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Tomorrow is the Most Important Thing. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I remember the first time I ever saw you.
It was just when the leaves start to change color from a fresh green to harvest orange, when they no longer grow on the trees but litter the sidewalks. You were outside walking trying to keep your hat on since the wind was really blowing today and I was inside tapping away at my keyboard trying to write down my personal thoughts so that I could possibly stay sane.
You walked in and I ignored you, annoyed that you had brought in the crisp autumn air that nipped at my nose and sent shivers down my body causing my toes to curl. The coffee shop was luckily always warm so I wasn’t too worried about freezing here in my seat. What I was worried about though was that my thoughts would pass before I could get everything down in time. My mind had a tendency of moving faster than my fingers could type and I would only get down half of my thoughts, and they would never sound the same way it did in my mind.
Like they were now. Reading over my paper I realized that my thoughts jumped from my personal feelings about my home life to you. I look up and watch you, standing there against the coffee shops cheap book case from Ikea. You’re staring at a picture hanging on the wall, your brows are furrowed while you analyze it but the rest of your body is relaxed. Your shoulders slouched; your fingers drumming against you pant leg to the music that plays through your headphones. I can’t help but wonder what a person like you would listen too; perhaps a soft jazz, a calming classical, or maybe even a hard-core rap. Something told me though you had all of those genres on your I-pod, that you’re mind changes so often that you can never really decide what to listen too.
The barista calls out your name, Kai, and you walk slowly to her smiling before taking your warm coffee from her hands. You drop a few coins in the tip jar and it echoes through the coffee shop like music. I tilt my head, wondering if I ever had such an impact on a person. You take a slow sip of your coffee, closing your eyes and obviously savoring the flavor.
You smile to yourself and pull off your hat revealing a head of shaggy black hair that sticks up all over the place. You turn and scan the shop, studying each table and their occupants before setting your dark almond shaped eyes on me. I look down embarrassed that I had been watching you this whole time and try to focus on my thoughts again, but they’re all swirled around you. Curiosity is pecking at my mind, telling me to look at you again. Look at you one last time before you leave the shop.
But you don’t leave. You walk over to me coffee in hand and a slight smirk on your face. You pull out the chair across from me and wait patiently for me to look up.

“Can I sit here?” You ask and I swallow fighting the blush that threatens to glow on my cheeks.

“Ye- yeah.” I say stuttering and pulling my belongings closer to me. You sit down and place your coffee down, staring at me with your brows up.
It takes a while for us to start talking but when we do we stay for hours in that warm coffee shop keeping each other company. I find my thoughts shifting from my past to what the future could possibly hold.

You make me laugh, something I haven’t done in a while and I make you blush. Our minds work on the same wavelength, your thoughts combine with mine and they grow together and I find that my fingers are finally able to keep up.
You teach me things that I never gave thought to before. I would usually stress myself out and focus on what the days in the future would throw at me. You showed me though that it was easier to take it as it comes.
You would tell me things like, “You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” or that “Tomorrow is the most important thing.” I would smile when you would play with my hair and whisper these things into my hair when I was hunched over my computer trying to get my brain to go.
I could always count on you to make things seem more beautiful and hopeful then they really were.
I remember the last time I ever saw you.

We were in your car driving home that night, arguing, something that we didn’t do frequently. We both knew we were being stupid, but neither of us wanted to back down. I was driving since you were a little buzzed and you would never get behind the wheel feeling like that.

You said something that really sent me over the edge and I looked at you, peeling my eyes away from the road. I wanted to say something just as hurtful so I could see the pain on your face. Our voices were loud, so loud we could barely hear your playlist of songs through the radio.

“Maybe we should end it then, if you feel that way about me then lets end it right here.” I snap at you and you sigh running a hand through your already messy hair. I bite my lip, your hair was always so soft.

“I don’t want to end things,” you said calmly as we continued down the dark road, “things like this can’t change over one night.” I looked at you again and I wish I didn’t.

You smiled at me, eyes dancing and my heart raced. Then we jerked forward, I saw the panic in your eyes. They were scared and I tried to reach for you but I couldn’t. Then there was nothing.

I woke up in a hospital bed, my head hurt and I panicked looking for you. I wanted to know why you weren’t there, brushing my hair back and trying to get me to smile. My mother was there in your place, she was brushing back my hair but it didn’t feel the same way it did when you touched me. My mother has tears in her eyes and I know she thought that I would never wake up again. I started to ask for you but my mother hushed me shaking her head no.
My heart pounded in my ears, she was lying. You weren’t gone. You couldn’t be gone. But you were, and it didn’t matter how many times I lied to myself, how many times I told myself that you would walk through that door with a coffee and a bagel for us to share.
I would listen to your voicemail until your family canceled your phone. I would sleep in your t-shirts and next to pillows that I dressed in your sweatshirts. I missed you so much that I couldn’t write anymore. I couldn’t sit in front of the screen and tap at the keys because I no longer thought clearly. I couldn’t think anymore without you.
You had been wrong. Things changed over one night.
I’m sitting here in our coffee shop, at our table for the first time since I lost you almost a year ago. The shop is the same, but I’m a different person. I could now keep my thoughts in order and I saw the world in a whole other way. I will always have you to thank for that.
The leaves are falling again, turning to their crisp orange and scattering around the sidewalks. The coffee shop door flies open and the wind tousles my hair, much like you used too. I smile sipping on my coffee, you were still here.
I could almost hear you whispering, “Tomorrow is the most important thing.”



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AnnaX This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm:
Hi, Wow, this was breathtakingly beautiful. I literally got goosebumps from this piece. I love it. You are quite the talented writer. Great job! :)
 
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