she asked for an explanation. it was the hardest i had to think for a long time. she made it worse by sitting there, being patient. of all the things should could have done — screamed, cried, throw a punch — she did her worst with a slow, measured, muted question. ‘why?’
a long time ago, i listened to a lecture about the universe. it was about its history and its future, and its state of increasing and accelerated expansion. it was about supernovae, stellar remnants, and near-invisible particles called neutrinos. it explained why the sky is dark at night, and how billions and billons and billions of years from now, every star in the night sky fades into the black, and that the natural imperative of an expanding universe is a journey towards utter oblivion. cold nothingness. infinite emptiness. all evidence that we were ever here and did anything that ever mattered would be irreparably destroyed.
physicists call this entropy.
i remember vividly the bemusement i felt as i sat on that stone slab, looking up at her as she sat on the hood of the car with her arms folded across her. i almost laughed out loud, thinking how ridiculous i’d sound trying to preface my answer to her question with a story about the unstoppable and wholly nihilistic fate of the universe that eventually will turn everything to nothing. but it was all i had, and even knowing i had the unbreakable clockwork of thermodynamics on my side, she deserved more.
they always deserve more, these ones.
it can’t help make you wonder what kind of guy you are to throw something like this away. but you don’t think about it that way when that pretty face is staring right at you, wide-eyed, alerting you that her bullshit detector on its most sensitive setting, waiting to hear something that won’t make her feel like she’s just wasted a good chunk of her life for a deadbeat who can’t answer a simple one word question.
no, all you can think about in moments like these is how to say something that won’t make you feel like a complete asshole when that final word leaves your mouth and vibrates off the inside of her ear canal. ‘i’m sorry,’ is all you can say because you can’t win in a universe that’s determined to break everything.
then you wait.
and you hope.
and you discover she is the one girl you meet in your life that does transcend all the known laws of an unforgiving cosmos because she is your very own big bang, proving that sometimes, when certain conditions are met, something can come from nothing.
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