4/09/2013

And we'll be laughing about how we used to smoke.

 (picture taken from here)

It's nearly 10 o' clock on a wednesday night. It is summer and through my open window I can hear crickets and birds and our neighbours doing the dishes. My dad is in the next room watching TV and my stepmum is upstairs, getting ready for bed. I sit in my favourite pyjama top and underpants on the floor and paint my toenails a funny pink colour. I am fifteen years old, I have never been kissed by a boy and I don't own a single item of clothing that I actually like. When the doorbell rings, I guess it is probably one of the neighbours and don't bother getting up. A few seconds later my dad opens my door. "It's for you. It's a boy." This announcement is probably the most confusing thing I have ever heard, since I don't really know any boys, especially not the kind that just pop in to say 'hi', hours after dinner time. My dad is waving to the mysterious boy to come in, ignoring that I am only in underpants. Mortified, I grab a pair of tracky bottoms and put them on. The pink nailpolish ends up on their inside, smearing my legs so badly that I will have to pour half a bottle of nail polish remover over my knees to get it off. You enter, looking confused by all the fuss you created. My stepmum is shouting from upstairs who it is, my dad shouts back that it is a boy, here to see me. "At this time of night?" my stepmum cries. You look awkward. We know each other only because we live in the same, lousy village. All the kids from this village ride their bikes to school together every morning. You live about four streets away and you always wait for me in front of my house every morning. You are 17 months and two weeks younger than me, which means you are only 13. Which also means, that there is no chance in hell we could ever have something, anything, going on. Not when you are only in 7th grade, and I'm already in 9th. We go to sit outside my house on a bench. You are on your paper route and you say you just wanted to give me my paper personally. We both know that this is a buttload of crap. Nobody even reads the stupid village paper. My parents usually use it to line the litter box for the cat. We sit outside and talk until we both start to shake with cold. In a few weeks from now, I will witness a guy punching you straight in the face on the way to school. You talked about him behind his back, which is an unwise move if the guy you are talking about is known for beating people up for fun. But you are like that. And our friendship has an expiration date. You become a pothead. Just like every other boy our age, but you push it a bit further than they all do. Your grades go down, eventually you will have to leave our school. But even before that, you will no longer wait in front of my house. You have become too cool to be seen with the geeky girl with a bad fringe. After the summer holidays, we won't even say 'hi' on the school corridors anymore.
Years later I walk into you on the train. You don't notice me, maybe you don't even recognize me. I'm dyeing my hair black now, I have contact lenses and I wear nothing but band shirts, polka dot skirts and worn out sneakers. I have graduated, moved out and started at university. But you still wear your dorky turtle neck sweater and huge headphones. Someone we went to school with told me that you graduated and went to Argentina, where you met a girl and married her and you both came back to live in the lousy village my parents still live in. It is dark outside, so I can see your reflection in the window. You have your eyes closed and nod slowly in time to the music on your headphones. I wonder whether you are happy. You don't look it, but maybe you just had a bad day. And then I think back to the night, where we sat outside and told each other secrets and that short moment, when I thought that maybe now, now, you'll kiss me and hell will break loose and the stars will fall down and the universe will collapse. And about the seconds following this one, when you stood up and said 'See you tomorrow, dude' and you took your bike and rode down the street where the darkness devoured you.




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