"Don't ever say to me, 'If you really loved me, you would do this, or that'." His voice trailed in the sticky air, thickening the afternoon light with its meaning.
He turned his back to her, his voice cracking slightly with heaviness. "Don't use love as a weapon to hold over my head."
The girl looked at his back, noticing how he had unknowingly stepped into a shaft of light that escaped from the metal blinds to stab his silhouette. The tips of her fingers itched to push him out of the way, even as her logic howled at the harmlessness of it.
Symbolic. The word brushed against her mind in a feathery caress. It meant more than she could explain, something she could not hold in her arms, or form with the many words she harvested carefully.
Just like this love he was talking about. It could not be used to ask him to do anything, to hold him to her, to be used as any form of guarantee of a future together. What was this love for then, she wondered, a suspended feeling between them, but stretched taut with shallowness, accompanied with the ticking of the clock that counted down the minutes they had together.
What was this love good for then?
The question burned sour on her tongue. Reflexively, her lips parted to let the words escape. She was never one to quell her questions when there were answers to be had. However, her teeth remained clenched shut. A dark warning to not let the words into the open. Her heart sped up for a second, straining against the need to have the answer from him, before pulling tight in her chest.
She knew then. She looked at him, this incomplete person, with his imperfections that she saw all too clearly, and knew. His answer was already made, their future was non-existent. The fight for survival, for hope, was over.
"This is the moment," She swallowed the words down into the bowels of her gut.
"This is the moment, when a heart starts to break."
But there was love, even if it was fraying before her eyes.
So she smiled, even though he could not see it, just so he could hear it in her next words. Carefully chosen, artfully executed.
"I promise I'll never ask you to do anything out of love." Her lips stretched wider, painful in its attempt to mask an even greater sorrow.
"What shall we have for lunch?"