Wet Cigarettes

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I jumped back into the beat up truck, soaking wet and with a huge grin plastered on my face. I felt my heart about to explode out my chest, and I didn’t even care anymore that my eyeliner was running down my face or that my hair was a matted wet mess. Lionel got in next to me wearing a smile identical to mine. His sweatshirt was drenched, and he had grease all over his hands.  I brushed a dripping blonde lock behind my ear and pulled the hood of his sweatshirt off my head. We sat in silence for a minute and listened to the rain pound the roof of his car. Then I started laughing, so he started laughing.
I took a drink from the coffee that I had left in the cup holder. It was cold now, and buying it felt like a lifetime ago instead of three hours. He started the car and we pulled out of the vacant parking lot into the inky black streets. Him, me, I felt like we were one person, one being. I had never felt so intimately close with a person. He knew all of me, inside and out. And he wasn’t trying to distract me from myself. He knew and he didn’t care.
For once, it felt like the past mattered. The past mattered, and our silence was acknowledging that.
He was focused on the road, eyes straight ahead. But I didn’t have to focus on the road, so I stared at him, trying to memorize his every feature right in this moment, so I could keep it forever. His freckles seemed accentuated by the low light, and there was a drop of rainwater about to drip from his nose. His blond hair looked more brown from under his hunter's cap, and he held an unlit cigarette in between his lips. I flicked on my lighter and lit it for him. He held it tight in his teeth and smiled at me. I lit one for myself and blew the smoke out of my nose.
There was something beautiful about being with someone in total and complete silence and having the silence be more meaningful than anything you could say. Usually, I would equate silence with discomfort, like darkness but in sound. But like they say, darkness is a mirror. Emptiness is a mirror. And going along with that, our silence said everything I wanted to say to Harrison but was afraid to. And it was him saying it right back. It was everything, because it was, and it was nothing, because it was. It was like being inside a vast house you have never been in before in your life, yet it's inviting and familiar. Just like you were at home. That comfortable, safe homey feeling was what being with him felt like.
I trusted him completely. There was no place else I would rather be than soaking wet in that beat up truck. I took a drag on my cigarette. I smiled. He smiled.  The past still mattered, but the future mattered more.





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