By S. F. Brooke
She always loved The Smiths. It’s a shame I could never take her to a concert, I thought as their music filled the tiny abandoned barn. We had been coming here for years, we didn’t care about getting caught anymore. Ever since we were fearless nine year olds with a thirst for the adventures we had seen on TV, we had been coming here. Here, we had talked for hours on end, tried to start a band, and hid when we couldn’t face going to school. More recently, we just hung out, listening to music like we were right now, or watched Doctor Who together. If I was the Doctor, I would take us back to the 80s so we could see The Smiths live.
I watched her staring into space, her legs dangling off the edge of the loft (we had decorated it with fairy lights when we were 12, somehow they still worked). She turned to me. She smiled. This was a perfect moment, I wish this could last forever.
But I don’t have time freeze magic, even the Doctor can’t do that.
I knew that I loved her. That much was obvious, perhaps it was a given. We had been friends since we were 8, of course I loved her with every part of my being. I knew she loved me back. Love is a funny thing. We loved each other more than the world, we would protect each other with our lives, we told each other many times, but never did we declare our love for each other. We both knew that there was something even deeper than the protective love we felt, but no one ever said anything. We never said anything.
When the barn was destroyed in the thunderstorm, a part of us had been destroyed. Our safe place, our memories, our home, destroyed in one flash of lightning. I heard it had set on fire for a few seconds. “It wouldn’t have been the first time,” I attempted to smile at her. I watched a heartbroken face try to laugh.
Our hearts had been shattered, not even her perfectly tailored playlists could fix this. What I’ve learned, is that even the most broken glass had be broken down further.
She tried to make it the same again, even then. We would balance precariously on tree branches, listening with one earbud each to music. Never has one earbud been better than both, but it was different around her. Never so much have I hated listening to music with both of my earbuds.
I wish my memories weren’t clouded in the heartbreak that followed, even after the thunderstorm. I lost her. She didn’t die, but I still mourn her. She’s far far away now, almost close enough to meet again, but we both know it’s impossible for me to reach her. It’s as if we’re strangers, but not just strangers passing each other on the street, strangers out there that you don’t have enough time in your life to meet, that have a whole life, a life in which you aren’t concerned. Strangers have different stories, with different beginnings and different endings. I suppose this was our ending, and I can’t write a sequel where I tell her I loved her, or where we find a new place to spend our lives in.
Both of my earbuds in, I listen to music on my bed, which is surrounded by fairy lights that have broken batteries.
I would love to go
Back to the old house
But I never will
I never will
I never will
She always loved The Smiths. It’s a shame I could never take her to a concert.
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