The lives of two people are intermingled and frustrating.
|I am five years old and she is four. I look at her and freeze; there is something in her eyes that I have never seen before. To me her face is composed of some quality that makes it different from all of the others I have experienced in my life. I cannot take my eyes off of her. Her eyes are bright blue and her hair is cut short like a boy’s, she has a shrill voice, and laughs too much. Her eyes catch mine, she smiles and chases me through the yard, I will not let her catch me, even though I know it will make us both happy.
I am eight and she is seven. I am awkward and chubby, she is vibrant and fit. I refuse to let her hide with me during our game and she cries. Inside I scream with rage and guilt but I am not able to show it like she does. I will never possess this trait. My mother quiets her and listens to her. My mother tells her she is beautiful and that I will notice her someday. My mother knows I will love this girl before I knew what love was. My mother whispers in her ear that she believes we will marry someday and her face lights up. Her spark is back and she is wild and beautiful and I am jealous. She is done hiding with me and decides it is time to chase me.
I am ten years old and she is nine. She sails wildly on a tire swing with a reckless abandonment that I will always envy. Her hair is a rich brown with light blonde streaks in it. Her eyes are blue and gray, but when they look at me they are warm. She smiles and catches eyes with me, she never looks away. Instead she runs right at me and it is the chase of a lifetime. She can never catch me, but she will get very close many times.
I am 15 and she is 14. I have just led my varsity football team to their first win of the season. I am tired, walking out of the gym where she is waiting with a friend. She is beautiful and I am aloof. Her eyes never leave mine and inside I feel the familiar pull of the universe between us. I do a bad job of hiding it. She still cannot catch me. We both wish she could.
I am 17 and she is 16. I notice her from an incredible distance; she is washing cars for a fundraiser. I am a bystander. I catch her glimpse and her eyes sparkle. She is beautiful, her eyes shine a shade of blue that I have yet seen recreated. Her hair is both haphazard and beautiful. For the first time, I notice her curves and this time I yearn for more than her glimpse and smile. I love her and she loves me but we have no idea. I stare her right in the face as she sells me a can of pop, and still the silence between us remains. The only words we have ever spoke in our ten plus year friendship are associated with playground games and childhood rants. She wants to the table to evaporate and close the distance between us, I can feel it. The spark between us grows as I walk away. I turn and her eyes are locked on me, she blushes and smiles wildly and I burn inside. She can catch me.
I am 18 and she is 17, the distance has finally closed and we are in love. We have spent every waking moment of the last year together. For each of us it is the first time. I am tall and muscular and she is small and petite. We fit together. Her eyes sparkle blue with the reckless abandonment I have always envied. To her, mine sparkle green with the certainty she knows I will provide her with. Her face is beautiful and I cannot take my eyes off it. It is a light brown and glows, her smile lights up every room it enters and she clings to me like nothing else in the world matters. When we spend nights together we stare at the sky. We talk of dreams, houses, jobs, kids, a life that no one knows about. I let her in, but we are still chasing each other.
I am 21 and she is 20. She is an animal of excitement and lust. She is what I need. I have closed her out for some reason. She is chasing me, but I am faster. For better or worse I won’t let her catch up and it wears on her. She shows the pain of it on her face, on her wrists, and in her heart. Her eyes are constantly welling; however, the tears are gone. They have been poured out. I am worn, I will not show her my feelings, I am stubborn and naïve. I love her. She loves me. When we are together rooms light on fire as we pass through and people envy us. No one really knows us. I am stupid and she possesses the knowledge I am lacking. She is chasing me and I refuse to let her win.
I am 30 and she is 29. She is beautiful and wild. I am changing. I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me. We are no separate. She has chased me for the last time and I am alone. I have no one to talk to and no one to chase me. I am lost. I am walking down the street and peering blindly into store fronts. Her eyes catch mine and burn quietly with everything I remember. She smiles, bites her lip, and quickly puts her head down. I wave, she won’t acknowledge, why would she? I burn. I have lost the time to tell her how I feel. She is beautiful. I am quiet and for the first time, I realize I am broken. I will never be the same. I will never know who she is.
For a moment, the sun shifts and I am 5 and she is 4 again. She screams loudly as we run through the yard. I turn back for a split second and catch a glimpse of her big blue eyes and wild curly brown hair. This image will never leave my mind. I slow down and let her catch me. At every step, I let her catch me. My life is different. I am happy.
I open the door.