I was wearing a hand painted jacket that day. The sleeve said “be a light” and little flowers laced the cuffs. It was then that I knew someone was lying. There was no light and the daisies looked less beautiful than before. It was my favorite jacket but it was becoming itchy. All the loose threads no longer prompted stories, only a dreaded trip to the tailor.
In the next few weeks, everything was blurry. It was now spring, but I desperately searched for some trace of life, a new muse, or at least another jacket. Even the once magical landscapes screamed for someone to kiss away their dullness.
But it was the summer who taught me about romance.
I used to know a girl who would let the sun steep her tea. I noticed her sitting all alone and asked if she could bring me a glass of her sunshine, and when our fingers brushed together, she left the most lovely bruises. Her hands felt instantly familiar and we very soon became fond of each other.
I scavenged her for nature and necessity. I began to see her in bonfires and rain and she held my hand when we’d walk in the creek. We climbed mountains and I noticed her reflection in the streams. I think I even saw her smile.
I’ve been in love before, but this time was different. I didn’t have to guard myself from adoring her. She was in fireworks and red solo cups and she stopped me from kissing the boy in white nike sneakers. To my surprise, she was the normal I’d been waiting for.
And then we danced
Oh, we danced.
At first I was timid, but she assured me it was okay to fall into her.
It was one of those warm, cold nights where you want to go inside but the stars insist you stay. God, I wish you could have seen the sky.
She pulled me into a field and held me close. For a while we just stood there, admiring each other’s beauty. She kissed my fingers and told me that though the world was sick, somehow we’d be okay. Willingly, I believed her. She led me into a sweet spiral where images of surgical masks and that terrible jacket no longer haunted me. It was a dance I hoped could last forever.
Now, months later, every moment contains her. When thoughts of reopening get thrown further and further into the future, she reminds me of that spiral. Her lips feel the same on my fingers as they did that night, and she has vowed to reteach me our dance if ever I forget.
She is so close.
I’ve fantasized about kissing boys on my tiptoes, but she is my quintessential teenage dream.
When there is nowhere to go and nothing to do everything becomes grand. Midnight thoughts turn to pillow talk and you learn to find balance where rocks would lay flat. The grandest of all is when you can’t see people, you begin to see yourself. It takes a moment, but when souls are seen for all of their tainted brilliance, you’re able to see that they are good.
We are good.
The world is still sick and littered with attempts at change, but she holds my hand when we walk in the creek, and for now, that’s enough.