Inspired by Anberlin's song Inevitable. It'd be neat if you felt like giving it a listen while reading, but you don't have to. Enjoy~
I always heard violins. When we sat on the porch, or ran in the rain, or made a fort in the back forty, they were there, in the background, almost haunting. If I strained to listen too long they sent shivers up my arms, and all of my hair stood on end.
You hear them? You’d ask me, grinning your gap-toothed grin.
Yeah, I’d tell you.
Then you would laugh. Ignore them. They don’t matter. You were so certain, so sure, I almost could have sworn you were right. There was something inside of me, deep in my gut, that kept me from agreeing. A dark mass, sucking some of the assurance out of me. I ignored it, like you said, and we kept digging in the dirt, looking for worms, maybe, or a snail’s shell.
They never left—at least, they never left while you were there. But I didn’t always listen, when you stared at me from behind your big glasses. I was fine and they faded into the background when we chased imaginary beings through the underbrush.
Maybe I should have listened, after all.
We were the perfect pair: I can still remember. You, with your tousled brown hair that never laid the way you wanted it to. You were vain, always playing with it, but no matter how self-absorbed, you wouldn’t let go of those huge glasses that you had. I told you they made you look like a bug, but you just sniffed at me. Get out, Lilian, you said. You never called me Lily, like other kids.
I thought that was special.
I was scrawny, with limp hair the indefinable color of sand. My wide eyes watched you like those people must have watched Jesus, taking in everything about you: the freckle on your right ear, the gap between your teeth. Everything about you, I watched, I craved, I memorized.
Our neighborhood was small, and we were the only kids. It was always wet and dismal out, but we didn’t notice: you were so marvelously brilliant about everything, and I was so perfectly adoring and accepting. We rode by the old folks, reaching out to touch their mailboxes as we whirred by on out bicycles, waving and calling each of them by name.
I still remember that time you bought me the ice cream. We were riding, zooming, with the world but wonderfully above it, beyond it. We were soaring.
But I had to come down. I wasn’t as good as you, not ever. I had just pulled my hands from the handlebars, mimicking you in all of your adroit majesty, and then I was tumbling. The bike collapsed, and I was falling, falling.
I screamed as I skidded across the pavement. My hands were tearing, the skin flaking off onto the hard, unforgiving ground, my knees catching fire from the momentum. The bike was under me, around me, somehow. My ankle hurt.