However Long We Are Apart, However Far We Are Apart, I Will Always Remember You

Nicole Faust's picture

I wrap my arms around Alex.

“I'll miss you,”

I whisper into her ear.

She nods and stays silent,

Her head pressing into my chest.

I feel her heartbeat,

Listen to her soft breathing

As her fingers wind with mine,

Playing and twisting together.

I stroke her hair, wishing this trip

Doesn't have to end.

Wishing I could stay here forever,

In this tent,

In the near-dark,

Stroking her

And feeling her warmth

Spread through my chilled limbs.

 

My right hand's fingers

Intertwine with her's

And with my left I let my nails

Bite into my palm

Without realizing it.

I breathe even breaths,

In, out, in,

And listen to her heartbeat,

Pounding slowly.

Deeply.

I let her press her face

To the top of my head,

Let myself relax into the curve

Of her torso

And wait for night to fall completely.

Wait for sleep to come,

With me waiting in her arms.

 

I hear footsteps-

I lift my head from hers,

Praying for her to be quiet,

I put a finger against my lips,

My shadow projected onto the canvas side of the tent.

I slide away from her and into my sleeping bag.

She doesn't protest,

But scrambles into hers as well.

We lie there, breathing steadily

For a few moments.

Someone peeks in on us-

We were supposed to be asleep-

Then ducks back out and walks on,

Presumably checking that the others are asleep.

 

I whisper,

Do you think they're gone?”

In the slight light I see her nod.

We crawl out of our bags

And resume our embrace,

This time dragging the sleeping bags

To place on top and around us.

I stroke her thumb,

Feeling the wrinkles in her skin

From where she bends her fingers.

She rubs my foot,

All bent up under me

So as not to break the embrace.

I look up into her peaceful face,

Her eyes closed,

Her fingers making mechanical rotations on my soles.

 

I realize that, in the morning,

This all will be lost.

We're just two friends,

Going off to two different schools.

This is our last trip together.

We may never see each other again.

My parents have great wishes for me-

To go to a good college,

Become something creditable like a doctor

Or lawyer.

Alex doesn't care what she will be.

Her parents died three years ago

And she just wants to get to a place in life

Where she doesn't have to rely

On other peoples' generosity

To get by.

She doesn't care about college.

I move my hand to her other foot.

 

She smiles down at me when I look up again,

But in a sad way that lets me know

She's thinking about tomorrow.

When we'll leave each other

And maybe never see each other

Again. In our lives.

I lift her hand to my face,

Press its icy fingers

To the hot surface of my cheek.

She shies away,

And I scramble up,

Dragging my sleeping bag off her

And finding my way,

In the dark because we turned off the flashlight,

To the my camping mat.

I snuggle into the warmth

And fall asleep,

Wishing that we had longer with each other.

 

In the morning we won't have any time,

And, although life pauses for us tonight,

It won't in the morning.

Then it will fly away

And leave us behind,

The wind of time whisking

The very life from under our feet,

And one of us from the other.

No matter how much we cling,

No matter how much we hold on,

We will be separated

And that may be the end.

But we will always remember

The dreams

And plans

We had,

And we will always,

Always be friends.

»

Comments

A pause in life

Reid's picture

And, although life pauses for us tonight,/ It won't in the morning... beautiful words. This is a beautiful piece of writing that tenderly and viviidly describes a true human connection. Thank you for sharing it!

Susan Reid

Publications Coordinator

Young Writers Project

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.