all of the pieces.

Prompt #2: Ten years from now, you meet up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a decade. Write the conversation you have. 

I looked at her and all I saw in her face were the sharp edges of vowels and hard marks on the angry flourishes of her words. My teeth were iron, unclenching just enough for a smile to escape the corner of my lips. The letters turned into phrases, flashing in red and snaking between us, the silence of a decade solidifying into a stone in my throat.

“Hi, wow, how have you been?” she asked.
“Hey, um great. Things are great. How are you?”

She nodded, jutting out her chin, undoubtedly wishing that she had taken a different path, left five minutes earlier, stayed home for breakfast altogether. “Things are perfect. I’m exactly where I want to be.”

I felt a familiar stab in the spaces of her words, the ever-present grandiose dagger of her tone being held over my back once again. “That’s awesome. I’m happy for you, happy you got to live your dream.” I wasn’t entirely innocent either. My words were green and foggy and so heavy they sank to the floor. My eyes glossed and the instinct to put my hand on my stomach gave me the strength to pull me from the past. She didn’t know how much she had broken me. She never saw the crack in the glass that she had left behind. There were so many things to say, amends to make. “I wish–”

“So, what’s the baby’s name?” she interruped, a shaking breath rattling from her mouth. Her eyes were glossed too. I told her and she smiled, no iron. The words were still there but they had begun to dim.

I wanted to be brave. “Would you like some lunch? I was just going to grab–”
“I’m actually on my way to a meeting. Maybe some other time?”

“Yes, of course. You have my number. It…it was good to see you.” She nodded again, her hand clenching the strap of her purse. There wouldn’t be another time. We both knew it. The damage was done. We said our awkward goodbyes and walked in our separate directions and I fought to keep moving forward.

That night, I found a picture of us from a cardboard box and cried. I knew she was more stubborn, more brave than I was. She wouldn’t do this. She didn’t live with breaks in the glass. She just bought new glass. But a part of me hoped that I was still there; a speck of a dust of a memory clinging to all the good things we lost.

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