The Night

by Jordan Segal

Artwork, “Blues V” by Andi Williams

I talk to you in my dreams, not in the future but in the dark. You laugh and assure me that you’re alright, but sometimes you tell me you wish you could speak in the sun. The Night took your words away.

Long ago, the Night peeked at our dreams, not in the dark but in the distance. Our light enticed her; she craved it for herself. She was only trying to escape her darkness. You see, the Night was alone. She had no hand to hold. You and I were holding hands, holding hearts. She saw our smile, heard our laughs, felt our love. In glancing at our beautiful future, she mourned her own dim prospects. She knew she was trapped, doomed to loneliness in her world of shadows. So the Night took your words away, leaving you silent in the Day.

She trapped your words in a jar, like a child catches fireflies. They illuminated her existence. Since the Night was born, she had been enamored with light. She always chased it passionately, but could never catch it for her life. All she ever wanted was to meet the Day, who was so close but far away. “Please stay, please stay,” she would cry, as she witnessed her unrequited love slowly die. When she caught your words, she finally felt at ease. She marveled at their glow and hugged them to her heart. She would piece them into phrases like a puzzle, harboring all of your I love you’s for herself. “I love you too,” she would say, as the tears welled in her eyes.

But your words became restless. They bounced and beamed, violently trying to break through the lid.  They struggled to return to you—to us. They shook and shone until they blinded the Night.  She shrieked and covered her eyes, but she couldn’t escape their intensity. The guilt of her crime was unbearable. She smashed the jar, grabbing the I miss you’s and throwing them away, disposing of evidence. She carelessly tossed them into my mind. They wouldn’t let me sleep when the Night came out, so I lay there tortured over your words held hostage. “Please come home, please come home,” I would weep, as I waited for the Day to come save me.

The Night still hasn’t freed your words, but I don’t blame her anymore. I forgave her when she learned to share, when she allowed me to speak to you again. I talk to you in my dreams, not in the future but in the dark. With words or without, the Night will never keep us apart.

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