The Wedding – Universal Gravitation – New Short Story by Cathy Vella

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Universal Gravitation


Cathy Vella

typewriter love

He stands in front of you, and you look up to his face. Inhaling his breath, you smell his sweat, his warmth tantalising your chemoreceptors. You feel the interatomic forces as the flesh of your lips come closer to his.  You are two magnets bound by the attraction of charged electrons.

Pulses race, a palpable pressure wave crashes over bone; a human tide. He is the sun and the moon, and you are the ocean. Pupils dilate; breath quickens, a sweet and gentle zephyr carries the scent of yellow roses.

You remember the dreaming, wanting, aching – this as a picture in your head over and over, revisited, rewound, perfected, but it is more vibrant.

You contemplate the moments before this, past times measured by significant occurrences, impossible to recreate or capture with words; and your imagined future, untouchable, a billion offshoots of this perfect instance. Then you consider this second and how it exists in every available space.

Your lips haven’t yet touched. You can’t quite catch your breath, but you sip the air between you. Capture this moment. You need to preserve it all.

You want to savour. The shape of his mouth.  The light through his hair.  The space between you.  The spaces between everything.

Your bodies are close, his face fills your view, and his eyes pour into yours. You wade into his warmth. Your hand is drawn to the arc of his cheek. A temporary horizon. Fourteen billion years to this.

Then the kiss, the exchange of sensory information; silent pheromones. A sip of honey. You close your eyes, and the sensors in your lips tell your brain they are touching his lips, but it is the gravitational and electromagnetic forces of the atoms within. You are mainly empty space, essentially nothing. You love his nothing.

For a moment you imagine yourself as a statue. The world is moving around and over you. One day you will be weathered and beaten and eventually you will be dust. In another time your atoms will exist in another part of the universe.

But for now, this very second, you are here standing in front of him at the edge of an immeasurable heaven.

Your lips part from his and you catch your breath. The world feels blurred. You float through the evening on a lullaby of distractions. Hand in hand you move between worlds, smiles, and laughter. Affirmations – human interactions that serve to reinforce this socially recognised ritual.

Many years from now your memory of this will change. You won’t remember the lines at the corner of his mouth when he smiled, how his hair looked golden in the sunlight, or how when you looked into his eyes a whole universe existed there, a black hole at the centre. But you will remember the kiss. This was your event horizon.

The days pass by as fragmented as distant memories. Faces come and go, but you no longer recognise them or worry about making sense of everything. You find meaning in the little things, and take comfort in the sameness of it all.  Your world has become small, yet everything seems much bigger.

Someone brings you flowers, yellow roses tinged with pink. You dwell on the contrast of the colours. It stirs you. You try to discern the colour between as you breathe in their scent. You imagine yourself lying on the soft petals. A voice seeps into your mind, as a gentle melody. The sound waves dance around you as you sink into the yellow and pink.


You turn and look at her face. It is his face, with his soft lines, his smile.

She has his eyes too, and within them you see the universe, the whole of space and time, infinite possibilities, many lifetimes occurring in a vast cosmic arena. You slide from your petal tip and place yourself in a distant constellation and wait for it all to begin again.

 black tree

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