On A Cloudy Day
I first met Skit on a cloudy day in the park. Our meeting was, to be frank, unremarkable; I'm sure I'll come to forget it in the coming years.
I was sitting on the swing set, dragging my toes trough the gravel as I drifted inactively back and forth. Skit approached wordlessly, sat on the swing beside mine, and offered up a name. I didn't even notice Skit until I heard that voice - slightly feminine, but ever so husky. From day one I never knew whether Skit was a boy or a girl. I don't think Skit knew either. I know neither one of us gave one single fuck.
The second thing I ever learned to recognize about Skit was Skit's smile, or rather, smiles. You see, Skit's smiles were all turned around so that when Skit was really, honest-to-goodness happy, Skit's smile was small. That is to say, Skit's lips didn't move as much. When Skit was happy, one could tell by the way Skit looked at you. It was like Skit's eyes had figured out their own language and had no need for a mouth to express what they could already convey clear as day. All clichés aside, Skit's eyes smiled more than Skit's lips ever could.
The first time I told Skit a secret, we were back at the park where we met, sitting on the grass with our backs leaning against the fence surrounding one of the little league baseball fields, a large Diet Coke between us. Skit wore a neutral expression the entire time it took for me to speak and looked only straight ahead, because Skit knew that of we made eye contact I'd lose my nerve. I never told Skit, but that meant more than anything Skit said after. When Skit was sure I'd finished my piece and heard the sigh I let out in quiet relief, Skit took my hand and stared me down until I looked up and met that gaze again. Skit looked at me, eyes assuring me that Skit believed what the mouth said was true, and told me that while confusion may not look good on anyone, I was still decidedly beautiful. The smile I gave in return was watery; before long I was crying into Skit's shoulder. I cried even harder when I realized that I had knocked the Diet Coke over onto Skit's lap. Skit just placed a calm arm around my shoulders and whispered beautiful nothings in my ear until my nose stopped running.
The only time I ever kisses Skit was one summer when we were waiting for a band to start playing. I couldn't tell you now who the band was, but I can tell you that neither of our parents knew we were out that night, and that we snuck in through a hole in the back of the fence. The park was hosting a series of concerts and the fences were the cheap, chain link kind that were removed when all of the events were finished. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, and I was high on the thrill of sneaking out and sneaking in all in one night, and Skit was there and Skit was the reason for all of it and suddenly Skits face was between my hands and I was crushing our lips together. When I pulled away, I watched Skit physically recover from the shock before turning to me with sympathetic eyes. Skit apologized in a soft, kind voice. Just then the band started playing, but I didn't need to hear to make out what was said next. Skit was already in love with someone else. I waited until I got home to cry, and told myself I was stupid every second that I did.
The first time I said I loved Skit was when Skit was already gone. I whispered it into the crisp night air after following my feet to the familiar park and laying down at the top of the slide on the playground. I felt my heart crumple a bit when I noticed the stars twinkling in much the same manner Skit's eyes did when I actually managed to tell a joke that was funny.
The last time I ever spoke of Skit, I was sitting on the very swing I occupied the day we met. I no longer dragged my feet in the gravel, but I noticed that the tracks left in the layers of tiny stones were similar to the one's we used to leave. A few moments passed, and a handsome man with dark eyes, whose smile was big and toothy, approached. He offered me a penny for my thoughts, his voice thoughtful and curious. It took me a moment to answer. "Just remembering someone I met here once - an old friend." He nodded and held out a hand to me. I stood, took it, and we began to walk away.
When I turned to look back, a boy had take my place on the swing. He pushed himself lightly back and forth, his toes sliding along in the gravel. Someone around the boy's same age - I couldn't whether it was a boy or a girl - approached silently and sat on the swing next to him, matching his movements.