I could use a dream, to go to a place much simpler than this

Tears hang on for dear, suspended life on my eyelashes as I look to the ground. There's a pebble on the ground and I kick it with the toe of my shoe. I can't help but imagine how I'd display all these memories as a series of pictures.

Us biking through the night, laughing and shouting at each other. It's the last day of summer; tomorrow we'll wake up early to start our senior year. We'll go early to see each other and hang out. And in a couple of months, everything will fall apart, but right now? Right now we don't know any of that. The darkness of the night, punctuated by stars, streetlights, and the moon herself doesn't reveal the thicker shadows that chase us. They are simply a part of the thrill of the warm summer night. We caw out without restraint. We feel the wind through our hair and our shirts, and we feel it glide over wings we only imagine we have. We stand on our pedals, gliding like birds around the corner. Our destination is clear, but it's also cloudy. We don't have to be anywhere anytime soon. Tomorrow brings new adventures, and a long lasting hope.

Us in my basement before another place became a better suit for all of us but a few. Darkness surrounds us as we hide under our blankets and stare up at the ceiling that could contain any number of spiders or ghosts- because it's half demolished. We're telling our hopes, our dreams, or secrets. All without fear, because nothing can break this now. And in the morning, we'll remember, but we won't talk about, because that's just how it works. The hall light is on, just below the stairs, peeping in through the crack in the door that is always open to let the cats in. It's us, in a triangle of strength, talking about things that are the complete opposite and it doesn't matter that they're that way. We're not just a triangle of strength, we are a triangle of hope.

Us with the sun shining on us as we pose for the camera. Butterflies are fluttering everywhere, and two of us are secretly hoping they don't land on us, or we might just cry. It's the picture of friendship, as we smile and hold each other close. The air is humid, but it doesn't dampen our spirits. Our happiness soars to the height of the butterflies, and our hope is on their wings.

Us with punctured glo-sticks in our hands, dancing around my basement again, bringing the darkness to life. It doesn't matter that one of us has love-handles, and another has a bit of a stomach, and another has scars that run across her abdomen. We dance in short skirts only one of us would ever wear outside of the darkness and bras that don't match anything we ever wear. We laugh and sing and paint each other with the glowing substance. We smile wide without restraint, and our hairs are a mess because we just don't care. The blend of light and dark mixed with our endless and seemingly unconditional love for each other gives us the freedom we crave, and the hope we need to keep going day after rotten day.

And then I'd show Us in different places- one in her basement playing horse and car games on her television, because I just can't picture the party girl she is now. One up late at night, staring at her cellphone, texting shallow messages to the new people she knows, because they just wouldn't get her like I do. And one sitting at her computer desk, work all around her, and piles of books, because she needs something else to fill her time now that all the memories are what was and never, ever to be what will be. And in this broken picture, there'd be hope still. Hope in new futures, sitting right above the shattered hope of staying together.

Basically- I'd paint a picture of Us and Hope, because that's what is the same about all these pictures, and every other one I can think of.

It's enough to make a girl want to go back, or to plan out a fairy tale ending. Another bike ride, another sleep over, another butterfly observation, another glow-stick night. And then maybe I could scratch the final picture, and paint something entirely different. A girl who has Us to play video games with. A girl who has Us to text deep messages to. A girl who has Us to replace all these pointless things.

I kick the pebble farther, and it lands in the gutter, falling, falling, falling. With it, goes my wish to bring everything back to the good times. The price for these paintings alone is too steep.


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