eternity, pt. 4


It's funny how long even the shortest nights of summer can seem. I spent a summer with Eris in Maine, and we spent our nights on the grass of her lawn watching the stars, sometimes talking, sometimes quiet. We'd stay out until the light of morning crept over the eastern sky and one of us would suggest that we move to an actual bed.

On one night we were driven indoors by a storm, just after dawn. We ran inside and laughed in her bedroom and wrapped ourselves in blankets, only she just kept shivering, and I asked if there was something wrong. She shook her head at first, then sat up on the edge of the bed and told me that she'd spent the evening trapped in someone else's mind.

She lay there, paralyzed, staring up at these alien stars, thinking thoughts that she knew could not have come from her own head, just praying for a dawn that seemed an eternity away. Perhaps it was. I'm not going to pretend I understand what happened, or why, but even I felt powerless after she told her story. I took her hand and promised that I would always be there, at her side, and if she ever doubted who she was she would always have me there to comfort her. And I meant it--I'd be there through eternities both long and short.

She smiled at me and kissed my hand and said "That means a lot." And it was the most beautiful, heartbreaking lie she'd ever told me. No matter how close I held her, she would always be alone with me.

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