It was a grey day, the sky no longer remembered the colour blue.
We walked home from school together, hand in hand. Tobias and Reggie trailing not too far behind, had their eyes on us, overprotective as always, never more than three feet away.
Zaryha and I sent furtive glances back at them, giggling whenever one waved. But my eyes were only for Toby, and his deep-set grey orbs, highlighted by a dark face framed by ebony curls. T-shirt stained orange from the Apple juice I’d spat on him earlier that day, obvious proof that I was crushing on him.
Zaryha nudged me in the ribs with the bony point of her tan elbow.
“Tobias is staring at you!”
I rolled my eyes. “And unicorns exist.”
Zaryhas hazel eyes narrowed, “FYI Unicorns do exist, and look!”
I turned to see his eyes trained on me and as soon as they connected with mine we darted our gazes to opposite directions. I felt warmth creeping up my neck and into my cheeks.
Zaryha grinned, white teeth adorned with rows of sparkly pink braces, “I told you so.” I hated those braces.
“Shut up,” but I couldn’t help smiling too.
By eight O’clock it was just her and I. Laying on the plush white carpet of my living room, and eating pickles straight out of the jar, pickles so green and sour, our eyes watered at the taste.
“I hate math so much,” I groaned staring at the multiplication and division worksheet, our teacher, the wild and misunderstood Miss Hall, who rapped out the instructions to our class of embarrassed students. I would miss her too.
“I love math,” The hazel eyed girl exclaimed happily. And she could say that, but only because she Aced everything, she’s the semi-practical genius and I’m the artistic dreamer. Two halves of the same whole. One soul in two bodies. Never ever meant to be separated.
“Let’s watch TV,” I shot up.
“Lets not, we have a test to study for.”
“And I have a Twitches movie too study, let’s multitask.”
“What does multitask mean?”
“Don’t change the subject with knowledge, thats gross, movie?”
“Fine, but if I fail, I blame you.”
Blame me all you want, I thought. A feeling of dread I’d been ignoring all day settling in my stomach, making me sick at the mere thought of Rhode Island. Or maybe it was just all the pickles.
The twins in the movie reminded me of how we were never meant to part ways, how we needed each other. The twins in the movie reminded me of the brown taped boxes in my bedroom.
Reminding me of how no one knew.
I shut off the movie.
“Why’d you do that? Turn it back on!”
I got up and turned around to face her, my nails digging so hard into the flesh of my clenched palms that I drew blood.
I closed my eyes, “I’m moving to Rhode Island in a week, and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you but I didn’t know how to tell you, because I knew you’d be upset!”
I opened my eyes to see her staring at me in shocked horror. Eyes wide, and silent.
No, no, no! Anything but silence! Yell! Hit me! Say something!
“What?” She asked. “What? What do you mean….you’re..leaving? We...we’ve known each other since we were....babies….before we were babies you can’t....when did you find out?”
I looked down, unable to bear the weight of her sadness, but even the carpet was reminding me of all the time we’d have strived to spend together had she known. “Two months ago,” I muttered.
The tears that brimmed her big doe eyes, spilled over. And I couldn’t live with myself, knowing that I was the reason.
A honk shook us.
“My mom’s outside,” she mumbled.
“Do you want me to walk you out?”
“No, I’m fine, you’ve done enough.”
I opened the door in silence and she stood there, lower lip trembling.
High tear streaked cheekbones accented by the bright orange glow of the street lights.The night had darkened her hazel's to a cocoa brown, and they were heavy with the threat of more tears. Her eyes holding everything that her mouth wanted to say.
But we couldn’t speak, because if we opened our mouths we’d sob until our throats ran dry as the Sahara. Then she disappeared inside her moms black car, never to be seen again.
The next saturday I woke, aching, eyes dry from the days of crying, it was moving day. All the boxes had been packed. There was no tape left untaped, no painted wall left with colour. But there were words unspoken, there were many, too many. A lifetime of words.
I walked to the car, soaked by the anger of the fierce and hot summer rain. I looked at the sky.
Do you hate me, too?
In the corner of my eyes something or someone moved and I saw Zaryha on the sidewalk, Toby and Reggie stood sullen behind her. The erratic pitter - pattering of the rain was loud but I heard her words clear as glass, and just as sharp.
“I blame you.”
We went our separate ways, and it rained, it rained for thirty days. Reminding me of the tears on her cheeks and scarring me with what I had to do.
Nine years of memories, and since then we've spent six years apart and I still still remember her like it was yesterday, and some part of me knows we would’ve of grown apart at some point. But it was still too soon.