again


On a rainy summer evening atop the roof of Radio Kaikan, you find me.

There are no clues that would have aided you in seeking me out. There is no glittering satellite married to the eighth floor of the building, no messy hole left in its wake like a giant's indented thumbprint into stone. I could never begin to guess what would stir your memory to compel you here; you have not lived this moment before. My own memory of when we would have met is muddled, truthfully: you could have told me it was August 15th, or 16th, or 17th and I would have believed it. What I do remember is that you being here means it will rain, and when it begins to lightly drizzle, I tell you it's about to rain harder. You don't believe me until there's proof, like always. And when we duck into the hallways to avoid getting any wetter, I impart the image of you into my mind, memorizing your shape against the skyline, knowing this will be the last time.

There's lighthearted talk about you being too wet and the color of your underwear. This is the last time I'll hear it all again. I savor it, remember it, like a final look at sunshine.

You notice my lab coat is torn on the right shoulder. You fix it. I know you had picked the pink thread to sew with. I won't mind this time.

I watch your movements. I know them well but I cannot help but watch. Your very being is scientific phenomena, beautiful and unique and perfect. When you sew your actions are practiced and sure, full of purpose, like when you're doing an experiment.

You notice me staring and call me a creepy pervert. I smile but don't look away. Then you say that it feels like déjà vu, for some reason- you don't know why you decided to come here, or why this all feels like something we've done before. It's just like you to know that there is a reason.

I don't know what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow is nothing but variables and tangents spinning to infinity. Tomorrow you could miss a step down from the lab and shatter like so much rain, or walk into a street and be struck by a wayward car with your mind still filled with fantastic ideas and images that I cannot envision. I cannot guarantee your safety tomorrow or the days after. I can only hold what we have, and I can only hold onto all that you are, and hope that neither of us breaks. But I know you're here, right now. In this wide world, unknowing, uncaring of two souls that would seek each other out over and over, we are together still. Your soft hands are clammy against mine, my warm breath pushes back against me from your shoulder, and you're here. We are not unlike any other mismatched pair, and I'm satisfied with the knowledge that at least for this lifetime, we'll have our chance together.

I brush my hand against your own, unprompted.

A sputtering, disbelieving laugh rocks through you. I'm close enough that when you tilt your head away some of your wet hair brushes against my nose. It must be a surprise when I reach out and draw you closer, confirming what my mind knows: this moment is real.

Our limbs tangle. You return my embrace, with a tightness that is nearly desperate. My nose presses against the crook of your neck and I run a hand through your damp hair, thinking of world lines intertwined like yarn and know that we're the same, and come what may, I will remember you and find you and love you again and again.

-End-