You lived on the other side of the city. A fifteen minute walk from where I lived in one direction was one city and an hour walk in the other direction was another city. You lived near the further city. I decided I was going to pick flowers and bring them to you. It was night time. It was windy. I had to cover the flowers with my hand to keep them from being blown around and I was scared that they would tear.
I picked a red one, a purple one, a white one, a white one with red specks on it, and I don’t remember the others, but I had I picked two of each kind. I picked them from a median in a parking lot of a nearby plaza. The flowers were sticky and felt fuzzy.
I walked on the right side of the street. I had a jacket on. It was the black one with white stripes that I gave to you later on that year. I had the hood up because my hair was long then and I didn’t want it to blow around in the wind because it was annoying. I walked past the train tracks near the business park with all of the trailers. I fell out of one of the trailers once and skinned my hip and you laughed. It really hurt, but I was happy.
I didn’t feel cold. A man walked past me with a basketball. He wasn’t bouncing it, he was just holding it. I felt like a man holding a gun was following me. I turned around and a man was there and I was scared. I felt worried that the flowers would tear or that the man would kill me and I wouldn’t be able to bring you flowers because I’d be dead. I didn’t walk any faster. The man turned down a street. I felt a little relieved. I texted you and you said that you’d meet me half-way.
You said you’d meet me at Jack in the Box, which was only about a sixth of the way, maybe a little less. You were there with your cousin and your sister.
‘Thank you. I really like them.’
You went back to talking and laughing with your cousin and sister. I didn’t know what you were talking about. I tried to act like I wasn’t upset. There were used ketchup packets on the table. I didn’t buy anything.
‘Let’s go to 7/11.’
You put on your cousin’s scarf and we played with it and I felt upset because I didn’t feel acknowledged enough, but I didn’t allow myself to look upset.
You asked me what I was thinking about and I said I was thinking about nothing.
‘You can’t be thinking about nothing because that’s still something.’
I said that I wasn’t thinking about anything and that my mind was empty. You still said that I can’t think about nothing.
We crouched down in a ditch near the street where they had dug the trees out of the ground. You were wearing my jacket. The wind was blowing a little harder and you asked if I was cold. I didn’t feel cold when the wind was blowing, but I felt cold when it wasn’t.
Keegan Crawford currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He only comes out during the night. He is the writer of ‘The moon looks red and the sky looks black and I can remember exactly how your heart sounds at any given moment’. He is currently writing for and has written for various literary journals. More of his writing can be found athttp://allofmypantsareblack.blogspot.com.