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life in a minor key

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Sixsmith exhales so slowly and methodically, terrified to disturb the world around him. He sits, delicately, on the edge of the wooden stool by his lover’s piano; poised, eyes closed, lost in thought and music. The melodies encircle the air, moving in pulses of vibrations; pushing and resonating against every surface in the room - gentle, wild, completely untamed. When he opens his eyes, he fixates himself onto Frobisher, onto mapping his lover’s whole body in his mind. Unkempt, curly hair; soft, delicate hands; lips made by the heavens themselves, purely for kissing. This overwhelming beauty spurs confidence within Sixsmith’s chest - a confidence, he has learned, grows ever wilder in the presence of Frobisher -  and he presses onwards to lay his own hands over Frobisher’s ever moving ones, stopping the music with a firm kiss.

“My dear Sixsmith,” Frobisher says, “you never could wait. Perhaps I taught you that.”

“Why wait? You’re leaving this evening.”

“Only for a few weeks.”

“You always leave,” Sixsmith muses.

“I always return,” Frobisher replies in turn.

This game of delicate wit frequents their relationship; as tiring as it is, Frobisher would not be who he is without that childlike gleam in his eye every time he plays with words the same way he plays with music - as both an expert and a new learner. 

Still, the inevitable snatches and claws at the mastery of time that Sixsmith worked so hard to stop. His whole life has been a cat and mouse chase, between he and time - or he and Frobisher - trying desperately to preserve little moments so that he may later inspect them through glass jars. Frobisher, as always, exists as a whirlwind; his purpose to scatter the spots of time that Sixsmith tries to hopelessly to fixate into history.

“Why do you have to go?” Sixsmith almost begs. The afternoon is stretching out into the evening; time is, like an hourglass, slipping through his clutching fingers, and he stands, powerless to stop it, waiting by the door.

“The world - out there - is waiting for someone like me,” Frobisher says, “and I would never forgive myself if I simply let the world around me die without cementing it into music. We’re more similar than you think, you and I - you have your physics; you try and understand the world by examining every atom; and I have my music - I want to understand the transcendental, the beautiful, the sublime, and the infinite.”

“But - leaving - can’t you stay? Can’t you find your music here, with me?”
“Sixsmith, you know,” Frobisher smiles, “it has always only been you. There’s no danger of me leaving, not when I have you. Of course, I frequently fall prey to my instinct, but at the end of the universe itself, I will always come back to you. It isn’t by chance, my dear, that you are at the end of everything for me.”

Sixsmith, as ever stunned by the majesty of his lover’s words, stands mutely silent. He can do nothing but watch as Frobisher picks up his case, and walks past the threshold of the door, leaving no further parting words hanging in the air. Goodbyes, Sixsmith thinks, are a brutal consequence of the human condition.

Retreating back into the bedroom that they previously shared, Sixsmith sighs and sits on Frobisher’s side of the bed. For a brief moment, he lets himself fall into the pillow, closing his eyes and imagining that he, with all his powers of physics, could turn back time merely to this morning, and spend an hour lying by his lover, magnified and glorified by the gentle rays of the sun creeping in lines across the entire bedroom. As he tucks his hands under the pillow, for something tangible to hold onto in a sea of memories and wishes, he feels something foreign; something not usually there. Pulling it out, he finds a letter, addressed to him, in handwriting that he immediately recognises as belonging to Frobisher. Shakily, tentatively, he opens it.

“My dear Sixsmith,

Should you read this letter, chance dictates that you were most likely missing my company, and found yourself on my side of our bed. It is not by fluke that I placed this letter under my own pillow, rather, by fate; that I knew of your impending depression and apprehended it before it had even taken root in your mind.

That, my dear, is how well I know you. And in turn, you figure me out in equal measure. We, together, are joined in infinite beauty and melody. You, my dear, will stand by my side as I achieve greatness with my music; I have no doubt in two facts: that I will become great, and that you will be with me as I do.

You know, I hate leaving you more than I let on. I tell myself that I’m going onto greater things, but only to distract myself from the fact that the greatest thing of all is you. You must forgive me, Sixsmith, for making you wait for me - but that’s how we exist. I see you first, and you wait for me, always. I believe I must be in love with you, and you with me, for this to work in such tandem.

But nevertheless, I must stay away for now. I’ve always been up in the air with my fancies and my passions, and there I shall stay until once more you pull me back to the ground; the music I create lifts me further up. One day, I fear I will have to make a choice between remaining in flight, atop my compositions; or remaining tethered to you, dissatisfied and satisfied all at once. For now, I will remain liminal - and you, as you always have, shall remain with me.

So, dear Sixsmith, miss me fondly. But know that I will always return to you, the same way the stars fade and burn with each passing day, and the same way that I love you - regardless, infinitely, eternally.

Yours, Forever,

R.F.

Sixsmith puts the letter besides him, closes his eyes once more, and burns Frobisher’s signature into his mind. He will wait, yet again.