I was waiting for the bus today. I shared the bench with two older women. As if we were plucked from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, we sat, one old, one middle aged, and me, the youngest, accidentally chronological. A couple, slightly younger than me, giggled and kissed aside the plexi glass, deep in the throws of stainless love. She stood on her toes, bending her Nikes and arching her back as he earnestly parted her glossy curtains of brown hair for a kiss. They looked like a Pacsun ad, the couple in high school I both hoped would get married and/or die in a car crash on prom night, a modern day, pierced Bonnie and Clyde. My benchmates and I gazed longingly and thought, “how lucky are they” I could hear them think and I answered with a look of agreement. They won’t make it, I thought, the odds are against them.
I do not wish demise on an innocent teenage love, but it was tragically beautiful to imagine their fall while I waited for the V21.
One day, the girl would start feeling a something she “couldn’t quite put her finger on.” The feeling would creep, edge by edge, into the back of her mind. It would seep and ooze into their conversation, especially when it had to do with the future. *This feeling is later deciphered as doubt. His mother would call her “too-nice” and on a family vacation get drunk on mai tais and say “you’re not going to marry my son.” She’d feel threatened, but at the same time a sting of relief would hit her and she wouldn’t know why.
They vacation in Mexico and he won’t jump into the ocean explaining it’s too cold. She plays with the waves by herself and a salty tear rolls into the water. She decides she’ll never forget he wouldn’t jump.
They sign another lease, shakily. It’s been three years now. She meets a guy that works at a coffee shop under their shared apartment. She can’t help it, but when they speak she feels a burst of butterflies flutter around and eat at her insides. She fights it, but just ends up developing an addiction to their iced coffee and date squares. He plays Washed Out and Elvis Costello. He was so sure of himself yet unsure all at the same time, she loved that about him.
The boy drifts into his own version of doubt. Why doesn’t he accept he hates the beach and horror movies? He starts to realize she’s self-involved, too social, and changes her mind everyday. He starts to believe she doesn’t know what she wants and fears she may never know. He stops inviting her to rap concerts and spies on her social media. He doesn’t understand her fascination with the world around her and attributes it to her “trying to create an identity around her zodiac sign.” Her head is always in the clouds, he thinks, what ifs and how comes.
“Why do you like the coffee downstairs so much? It’s so strong.” he’ll say.
“That’s why I like it.” she’d reply, but it meant so much more.
The bus rolls up to us. He leans in to kiss her goodbye. She turns, we lock eyes, and I drop my purse. Everything scatters.
By: Allie Yazel