Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised in a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days
The snow left the world feeling soft and soundless. The two of them stared at each other from across the table, cups of cooling coffee between them.The moment stretched on, both lost in the silence. Her eyes were grey today, he noticed. Grey like when she was lost. It was only by her eyes that he could read her; her words were laced with pleasing deceptions, trying her best to say what she wanted with out upsetting the precarious balances between people. But her eyes never lied. Their honesty was what first caught his attention all those years ago. The raw emotion that flickered through them when she looked at him. Green when she was angry, aquamarine when she cried. But grey when she was lost, when she was off in the world that only she could understand. The place where she locked up all those feelings she had. For reasons he still wasn't sure of.
"Do you ever wonder?" He whispered, her grey eyes flickered down to her coffee before up to meet his again.
"Ever wonder what?" Her voice was smokey from the cigarettes, from staying up all night again staring at the flickering cursor on her computer screen. From talking too much to herself. He shook his head at the memories of seeing her curled up in the arm chair, dark hair messy and pushed away from her face. The times she was most beautiful, most honest. Her crooked smile and silent laughter. The force of it made him turn his eyes away from the intensity in her own.
"Ever wonder what happened to forever. To the promises." He heard her hum and could imagine her cradling her coffee mug between her hands. Nails chipped but fingers delicate.
"I think it got buried in the snow of the never-ending winter. Lots of things get lost out in the snow." He glanced up at her to see her gaze trained on the window. The grey of the sky reflects in the greys of her eyes and he suddenly feels so far away from the summer time. When her eyes were bright blue and sparkled when she laughed.
The wind whipped through her hair and the skirt of her dress as her bare feet pounded against the grass. She glanced over her shoulder as she ran and he caught her breathless smile and felt his heart stop.
"You're never going to catch up if you keep running so slow, you know!" She called, her feet quickening their pace to run further away from him. He huffed out a laugh and sped up enough to gain some ground on her before wrapping his arms around her waist. She squawked as he lifted her off the ground, bare legs flailing and hands coming to rest over his own.
"If you drop me, I swear I will kill you!"
"I would never dream of dropping you. Come on, don't you trust me?" He looked up at her with a half smile, giving her waist a light squeeze. She looked down with an expression unreadable for a moment and he thought maybe he'd done something wrong. Until she gave him a small smile, a private smile only for him. The kind where her eyes soften and her fingers clenched around his own.
"Of course I do."
She'd never been a big fan of summer, much preferring the cool breeze of autumn to the sunshine and the crowds. Preferred the scarves and knits to the swimsuits and sun tans. She loved the feeling of curling up on the couch wrapped in a blanket, the smell of falling leaves and rain. But something about that summer, about the feeling of his hands in her own. Something about dreaming about fall with him had made the season so much more magical than any other. She wondered if it had been her. If she had been the one to take the spark out of him or not. He stared into his cold coffee like it held all the answers. To her or to life, she couldn't be sure, wasn't sure she wanted to be. He was as much a mystery to her and she was to him and for a while, it made things exciting. But by the end, it just made things tiring.
She leaned back against the cool brick wall and looked up into his eyes, strands of hair sticking to her sweat dampened neck. He brushed his thumb over her jaw and cradled her face in his hands.
"You're beautiful, you know that." She huffed a laugh and adverted her eyes fingers lightly gripping his wrists. He clicked his tongue and lifted her face so their eyes met again.
"I mean it. I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it." She slid a hand into his hair, pulling him down close, lips not quite touching as they shared the same breath.
"How do I know for sure?" Her whisper ghosted across his lips. Her eyes bore up into his own, half smile giving off a bravado of confidence. But the cerulean blue of her eyes flickered in between worry and uncertainty. She needed to hear it more than he needed to say it and if it would help her understand, help her see what he saw, he figured it was probably worth it.
She whispered his name against his lips, her finger tips brushing over the insides of his arms and he shut his eyes against the intensity of her own, suddenly afraid his assurance wouldn't ever be enough to make her believe.
"I tried, you know." He said, finally looking up at her again. He noted the sag in her shoulders and the pallor of her skin. "I tried to make it real." She nodded slowly, training her eyes once again on the bleak snow fall over the sounds of the real world.
"I know you did. And trust me, I wanted to feel it, too. And it was...for the longest time it was real. But I can't do as much damage alone. We both know that." He wanted to tell her she was wrong and that she had been doing just as much damage when they were apart as she did when they were together. That at least when it was the two of them, he could hide from the reality in the fantasy of their forever. But deep down he knew she was right. In a lot of ways, she was too much to handle. Too unsure and too afraid and too defensive. She was rough edges and sharp words. She was too much coffee and not enough sleep. She was tough because she had to be, because that's how she kept herself safe. But it was so hard on everyone else. She just didn't know how to change it and he didn't either. He'd thought, at one point, that he could. That he could change things and fix things and make it okay again. But it hadn't done any good for either of them.
"Maybe someday..." She whispered, grey eyes glossing sadly like the frost bitten windows. "Someday maybe things will get figured out and maybe they'll be different. Maybe my strings will be all untangled. Or maybe they'll all be cut off. I don't know... I really don't." She blinked hard a few times and he was worried she'd start to cry. That maybe she'd never stop.
"But..." She choked out, sucking on her bottom lip in a way he couldn't help but go weak in the knees at, "But I'm not ready to say good bye to you." In an instant he saw it. Just a flicker, just a second of indigo around her pupils as she held his gaze. His lips pulled up in a tiny smile and he looked down at the swirls of his coffee. He didn't say it out loud, couldn't voice the hope he had. But the words flitted through his brain like a switch at been turn out.
Maybe I'm not ready to say it either.
It's the hole in my heart you fell through.