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You saw me first. I saw you smile and I tried not to run toward you but walked quickly into your arms. Your embrace soothed my soul.
I whispered your name. Mine sounded like a laugh; it was beautiful. But you seemed unsteady; like you were uncomfortable in such a public place. It was then when you asked me if I wanted to go somewhere.
“Sure,” I said, expecting nothing much.
We stood up and walked out of the library; into the hallway. We passed the bustling noise of the cafeteria and you led me straight into a ghost town.
“I love this hallway,” you said. “It’s so quiet when it’s empty.” Silently, I agreed. Quiet hallways were ghostly, like somehow one had entered another dimension. You opened the door and the squealing made it seem even more eerie, like it was telling us to turn back or we might never be seen again.
“Wow,” I spoke. You had led me to a secluded stairwell where I had never been under. You bent down to sit under it and I joined you, staring at the writing dated back to 2012. It occurred to me that this universe of its own had seen other occupants.
I spoke, the sound of my voice echoing. “Remember those paints I gave you?” I was referring to your acrylic gifts I had given you in the library.
“Yeah...” you said cautiously. “Why?”
“Can I borrow them?”
You smiled. “What are you gonna do with them?”
I took the red from your hand and dropped paint into mine. The fresh smell was infatuating as I smeared it against the wall and smiled mischievously.
You gasped as I took the yellow and squeezed it onto my index finger, rubbing it across the stairwell on top of the red to make a fiery orange. I was painting a sunset, I realized.
The blue was next. “For the sky,” I murmured. On my thumb I poured cobalt, but when I mixed it with the outer rims of the orange, it created a deep indigo.
“That’s beautiful,” you whispered. I crawled back from my masterpiece to see that the sun was painted on fire, and the sky reflected the embers burning bright on gray plaster stairs. There was a look of accomplishment in my eyes as we turn to leave, a graffiti artist and her partner in crime.
Just as we were about to stand up, the door behind us opened. I froze. Your eyes got wide and I mouthed swear words in silence. The door closed and opened again, revealing a set of black Converse I could see from where I was frozen in fear. We waited five seconds… ten… fifteen… twenty….
“We should get out,” I whispered, and you nodded. We crawled up from underneath the stairs and opened the door, the graffiti artist and her partner in crime.
“That was awesome,” you breathed.
“Well,” I said, “I guess you found someone who likes painting sunsets on stairwells.”
“I did,” you laughed.
The bell rang and we went our separate ways. It was then when I realized that the sunset was wrong, because the sun? The sun never really sets. At least, not in paradise.