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Science and Speculation This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I remember in kindergarten when boys were the devil’s spawn. During playtime you dared me to eat a handful of crayons, and I turned up my tiny little five-year-old nose at you. “Darers go first,” I said to you, and even as a kindergartener you had an ego the size of China, so you did. I came with you when Miss Kim called the ambulance and had you rushed to the ER. You grinned up at me from the stretcher with your slightly too-big front teeth covered in multicoloured crayon wax.

“I did it,” you said triumphantly, and I decided then that maybe you were alright and I gave you a big high five.

And from then on, we stuck together, although Miss Kim took extra care to make sure you were never within a five-metre radius of the crayon box. That was okay, because I liked drawing pictures more than you did, anyway. You went and hoarded all the building blocks and constructed my crazy-looking skyscrapers.

You were the Engineer and I was the Artist, and together, we were the Architect that couldn’t be brought down.

Maybe our eventual downfall started in high school. Maybe it started even earlier than that, but by senior year, the differences were clear. You had a 4.0. I was barely keeping my head above the water. And even though we both ended up going to Boston for post-secondary, everybody knew that you were going to make it farther than I was.

When God or the Creator or whoever you want to say made you put your blueprint down on paper, you were all clean lines and clear assembly instructions.

But when it came my turn at the drawing board, I turned out blurry like unfocused negatives, sfumato where your straight edges ended.

You were always so good at measuring out your life like it was a chemistry experiment. You knew the recipe was foolproof because you were the one who designed it. Several teaspoons of good looks, a few generous ounces of intelligence, a pinch of good luck mixed together with an infinite quantity of hard work and clear intent.

I painted myself into a half-finished fairytale while you went and lived one.

You were Reason and I was Irrationality and theoretically, according to the world that included you, it would never work.

There was a white picket fence on your roadmap and a perfectly curved driveway that led to the double garage of a big house in the suburbs. You would have it custom made with clean lines and clear assembly instructions, and it would look like it had been pulled out straight from a magazine. A golden retriever would wait patiently at the door every day for your kids to return from school.

Long before we departed, the coordinates of your destination had already been hardwired into your brain, but I guess somewhere along the way, the protractor broke or something and your life just went off the page. Those two-point-four kids never happened and your perfect, blonde debutante wife called for divorce papers not long afterward.

Somehow you wound up at the doors of the bar where I perform every Friday and Saturday night. There, I wrote the long, sweeping melody lines and ostinato basses that told our story and were reused to tell other stories, since ours never really belonged in a movie theatre. I spent my nights alone.

I never ended with a perfect cadence. I always left a question unanswered, a chord unresolved. Because of the just-maybes.

That night was the first you spent in my apartment. I remember how you stared at the peeling finish on the mismatched wooden chairs around my tiny dinner table and at the curling edges of my cheap wallpaper. There were circles left by mugs on the coffee table, and my paint-stained t-shirts were lying all over the place. The place smelled like cheap vanilla tealight candles with undertones of blonde roast coffee beans.

You were Science and I was Speculation, and they never really could pull us apart.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Katy-KatThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 10 at 7:29 pm:
Amazing!! :D It really paints the picture of an unlikely, yet beautifully made relationship. :3
 
the-unrehearsedThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 10 at 11:40 pm :
Thank you, friend! I'm so glad you liked it :D
 
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