The City Of Impossible Dreams
“Follow me”, he whispered, quiet but resolute. My heart was going through some sort of episode as I felt it rise from my chest into my throat. It was nighttime in the quiet city on the water. The trees and grass sparkled from the mist falling from the sky as thunder quietly rumbled overhead. The rain let up for a moment as my legs carried me to a familiar place for a midnight tête-à-tête. Droplets of water found their way into my styled hair and my painted-on face as I stared ahead at his back.
What was going to happen? Was he going to proclaim he hated me and tell me that I was following him around too much and ask me to leave him alone? Was he going to profess his love to me and lean down for a kiss? At this point, it could go either way. We soon found ourselves alone sitting at the crest of the ledge over the Hudson, twinkling lights framing the City of Impossible Dreams, holding its breath until one of us dared to speak. We both stared on ahead, shoulder to shoulder (or more shoulder to torso, because he had quite a few inches on me) not daring to cut the ethereal silence. I heard him breathe in a few times next to me, but no words came out of his mouth.
Then, I heard his breath hitch, and I realised he was silently crying next to me. “I’m going to miss everyone here a lot”, he finally said, his voice betraying his emotional state. I sided up to him and I could feel he was shaking a bit. “Do you need a hug? I’m pretty good at those” I offered, and he swept to his feet and faced me, tears glittering on his cheeks. I gave him the privacy of not looking into his eyes as I got up too, knowing that it must have taken a lot for him to have been comfortable with crying in front of an acquaintance, or a new friend at best. I wrapped my arms around him and nestled my cheek flush with his chest. I could hear his heart beating erratically against my ear and I realised that there was more to it than just him missing us. He was having an emotional epiphany. He leaned into my hug to frame himself against me, his chin resting on my head. “I’m going to miss you most of all”, he whispered, probably unsure whether he had said it to himself or out loud.
Nevertheless, I still heard it. “I’m going to miss you a lot too”, I tell him. I can no longer tell if the moisture on my head was from the rain or from his tears. I didn’t mind either way. “I feel so safe with you….so happy. I’m going to miss this”, he pulls away from our hug to look out into the harbor. “It’s a priceless view. In the day it’s beautiful, but at night it’s magical.” He holds out his right hand, still looking into the distance. “Care to help me lower my score on the purity test?” “Gladly,” I saw with a smile, and lace my fingers with his. “Promise me I’ll see you again”, he asked, a twinge of desperation in his voice. “If you wish to see me again, then of course you will.” I squeezed his hand reassuringly. The night was ours, even if only for a few minutes. The night and the eastern City of Stars belonged to us and us alone.
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