Lila like Oceans

She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me…

One. She rides on my handlebars, bike wibble-wobbly below us. Her hair is a river, flagging through the heat, escaping hers scrunchie in strands like sunbeams. Bubbling shrieks are torn from our throats as we tumble to the grass. Walking home, our feet are hard, bitten, bare. Sasquatch.

Two. She sits with me in the tree, the chill of morning twirled between our toes, and she tells me she’s not afraid of anything. Sparks in my eyes. Jump, then, I say. I dare you. Right now. I’ll go first. And without a second thought I’m falling, down to grass stained knees and skewed white bows. Falling for her. Waiting for her at the bottom of the tree-trunk like I’ve waited for her forever. When she drops, she’s like a glass from fragile fingers, a waterfall tumbling from barren branches. On the ground, she greets me with a white grin splashed against red cheeks. Cheshire.

Three. Some days I walk like flame; purpose in my hips and pride in my shoulders, as if I could float into the clouds. I know she watches, so I stand even taller. But there are days where she matches my flame with riptides, pulling in and pulling under; I walk like fire until my feet sweep out from under me, and I fall down, down, into the depths and drown. Sink like treasure chests, still burning. I was lost at sea before the others knew its salt on their tongues, its tides in their bones. Siren.

Four. I am Emmie, and she is Lila. I stay in my little house on the big hill, with the tree like a crone guarding the lawn, secure in my kitchen window. Stare from my glass panes as she prepares to be blown into the world like a hundred kisses. Sweet as citrus, without knowing if there will be anything waiting to catch her. I can only hope she comes back. Odysseus.

She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me…

 

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