" I wish I was older. I'd be free to do what I wanted. No one could stop me! I'd be able to buy a ticket to nowhere and go!", she whispered, staring at the sullen boy across the table. Daring him to debate.
He just smiled sadly, " I wish I was younger. If I could choose again, I'd go out with my friends, I'd stare up at the stars, dance in the rain, choose to love someone."
She stared at him a moment before lowering her gaze to the book on the table, " If I was older.. I could do something with my sacrifices. They'd mean something. My whole world falling apart wouldn't be something joked about. For what does a child know of life yet? My experiences are nothing but satire. You get to live life and people won't tell you how you cannot feel what you feel."
He chuckled coolly, " Of course, the grass is always greener. My world falls apart and no one is there, I have to take a day off- lose my minimum wage pay- not even a hundred dollars in an eight hour day. I take a day off to breathe just for the weight to settle, and down Sisyphus' boulder rolls. How can I fight to exist, when I'm told the universe, the planet, is fighting my being?"
She stared at the book for another moment, " I'm going to be told, it'll get better one day. You're already at one day. I'll get told that I'll change my mind. I'll feel better, it's not the end just the beginning."
" No, you won't. The scars will fade but you'll remember. You'll always remember. Enjoy it now, before it truly hits you how meaningless everything will be. Dance with your friends, have your heart broken, feel things. Soon, it won't matter. Soon no one will be there to listen. You will spend too much time in your studies, or you're friends will move away and you'll drift apart. You're heart will be too broken, you will be too unfeeling. You won't find that love you dreamed about. You won't be forever, you'll fall on the wrong side of the statistics, you'll be another number and mean nothing."
" I wish I was you.", she whispered.
" I wish I wasn't.", he sighed.
" I thought it was a dream. I woke up and I thought it was all a dream, but it wasn't I hadn't woken up. It's like when you stare at the sun, and blink and suddenly there are spots only in the dark. Where are those lights now? Why can't I see the lights? Why is it only dark in the quiet now?"
" You'll see, you'll light a candle, or open the blinds, you'll see again. You don't need to blind yourself to see the light.", he laughed, quickly wiping at his eyes.
" How are we going to face this?", tears beginning to fall down her face.
He smiled slowly, " Together."
" I don't want to. I want to be past it."
" I want to be before it, relishing the memories. But regrets won't get us any farther, or make it hurt any less.", he chuckled, wiping quickly at his face.
" Regret won't make this better."
" Sorrow won't make it either.",
" You promised, that it'd be ok. That'd it'd be better."
" I know." his voice cracking.
" You lied."
" I know."
" I wish I was you. I wish I was a better liar, I wish I could tell everyone to go away, I wish you'd stay."
" I wish I could stay too."
" Then why don't you?"
" You know why."
" If I were you I would be happy. You have me, you have a job, you make money, you get to go wherever you want to go."
" Now that's not true, I'm anchored to you. If I were you, I'd be enjoying my last bits of childhood, running in the streets, eating tons of sugar, asking out everyone I had a crush on, sleeping all night, and enjoying the last bits of summer before winter crashes in on me.", he replied, his tone teasing even as his face crumpled.
" You promised this time."
" I did, but if promises made were meant to be kept- they would never have to be promised. They wouldn't be so hard to keep, it's like asking flames to stay alive while kept in glass jars."
" You aren't a flame. You're a person. Promises are what we make them, if you build a bridge meaning for it to collapse it will! If you use stone, if you do what you say you will if you don't lie we wouldn't be here."
" I'm sorry."
" Sorry isn't enough in an empty house.", she shouted.
He leaned back in his chair, " I know."
" Do you?"
" No, but do you?"
" Fine, I promise. This time I will stay, I will look after you and I promise to never let you go again.", he sighed, his jaw tightening as he stared down at the book.
She pulled the book towards her slowly, disbelief filling her eyes, " You promise for real this time?"
He smiled, slowly laying a hand on her shoulder, " I promise sis."
The girl let out a ragged breath, tears blurring her eyes. She wiped them away, and like when the sun breaks through the clouds after a rainy night- he faded away.
The door opened a moment later, a gruff looking old man walks in, dressed cleanly in a suit.
She glowered at him for a moment, clutching the book to her chest.
" Excuse me miss, are you ready to read the last will and testament?"
She glowered at the gold lettered title of the book, the worn edges of the leather cover, " You know he gave me this book. He left it on my side table, like he knew he was going to die. He knew somehow, someway. And he left it, with a note. Can you imagine? He said, ' I know you won't understand, at least I hope you never will. I'm sorry I have to go now, I'll be back though. I promise, no more houses of straw this time it will be stone.' Too bad it was his gravestone marking his dead promises."
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