The clouds glisten like water as the sun sinks into it. It strikes me how small it looks, like an orange ink blot in the sky. The other colours- the rosy pink blush, bright blue and the soft lavender look like smudged streaks of paint. God is a good artist. Excellent, even. And very speedy too because everything turns gold in less than a minute. I feel like I’m inside a halo, my four sides wreathed in a golden heaven but no, that’s short lived. The world turns a few shades darker, the gold into bronze and a splash of blue sweeps in as the sun drowns in the clouds. Blue, pink and purple show their darker side and they rule the world now.
I see the moon far off, wedged between two clouds, and spot a distant evening star.
‘O, thou art fairer than the evening air clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.’
I almost jump out of my skin, regain my calm, steady my heart and realise it’s Kevin, all done when he was just halfway through the sentence.
I smile at him now as he sits beside me, on the rooftop of my house.
‘Quoting Marlowe again, I see.’
‘Yep. But I mean it straight from the heart.’, he says and his amber eyes shine. I look away and the familiar weight in my heart returns, determined to crush me to juices until I give the game away. A peaceful evening, that was all I ever wanted. Not this, definitely not this. I look at his blonde hair falling into his face and I want to scream. Not in the way you think.
The sky is a beautiful navy blue now and the night winds start kicking in.
I shiver a little and regret it the next second Kevin puts his arm around me. The button on his jacket digs into my shoulder and he smells like soap and cologne. I wish he hadn’t come. But I can’t keep putting it off, can I?
The silence between us is stretching like elastic. I don’t think I can bear it when it tears. He’s viewing the twilight and I, the nightfall. We’d been the two sides of the same coin for a long time now. When the situation tosses us, the outcomes are often unbearable. And I’m not sure if winning and losing matters to him. But it sure does matter to me.
‘It’s a nice evening, isn’t it.’, His tone is airy but laced with ice. He can feel it too.
‘Yes. It is.’
The lights flare up below us, inside the rows of houses clustered together.
What was once vivid had dulled in the sky. Deep splashes of colours swirl on the cliff edge of blackness. I notice how a couple of little birds fly over the hues, twittering together cheerfully. My heart hurts when they suddenly part, forming a perfect v as they drift away from each other.
‘I don’t think we should be together.’ I say, gasping out laud.
He says it quietly but it amplifies inside my head. The words prick me like an overlooked thorn in a rose. Soft and swift, shooting a twinge of pain that fades as quick as lightning.
I see it in his eyes too and relief crashes in. So does sadness as I imagine him walking away from me. As I imagine myself still on the rooftop, watching his car leave. Leaving with those flickers of light in his eyes and golden hair. Leaving me in the darkness like the sun.
But he stays, his arm still around me. That makes me happy in a detached sort of a way.
‘We can be friends. Above our life we love a steadfast friend.’ He says, smiling.
‘Oh shut up, Kevin.’ I poke him with my elbow but all he does is chuckle a little. It then hits me that his laughs and tears wouldn’t be mine anymore. But I should get used to it. I will.
We can be friends, just like the sun and the moon. Apart but friends.
We watch silently as the night unfolded itself, the stars turning more pronounced, looking like tiny dots from glitter pens. And as if froze in time, we sit there like statues for a long while, with the moon above shining on us like a spotlight.