It has been a month since she got back. Three since she didn't say goodbye.
College didn't start for at least a couple more weeks but she wanted time to heal—a luxury she couldn't give him back. How fucking selfish. But it was smart too; sometimes people just mess the two up.
She fixes her hair into their messy curls. Chin up, she tells herself, the jar will be filled and you'll find yourself on a plane back to France in no time. He'll forgive you, you have to make him.
Every summer day that crept closer to a new semester, she would walk to the near-by bookstore. She'd stop in front of a small shop on her way to work and look at the dusty globe by the window. He would love it and she would get it for him. A pair of red dancing shoes would steal her gaze for a few seconds.
Just a few.
"You look nice today." Terra greets her. "But you'll look nicer in your apron. Brimful is here again and I'm guessing you'd want to slip her some coffee. I swear that girl gets weirder and weirder. She's hot though."
She smiles at her friend by the counter. Terra was right, she always did give Brimful morning coffee, something that she shouldn't be doing but fuck it, it was just coffee. "It'll only be a second," she promises her co-worker.
The light-haired girl beams when she sees her. Brimful chimes a good morning and takes the coffee cup like drugs from a dealer, which in some ways it is. "Allie's coming soon to meet me here. Maybe Lars. And, um, possibly more people."
She laughs, "You know I'm gonna have to kick you guys out if you get too loud. That Allie girl is alright but when the rest of your friends are here, you can practically hear the book's authors rolling in their graves. I don't think my paycheck covers zombie insurance."
"Oh! That reminds me!" Brimful reaches into her small bag, "I saved this up. For you. For being really cool to me, and to Allie. Allie means a lot to me too. And now so do you."
She opens up the envelope and it's full of twenties. "Brimful. I-I can't take this."
"You have to! I saved it up. Money solves most problems and maybe it can help solve yours. I know it's not really a money kind of problem either but yeah, you get the point." The girl replies.
"H-how?" she stammered.
"I've been watching you a lot. You're like this interesting open book, the look on your face every morning is obvious. Plus, I can see that maybe you're just going through something. You regret something or you miss someone. Self-anger is really easy to read." Brimful tells her.
She stares down at the 20-dollar bills. "You think I'm angry at myself?"
"I know so."
And with that, she excuses herself and runs out the bookstore with as little as an "I'll be right back," to Terra.
She shied away when she knew he was going to kiss her for the first time.
He wrote her a song and while she almost cried, for some reason, she stopped herself.
Even that night in Trocadero Square and he was trying to hold her hand. She swung away. She always did.
It wasn't pushing him away. It was that she liked being in that moment; that little second of "almost", she liked staying there.
Even when she was leaving Paris, she almost said goodbye. She didn't. She didn't even know why.
Everyday since she got back, she wanted to call him. To tell him she was sorry, to ask if he was alright. To beg him to wait. And everyday she would stop herself, asking where her self control was.
Only, she didn't know why she was even holding herself back.
"So will it be only the globe, little miss?"
She snaps back to her senses. "Yes?"
The man shrugs and begins packaging the antique globe into a box. She stares at the globe. Would she even ever give him this? What was the point?
All those weeks of saving up for a ticket back, but she was only putting coins and bills into a jar with no intentions of using them when it becomes full. She only liked feeling that she had somewhere to go, someone to be with.
"Actually, no." she
finds herself saying. "Um, I decided not to buy the globe, sir. Also,
can you give me thirty minutes? I promise to be back as soon as I can I
just have to get something from my apartment."
"You look nice today," Terra greets her with the same enthusiasm as usual. "The Brimful girl isn't here today but—whoa! Are those new shoes? They look pretty damn fancy."
She smiles. "I bought them yesterday. I don't know why I didn't get them for myself sooner."
©2016 W.Greene, All Rights Reserved
© W. Greene, 2019. All rights reserved.