Four Months

March 8, 2008
By Megan Tilley, Clearwater, FL

Four months. Four months, three weeks, two days, four hours and fifteen minutes, I’ve been staring at the clock, watching the hands slowly tip themselves towards infinity and away from the now. Does she worry that you’ve been staying up to late? Does she love the way you smile when you have nothing to say, running your fingers through her hair when you kiss her? I stand and cross over to the window, looking down at the busy street, tangled hair hanging in elf-knots the color of the ash from the gas lights down there. My breath fogged the glass slightly, as my eyelashes rest against my cheekbones, heavy like lead. I see a figure on the other side of the street, loose hair falling to his collar bone as he gazes up at my window, head cocked slightly. My knees break, crashing to the ground, my fingers trailing down the glass as I stare at you, your nose-lips-mouth-cheeks I know so well. I sit gasping, my hands shaking, pianist fingers twining together and apart, fragile as twigs. I watch you squint in that terribly endearing way, and turn away. No I breathe and struggle to stand; crying when I find my legs will no longer hold me up. Wait I scream at the window, but you're gone, slipping into the crowd like a ghost, beat up backpack slung over your shoulder. I crawl to the door, pulling myself by the handle, stumbling down the stairs, out onto the street. People stare at this half wild woman, white night gown too short for the weather, thin from lack of food, or rather, the lack of interest in it. I whisper your name, reaching out after you, another hand balancing me up against the brick wall. You turn slightly, your profile sharp against the shattering street lights as the glass falls around you, your eyes gentle, a small smile gracing those lips that taste like peppermints and cigarettes. No I whisper, clutching the wall, but its not you standing there anymore. It’s a stranger, alarm registering in his eyes, but before I can explain, he turns and walks away, his pace hurried, trying to get away from this person, this broken little girl, this woman in love. Scraps of paper float from my clenched hands, spinning away on the wind as it scrapes against my bare skin, tears smashing against the pavement as I sink to the ground, bruised, broken and battered. Remember when you told me that everything would be okay, that the sun would always shine on me? Remember when it was raining and you kissed me, saying I tasted like sunshine more and more every day? Your eyes were green like April. The calendar flew past faster and faster until you stopped it with a glance, the pages holding their breath at the beauty of your comprehension, your rough guitarists fingers sliding over the numbers, counting back a year and a half of stolen glances and a million of glow in the dark stars plastered on my ceiling. I watched you balance precariously perched on the step ladder, carefully applying tack to the back of the small stars before pressing them exactly where they belonged, explaining each meaning behind them. I fell asleep the night before you left, feeling you asleep next to me, arm wrapped protectively around my waist as I dreamed of a giant wave that washed ashore, dragging me in its depths as you rode the crest, flying far away from me. You should have stayed. Look where you’ve left me; crying and clinging to a dirty brick wall in the middle of the city. I love you, and this is come back to me, please.

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