I wish I could meet her again.

The young girl with the shoulder length bleach blonde hair, white in the sun, with the hoop in her nose. She had a way of letting words of promised proposition tumble from too-small-for-their-lyrics pink lips.

She was bold and careless.

Never fearless though. Hand rolled risk and bottle top bravery never meant she was fearless.

There was something in her gut that had a twin sister behind her glassy hazel eyes. She was quiet and controlled, bubbling nerves shut off with the damp gloves of self medication grasping at her lips. Her hair was bloody and matted at the nape, years of choking back the truth, sentiment, real emotion leaving her bruised around her throat. Her nails sat in their beds decorated and long, ornate as your reflection catching itself drunkenly in the Christmas tree.

I met her on a cold February night. She was tangled in brambles and soaked to the skin in clothes not fit for the seasonal biting air. Salted tears mixed on her cheeks with cold rainwater descending from the dark night sky.

I admired her audacity, truth be told. She had danced with hips like pendulums and a never ending supply of plastic cups brimming with cheap elixir whose sole process darted past alchemy and was merely for stripping away the few inhibitions she kept in her jacket pocket.

I say I admired her. I admired her as it is easy to admire something that evokes a deep and crippling fear, unpleasantly just below your ribs. I had not seen the truth of who the glinting figure was behind her irises, her twin, until that night. Until then she was just the life of the party, cliche as it sounds. Careless and oblivious, to the real matters at life’s aged hand. She was just a whirlwind of stories of misspent afternoons, of long shifts and guilty voicemails.

I did not see her again for a year.

Just less actually.

She was still a force. A triumph of blonde hair and drawn out roots, rushed goodbyes, ink in her ankle. Traces of fear and panic had been left behind from her thin arms to her protruding hips, shaken on a thousand busy dance floors. She was a vision in dark denim and thick leather trainers. Her hair had the remnants of an unforgettable night of pink dye and white wine. She moved like the ocean, rubato, toes dangling in the cold water of who she wants to be.

The waves broke, beaching her in the future while foam, blood and sea glass showered the tarmac. That was the last time I saw her. I asked around. No one else saw her after that either. She was laid to rest, in favour of the figure from behind her eyes. She still resembles the girl that was lost. She kept her bravery and pushed on; to a world where fear is not a side effect of living.

But still, I do wish I could see her again.

Just once.

Just to say goodbye.

Photo courtesy of Daiga Ellaby

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