Missed Chance

December 6, 2008
By , Jacksonville, FL
Shhh, let’s pretend it’s not us. Let’s forget that he loves me, let’s forget that I care about him.

Shhh, don’t remind me -- I’m getting hurt in protecting him from being hurt.

Hush, just wrap your arms around me, hold me tight, and whisper all my secrets back to me. We’ll pretend we can go on like this forever. But when I stop crying and fall asleep, your arms unweave from around me. You’ll slip out, through the open door, and when I awake, it’ll be too late.

Of course, we’ll still see each other. We’ll smile, go on like nothing ever happened. I’ll kiss him, press my lips against his harder than ever before, so that my teeth burst into agony and our faces become our face, the royal we.

You’ll see, and rush by, and I’ll reach out as if to catch your arm, but you’ll slip through my grasp, and swim away. He’ll hold me tightly, because he won’t know, it never happened -- except in our eyes.

You -- you’ll still be alone. You’ll look at the photo on your dresser, the old one that I hate, and bury your face in the stuffed panda bear that no one knows about -- but me.

Everything we had -- everything we were -- before this will be broken, smashed into so many little shards of mirror, reflecting images that we created, but never really existed.

We’ll try, try to scoop them up, the match all the shards back together, but our palms, our knees, our fingers will be cut, and try as we might, pieces will disappear, and the mirror will never be the same. The images will have scattered.

We won’t go on our tour of Europe. Our friends might go, with out us, the trip will go on as we had planned, back in ninth grade, when all this began. We’ll stay home, pack our bags for college, say any good byes that still need saying.

The photographs will hang in our old bedrooms. We’ll make new friends. We’ll forget.

And then, we’ll graduate. We’ll have new lives. New goals, new memories. Old memories. At night, we’ll cry ourselves to sleep, because of our missed chance.

And then it will come. A cream and gold stamped card, an invitation. One to each of us. We’ll go. We’ll see each other, we won’t recognize each other. Introductions will be made, and I’ll cry, and leave.

Our host will look at us, and you’ll stand there, with your champagne glass. You’ll come after me, I haunt you as often as you haunt me.

The mirror will still be broken, but it’s amazing what duck tape can do.





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