I and You: the postscript

We struggled in the wind as darker clouds drifted over us and I realized I could not let go, I could not free myself. Don’t let go, don’t let go, do not let go, you kept screaming. I feared I might be pulled upward with the kite, that more than my hand would become entangled in the twine.

You grabbed the string with both hands, I told you not to, I told you it would hurt, I was afraid the taught string would burn your skin. You squinted and tears collected at the corners of your eyes. We had to take action.

With one hand free I was able to fish a small pocketknife. You opened your eyes and I unfolded the blade. You knuckles were white and you attempted to use your body to pull harder. My fingers were turning purple and I made a choice for us. You didn’t pull your eyes away from mine as I severed the string. Instantly the kite was swallowed by the clouds.

I spent the walk home unwinding the remaining string from my hand. You kicked rocks and repeated it’s not going to rain, not going to rain.

We stopped our shuffling and stood in front of your house; small raindrops collected on our foreheads. I thought to brush droplets from your hair but my hand began to throb.

You kept your gaze upward and said, “You know, you know I’m really mad at you right now.”

I shrugged and rubbed the palm of my hand. I said what I wished I didn’t, even when I said it I wished I didn’t.

Your lips trembled and you ran your hands over your head. “It was OUR kite.”

I sat in my bathtub and examined my hand. I wanted it to hurt more; I wanted to have cuts, scars. I wanted you to know I did care, I did try, I fought against the wind and risked lighting that might splinter from the sky. I took your pain into account over my own and I didn’t know what else to do. I submerged my head under water and listed to the muffled thunder outside.

I didn’t know if I could apologize. I didn’t know how that conversation would go. I emerged from the water and held my hand to my face. I wondered how long my hand would be swollen; I knew you and I would never be the same.

I and You: the postscript

xstephens

Salt Lake City, United States

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