markus moreno

“You lied,” it’s more than an accusation; it sounds almost like a curse.

I lift my head, surprised.  Yes, I did lie, but I didn’t expect him to look so, well, angry.  His hair was disheveled,  red of face, his clothes thrown carelessly over his shoulder—so unlike Jonah that it was one of the first things I noted—and I could see discarded items, presumable thrown, on the floor behind him.

I simply stood there.  Mute, unknowing, feeling something settle and rot in my stomach.

“Get out.” 

Not much to say there—I was already out, waiting to step over the threshold.

He slams the door shut, and I hear a single dull note of an object smacking against the door.

I know what this feeling is now.

This feeling is guilt.

“Why don’t we go out?”

The suggestion was the wrong thing to say.  I can see it now.  His eyes tighten, his mouth settles in a neutral line.   I get the feeling that I should shut up.  Turn my eyes away, pretend I didn’t say anything, but then I see him again—standing before the door, and I see something I hadn’t noticed before, his eyes are red, bags under them, he is biting the inside of his cheeks, he avoids my gaze.

I trace his lips with my thumb.  He looks up.  I press my lips against his.

“I have to go,” I hear myself say.

“Go,” and just like that, he turns away.

Laughter is in the air.

A girl grabs a boy’s hand and leans against his shoulder.  Two siblings grin at each other.  A man looks at his wife and smiles to himself.  Children run and try to catch each other under the fading light.

“I guess we’re not very good at planning,” his voice is soft, but his fingers tighten round my hand, and I can’t help a little smile of my own.

“No, I guess not.”

He turns his eyes towards me and smiles, “But today was nice.”

I meet his eyes, smile, and nod.

And away from sight, he leans his head on my shoulder and watches the sky, waiting for fireworks.