The turn signal blinks hypnotically as she waits patiently in a shitty cheap company vehicle that they dumped on her at headquarters. It’s sound much like a metronome that slowly fades into the background of her thoughts. Tik-tok tik-tok tik-tok “Maggie deserves more than that cheap 99 cent bullshit!” The man is yelling that phrase animately along more vulgar and descriptive complaints at her in her mind’s eye. She sighs as the light finally turns green and, as the vehicle’s nose reaches the intersection, barely breaking into the oncoming flow of traffic, she hesitates for a few seconds. A loud crash rings in her ears and the impact swings the vehicle in a violent half circle into a street lamp on the right. But, that moment of hesitation passes and the crash that seemed so real fades into the recesses of her mind as she forces her hands to move to complete the turn after triple checking traffic from all sides. Maybe the next turn will be better. Well, hopefully anyway.
“The day is done,” he thought staring out his kitchen window. The soft glow of the street lamp illuminated the snow banks along his sidewalk and he smiled. There was a small shuffle of anxious feet behind a few boxes left by the garbage can, intended to be recycled, for months now. He turned around to spot Maggie, a hodgepodge of mismatched colors for fur, poke her head out at him from inside one of the boxes. Motioning her to come to him with his left hand after sitting down at the kitchen table only made things worse for the poor cat. While trying to respond to his demand, her paw caught on the flap of another box that was nearby and she stumbled clumsily forward. The man broke into a grin and started to laugh uproariously as she stumbled some more along her journey. Maggie never had good balance, this he knew, and he always found her antics to be amusing, but tonight it brought him pure joy. So, he stood up and walked the rest of the way to her wishing that the feeling would last. Sooner, rather than later, he would have to return to the world out there underneath the street lamp and beyond it where chaos reigned. A world that he barely understood anymore. But, for now, he decided to enjoy his small taste of paradise. He knelt down scratching Maggie affectionately behind the ears with a small smile ghosting across his pursed lips.
Maybe. Perhaps. If. That is her world and some would swear that she revels in it. Uncertainty. No guarantees. It makes it hard to stay. Makes it hard to get disappointed. Hard to claim and be claimed. At the first indication of an escape route, she will take it and claim it was the higher moral ground. Claim a sacrifice that was never hers to make. But it’s OK. It’s always OK just so long as she can disappear on her own terms. Her letter of farewell fondly planned out for another more final goodbye held tightly to her breast. And, so, she travels. Whether it be in the physical world or within the countless worlds her mind creates, she is content.
Where you hesitated, he forged forward. Blind and uncertain. Not a penny or possession to her name. Where you feared your own skill, he stumbled into it with no experience at all. She grew and came to be known for her craft worldwide. Where you blindly believed in fate and soul mates, he built his own path brick by brick. Her skin is marred, but she dies with very little regrets. Where a part of you dies, he thrives and I have come to stay.
He marched with her down the boulevard which ran parallel to MLK. Two different worlds separated by less than a mile of concrete and sewage. She preferred the boulevard, but he secretly missed the world on the other side. Maybe he’ll go back once she loses interest in him for good and it’s about damn time too. The smile that broke across his face at that thought did not go unnoticed by her and her smug laugh that followed made his hopes soar. Tonight was definitely the night to be him on that old boulevard.
They prodded and exhausted all methods of diagnostics. All that was found was her fear underneath the bravado once she had to make due on her promises and flowery declarations of war. Their disappointment was heavy. It weighed down their bodies and drooped their faces. Eyes that once held hope lost their luster becoming dull and disinterested. Onward, forever onward, they continue their search for another to die on their cross.