“I think… I met somebody.” The feelings rush in after this thought. You see her bike away in the night, while the bar closes in the background at the 10 o’clock COVID-19 curfew, and the rest of the patrons start to leave as well. You hop on your bike, a silly smile on your face. “¿Y qué pasó con el consentimiento?” she had asked a few minutes earlier, in her perfect Mexican Spanish, right after you kissed her without a warning, nor asking for her consent (as you said you would never do.) You laughed, naughty. “Tuve que tomar el riesgo,” you replied. Then you both laughed. “I’m full of shit,” you thought. We all are, aren’t we? So I shrugged it off and played it cool. I held her tight in our goodbye and let her disappear in the night, not before asking her for a second date. She said she’ll be back next Wednesday, after her trip back home to Germany. I’m counting the days. Scared as fuck of becoming obsolete in her mind, a sort of “one off.” But that’s not the only fear. What does this all mean? I want to take it as it comes. I’ve been burnt before, and I’m still badly bruised in my emotions and shattered in my spirit after my last attempt of a relationship. Can’t help but being so afraid of getting hurt again; yet I’m so unable to completely close the door to the one who hurt me the worst. As if my trail of blood will always lead me back to her. “What if it doesn’t get better? What if it’s never better and she remains the undefeated champion of my desire, the incombustible lover and Master of Lust on Eduardo’s story?” Because this fear seems so awfully truth. Drunkenly I visited her Linkedin profile, last Friday night. I knew she’d see it. In my alcoholic stupor, I wanted her to know I still wanted her, that my skin and my sheets were tied to the longing of her presence. But then a few days passed and someone new came along and challenged the status quo of this breakup mist. But it’s so early, so vague, so deeply and undeniably uncertain, that even weighting it in against the Behemoth of C, the ultimate ex, seems nothing but ridiculous. Is hope, just like “this”, laughable too? I’ve stayed away from the word, self-forbidden from writing, because all letters and commas and colons and semicolons will inevitably lead to her, C. So I paint instead, and it’s amazing to lose myself in the colors and shapes that mean nothing, yet are ever-expanding universes coming to life in each stroke of the brush, in each random drop of acrylic sprayed onto the canvas. And then I’m God, in the confined space of my Creation. My work is clean from external intrusions, from being contaminated by guilt and regret and resentment and hatred mixed with love, or passion dipped in sadness and salty lakes of tears. I am beyond what I am, in those minutes becoming hours of creative outlet. There’s no future past the drying of the paint, the eternal imprinting of colored thoughts vomited onto paper; of feelings emptied onto was once something else besides what I dare to selfishly and egocentrically call “art.” Dare I, dare I. And she comes back to me. The thought of her. Her hands on mine; her lips receiving mine, uninvited, yet welcoming them as a soldier that fought the worst battle of them all and came back home to tell the tale in the arms of his lover. And it can be just that, in the end. Unique, brief and impermanent. The days will pass and we might never speak again; the promise of our reunion just becoming that: an empty promise, detached from realization and fulfillment. But, in the midst of this obnoxious wait, possibilities form a billion parallel universes with a plethora of joyful outcomes. “Hope, is that you?” I hope it is, as I can only hope at this point. I hope life gets better. I hope this new flame, regardless of the outcome, is warm enough, but not too much to burn me. And I hope C, my beloved ex, is okay. Having turned the page as I so much also want to. Who knows? I know nothing; not really. Non other than the happiness (or the illusion of it, at least) that writing these words on a semi-hungover Saturday morning gives me. The sun is out and shines bright. The weekend is starting and next Wednesday doesn’t seem so far away. Will Germany send her daughter back to me? Will that signify the beginning of something new, as if a chapter starts from scratch in a blank page of my journey? Will all these fears vanish, overtime, in a warm embrace of assurance and trust? Will I be betrayed and heartbroken again, or has my karma ended, at last? Expectations, oh expectations. Hopes and fears. And this virtual page on my word processor comes to an end, to lead everything towards this hypothetical new page that, inevitably, I’ll have to turn to. Nice metaphor, huh?