HARMONY: (To Lizzie) Oh, so we’re done with goodbye now, huh? You know what? I’m glad. I’m glad I don’t have to hear your whiny little high pitched voice, pleading like a 6-year-old, wanting me to listen to you and your soap opera life! I don’t care anymore Lizzie! I never cared! (Beat.) Fine! Leave! See if I care!!! (Lizzie exits.)(Beat.) We didn’t always used to be like this. We were inseparable, Lizzie and I. Her brown curls would intermingle with my straight blond locks as we walked everywhere, hand in hand. Her hands, they were so warm, so strong. I loved their feel against my own small, always cold, ones. Her hands were a living paradox. They felt soft, but were callused. They felt warm, but never sweaty. They felt like a promise, to never let me go, to hold on to me forever. They felt like that, even as she let me go. (Beat.)She was like a hummingbird, always moving, never really caring where she was going. Her smile was like a thousand rays of sunshine, and her eyes were a deep emerald green. When they looked at you it was like they could see everything, every wish, hope, dream, and it was like they were promising you that it would all come true someday…you couldn’t help but follow her. I couldn’t help but follow her. (Beat.)What happened next though, I’m not sure you can really blame it on either of us. She blames me. And maybe she’s right, maybe it is my fault, I don’t know. What I do know, is that somewhere along the way, she became more than a friend to me. I used to smell her everywhere, her sweet lavender perfume, mixed with cigarette smoke from her brothers, and that smell that I could never quite place, something sad but hopeful at the same time. Something I thought was love. I smelled her, and I thought about her. I thought about the way that she looked when she drew, hunched over her notebook without a care in the world. I wanted her to look at me the way she looked at those drawings. But, it was clear that there was no way I could ever compete with them. Which is why I was surprised, I guess, that day on the beach. I was soaked and drying off in the sunshine, when I saw her face above mine. I felt her lips touch my salt-stained ones and I tasted her for the first time. I tasted the salt from the ocean, and her peach chap stick, which actually tasted like peaches, and a slight hint of peppermint from the gum she always chewed. But, just as soon as it started, it ended. I sat up and looked at her, our eyes asking the question that neither of us could say with our mouths. Is this ok? I answered. I brought my lips to hers, and we stayed like that for a while. Well, a couple of months to be exact. Until she stopped. She stopped waiting for me in between classes; she stopped walking with me, talking with me, looking at me. She stopped loving me. Or at least, that’s what she said. But I saw the way she reacted when people looked at us. I saw the way her lips curled into a place between a kiss and frown. I tried to ignore it, but I saw the way her deep green eyes stopped looking at me, and started looking at the thousands of eyes staring at us. I heard the way her Mom talked to her, talked to me. Her rough and scratchy voice saying words neither of us ever expected a mother to say. I felt the way her hand slipped out of mine, when we were in public. Her hand would find something to do, sit in her pocket, fiddle with her phone, anything but hold mine the way it used to. My hand felt cold, and empty, without hers in it. I smelled the cigarette smoke, its intoxicatingly sweet and equally noxious fumes, and I knew that the smoke wasn’t from her brothers, not anymore. I tasted it, the last time she kissed me. A bitter, angry taste that made her pull away quickly. “I’m sorry,” she said as she disappeared. That was the last time we said anything nice to each other. Now, our bitter words and angry insults can be heard across halls, and down streets. We say everything but the one thing we want to. Everything except the one thing we know is absolutely and utterly true. We say everything but (Beat) I love you.
Missing Her: A Monologue
August 25, 2011