She is blinded by the light, the sword of truth, how it cuts her heart into pieces. The sea bellows a song of twilight, the moon above her as simple as a cut fingernail. Decision curves around rocks of despair. The fight is over. The winner is triumphant, the swords clattered to the ground. Of course it is blinding to realize what she must do to bring this quarrel to a conclusion. Like the second of a joust already fought, she must step away quietly. Let go of the need to make a point, make him see she is right.
You can choose happiness or drama. This dicho echoes in her head. How she loves telenovelas, the women weeping while in the background, the heroes dash off to another fight for justice. The odd characters on the periphery, comic relief. The tables set with spicy, delicious foods with bowls of chilis and limes, just like their own table, the maids flinging their aprons over their heads to wail, the mothers cursing fiercely when their children are threatened, the dashing boyfriends. But for her, it is time to let go of the drama and reach for sanity. Put down the sword. Walk away. Pay the check and say good-bye. You don't even have to explain why you're not coming back.
She curls her fist around the sodden napkin. She knows the truth is freeing her and the pain can not get any worse. But still she hesitates. Still she hopes for a reprieve. Still she wants the solution to be completely different.
She lifts the glass, afraid to meet his eyes, afraid she will no longer see a reflection of her own desire, that she will see his cynical appraisal instead of tenderness. She feels broken and betrayed. She doesn't know how they have come to this. How the sweet blossoming that made her body into a garden has withered into a winter of contempt. But she hasn't let go. Neither has he and she holds onto that. Whispers it to herself, trying to convince herself that it means something more than habit of need. And yet, she has reached a juncture, a turning point. Imagines Hecate, goddess of crossroads, sitting before her with a glint in her eye of warning.
She lifts the glass and he lifts his and they clink together while she intones that simple toast he taught her: Paz y amor. Dinero y tiempo para disfrutarlas. Peace and love, money and time to enjoy them. He has told her that if you don't meet the eyes of the person you are toasting, you will be celibate for seven years. Such a silly superstition, but at the last minute, she meets his eyes. Their eyes lock, the words echoing like a curse, like a blessing. Which, she could no longer say.