- Vol. 03
- Chapter 07
Between sunset and night‘Were you seen?’
It’s how it was now. They spent most of the day drifting between the crowds of people like clouds, constantly changing shape and colour to suit the day’s topic. It just so happened that on this day he had tried to look slightly more glamorous to try and find a fit with one group of classier children. The other had covered her face completely so that the imperfections couldn’t be seen, something that was becoming more common as she fell through adolescence faster and faster.
‘I missed you.’
‘I missed you too.’
They were standing just off a pathway near a park, looking at each other as if they had forgotten to speak. They spent all day thinking of what to say to each other, as they did most days, and as always, when it came to speaking, the perfected scripts filled with poetic compliments and Shakespearean quotes of affection had deserted them on the first glance. Time was not something they had in abundance either with her parents thinking she was at some sort of extra-curricular activity. He was meant to be at a friend’s house to do some homework.
‘What’s the bag for?’
Between sunset and night
They both exhaled a giggle and bowed their heads to the ground. She raised hers to find his eyes fixated upon her, wide with a slight blush illuminating them from beneath. The sun was just poking its last eye over the horizon and the sky above was a wonderful mix of pink and orange smudged against the clouds found in mid-summer, not enough to rain but enough to be canvases.
‘Why can’t we meet normally?’
‘You know why.’
He did know and the reality of it was harsher than the brisk wind coming from the east, where the sky was darkening.
‘But it’s just money. That’s all it is. Surely that doesn’t matter too much?’
‘It does to your side.’
He sighed, knowing she was right once more.
‘Look, I better go. My mum can only use the oven for all of us and they’ll be hungry now.’
Then, as they did with every farewell, they embraced. It started off as a hug you’d give your mother or father but after the seconds ticked away and as the sky became a shade of purple, the grip tightened and the sniff from her came. He then gripped as tight as he could, thinking the stronger he squeezed, the more it would stop her from crying, but it never did.
‘Same time tomorrow?’
Between sunset and night
They parted. She walked to the east where the darkening horizon promised poverty, arguments and struggle. He walked to the west, towards houses big enough to fit double the family size and a philosophy that those who weren’t blessed with opportunities were lazy.
She walked towards night. He walked towards the sunset.