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Fiction

“It’s been months and I’m still cleaning the last of your confetti—confession, I can’t recall every detail of us but I do remember how happy you were to celebrate.” 

I put my pen down and turned to the bedroom window towards the singing of the piping plover sitting on my sill. It was another humid day in August and I was melting off the side of my sheets sifting through memories of you. I thought of how you never got to meet the poet in me. And who's to say I'm not a writer despite the fact I've never been published? And who’s to say you won’t one day stumble upon my poetry book in a bookstore near you. Perhaps you’d take pride because most of my work is about you. 

I daydreamed of you roaming the shelves and seeing my name on the cover of the book. And I wondered if your heart would pause a moment off the sight of it. I shortened my name, you know. Do you know? I am not known as what you once called me. Perhaps I like the idea that if you were in my life, you’d call me by my full name. And it’d demonstrate the difference of who knew me when and for how long. 

“Celibate since you unclothed me, you left me bare and I can’t bear to see pictures of you without me. 

Crazy—kinda crazy how you loved me and I was throwing confetti like our party would never end. 

Partly, missing you. But that’s because I don’t clean the house everyday and you’re still stuck to the walls.”

A thump on my window whisked me away from between the lines. I thought I would hide there for the remainder of the day but my best friend Juju had other plans. I jumped to the window and yelled to her that I wasn’t home. 

She was holding a poster and markers. I was in no mood for her shenanigans. 

“I’m putting Jasper’s car up for sale, let’s go.”

Jasper was her ex. He left her a voicemail two weeks ago that he no longer saw their relationship in his future. 

“What the fuck is that? Did he get a psychic reading? Pull a fortune cookie? I no longer see our relationship in my future. Are you kidding me?”

“It’s pathetic. Poorly executed.” I expressed, when she picked me up the night she got the missed call. 

I wasn’t the type to chase a man. To get him back—revenge or romance-wise. But if my best friend pulls out a poster and says we’re plastering it on her exe’s car on this sunny, sweltering summer day, then I must oblige. 

“I was writing.” 

“Oh good. Me too. What do you think?” 

She lifted the poster that read 

‘FOR SALE PLEASE CALL’ 

“Wait, you actually put his phone number on it?!” I partially laughed. 

“You think anyone would want his piece of shit car?” 

“At least he has a car.” 

Juju was vibrant, fun and care-free. She held her anxiety like you hold your breath in a pool. When she felt she was drowning she’d impulsively come up for air. And this poster was her taking a breath. 

“Let’s drop the sign off, then go for a drive. We need to get out of the city for the day. I’m so sick of being here.”

She was rushing her words like she often does. But it was a relief to not have to be the one to fill the space. Do you ever feel like you have to be the one to fill a quiet room? Before anyone can question you. Perhaps if I talk enough about nonsense no one will realize they know absolutely nothing about me and how I’m feeling. 

I should probably work on my control issues and inability to let people in. But that’s for another day. Today we’re driving away. Summers are for escaping, after all. 

I reclined in the passenger seat and turned to face the sun. I closed my eyes and snuggled into the warm rays. Juju wasn’t one for silence so it wasn’t long before I was pulled out of my sun gaze. 

“I’m going to text him.” She nodded her head in affirmation. “I’ll text him the picture of the poster on his car and see how he responds.” 

“Do you really want to hear from him after his immature actions?” 

“I just want him to respond and then I’ll ignore him. It’s not about getting the last word—”

“It’s not?” I interjected. 

“I personally just prefer to be the one who does the rejecting.” 

I laughed. “I don’t believe anyone is out here existing with the thought ‘I love getting rejected.’” My sarcasm was showing but Juju was always one to keep up. 

“Rejection is protection.” She rolled her eyes and we both laughed. 

“I wouldn't want you to put yourself in a position that may hurt you...further.” 

Juju carried her spirit lightly, no matter how heavy she felt, she seldom let it show. 

“It’s just a joke. I’ll send him the picture and he’ll be able to tear it off the moment he sees it. It’s not like I’m painting it on his car and he has to wash it. Oh-my-God, should I paint it on his car?!” Her eyes widened. “Permanent marker?!”

I looked at her, rolled my eyes and shook my head no.

On our drive we went over the break up again. I affirmed his lack of communication and offered similarities to my experiences, that she of course already knew about. Juju and I had known each since High School, yet we weren’t close to the point we saw each other every day. We were the same, in the way, we both could disappear from one another’s life for weeks on end and then reappear with no ill-will for the other’s vanishing act. As much as we knew about one another, there was always more to dissect. 

She taped the poster to Jasper’s car and we started our mini road trip. 

“There’s this pier I want to bring you to—” Juju was interrupted by her phone ringing. I picked it up and put it on speaker. It was Jasper. 

“You really put a ‘For Sale’ sign on my car?” 

