Strangers

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

She died here?

“Here,” George points to the edge of the roof and walks up to it “I see what she saw.”

“Here,” Jessica sighs, joining George by the edge, her fingers clasping his shoulder gently.

I still can’t believe it.

There was a time, not too far back, when the four of us were inseparable. We were the best of friends and now, as I stand facing the backs of Jess and George, their bodies right beside each other – intimately close – I feel like I barely know who they are, like they are little more than strangers, even to each other.

I walk up to join them, glancing down at the illuminated city below. All the lights and cars and shops and houses – this was what she saw. Jess gently slips her fingers in-between mine. They feel like the fingers of a stranger.

Why, I ask.

Why, I wonder, they wonder, we all wonder as we stand and watch what she had seen in her last moments of life, what she had seen as she took her very last breath.

Was it somehow our fault? But how could it have been? We had barely spoken in years. Maybe that was part of it.

Should we say a few words?

“Yes, let’s,” Jess says.

“For old times’ sake,” George mutters “For good times’ sake.”

I glance at him for a moment, drinking in what he has becomes and what he was. His face is sunken and dull, despite the small smile that plays at his lips. There is stubble on his chin, rough and untamed, and his brown hair hangs low over his face to almost hide his eyes, lacking in any warmth at all.

Back in school, George used to be an embodiment of life and happiness; always full of energy and bursting with enthusiasm. His smile used to be contagious. He could light up any room, cheer up any soul.

“We were best friends once,” George begins to speak, his voice weak and soft, as if all the strength had left him “many years ago – few years ago – and our times together are something that I will never forget. Thank you.”

“Thank you,” Jess mutters “for being there, being a friend, being ours, being amazing, for being.”

She squeezes my hand as if to tell me that it’s my turn. I breathe deeply.

We have all changed, I say, looking down at what she saw and seeing it too, we’re all different people, we’re all strangers now.

At the rooftop by Hikkiren

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