The Act of Greeting

We stand outside your house, both with cold feet and the winter having nothing to do with it

“I—”
“I—”

We both freeze and just look at each other. Yet another similarity to add to the list tonight:

– Goes to the same school
– Friends with the same people
– Both in the same neighbourhood
– Both best friends with each other
– Same line starters

She laughs “I’m sorry. Thanks for taking me to that cool bar. I had a lot of fun tonight. Especially the game of darts” she giggles

I scratch my head, smile sheepishly and flush a little. Ah the game of darts. Where the two things needed are the dart and your attention. Mine was on her, and so the dart naturally flew into someone else’s…food. Thankfully.

“Yeah I’m not sure we’re seeing it from the same perspective”

“I don’t know. I mean it was pretty funny”

“Ha ha. For you of course”

We laugh until it dies down to just smiles directed at each other. When it is winter, you immediately take notice of the next thing that makes you warm. Of course my attention would be directed towards her.

She clears her throat and I know this is it again. She’s going to say goodbye, turn around to go inside, and the next morning we will be…best friends.

We feel unfulfilled when we know there is still more space to fill.

She will raise her hand to wave goodbye, and then I. Just as we always do. I find another similarity, which is her hand and mine. Maybe it’s because we’re around each other so much. Maybe because I’ve held her hand in and for comfort so many times that our pain has shaped them to be the same. Maybe it’s because they seem to reflect each other during moments like this. When she waves goodbye, I wave goodbye. Our hands are reflections of each other.

She waves her hand and says “goodbye, I’ll see you tomorrow kay?”

But she doesn’t wait to hear a confirmation. She doesn’t wait for my hand to lift. She must already know what it would look like, just by looking at her own hand. The marks of veins, straining to keep our hands from lifting. I find the marks on mine are already too many. It hurts. There doesn’t need to be anymore hurt.

At that moment I took my chances. You can only wave goodbye so many times before your hand forcibly reaches out to grab them by theirs. Before you pull them to turn around and finally let your eyes see the maps your hands can make together. The roads only make sense when you can see the whole picture.

“Don’t wave goodbye to me, our hands don’t have to hurt each other anymore” I pleaded

Her eyes were starting to well up. She was pleading too. “You’re my best friend; you have seen what they can do. I don’t want to hold things I might just drop”

I shake my head “Don’t you see? You’re always going to have to hold things. Won’t you rather struggle in love than struggle in pain?”

“We can’t—”

“We were meant to be here”

“You don’t know tha—”

“My hand interlaced with yours is how I know. I haven’t been reading misleading signs, there was a map and I saw the two of us build it together. Each time I held your hand for all the moments of our lives. Each time we felt invincible and each time we felt scared. We taught them how to hold each other; we crafted the puzzle pieces to make the puzzle. This…isn’t a mistake” I shake my head “It’s not”

She looks at our interlaced fingers, her eyes tracing the way they interlock, like roads and highways. Only we know how to read them.

She looks up at me, and then turns around quickly, and I panic because I can’t take this anymore. Panic so much that I didn’t notice that she had been dragging me with her.

“Wait—”

“You’re right” she turns around to look at me and only do I notice that for once, when she turned around, she took me with her.

She smiles a little and says “Our hands don’t have to hurt us anymore. Tonight we’ll teach them how to love each other”

I start to smile, and then grin “How are we going to do that?”

“By teaching them how to wave hello of course” she winks at me

Hello. I like it. It implies meeting up. It implies the start of a journey. It implies looking at the map in our hands and finally following the rest of its directions.

“Hello it is then”

She giggles “Hi there”

I grin back “Hey”

Hello indeed

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