here we are

You drink your cigarette and take a drag of coffee at the café down the street from your 2 1/2 bedroom 1 5/9 bathroom apartment. It’s just you and your aunt living together. She’s only a couple years older than you so she’s more like a cousin. You get along well most of the time, but today was an exception. That was why you were here, ignoring everyone around you. You stare off into the parking lot as if waiting for someone to arrive and wiggle your right leg impatiently. The waitress comes over and asks if you need anything else and you shortly respond that you are fine, without looking up at all. She asks if she knows you and you are forced to interact further. You search her face; which is pretty, oval, and has freckles sprinkled across it, and her bright green eyes lead you to recognize her from high school. Art class, you remember. You tell her this and expect her to go into a long monologue about how high school was so great and seems like so long ago and how she can’t wait for the reunion in a few years. Instead she apologizes for making you recall what must surely be shitty memories and asks if you want to go get something to eat in a few minutes when her shift ends. You accept because really, where else are you going to go if you can’t go home?

After a few minutes she comes back without an apron. Her wavy black hair is no longer pulled back and rests on her shoulders. You think she looks smart as you both walk over to her car, an ancient black Mercedes. She asks what you feel like eating and you suggest getting sandwiches from that place just a little down the street. She tells you to adjust the radio as she drives and you sort through static until landing on an old Metric song. She starts singing the lyrics quietly and this intrigues you. During lunch she tells you how she’s just working so she can make enough money to move to France where she already has a job and some friends and can study art more extensively. You don’t really know this girl but you wish you were part of her plans. You tell her that you’re working on a novel and that you’re writing for a music magazine in the mean time. She seems genuinely interested, even excited, and is the first person to ever react this way to your plans. You take her to the lake at sunset and skip rocks across its flat surface as she tells you about the art she makes. She has to leave soon after, to work her second job, and you tell her you’ll walk home. She shakes your hand and tells you to visit her in France. On the way back to your apartment you think about how interesting the day became after seeing her. You’ll go back to that café tomorrow.

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