~ a story ~
At its essence it was innocuous. Merely pieces of paper folded and secured together with two staples. At its essence it was small, easy to loose, simple to destroy. But it was all that it meant that meant so much to her and now means so much to me.
Her passport told the story of her life, from the first days of travel with her parents, to her last days before her end.
As I flipped through her pages, I recalled the stories she told me.
Paris, where she grew up, mostly. It was the longest her parents stayed anywhere if you combined the multiple stamps shown in the little book. She was fluent in French, but that was true of other languages. That was something I loved about her.
Barcelona. She had a scar from a bull when she had, in her abrasive teenage years, decided she needed to really feel fear. She survived mostly unscathed, but my heart still quaked each time she spoke of it.
Sydney. Her skin was a cocoa brown, but I loved her pictures of her tanned complexion, a deep chocolate that brought out her eyes and stood in strict contrast to her dyed copper hair.
She loved being different, eccentric. She wore her complexities as badges of honor. Any who did not love the various parts of her never got to love her at all.
She was quick to back away, quick to shield her heart. I was surprised I lasted as long as I did, though I suppose there are always exceptions.
Home, her actual home, was Washington DC. Her extended family lived on the right coast, and she’d always visit in the summer. I met her one of those summers. With sunnies from down under, an Abbey Road vinyl purchased in London, and actual chopsticks from China, I found her enthralling.
When she invited me to go with her, to run to some far away country, I couldn’t help but say yes. Yes, even though I couldn’t really afford it. Yes, even though I wasn’t the first. Yes, even though I didn’t know if she loved. Yes, because I loved her and the rest didn’t matter.
When she kissed me, in a dark alley somewhere in Amsterdam after we’d eaten pot brownies and spent the afternoon listening to jazz, I thought my life couldn’t be any more perfect.
And it never, ever, got better than that.
Sitting here, flipping through her passport, remembering the trips I took with her and the ones she recounted on cold nights while sipping cocoa or over beers at a dive bar, I wonder if she traveled for fun or if was all just a ruse. Was she running towards a fabulous life or running from living a real one?
Now that she’s gone, and I have no chance of asking her the hard questions that never came up in our adventures, I guess I’ll never know.
Categorised as: Gen Fiction
Comments are disabled on this post