‘Now,’ she says, ‘get me out of my head. It’s much too quiet here.’
‘Fine,’ I’d whisper, ‘where to?’
And she’d smile at me, with that smile of the kind of girl she is. That smile everyone must have seen at least once in their lives. The smile of the kind of girl you don’t forget too easily.
‘Let’s get out of this place,’ she insists, and looks around as if the room has suddenly shrunk. ‘I miss wild love and short stories.’
I know the things she misses. It’s the things that make her come alive. I’ve been watching her all night, taming feelings inside wine glasses, hoping for stormy weather. Chaos would be a good excuse to throw memories out to sea.
She is the kind that any sane man would get a pack of cigarettes with and run away to hell, tightly holding her hand. In the morning, she drinks coffee with milk in between white sheets, used books, youthful intentions; car keys, notes, clothes, dark, scratched walls. It’s the time of day when she believes in more than she can put her finger onto. At night, she turns hours into days, speeding through them like they were eternal. The soft white of summer and the cold of winter diving into her bones are the only ends of her world. All that’s in between – novels and paintings, nostalgia, street corners, red leaves, street lights, the moon, moving cars, people, breathing – is halved chances to get it right. The kind of girl she is; a time runner, from the grounds to the skyline and back again, like a racer for bliss, and beauty and beliefs.
‘Tomorrow I disappear,’ she confesses, and I know it’s because tonight has been much too heavy and silent with her. ‘I go explore the lengths to which life can take me. After, I can move slow and calm, like floating across heavens and night skies.’
She moves her head and I can see the jars with flowers she keeps on the light wooden window frame, next to a couple of empty glasses and a moneybox. A mug of hot chocolate is steaming at her elbow. Outside, the fog is still permeating the city. Her comfort zone looks warm, feminine and welcoming. She lifts her head up again, and looks back into the mirror.
‘You haven’t lived until you’ve lived like that, don’t you agree?’ she asks in a gentle voice.
‘It’s only October,’ I’m ready to answer. ‘You won’t find what you’re looking for during these months. It can’t shake your grounds yet.’
But I know that, just like in the morning she believes in life, at night she believes in better days. I am no one to disagree. Ah… it amuses me. I am no one.
After all, it’s high time she gets out of here. She hasn’t caught fire yet, and talking to me is unlikely to spark her.
But passivity isn’t what kept her awake tonight. She’s been thinking of trains and smiles and sunsets, and holding hands with beautiful strangers who remind her that sadness is overrated. I know, because she’s been talking to me the whole time.
‘All the things that I’m missing,’ she tells me, ‘make me want to find myself on the leather car seat first thing at dawn. I need another chance to live like that, like a second right to be born into this world. I’ll keep taking them, again and again, because I don’t see what else is there to do with this soul surplus I have.’
She moves one hand slowly around her neck, and wipes the steam off the mirror with the other. I believe we’re done here.