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When Trying Hurts
It’s dark. I think it’s past midnight. My walk is cold and illuminated by the street lamps and window lights of the houses I walk by. I walk past the elementary school to the soccer field. She’s lying in the grass. She isn’t wearing a jacket.
“Here,” I toss her my sweater. She pulls it over her slim frame. The stars make her hair look like silver. She hands me a cigarette and lights it while I put it to my lips.
“Thanks,” she says as she lies back down. I lie down next to her. The embers of my cigarette briefly float into the sky like miniature stars. I don’t feel as cold anymore.
“Are you okay?” She asks, “You’ve seemed different lately.”
“I’m depressed,” I reply. Silence.
“Life is crap.”
“I’m alone,” I admit. I’m not usually honest. It feels weird. I see her blow smoke into the milky sky. I wish I could dissipate sometimes.
“You have me,” she says.
“No I don’t.”
“You know what I mean,” I tell her. I tap embers into the grass, wondering what they would look like as a fire. She doesn’t say anything.
“Do you think it ever gets better?” I ask her. She takes a long drag and slowly lets it billow out of her lips.
“I don’t know,” she admits, “I hope so.”
I feel tired. I feel the pressing on my heart that means disappointment.
“Sometimes I just don’t want to try anymore and I don’t know why,” I say, not necessarily to her. I breathe cold air to clean my lungs. I feel her head turn towards me. Her hand slowly creeps over to mine and holds it gently.
“I want you to keep trying,” she whispers, “If that means anything to you.”
I look at the sky and wish it had sucked her words straight into it’s abyss. Or do I? I don’t know. I turn towards her.
“Can you not be a lesbian,” I ask her, “Just for a little while?”
She smiles and a hiccup of a laugh escapes her throat. She turns towards the sky again and so do I. I look at the stars and imagine one of them has a planet captured in it’s gravitational field that’s just like this one, with the same people and everything, except that she’s not a lesbian and we’re together and I’m happy.
We fall asleep like that and I live on that planet for a night.