There’s a girl.
She stands in the hallway of the school with her shirt a little tight
(an obscure reference on it that nobody laughs at but herself, when she’s alone)
her jeans a little baggy
(nobody’s looking anyway)
her hair a little short
(it’s normal to want something easy).
The way the breeze plays across her skin is like the too-welcome touch of fingertips
(the ones she wants to have as opposed to the ones she dreams about).
She thinks of television, and classic novels, and fairy lights.
And today, everything is a little quiet.
She listens to music just like every other teenager.
Plugs herself into the earbuds of her music player of choice and drowns out the world,
Drowns it out with Pink Floyd or wicca rock or other things that make her head spin.
She sits at her desk in her too-small bedroom and tries to focus on her schoolwork
(tries to forget the consistent phantom fingernails scraping at the denim of her shorts)
tries to concentrate on History
(because that certainly isn’t, not when so fresh in her mind)
tries to stop wishing for a fictional relief
(the kind that will hold her hand and tell her it’s okay and that it’s over now).
Her mouth forms the words streaming into her mind as though through a Seashell
(books burning, burning, burning on her porch in colors like gold, and she just laughs and cries and gets the hiccups all at once).
She thinks of Oscar Wilde, and spray paint, and the smell of chalk.
And today, everything is a little lonely.
She can’t sleep.
She tosses and turns and stares at the ceiling when telling stories doesn’t help.
(Like of Peter and Tinkerbell and Idobelieveinfairies.)
She lays in her bed and for now she blames the light in the hallway
(a bright, too bright, bulb that will never go out)
blames the visions behind her eyelids
(broken springs jutting from mattress fabric, the feeling of forcefully splayed legs, her heart wrenching with every broken plea)
blames the yearning in her own heart
(I’m not broken, not yet, just cracked).
Her eyes close against a swelling in her chest and she swallows it back
(green eyes, soft hair, a warm smile… anything).
She thinks of teacups, and mattress springs, and flowerbed kisses.
And today, everything was a little cold.
She takes the flying, tackling embrace like a welcome mat spread before her.
She wraps her arms around the other and for the first time since long before then, she laughs.
(I’d forgotten what that felt like.)
It’s not until later that she realizes, seeing the other around with fleeting glimpses, that she may just be
(collapsing through this, and it’s not right because I barely know her)
falling into this trap, this terrible trap
(look at her, luring me in with that smile and that laugh and that warmth)
because she’ll just end up hurting again
(but it doesn’t feel like that did)
just end up shrinking down and fading away
(it wouldn’t be so bad)
just end up dying
(like I tried to all those years ago).
She can’t help but follow the other, follow her into the crowds she so despises, and reach over, and take her hand
(soft and warm and alive and safe).
And when the other asks for a kiss, how on earth could she have said anything but yes?
As they kiss for the first time, she thinks of sunlight, and heartwarming, and how good it feels to laugh again.
And today, everything became a whole lot brighter.