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She sat crying as I comforted her.

Feeling her loss and wishing to ease her pain, I reached out to hold her, and our relationship ended as it began: quiet, unspoken, unconfirmed, recognized but unacknowledged, unsatisfying, and unknown to the world.

Her heart is not her own. It is not in my or anyone else's possession. She has lost it along the way, some here, some there, but now she is here and has none left for me.

We can feel it, what we would be, could be. It lingers in the air like too many tomorrows and taunts us. Wrong time, wrong place. I knew that. She knew that. What we had in knowledge we lacked in restraint. Now it might be gone, irrevocably changed, irreparably broken.


We are two pairs in one.

Sometimes she says she's two people, one on the inside and the other on the outside, and she can't feel what the other is doing. Now I am two people because she finally cut through me.

The part of me that cares about her rests his arm on her shoulders, comforting. The part of me that feels walks outside in the cold, dejected, regretful, stung fiercely but unable to complain, having seen his attacker's heart.


She did it again tonight.

She told me without telling me. The unspoken injury wallows in semi-secrecy, forced into darkness because her need is greater, because it was no surprise to me.


So we are two pairs.

We sit in sorrow and we sit in regret, in silence and in solitude, in understanding and in confusion.

We sit together and we sit apart.

It was ten o’clock on a rainy Sunday morning. Four times in the past thirty minutes, Jaime had gone to the window and looked up at the sky, hoping the rain would let up. After checking the fourth time, she sighed and returned to chewing on the end of her sweater sleeve. A couple seconds passed and she sat back down at the small kitchen table, opposite her mother. Her mother had already been awake for three hours, and in that time had completed two laundries, cleaned the fridge, and read three chapters of a book. She had just wanted to sit with her daughter for a moment before walking down to the cafe to get a coffee with a friend. Her mother’s purse was on the table and her shoes were on. They were expensive running shoes, and though her mother was no athlete, she appreciated the ankle support when she was walking.
         “I can’t take it,” said Jaime, her damp sleeve finally out of her mouth. She was sitting two feet from her mother, but was not looking at her. “This rain is unbearable, it's everyday. It rains everyday, doesn’t it?”
         “Well, it’s winter. It rains in winter,” said her mother. “It’s best we get used to it. Would you hand me my cigarettes?”
         Jaime reached a long arm out towards the counter and grabbed the worn pack and lighter and handed them to her mother, who put them in her purse and stood up.
         “Well,” she said, “I’m off. I’m not going to be bothered by a little rain.”
         “Ya, you're off. Thanks.”
         “Come on honey, you have plenty you can do when I am out. You have books, a computer. You could call up one of your friends.”
         “Whatever.”
         “Whatever. God I hate hearing that word, stop feeling so sorry for yourself Jaime. It’s a waste of energy being so negative.”
         “I am not feeling sorry for myself,” Jaime said, “It is raining, it has been raining like nonstop for how many days? And it does suck. Can I just complain about it please? Is it really so unbearable to hear your daughter complain about shitty weather.”
         “Jaime.”
         “What?”
         “Language.”
         “God, you say shit all the time.”
         “Well listen, let’s not get all worked up. I am sorry, you can complain about the weather if you want. I love you and I hate seeing you beat yourself up,” her mother said, putting a hand on top of her daughter’s.
         Jaime laughed at this. She pulled her hand out from underneath her mother’s and went back to the window. It was January and the rain would be around for at least another month. She looked quickly back at her mother. “Look,” she said, “I know you are waiting to go. So just go.”
         Her mother stood and put the purse on her shoulder. It was a small kitchen and it only took a couple steps to get to the window that her daughter was staring out of. She put her two hands on Jaime’s shoulders and looked into her face, waiting for her daughter to meet her gaze.
         “Did I tell you today how much I love you?” she asked. “Have I told you today?”
         “Mom,” Jaime said, her eyes still looking down at the floor, “just don’t, you can go.”
         And when Jaime finally looked up, her expression wasn’t what her mother had expected. A dreamy expression had swept across Jaime’s face, like she was tipsy. Her head rocked back and forth playfully and she smiled a little dirty smile at her mother. Then she pushed one of her nails into the back of her mother’s hand.
         “Ow, Jesus Jaime, are you crazy?” she asked, sucking on her injured hand.
         “Whatever, who told you to touch me? Why don’t you just go?”
         Jaime said this quietly, she was almost in tears, and was hugging herself. Her mother wanted to hold her, but was scared to provoke something. So her mother turned around, and before walking out of the kitchen, and then out the front door, she said, “I love you Jaime.”


         Left alone, Jaime turned away from the window, and scanned the empty kitchen. At the same moment, her mother checked her watch while waiting for the elevator. She was going to be late. Jaime slid down the kitchen wall and sat down on the floor. She wrapped her arms around her legs and pressed her forehead against her knees. Her mother opened her cell phone when she got out of the elevator.
         “Hi Alice,” she said, “sorry I’m running a little late.”
         “…”
         “Oh nothing, just my daughter, you know? She has been feeling so down lately. Oh Shit.”
         “…”
         “I forgot my umbrella.”

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