T.ogether I.n the M.iddle of E.verything

Nature was their environment. Nature was the shared place between them where they bonded. The pressures and stress of society could only be alleviated by escaping to the outdoors. Many weekends did the two go camping together. He was a boy scout and she was mother nature in the flesh. He knew no other that could walk through the forest in a dress without dirtying it. His subtle personality calmed her anxiety. The apple trees around them still had ripe fruit. They found a place to sit near a pond. One builds a fire while the other picks leaves and fruit. She took a little dip. The apple juice started falling from her lips. His bushy top, oak skin, and tall body reminded her of a tree. Just by looking at him, he reminded her of everything she loved on the earth. She loved the flowers, the animals, and the trees. And this tree was her own. Nothing else could be better than spending time with each other in the world they loved. The sun fell. This made them reminiscence. Once he asked her if she loved the color of the sky. She could only smile and ask “Which one?”. He never liked humans; she might be a goddess. When he looked at her white skin, he did not see a pale tone, but something a little more holy.  The only clarity he received came from things he loved. He loved photography, poetry and all forms of art. For all this, she was his muse. If he found himself bored, often he stared at pictures of her and drew. Being a bad drawer, he only ever showed her once, but she could tell that his mastery of her face required practice.

They did other things than go on nature trips. Countless nights they listened to music on the rooftops of city houses. Calling out to the moon as if it was only ten feet away, howling at the sky for giggles. Ringtones they had set specifically for each other reminded them of these nights. Listening to Drake, they danced in the kitchen. Cooking up some brownies or another series of pastries. The smells that imbued their noses contributed to why they loved being around each other. Frequently, she stole his hoodies to think of him. He could become mesmerized laying against her chest, smelling her body, losing track of time. When they went skating in the winter parks, they held each other tightly as they danced around the rink. Late nights when their hearts ached, they knew when their phones rang, that could only mean one thing. Not everything they did had to be so romantic. For they could be happy on the couch eating chicken wings and fries. No, they did not need dates.

On the couch he looked at the scars from her past and think about their future. If she cut herself, he cut. As much as he tried to protect her, he felt that she had more strength in certain ways. He knew that she never lied, but she kept quiet about her problems unless he asked. Somehow, he always asked the right questions. They used to have fears of being unaccomplished and empty. Growing up to become a nobody in the world used to scare them more than anything. Being nothing was how they felt their whole lives. But they felt everything with each other.  She dreamed that one day they would wear matching rings. Time to time, thoughts of whether the kids they never had shared her features more or their father’s came to her. Thoughts of whether their love would wither through rough weathers came as well. His lovebird had her feathers ruffled in the past. The future held possibilities, but they saw more of a script. As long as the future involved each other, nothing else mattered. Memories of undesirable days deleted from their minds the more time they spent together. They saw the parents they always wanted in each other. His touch made her forget the undesired hands of others who had violated her body. Her first aid was he. Her soothing voice blocked out the thoughts of the scoldings he used to receive from his mother. His clarity came from her. They knew that they wanted to be parents together. They knew what they had wanted to name their kids. They knew more than anything that they could never become bored in the adventure that the other person gave them.

As they sat around the fire, the space that surrounded them slowed. Neither of them cared, but they did begin to notice. The grasshopper at her foot was evidently not hitting the  ground as fast on every jump. The flames of the fire did not as much dance, but simply saunter back and forth. They moved closer to each other and the seconds came to a crawl. The stars lost their twinkle and the leaves now teared instead of snapping under their feet. As time fell deeper into stopping, the two also fell deeper in love. The time they spent apart had never made them forget what was so important to them about the other. His curly hair. Her soft eyes. There was so much time for them now, he could count the freckles on her face without blinking. Every part of her radiated. She could see herself in him, literally. The two stared and the reflection of one another was visible on their corneas. Their gazes could not pull away. Both knew. If they embraced time would stop. He mouthed what appeared to be “ I love you” but sound waves travelled to slow for the ears proper interpretation.  Who cared about the rest of the world? They had been outcast their whole lives, so spending eternity with one another did not seem to selfish or anything less than they deserved. Their noses began to touch.  In one breath they only moved an inch.  While the world stilled, their minds raced.

They wanted to kiss.

– Miska Abrahams, The Haverford School, Class of 2017

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