I love fireworks.
There’s something magical about them and all the emotions they provoke in me. For starters, the expectation builds up inside me as I wait for the show to start until it threatens to drive me a bit crazy (or crazier, depending on who you ask).
I can hardly contain the feeling within myself the moment the first firework pierces through the night sky. Then comes my quiet gasp as the silence seems to surround me right after the explosion but right before the actual lights. And then, it happens. The sky is lit up with red, blue, yellow, green, white… That view, that fleeting moment, is my reward after holding up for such a long time.
As with all good things, the lights fade away, only to be replaced by a second set, and then maybe even a third. Nothing amazing yet, just teasers, previews of what is to come. Then a fourth set comes along, and a fifth, and so on and so forth. My skin gets goosebumps with every burst of light. My heart skips a beat wondering which one of them will be the last one.
And suddenly, although deep down inside I know it wasn’t as sudden as it seemed, the fireworks end. The sky turns back to its mysterious, yet familiar, darkness. The silence would almost be uncanny if it weren’t for the peculiar comfort it offers. Everyone takes that as their cue to move on, to continue with their lives.
Not me though.
I’m still there, looking at the sky. Trying to catch with my eyes one last glimpse of those colorful sparks, trying to get a hold of all the emotions I felt just a few minutes before. Finally I realize I am the only one left there. Everyone else has already left. With sorrow and regret, I give up as I follow the last traces of smoke rising up to the sky.
The more I think about it, the more I realize the similarities between the almost sadistic pleasure I get from watching fireworks and my current (still, anyway) relationship.
I expected too much from him. So much so that maybe I didn’t allow myself to enjoy the moment. Maybe I spent too much time on my toes awaiting the big explosion that I was sure would come. Unbeknownst to me, what I considered teasers or minor fireworks in preparation for the big finale were in fact all part of the main show. And they were all major explosions of color, I was just too blind to see them for what they were.
Then the proposal came. The big event. I was so jaded by then I couldn’t appreciate it for what it was. I was listening to the explosions, but no sparks would show up to light up the darkness in my heart. There was no powder, no substance in them. There was no love.
Ironically enough, I realized all of this during a firework show. My boyfriend pointed at them amused. I suspected he was amused only because he knew I was amused. I looked at him for a split second, my ears ringing from all those crackers going off, and there it was: The silence right after the last firework. The sudden realization that there was no love there anymore.
I had felt that for a few months before the proposal and then some more leading up to that day. I had tried with all my strength to hold on to the last spark. I looked up to the night sky; I looked inside my heart: There was no spark.