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i.              when he first found her, he was lonely and out of place.
floating, drifting, sulking—he walks to the school rooftops, praying silently for the winds to take him when he sees her: white knuckles clenched on the gray concrete, legs dangling hundreds of miles from the ground. a split second panic attack later, he rushes to her, composing words in his brain to tell her to stop or calm down or something—“now miss, maybe we can still talk this over…”
she leans a fraction forward and he feels his heart catapult from his chest.
then, she beams at him, a grin that resembles the blazing sun. frosty blue eyes pierced through him and he freezes.
she jumps lightly off the wall and her feet delicately lands on the ground.
he swallows.
she smiles.

ii.            his nightmares swim in colors of pale white gold and blue.
howls of wind fought their way through his windows and he stirred helplessly, clinging unto the phantom life that echoes through his mind.
she was unforgettable.
every inch of him screams for him to stay away.
she was impossible.
he clasps his white hands together and prays for an ending.

iii.          by a twist of fate, he sees her again.
rays of sunlight danced through her hair like halo as she scribbles furiously on a notepad; every split second or two, she scratches the back of her neck, nibbles on her lip or the tip of her pen, and chuckles quietly to herself.
he feels his chest tighten, his palms sweat.
in a flash, her eyes spotted him and he feels their worlds tangle. he starts to wonder if this was their own way of conversation.
she smiles.
slowly, half-heartedly, he smiles back.
and so it began.

iv.          “you must be mad,”
were the first words he spoke to her.
he thinks it was a clever beginning.
(and he prays that it could win her over).
she looks up from the book she had her fingers wrapped in, and scrunches her eyebrows in distaste.
“I’m sorry?” she says, and his heart sinks.
“the other day,” was what he said, running a hand through his hair out of nervous habit. “on the rooftop.”
she stares at him and he flinches.
he would never win this seemingly never-ending battle with words.
“what were you doing there?” she asks instead.
at last, he thinks.
their conversations finally steered away from stolen glances.
he says he was trying to figure out things for himself and one way or another, his feet took him there.
“w-were you trying to… I don’t know, understand life as well?” he asks,
in hopes that there was a god who answers prayers and he finally gave him someone in the world who understands.
she looks away from him and he sinks further into the ground.
“well then, what were you doing there?” he needed to know.
she closes her eyes and he patiently waits.
“escaping,” she says finally. “from reality.”

v.            for weeks it became a habit, they find each other on the rooftops and surrender to the distant horizon.
he brings the sandwiches, she brings the stories.
one time, he brought two cartons of milk, (she doesn’t seem to consume anything else) and she gives him a light hug, as her way of saying thanks. he feels his stomach knot.
their conversations spiraled from pointless entireties to endless dreams, to the nonexistent present and the promising future.
but never about the ghosts and their haunting past.
never about themselves.

vi.          she laughs, and he thinks that her laughter echoes the sound of bells and resonates the warmth of Christmas mornings.
he feels the gravity pull them both closer together, the skies close in and the trees surrounding them bear down as if to say,
“fate had won.”
she laughs again, as response to something he said, and he feels his something in his chest sting.
                  this time, he begins to think that he is in trouble.

vii.        she exhausted him, consumed every inch of his mind and fought her way effortlessly in his world.
          her words sang through him, would send waves of nostalgia and harmony through his veins. he thinks that he has finally found himself again.
     yet, for all that is life and holy, he still tries to keep up with the pace of his breathing as his heart reaches out to the perils of her soul.
                 he called out to her desperately,
                              and she was the most hopeless cause of all.

viii.      “do you ever think about what lies beyond our lives?” she asks him one night, when he was absent-mindedly tracing constellations on her skin.
“I have once,” he says. “but I’d rather not talk about it.”
             she looks thoughtful for a moment, until he realizes she was disappointed.
          “I’m sorry,” he says.
          “what for?”
          “not always knowing the right things to say.”
she pulled herself away from him, and stares quietly at the nothingness that lay in front of her.
she looks at him, opens her mouth and then hesitates, and he thinks that she stopped saying what she means to say, as if the words she had would break him.

ix.           it was months and a series of breakups later,
      flowers had grown and wilted,
                    smiles had vanished,
                              the skies have faded into shades of orange and blue.
in the absence of a spectrum of emotions: hurtfulness, bitterness, loneliness; his fingers traced the layers of dust on a box.
      of them, of the long gone days.
      on the rooftops, the picnics,
                              the quiet nights spent apart from the rest of the world.
      he finds himself remembering it all:
the journeys to distant places carved on their skin,
the stories they hid in corners of their bones.
      perhaps it was fate that led them both to find each other,
      and perhaps it was also fate that tore them apart.
their promised forevers were nothing more now than things abandoned in a box,
                 and he curses himself,
                              thinking he should’ve stopped before caring too much.
but a small voice in his head says there was nothing he would to take it all back.

x.             somewhere in the lines of the lonely days, the forgotten skies that wrapped them both in a split second of eternity,
      the world would start to turn again.
                  he thinks that perhaps, one day, he’d find her on the rooftop, with arms spread wide creating a silhouette of broken wings,
blonde and freckled and still as
beautiful and hopeless as their first day.
      he thinks that perhaps, in a distant universe of lost dreams, they’d intertwine again, and this time
he’d save her from her demons, the shadows that constantly envelope her and drown her as she desperately tries to find her light.
he thinks that perhaps, now, she finally have what she had wanted for so long, to escape from her reality,
to fly.

“I love you,” he whispers to the wind.
and he prays to the gods that it is enough.

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