We sat there, side by side, with my head on his shoulders. I was just home after an arduous laboratory work.

“Do you know how to make a crystal?” I said. 

He seemed perplexed by my question as he suddenly looked at me. Apparently, it seems I should know better that he doesn’t.

“No.” He said, amused a little by this strange inquiry.

“Hmmm. “

“Hmmm as in you’re just purely disappointed or hmmm as in you would want to school me instead with this bit of information I know I’ll never understand on my own?”

I slapped his shoulder as I throw my head laughing. He really does know me.

“Well.. you see, we dissolve this salt-”

“Salt? As in-”

“No.”I interrupted him before he’s about to say what I know he’ll say. “Not really the table salt. It could be used, yes, but it takes a lot of patience. A chemical salt, that’s what I mean. And don’t interrupt my lecture. Okay?”

“Okay ma’am.” He winked. “Go ahead.”

“ So we dissolve this salt, mine was copper sulfate and it produces a brilliant blue crystal, mind you. We add the salt and dissolve it in a measured amount of water. We keep adding until it dissolves no more. That’s what we call a saturated solution.” I took a peek to check if he was still listening. He was.

“And?” He prompted. “ Is this where the crystals grow and live perfectly ever after?”

“ No. You need to dissolve it again by applying heat this time. Simply speaking, heating ‘forces’ it to be dissolved when it couldn’t be anymore. Just enough heat to dissolve it, of course.”

“Hmmm.” He looked amused as he muttered it.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Really. What is it?”

“ I don’t know… I just like it when you talk like this. You look so alive and beautiful, for the lack of better terms. Besides, you make me feel as if my mental prowess is actually capable of taking this all in. So yeah, it’s a plus.” He said jokingly.

I stared at him, obviously taken aback by his words.

“Anyway,” I said, trying to hide the obvious surprise I had. After all, we had long understood that we don’t do cheesy. “ After you heat it, you let it cool. And there, crystals after crystals are formed gradually. It’s a wonderful thing really for a chemist. To watch a time lapse video of a crystal growing perfectly into position. Never gets old.”

“And do these crystals live happily ever after now?”

“Not yet. You see, growing crystals is a simple matter. Many have done it at home. But growing a single perfect crystal? Now, that’s a feat. Because then, you’d have to choose which among the crystals you’ve produced has the potential to grow as a ‘perfect’ crystal. After you choose, you let it grow again by hanging it with a strand of your hair (or fine thread) and immersing it in the solution from where it came from. And from there, you let it develop naturally. At the end, it’s almost too impossible to get one that has smooth edges and isn’t deformed by any means. It takes a lot of time and patience and well, knowledge too.”

“Hmmm…And?”

He really does know me all too well.

“ Well, I’m like the salt in this relationship. Little by little, more and more, I give whatever it is that I can give to you. My time, my laugh, my secrets, my embarrassments. Even the aspirations I have withheld from my friends and family. And you are like water. You just take it all in. But one day, there may come a time that you’d have enough from this person you have once vowed to love. After all, one could only heal a person to an extent and you cannot heal us both if I have hurt you already “

I looked at him this time, black eyes meeting his brown ones, letting my next words sink in.

“ And if that happens, when I may seem too much for you, may I ask of you a selfish thing? May I ask of you not to leave me? Will you find in your heart, just one more time, to look for that person that you loved just like that heat applied to a saturated solution. Just one more time. Let us figure it out. I guess what I want to say is that don’t give up on me just yet. It’s an odd request but it’s you. And I don’t want to lose you. I guess I’m just that selfish huh. “ I said sheepishly.

“And if there are emotions, aside from this love you tell me about that’s going to surface at that point, like the crystals crowding in a limited space given to them, then let us find  love among all of that, together. Then let’s grow that into a single perfect crystal with time and effort. Well.. actually I don’t know about perfect. It may be deformed but at least it’s ours. “

I cannot read the emotions on his face as I ended my evidently long speech and so I was mildly surprised when his mouth descended onto mine in a gentle kiss which he broke by teasing.

“If that had been a proposal, my love, I’d say that was the most mentally challenging one.” He grinned.

 

 

 

 

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