“I haven’t heard you laugh in weeks,” he says.
The fire crackles a few feet away. “Look—” she begins,
walking to stand beside the window. Her
interlaced fingers point to her own chest. “I don’t
think we see the same colors. I don’t—”
Breathes in. Breathes out. “I’m not the baptism
you want me to be.” She draws lines
in the frost on the windowpane. Looks at him.
She says, “I’m too young.” “I don’t understand,” he says.
“Even the cliffs by the ocean will erode
into sand,” she tells him. Storm clouds have been looming
all day, her voice seems to come from a place
she’s never been. “It just takes time.” Inhales. Exhales.
“You have shackles for arms, do you know that?
You love like chains.” A gust of wind rattles the door.
He jumps. She doesn’t. “What can I do?” he asks.
She says, “Forgive.” Her fingertips paint
patternless swirls across the glass. He asks, “Is there
someone else?” The fire is dwindling, the logs
letting go of their last ashes. She raises her hands to her face
and finds, miraculously, that it is still there. “There’s
everyone I’ve never met,” she says. Turns
to look outside. She whispers, “There are raindrops.”