Heat lightning turns to the real thing, just a little ways north. But straight up, neck craned to the sky, I can still see the stars. Just like that, I’m back in the driveway with my head on your lap and your fingers tracing promises through my hair.
Even though it’s been years, these showy nights and the late summer heat still bring me right back to you. And at first that bothered me – like it was just another thing you stole away with when you disappeared. But now, I don’t know, maybe I’ve come to terms with it. Like, this is just weather – just physics and a splash of chemistry. And maybe that’s all we were, too.
Or, so I tell myself.
The longer I watch, the more I begin to compare our time together to a summer storm that just really took its time passing through. It was brilliant and bright and hot; we could have easily caught our whole world on fire had we wanted to. It was the kind of storm that took your breath for a moment and made you say, “Wow, yeah, this is really something, huh?” And it was something. It was something I loved so much, and something I look back on so fondly now. Even if it does mean I feel a tinge of that old, locked-away hurt. I still cherish the time you gave to me.
Ten minutes in the stars and the flashes of light. Ten minutes alone to remember those nights with you. Ten minutes to wonder aloud how things ever changed so much.
It was only a brief, abridged version of what I used to know, but it did me a world of good.
Just like you did, too.