Once my popsicle was gone, you admitted something to me. You stared across the road, off towards the horizon, where the yellow tops of corn met the grey haze of the sky. I don’t like it when people cry, you told me.
It seems insignificant now.
I sat and thought, watching the vanilla-blue popsicle die in your hands. The concrete was hard beneath my skirt. I swore, inside of myself, that I would never cry in front of you again. The violins started to fade.
We went home, each to our own houses. Yours was the blue, with the picket fence, and mine was the color we always debated about. You swore it was yellow, but I was sure it was white.
It must have been the only thing we disagreed on.
My memories of you are summer. School didn’t exist for me: it was empty space until I saw you again in those afternoons.
The summer a few years after that was the important one.
We were playing Robin Hood. We just ducked behind a fallen log in the woods on the other side of town. We could see our bikes, just beyond where King John’s men were sure to be searching for us.
I pulled myself down from looking over our bark-covered cave. Maybe it was a hole. I can’t remember. I looked at you, and you were staring at me. The world of Robin Hood dissolved around us like snow.
The violins rose to the foreground.
What? I asked you.
I’m eleven, you told me.
I know, I reminded you. So am I.
Just like that. A bomb was dropped, like the one on Hiroshima a year before we were born. I was blown, full-force, out of my perfect world. I was hurtling through the unknown. Everything stopped, except for me, rocketing through time and space like a meteor to its final end.
My voice was detached. I could hardly hear for the violins.
Tomorrow, you said.
Then your hands were in my hair, and our lips were together, and you were kissing me, and we were on the big screens we would spend our nickels and dimes to go see every week, and there was such a thing as magic, and the world dissolved around me, and nothing mattered any more. The only things that mattered were you and the violins.
The only things were you and the violins.
I collapsed, and you fell with me, into the leaves. We lay there, staring up at the world past the leafy branches of the trees. Your arm was under my head, and I was aware, aware of everything. I was aware you had just taken something incredibly special from me, but I didn’t care. It was you. You were there, and the violins.
I imagined that the sun was shining.
We didn’t say anything else. Words were nothing to us. The violins would never fade. I felt so much.