hustling and bustling, punching the button on her in-office radio, and cursing her employees to hell. I smile because she loves what she does. When I meet her after the movie is over, she rolls her eyes and launches into an anecdote about the people she’s managing. She rushes through her words, knowing like I know, that her work radio will truncate our together time at any minute. When it does, we exchange laughs, then part ways, shouting an exaggerated “Okay, girl, bye now!” across the lobby.
Yes, sometimes I sit through a movie– with my short attention span and low tolerance for gimmicky romcoms– just to feel close to my sister. In the same way that she used to find me in the corner of a couch, and curl up at my hip while I read. She didn’t come for the benefit of my attention; she didn’t get to hear the story. She just wanted my presence. She was content there, ear to my hip, blinking her curious eyes at whatever surrounded us. She soaked up what she needed from me just by witnessing me doing my thing.
I think that’s what eternal love is: not being attracted by ideas or similarities, palms or lips, mouths or genitals, but being magnetized to someone at your core. I think eternal love is a patient witness. It’s not worrying about growing apart, because you know your souls will always find a way to reconnect without interfering. I think eternal love is not wanting to disrupt a person or what they’ve become, but just wanting to watch, to witness, to feel their presence, and to be a part of it somehow.
And so we wait. My sister will undoubtedly read this post. She might share it on Twitter. She might text me a quick “aw, Ro” on her lunch break. If I’m not swamped, I might text her back: “Cut it out, get outta town.” And we’ll go on about our regularly scheduled programming. And we’ll wait. Our paths will converge, and diverge, and converge again. She’ll place a ticket on hold for me at the counter. I’ll leave my bedroom door unlocked. I’ll meet her at the movies. She’ll come into my room. She’ll lay across my feet and we’ll discuss everything but this: the realest, most eternal love I’ve ever known.
This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April (Day 6, Love) a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge. Catch up with my other #WYAOApril posts: Day 1. Surrender. Day 2. Ascend. Day 3. Heal. Day 4. Spill. Day 5. Ignite.