owed;

October 29, 2012
It’s been a while.
“Hey, hey! I have your ten bucks!”
She looks a little tired, but you don’t blame her. It is the busiest time of year, but it’s kind of scary the way her eyes sink into her skull. She’s smiling too, but it’s stretched a little too tight around the corners and you think of an elastic band, the curse of versatility, the moment it trembles slightly and shrinks, just a bit, before the tiniest fissure appears and the ends fling out, the price for never realizing you were too small to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
She presses the wrinkled bill in your hands, and you can’t help but remember—two little girls chasing each other around a collapsing fort and whispering promises of forever, scratching out mismatched scribbles on printing paper and dreaming of worlds they would never travel to, the stars in their eyes and forgetting that when people say that dreams can come true, nightmares are dreams too.
You want to say something. Are you okay, maybe, or I hope you’re fine. But your throat closes in because the gap has grown too wide, and you’re just not sure if you can jump that far.
So you settle for a sad little smile, a “Thank you,” and when your fingers grip the bill too hard you hope that she knew that you were trying to say, “Things will turn out okay.”





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