The beginning of this story is pretty hazy, I’m not really sure I remember how the whole thing started but when it was happening it all seemed to make so much sense.
The first thing I remember, everything seemed normal enough, I was probably just going about doing the same things I do most days, nothing special. Then all of a sudden this terribly great thing happened. Everyone was talking about you. Something important going on and you where right at the center of it. As I later found out you had gone missing or run away or just vanished, nobody knew. I defended you when they said they had seen it coming, that they had seen it in your eyes. I knew better than that. This was a place of loners and lovers, no families allowed, all the families had to go somewhere else, or at least they did.
I remember someone important, the Mayor maybe. He was like a cartoon villain, suave in a gray paper-perfect gray suit and silver hair slicked back just enough. He had a big smile and teeth like snow on a sunny day. He was a game show host villain.
He was the one making the biggest fuss about the whole thing. Always talking about how we shouldn’t feel ashamed of you for running away or that we should pray that you be safe wherever it was you had gone. But he just had those big phony teeth.
There was something going on with friends, at school I guess, like they wanted to keep talking about it but I didn’t. I knew you were coming back, how couldn’t you. I tried to explain to everyone that there was no way in hell I would be that cruel to myself, but they had no idea what I was talking about, they thought I was losing my mind.
You remember that time we tried that one drug and things were not as great as you expected. That night we thought we were both going to lose our minds. This time I wasn’t losing my mind. I had all the confidence in the world.
There was a lull midway through, I had no idea when you were coming back and I was starting to get annoyed with all the people around me. I couldn’t believe they were still making such a racket about the whole thing. They weren’t even like real people, they all had these defining characteristic which became their entire personality. They were caricatures of real people but I didn’t have the heart to tell them. I didn’t care enough to bother with figments, how could I?
Then suddenly the whole thing was different, there was some new great event going on. Everyone had gathered to some great big open amphitheater. All the seating was facing a big fancy stage with lots of lights on it. Behind the stage were hills. Everyone was talking about them, those where the hills they said you ran out into. As it turned out that was the reason for our being here. It had been like a hundred years or something since you had run away and everyone had come for a ceremony in your honor.
The whole thing was absolutely awful. It felt like we were there for a whole day, and the mayor was speaking for over half of that. Everyone was so captivated by his teeth and his suit that they barely heard what he was even talking about. They all acted as though what he was saying was breaking their hearts though, some even seemed genuinely inspired.
The ceremony was going on and I was pretty done with the whole thing, I could feel the end coming. There was some pause in the speeches and all the seat sitters went to go freshen up. I took my chance and just ran out into those hills.
This was the best bit. All of a sudden I was in these hills, there was nothing but mountains in the distance and the stars were like light fixtures. They shone with color almost but the moon was so big and brilliant that everything was that perfect dim blue-silver color. By that light I could see the wind dancing in the knee-high grass, not like waves but more like snakes. I felt like a dumb rock when all I wanted was to be smoke, dancing with the wind.
Then you came down from the sky, you showed me all the dazzling swirls and swoops you could do and left all these crazy colors in your wake. When you finally settled down I saw you skin was like orange flame, soft like a marker drawing, moving around you like a flaming teardrop. Your core was all blackness and depth but I knew it was you. Who else would it be?
We hold hands and you fly us back to that big stage. We wait behind the curtain and we hear the mayor come on one more time. He’s telling the audience about one final display to tip off the ceremony, a dazzling light show preformed by a secret guest. I look at you in surprise but before I know it we’re making a run for it, speeding up those long aisle steps, up towards the exit doors at the top. Everyone is speaking about it at the top of their lungs but I can barely hear them over the sight of you. Your colors are all falling off and I can see your features being revealed as flakes of light peel away. We burst out the double doors and down some hallway. Out into the bright sunlight and I still can’t get over how beautiful you are.
And that’s how it ends.