Can't seem to think of a title...
“See you later,” she said, but what I heard was the damning finality of “goodbye.”
The first time we made love and I approached climax, she pushed my face away from her neck.
“I want to hear you the way the room does,” she gasped.
I asked her one day.
“How can I not be happy?” she shrugged. “Life is good. You need to remember that!” She kissed me on the nose before sweeping off to one class or another. “See you later!”
Never goodbye. That word wasn’t in
“She takes up great handfuls of life and flings it into the air,” one of them said.
She’s dangerous, because not only can you fall in love with her, you can really like her.” “
I’d thought so too once, before I lived with her. With that perpetual cheeriness.
“I can tell
“She’s fine,” I answered.
“I know. She’s always fine. But trust me,
“I support her.”
“Of course you do.”
“You don’t have to tell me about supporting her,” I said.
“Of course not. Is she there?”
“No. I’ll tell her you called.”
“Who was that?”
“That was your father. Your mom just…died.”
The light went out of her eyes while her smile froze. A little noise came from her, and I watched her expression collapse into grief, like a bridge under too much weight. She sank to the floor, sobbing.
I stood watching her. The words had come out of my mouth before I thought about them. I wished I’d just backhanded her instead.
The phone rang again. She leapt up before I could stop her.
“Jeeeennnnnny,” she cried into the receiver. “Mom…Mom’s gone…”
I took a deep breath.
“Mike just said dad called and told him…” she turned her face to me. “What do you mean…?”
Her face changed. Her tears stopped.
“Mike’s got a weird sense of humor,” she told her sister. “I’ll call you back.”
“I…I’m sorry,” I said. “I…I…I don’t know why I—”
I didn’t know that was in her vocabulary.
She left everything behind. Thought it was tainted, I guess. Unimportant.
I’ve kept it all; books, clothes, shoes, makeup. She traveled light. Everything fits into twelve cardboard boxes.
Four and a half years later, I saw her on the street. I couldn’t help but stare. She seemed perfect, absolutely perfect, sipping on her iced tea in the neighborhood café.