Sometimes I wondered why people enjoying being alive. Really, life was just one big journey to death anyway. As the first week of summer was easing by, I was starting to question whether it was worth it at all.
When Willow called me up and asked if I was free, I decided it might do me some good to get some air. It was summer; we were supposed to be soaking up the city in through exposed skin. I should not have been moping about, wondering when things became so damn hard.
Willow and I had sort of clicked right when she'd showed up. I pinned it on the fact that we were both quiet. We both saw the beauty in a drawn out silence, and that made it easier to be together. But mostly hanging out with her made me feel guilty, because she and her brother were the only two people I knew with reasons to be so miserable. I didnt understand how they could muster a smile when their parents were dead, or why I cried myself to sleep over all the little things that would go away.
I pinned my bangs back with a black bow, ran my fingers through the straight strands. The blue stood out so well against the platinum blonde. The black around my eyes stood out so well against my pale face. And the damned slashes on my wrist stood out against the white skin even better.
A taxi dropped me at Enlighten, the cafe where Willow had suggested we meet. I thought about getting some coffee, but in the end I settled into the corner booth and waited. Watched the people as they passed. Wondered what they were hiding.
When at last Willow arrived, it was in a rush of perfection. The breeze toyed with her hair as she entered the dim lit room, and her cheeks were slightly rosy from the walk. She smiled when she saw me; I tried to do the same.
"Sorry it took so long," she murmured as she slid into the booth across from me. I only shrugged. "You look really good," Willow added. "How's your summer going?"
I didnt remind her it had only been a week. Or that I didnt have a life to begin with. "It's been dull," I said instead. "I did go visit Riley once."
Willow nodded. As far as she knew, we were friends. The hopeless romantic in her probably expected us to fall head over heels in love. I could never bring myself to tell her we were only pawns in each other's pain.
"C'mon," She said then. "Let's get out of here." I knew she only meant out of Enlighten, into the brilliance of the light, but no combination of words had ever sounded so good.
"Can you believe we only have a year left?" Willow was looking in every direction but at me, taking it all in with wide eyes like she did. I nodded in response to her, not really caring if she saw. I didnt want t think about school, not on the first week of summer. Not when the voice was reminding me that I could clock out whenever I wanted.
My friend must have realized I wasnt in the mood for talking, and so we walked on in silence, past the stores and the gossiping women and the teens sharing cigarettes. I could have used one right about then.
We were passing the Met on our way towards the park when I heard a deep voice shouting out. Doubting it was directed at us, I kept on walking. Only did I stop when I realized that Willow was no longer beside me, but frozen in her tracks. Her white blonde hair, almost the same shade as mine, hung flawlessly about her slender face.
Before I could ask what she had stopped for, a dark haired boy had approached her. Something struck me as vaguely familiar about him, but I just couldnt place it.
I thought about going to them, but decided to stay where I was. Because everyone needed someone sometimes, and I was in no state to be that person for Willow. Or anybody, really. So I plopped down on the steps of the Met, like so many before me, and I let someone else do the being there.