“Oh, so you have the capability to speak to me for that but when it comes to the fate of our relationship, I get a missed call and a voicemail.”

He took a deep breath but before he could get a chance at rebuttal Juju hung up the phone. 

“Why did you hang up?” 

“He’ll call back.Trust me.” 

Her phone started ringing again. It was Jasper. This time Juju declined the call and turned up the radio. 

I was relieved. It felt like an effort to find words today. I just wanted to sit in the sun and sing sad songs as we dashed past trees that were more flickers and flashes of greens like a Bob Ross painting. I thought about how Bob Ross always sounded calm. And how my generation found a sanctuary in his soothing tutorials. 

“Have you ever watched a Bob Ross tutorial?” I asked her. 

“Bob Ross? The painter?” 

“Yeah.”

“Not really.”

I sat back into my thoughts. The sun wasn’t ready to set, but it had slid down significantly since we got on the road.

“Are you going to call him back.” I spoke after some time. 

“Later.” 

I guess Juju was enjoying the lack of engagement. We both lost ourselves in the music, the summer’s heat and mother nature. 

I love long drives. The windows down. The radio loud. The wind spirits filling the car. Cleansing you. Like water. I always found the elements purifying. Like sitting on the beach and chatting with the ocean. Or lounging in a backyard with a bonfire with flames like the phoenix’ rebirth. Or standing barefoot on soil that sucked the negativity right from your feet and alchemized it into fairy dust. 

“We’re almost there.” Juju said breaking me out of my daze. 

“Cool.” I pulled out the mint chapstick that was in my bag. I was glad I remembered to bring my journal. “Ugh. Do you have a pen? I’m always the writer without a pen.” I was shuffling through my purse. 

“Yeah. Check the glove department.” 

I found a pen and told Juju I was going to do some writing when we go to the pier. 

We pulled into a parking space and I was excited to be near water. The sun was on its way to meet the horizon. It was going to be a glorious sunset. 

“Perfect timing.” Juju said. 

“Wherever we are is always right timing. Aligned.”

“Align and divine.” 

I smiled and looked at my surroundings. Colors of mangoes and peaches filled the sky. Refreshing. Brillant. I always found a sunset outstanding, no matter the hues. 

There was a hill made of rocks and boulders branching out over the water. We walked over to them to find a spot to sit. 

I pulled out my journal and noticed the temperature had dropped significantly. I knew Juju had a blanket in her car if we needed it. But a summer night’s breeze wasn’t something to be bitter about. I wanted to finish this piece. 

Walls—you climbed every single one I built. How’d you do that so effortlessly? 

Effort—I’ve been lacking lately. I mean,  you and I aren’t over until I say it is. Say it, say you miss me too. I’m in the mood to celebrate.

“I’m going to call this piece ‘Confetti.’” I said. 

“That’s an eye catching title.” Juju responded. She was always so supportive. “I’m going to get the blanket that’s in my car. Why does it feel like Autumn weather already?!” 

“Hey, at least it’s not winter.” 

When Juju walked away I was brought back to the time you and I went snowboarding. It was a first experience for the both of us. I chuckled how we kept falling. I remember being grateful I wore layers from the amount of times I embarrassingly fell. A bed of snow would catch me every time. I was practically an icle by the time we left and I melted into your arms on our drive back.  It was awfully fun. 

Juju came back with two sweaters and a blanket. I pulled the sweater over my head and she wrapped the blanket around us. The sun was barely with us now and I could see the night’s crescent moon make an appearance. As though it was saying goodbye to its coworker switching shifts. 

Juju smoked a cigarette and I smoked my joint. I inhaled my herb. The night’s wind wanted to be heard. I passed the joint to Juju. She seemed like she drifted inward. A do not disturb sign on her forehead. I was glad we were on the same frequency. 

“Look. The stars are out.” She said, moments later. 

Our gaze met the now obsidian sky. That held hints of sparkles. There were so many it mesmerized us, as we huddled beneath the blanket on this unusually cold night. 

I noticed flurries and for a moment I thought it was snowing in the summer. 

“I think I’m high right now. Doesn’t it look like it’s snowing?” I said, laughing. 

“I was just thinking that. Is it snowing?!” 

We both stood up from excitement. It was as though a wave of wonder washed over us. The blanket hit the rocks. And we were staring at the sky, laughing. 

“It’s snowing?!” I repeated. Laughing profusely. 

We laughed for minutes in astonishment. 

“Jasper breaks up with me and Hell freezes over, huh?” 

We were both cracking up. The white flurries of crystals touching out cheeks. 

Somewhere between our giggles and glee I glanced at the night and froze. Juju was in the background baffled and full of joy. Spinning in the snow flakes. 

And I? I was nostalgic for you. Like craving snowfall in the summer. 

January 22, 2021 11:51

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