&A

“Is it still raining?”
a girl asks.
“Raining?” a sarcastic man
replies as he parts the curtains.
“It hasn’t been.
The rains are currently
not dominating
at the forefront
of our consciousness.”
The girl grimaces.
She feels alone.
“On the contrary,” I say,
“I have to wonder
when the rains will stop.”
My own frown looks to her.
She cracks a smile at me.
She asks why I would stand up
for her
when she was clearly mistaken.
I respond with this story:

A woman is on a journey,
and while on this journey
is joined by a man.
‘You seem sad,’ he says.
‘How long until
your journey’s end?’
With hesitance, she opens to him,
saying, ‘This journey represents
my life,
what I’ve always felt,
what I still feel,
like my destination
is always so far away,
like the only place
I can fit in
is somewhere I cannot reach.’
The man smiles and bellows, ‘Well,
then it’s good that you now have
a companion, someone
to call friend as I call you friend.’
The woman stares ahead,
her expression stone.
‘I’ve been on this journey
far too long,’ she says,
‘seen too many come and go.
You may call me friend,
but I know better.’

I crack a smile in return.
The girl knows my story is over
even though
my journey is not.
Neither is hers,
neither will we be companions
to each other on our journey
even though and because
we share understanding.
We will not
call each other
friend.
We know better.

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