Together they sat in the front seat of his worn, blue Chevrolet. It was full of age – the leather warm and cracked, the strangely comforting scent of cigarettes and freshly cut grass emanating from each crevice of the machine, as if it were being desperately pulsated from the tired vents, worn like smokers’ lungs. Her legs were pulled under her as she leaned back comfortably, watching him in the driver’s seat. He looked back at her carefully, his dark eyes brooding over her face, studying each inch of it with meticulous care. What did he see? she could not help but wonder. What was he looking for? She closed her eyes and listened to the music – a soft rock song, a famous tune that she probably should be able to identify, but, at the moment, could not. She was blinded by one single focus. Kiss me, the thought was playing melodically inside of her – not just in her head, but vibrating and bouncing and rolling over and under and around and through all of her being, interweaving within her, repeating itself in some sort of torturous chant.
But he never did – he never kissed her, never touched her, just watched. He watched her fragile features contort nervously as she laughed, her eyes glitter as she told him all about her hopes, the way they could grow so dark and somber as she confided her fears in him, this strange boy from such a foreign world; he was practically a stranger. Who knew what safety could come from that, from entrusting such an illusion as he. The boy watched her lean against the cool window, her warm skin bonding to the frosty world outside through this thick, glass shield.
“What would you say if you could say anything?”
His words filled her; she did not know what to say.
This was not true, though. She knew exactly what she would say if there had been some hint of bravery in her weak heart. For, after years and years of disappointment – not just disappointing herself, but everyone who stumbled unsteadily over the constantly moving, unbalanced plane of her existence – she knew just what it was that she could say, if she were brave enough. Strong enough. If she were enough.
“I am sorry.”
He should have kissed her.