Consequential

She sat across from you, the whole room flooding with the fluorescent bulbs you put in. She looked like a girl from childhood memories. The ones of the first time you tasted fancy lip-gloss. You look like you, except your two bottom teeth are snaggled from opening beers at parties and you haven’t shaved in a day or two.

The room feels comfortable and safe. She still has your phone number, so that’s a good sign. She still cares. It’s hard not to when you both shared every secret for 8 months.

Your longest, her shortest, but most meaningful.

You held her when she cried about one of aunts getting sick. You let her go to the funeral alone (at her request), but instead of lying around or calling up friends, you cleaned and made dinner for when she got back. She said it was the kindest thing anyone had done for her. She would never deny this at any point in her life, even after she had dumped you and shacked up with that guy you saw briefly at a party.

He had run up to her, picked her up and laughed. This all happened quickly, and when he put her down, he walked away into the rest of the room and disappeared among the bodies. You never brought it up again because drunk girls you used to hook up with would run to give you full-body hugs and dash away. So it’s basically the same thing. Except, it only happened to her this one time to her verses the dozens of times girls would hug you.

She never complained about the girls, but you couldn’t get this feeling out of you. It started small; first in your chest, then worked its way to your stomach getting larger and larger until it was all over your skin. You started dodging hugs from drunk girls, but she still didn’t say anything.

Two more months passed and –

“You said you wanted to show me something?” she said gently.

You remember that you’re the one who called her. That this is still your apartment. That it is raining outside. “Oh, yeah, wait here.”

She does.

You live in a studio, so there’s nowhere else to go. You don’t see her check her watch while you’re looking for the prism you bought. She’s already been here for a silent 30 minutes.

“Here! Look!” You’re frantic now, for whatever reason (or maybe you always were). You pass the prism into her spindly fingers and smile expectantly. She looks lost. “Do you know what it is?”

“A pyramid?”

“No, it’s a prism. You hold it up to the light and –

“That’s great, but I need to go now. I have dinner plans
with – ”

You remember then that it was you who broke with her for this same reason. She never wanted to stop and look at anything she thought was benign, which overlapped with anything you liked.

“Alright…well, thanks for coming.”

She handed the prims back to you and rose from her seat. She was the same outline of the woman you loved for 8 months, but is filled in with a different color. It’s beautiful, but is clashes with yours. It clashes with your whole house.

You walk her out and the rain is just drizzled now. The clouds have parted enough for a little sun to come through.

You wave goodbye to her. She has a car now. You watch her drive away until she is gone.

You hold the prism to the sliver of sun and see a rainbow appear on your shirt. You think this is beautiful and you start to radiate a warm feeling all over.

This was the first time you both have spoken since you told her you could feel her slipping away. You stopped catching the fleeting moments of her affection. You let her go, still loving her – missing her.

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