"I love you." The words came to me with such rapture. The letters had been tossed around inside my chest, sometimes they mingle with hate, fear, or anger, but love is what prevailed. As she stood before me with her pale blue eyes and powder pink hair I knew it to be true. But I had to ask, "Do you love me?"
She looked at me with sadness in her eyes. I took in the soft features of her face and I ached to hold her but I wouldn't touch her. Not until she allowed it.
"That's a stupid question Mel."
"Is it Kay?"
We stood under the overpass. The sound of cars overhead drowned out the conversations around us. Strangers in the night, in a dark place, looking to escape, or looking for shelter. I looked around taking in the mix of people who can only be called misfits in the best way. There was girl on the ground behind Kay, smoking a cigarette. She couldn't have been more than eighteen. About the age we were when first met under here. Two kids who thought they had it figured out.
"We are bad for each other. We were - "
I laugh a melancholy laugh. She joins in.
"We're so dramatic." She says, smiling.
"Fuck, I know." I smile back.
"But seriously..." Her smile descends into a grimace.
We stand there in a moment of silence until she takes the sleeve of my denim jacket and gently pulls me into her. Instinctively I place my hands on her chest, she wraps an arm around my waist and takes my face into the palm of her hand. Our foreheads touch, our noses mingle, our lips feel too far away. I want to close the distance, but I resist.
"We never talk." I say, attempting to cut through the thickness of the tension with reason.
"About what?" She asks while tucking a lock of hair behind my ear. I know what she wants and her voice makes me weak.
"About us. About our problems, how we can really fix them."
She finally pulls away with a sharp inhale. I already miss her presence as I watch her lean against the cold wall, lighting a cigarette. I think about how my therapist would be proud of me for standing my ground, too bad I can't say I felt an ounce of pride.
"Kayla, why did you come?" I'm starting to feel anxious. Nausea builds in the pit of my stomach. She doesn't respond. She watches cars go by with a blank expression. Eventually, she puts out the cigarette.
When her eyes meet mine I am holding my hands to my chest as if that will somehow quell my hammering heart. She squares up with me and takes my face in her hands and kisses me hard. I don't want to hold back anymore. Her chapped lips feel so good against mine. She tastes like fire and I wanted more. She pressed me up against the wall.
One time I while hanging out at a park in my childhood neighborhood with a friend, I told her that I loved to kiss smokers because there's something exciting about the way they taste. She said it's because I like to kiss people who make bad decisions.
Pulling away she finally says, in almost a whisper, "I came because I still love you."