August 2, 2011
As his feet touched the gravel below, he took a deep breath. He glanced around, noting that the city was exceptionally quiet around four am. It was the only time he had seen it this silent. Or maybe he was just good at forgetting.
He contemplated going to West 73rd street, where he knew she was deep asleep, probably twitching fitfully like usual, with the occasional snore. His stomach tightened, and he felt as though his feet would run themselves there if he didn’t stop them. He clenched his fist, and took a deep breath. There would be time to talk, there would be time for them to discuss everything – for once, this might be permanent.
But maybe that was the very reason why he couldn’t go to her.
September 5, 2011
She was good at waiting. She had it down to an art form, a science. Especially for him.
She picked up a yellow highlighter by her notebook, and tried to stare down at the textbook in front of her. She had approximately one day to finish her paper on the Byzantine Empire, and she hadn’t even finished the chapter yet. This was a potential problem.
Outside, the rain was thundering on the glass window pane to the point where she couldn’t see the grey city before her. She curled up in the red knitted blanket from her mother. She was thankful that she had gone home the weekend before, where her mother had armed her with fall and winter wear, even though it was only early September. She tried to explain to her mom that just because Allentown was freezing didn’t mean that New York City was going to get cold as quickly. Mom just didn’t get it, but Aria didn’t mind her fussing on days like these.
Aria glanced up at the computer screen, which had various social networking apps open (though she should be studying) and then glanced down, her phone next to her. Nothing except for a few text messages from her younger sister, Sophia, who was stuck in her Shakespeare Lit class down at CUNY Hunter. She didn’t answer.
She was waiting to hear from him, and her stomach hurt when she thought about it. It’d been a little over a month, which wasn’t uncommon for them, but after a summer of various texting, phone calls, and even seeing him in the city – in addition to rumors that he was moving there shortly – made her anxious at his sudden silence. She did not want to be forgotten, which she feared was all too easy for him to do. Why would he be thinking about her anyway? Who was to say he still felt the same? His attention would come in a furious wave, knocking her over, making her feel as though it was the day they met again, the summer they spent together – and then he was gone. Busy at school. Busy studying abroad. Busy coming to the United States, but never staying longer than grabbing a quick bite to eat with her, if she was lucky. Letters, emails, phone calls would come, and dissipate. Aria began to get used to this, tortured by this, and yet she stood by him.
She had come to understand this as a way of him handling their love – if it’s still there, she thought – and handling himself. Emilio was not good at answering to anyone, it seemed.
So as she flipped a page, she let out a sigh. And continued to wait.