The smell of burning oil and the deafening sound of impatience filled the air as my heel hopped the curve and I caught my balance just in time to meet her eyes. My Walkman skipped a beat.
“Excuse me.” I exhaled, fixing my earbud.
“No worries.” She giggled.
We smiled at each other, turning to go our separate ways, but I found my feet again.
That’s how mornings passed.
There was a time we’d grab a coffee and chat about the days ahead, our dreams scattered like 52 card pickup. We’d get lost somewhere between laughter and leaning in to take another sip. We met as children in a bookstore, touching the tips of pop-ups. It was magic. And like magic, it was just a trick.
I drew back the sweater on her arms to see the red on her wrists and scrawled the symbol of a saint on my hands to try to lead the way. I whispered in her ear while elementary school kids gathered eggs on a grey Easter day, offering to grab cider with two pumps of chai. I promised we’d be ok.
She was right there with me, right there in front of me. She was staring at the sky, screaming. I held my arms up to hug her from behind, but ended up holding them to the sky. We stood together but facing separate ways. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Our scars held us together, but ripped us apart. We could never be as close as we felt. Even as we got lost in each others eyes, our minds would drift. While we bled we healed one another and prepared to move on.