Aria and Kenna
Each morning I wake up with her on my mind and pain in my heart.
At three, in the morning, we were still on the phone.
There was an emptiness inside me, and a sharp knife that jabbed the second I moved.
Our laugh echoed across the streets, heads turning to look at us.
Our crazy went a bit overboard, just a bit, but it was enough to make the ship sink.
The mornings were a warm bright glow, the summer Sun hot on our backs. The nights were infused smiles, the summer Moon bathing our dangling legs in silver as it rose up against the ocean. We sat there every night, at the very edge of the ancient wooden dock, our legs, up to the ankles, submerged in the water that slowly turned cold as the heat of the day bid it farewell, receding along with the sinking Sun. The Sun that slowly went down, very slowly, like it was just a drowning ship, a peculiarly glowing drowning ship. It touched the waves at the horizon first, brushing them, almost teasing them, untill it dived straight into their warm embrace. Some times we watched that too, with contented sighs and soft smiles.
Something else we did each day was go into the woods, at least that summer, we did it everyday. The woods, that were full of mysteries and whispers and the strong scent of Crepe Myrtles. Crepe Myrtles and Vanilla, pink and white mixing together in a beautiful hue, like fairy tales, like stories of lands far away. When it rained, the perfect drops of water sometimes lingered on for days at a stretch, shining like crystals, on their soft petals and when they finally fell, there were patters, small ones but they made their voice heard. Like there was some kind of tension about them, something they wanted to tell, to shout out, to warn, but all they had were their gentle pitter – patter.
Those days, we were always dressed in the same kinds of clothes, me in my mini skirts and tube tops, Kenna in floral sundresses. We didn’t go through the Crepe and Vanilla woods by night. We were always there by day, when it was happy, when the Myrtles and Vanilla carried the scent of joy mixed with their own intoxicating ones. We were kindred spirits. She pulled faces at dogs, I danced as we walked through the streets. We were wild like the breeze, like the ocean waves, wild and sassy, me more than her. But we were a package deal. We always had been, till. Till.
That day was like any other, the same scent of happiness, the Sun, the flowers and the butterflies, there were always butterflies in the woods, with wings in every color, decorated with every pattern one could think of. That day wasn’t like any other, below the scent of hapiness, there was another one, a stifling stench. With the sunrays, there was a slight darkness. In the flutter of the wings of all those butterflies, there was a tension, a slight one. Have you ever seen a family photo? A father with broad shoulders, a mother with a dazzling smile, a brother with a tousled hair and a sister with blonde hair, cascading down her shoulders like a waterfall. At first glance, they look like they are supposed too – giddy with joy. When you look again, there is a tension, in the set of the father’s jaw, in the mother’s smile, in the brother’s eyes and in the tilt of the sister’s chin. But when you look a third time, its perfect again. That kind of tension, barely detectable under its very glossy packaging.
That day was the end of the package, the end of us. We met, each consequent summer we were both there. But the tension, the tension was there too. When our eyes met, we quickly looked away. When we were left alone, we rushed away with excuses. When we were around people, we tried to keep our usual meaningless, crazy banter up and going but we failed because. Because. Tension. Tension, running like an undercurrent. We thought we could get past it, brush it aside, down under the carpet, be crazy again. We thought if we kept apart for a while, we would eventually fall back together. We thought if we didn’t break the silence, it wouldn’t let us break.
But we were wrong. It had come to wreck us, the tension.
People did notice, some more than others, but they never spoke of it. It was like a taboo. We grew apart, no we drifted apart like dreams floating on different winds, opposite currents. Maybe if they had spoken of it, we would have realized. Maybe if they had brought it out in the open, we would have opened up too, talked to each other. Maybe if it wasn’t so taboo, we would have cleared the air. Maybe if the wind was faster, it could have blown the tension away.
Maybe that summer – and all summers after – it was supposed to haunt us. The tension.