We both lay beside each other in contented silence, backs on the sun warmed tier boards. Her eyes to the sky and the sky in her eyes. Mine were on her. They couldn’t help themselves as her flaming coppery locks stirred lazily by the cool salty breeze. Not for the first time I wondered, but I dare not ask, why me. I was nothing special, anything but. Paperboy in the dawn shivering my behind off in the biting morning mist, community collage during the day and gas station attendant at night.
Not enough sleep but I had to scrap what I can to save up. So that I could run. Run away from the sneering privileged clowns who feel as if they own the very dirt you walk on because their daddies were rich. Run away from the indignity of being born of … of … I swallowed, no I mustn’t go there. Time with this stunning, living, breathing enigma was to be treasured, not be wasted on dark, useless thoughts. She was my enigma, no on else’s, I smiled to myself. A secret I held close to my heart. But then she had secrets of her own as well, one of them I came close to understanding this very morning, the discovery chilled me to the tips of my toes.
“A penny for your thoughts,” she said softly, a chime really, looking straight at me for God knows how long. I had been staring at her but not looking, but she saw. Oh, this woman saw everything it seemed.
“Stray thoughts. Nothing really.”
“But you looked angry … and sad then you were smiling. Come on now, tell me, you always tell me everything,” she pouted her full pink lips but she got serious, “you’re not bipolar are you?”
God, she was beautiful. I laughed but my throat burned.
“No, I’m not. It’s … it’s just things I remember, things I can’t even talk aloud by myself. I can’t, but I tried so many times in my head to tell you but the words always come out wrong …” I trailed off. And I’m scared to death you’ll never come back, I left unspoken.
“Oh,” her green cat’s eyes were sunbeams that shone with warmth through my soul, or what I felt was my soul. It’s a silly notion but it was nice to have such intense attention focused on me by anyone but especially by her, the Sunday Girl.
It’s true what she’d said, well not everything, but I told her a lot about me and I never in my twenty years could I believe I’d share so much with another human being, albeit a strange one at that and maybe that was why, because she was so different from anyone I’ve ever met. Generally with people you could clump them together and label them as uncaring, pretentious, sincere and well-intentioned, etc, not exactly stereotypes but they all have a similar bearing.
But my Sunday Girl, she’d listen and not say anything until I finish. She’d take my words that were floating in the air between her fingers one by one and look at them and then look at me with a soft gaze, one I had prayed that she never show to another man, and tell me what she thought. Somehow she’s always found a way to make my faults seem less of a burden and more like little odd gifts that only I had. And like now, she’ll only push so far to get me talking and let me be if I won’t. She didn’t judge me, just accepted and that was why I find it hard to believe she even exists at all.
But this wasn’t the only bit that puzzles me about her, there was something much more strange. Sunday Girl only showed herself to the sleepy mazes of Trinton only on Sundays, that’s where she got the name but I knew her real one. No one has seen her on any other day of the week, even me. The one time I’d ask where she came from she became distant and only said “Oh, just somewhere far from here.” I never asked again.
When I finally save up enough money and graduate, that being not long from now, I wonder if she’ll meet me again where ever I’ll be by then. It scares me that she mightn’t. What if I don’t leave after all? What if I stay in this damned town just for her? Would we even have a future or will I succumb to her spell and wait for her every Sunday of my life onwards?
Someday I’ll build enough courage to ask her all these and more but as I now stand here on the roof of my house overlooking the bay an hour after we parted once again, I just looked. Looked at her silhouette against the fading sun as she perched on the end of the pier boards, as she extended a long shapely leg, letting her toes skim the high water and step onto the surface as if she’s walking on the ground. I just looked as she descended into the gently lapping waves blazing with the colours of the sunset. And looked as her fiery hair disappeared into the depths from which she came from each time, each Sunday, the day I only lived to see.
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