by Christine Miller
Ophelia by Tres Crow
She walked into the store like every eye in the place was a tiny trifle meant only for her but really the only gifts there were mine. Her greens darted from the candy rack to the fridge to my apron, seeing none of it and it was as though she was drawing breath from my breath. She said: “The tiny fissures of everyday life, the things we simply can not understand about another person, are some of the hardest things to get over, aren't they?” But I had no idea what she was talking about and her placid face, pale as surf, was forced into a red bundle around her nose. She cried—we were only us two in there after all—and it was unintelligible, yet also strangely a language much more akin to more like similar to something I'd heard before from myself. It was the reverse of her entrance; I was suddenly aware of everything around me, the pop and the candy and the neon lights. And I wasn't afraid but the blood of my heart was in my face and I could see she knew. Her sorrow was in my ears as I ran around the counter and faced her. For the first time in all those months our eyes met and her words and lips lifted to mine. I heard them and I felt them; I was somewhere in greens and blacks, nightfall then bright sunlight. I asked: “What is your name?” though I knew it didn't matter. Not in days like these. She said nothing but she knew I knew because the blood of her heart was in her face as well. And we jumped off that bridge together because neither of us wanted to be alone. Not in days like these.