Sunshine In February

Time has always been my enemy. Whether there’s too much of it, or not enough, it has always found a way to inconvenience my life. Today, it proves that these special circumstances do not hinder it’s unwavering ability to torture me.

I’ve been sitting in Cisco--a computer programming class--for a mere half hour. To me, it feels like an eternity. I gaze absently at the screen before me, an array of numbers and codes streaming endlessly before my tired eyes. I know it all, and even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be processing the information.

I decide that this is the last place I want to be today.

Marco is sitting next to me. I haven’t spoken to him all class. Apparently this is unusual, as he finally breaks the silence by punching me in the arm, a deep-brown fist bringing me out of my comatose.

“Hey Anthony, what’s up with you? You look wrecked.”

I have to smile, because other than having another seven hours to kill, I’m actually better than I’ve ever been. My friends know me so well. “I’m fine. Just a bit tired.”

“Doing anything tonight? Kasey’s having another party.” Marco grins at me, with perfect white teeth between full, dark lips.

I groan in response, shaking my head. “No way, man. Not tonight.”

He seems surprised, and I can’t say I blame him. On any other day, I would jump for someplace to go on a Friday night, a party to mindlessly convene at. On any other day, I’d want to drink until I see stars and forget how time and space have troubled me.

But not today.

Today, there is no force on earth or heaven that would make me cancel my weekend plans.

Marco seems confused. I decide to explain.

“Grace is coming down today.” I say, my heart writhing in a giddy whirl as I say her name.

Marco nods a bit, still smiling. “Ah, I see now. Your e-woman’s finally showing up?”

I cringe. Marco has never understood the complex relationship I have with Grace… but I expected kinder words than those. “She’s not my ‘e-woman’.”

“Uh huh. You met her online, right? One of those Long-Distance Relationships?” he seems amused--too entertained by my dilemma.

I nod. “So what?”

“So, what if you guys have absolutely no physical connection? I’m not saying you haven’t seen each other, but you know as well as I do that seeing and feeling are entirely different things.” The hand gesture that accompanies this comment makes me want to punch him out.

Now I remember why I hadn’t opened up much about Grace to anybody around here; they don’t understand, they assume things… It’s happened to Grace, too. And because of cynical, intrusive people like them, we’ve nearly fallen into the hole our doubt has created.

I remain indifferent at this point, my lips forming a thin, hard line. “Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to find out tonight, now isn’t it?”

My tone sends him the right message, and he turns back to his computer.

I look back to the clock. Still another forty-five minutes until the end of class. To pass the time, I slip my headphones over my ears, pulling my Mp3 player from my pocket.

The soothing thrum of the cello in Flames cools my freshly-opened wounds and revived worries. It’s our song.

The End

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