Like Water

A boy and a girl travel cross-country to one another, trying to decide whether to run away from their family and religion to marry.

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6. AEROPLANE

“That’s when it started to get bad. When I came out to New York, I don’t know what I was thinking. We thought we could visit at the holidays.” They never did. “I thought it would only be two months.” It wasn’t; it was four. “Honestly I didn’t think we’d miss each other that much.” And that was the biggest lie of them all. Sitting in her hotel room, vacated for the internship, it would take her hours in the morning to light herself up like a light bulb to smile and chat in all the right places. Then she’d slump onto her bed, and cry, and moan. She never went out, and clutched her phone waiting for when he would like to call as though she was constantly waiting for a chat show host to ring her number for a million dollars.

“When he did call, he was nearly always cranky. We’d fight and say horrible things to one another. Like whose fault it was that we’d fallen for one another, and how stupid it was to consider a future because we’d be all alone in the world if we did. Then we’d hang up without saying sorry.” She didn’t want anyone to know that secretly, to cheer herself up, sometimes she imagined the life of her and Padam, simple and sweet. Then she’d be more upset, and tuck herself tightly into a ball to sleep, waiting for it all tomorrow.

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