Have You Been Waiting for Too Long?
“I don’t get it.” She says, staring expectantly. He presses a finger to his lips.
They’re sitting at the edge of the rooftop, she with her legs dangling over the edge. He sits with his knees drawn up and his feet touching the ledge, his shoes nearly grazing her hip. He tilts his head all the way back and stares at the sky. It is night but it is lighter than usual, and he can count exactly four and half stars.
“What are we waiting for?”
He doesn’t reply and points up. She sighs and does the same. Her hair falls backwards and for a moment, he wonders what it’d be like if she loses her balance. But he doesn’t let the thought continue, because then, then, as they stare into this sky, and the apartments around them shuffle with silent flashes of TVs and kitchen lights, they see something in the sky, something that no one else can touch, no one else can see. Her mouth opens in a silent o and he smiles so hard his face might rip apart.
From the sky a glittering spaceship, a small brilliant thing falls with a measured slow motion, a display just for them, a loose spin closer and closer. It eats the lonely half star, wraps around the others with a teasing tilt. But it’s falling, and falling, towards them and for them.
He can see her hand, fingertips grazing the top of the ledge, the metallic blue nail polish, the indent from her old favorite ring on her finger. He imagines reaching out and touching it, running his guitar string callused fingers over her scar, imagines holding her hand and lacing fingers, her metallic blue against his dirty nude. He imagines the spaceship falling in front of them and falling into three words. He imagines a lot. He imagines too much.
The spaceship does fall, slower than his thoughts. She might not be breathing. It stops. It stops in front of them, directly in front of them. His heart stops. Her legs stop swinging. He thinks he might be able to touch it, if he reaches out his hand. He wants to try.
But he doesn’t, and it floats closer, it’s blue and yellow and gold and leaking sights and sounds like their private music box. It does a flip, it puts on a show.
“Oh my god.” she breathes. His shoe touches her hip.
It swirls faster, until it becomes nothing, nothing and then a figure, a tiny robot with shiny eyes, really just a box, a shiny metal box with two shiny black eyes. But it can move, and it moves to the space between them, it totters, nearly over the edge. It bows.
And that is when he swings his legs over the edge too, and scoots closer to her, scooping the little robot onto his hand, offering it to her. She hesitates, then touches it with one hand, not the one with the ring indent. She looks at him, he smiles back. She takes it into her palm.
He reaches for her other hand. It’s warm and soft, and he is surprised by how easily it slips into his, and surprised by the happiness that rushes into him when she squeezes his hand back.