I saw you talking
to a good friend, voice carrying & filling the room, inflections fluctuating with your words. Dark-haired and dark-eyed, you were a mystery to me.
You were a hotshot. You were really going somewhere. I was staring at the armrests of dozens of chairs, at your shoes, at my own hands. I was too small to make a sound.
I saw you talking far beyond my reach.
I saw you walking
toward me — a beacon in the gloom, a pinprick of fire in the cold. With bright eyes and an infrequent but captivating smile, you caught me.
Too many thoughts crowded inside my mouth; all of them cowards, they preferred to hide beneath my tongue. My fingers tangled together. “Let’s get coffee,” you said. “Let’s talk. Let’s be silly, be serious, be brilliant tonight.”
I saw you walking just out of my reach.
I saw you standing
with arms spread wide and beckoning. They enveloped me — silver and indigo, velvet and sequins, milk & sugar dotting the night. A hand reached up to smooth my hair; I was starry-eyed.
“You could be everything,” you whispered into the wind. “My yesterdays, my today…” With your hand against my cheek and my heart climbing out of my chest, you gently kissed me. I waited to see if I could be your tomorrows, but all was silent.
I saw you standing just within my reach.
I saw you passing
me by the next day and the days that trudged behind. Sprawled across the bedroom floor, face bitten by the multi-colored carpet, I mumbled my “why” and “why not” to no one in particular.
The sun sank as one by one the lampposts came alive. Though I’d brewed myself a mug of tea, it had gone cold, and my stomach was too knotted to accept it anyhow.
I saw you passing without a word, without a second thought.
I saw you sitting
a few tables over, clearly lost in conversation, voice enthused and gaining volume at topics of interest. I spooned soggy cereal into my mouth, one bite after another, with head down and eyes fixated on the half-empty bowl.
Our letters are occasional these days; though they’re pleasant enough, they’re much too polite for my liking. Our sentences are strung together with cobwebs. No more of this “I love you” business — it’s grown stagnant in my heart.
I saw you sitting a world away.
Sarah Lucille Marchant is a Missouri resident and university student, studying literature and journalism. Her work has previously appeared in publications such as Line Zero, A Cappella Zoo, Straylight, and Burning Word.