The boy walks next to the girl in the darkness, watching her clumsy steps, ready to reach out and steady her should she start to fall over. The girl avoids his eyes. It’s the first time in the three months she’s known the boy that she has not enjoyed his presence. She studies Orion’s Belt, disappointed in the boy’s disinterest in the constellations raging above them.
He tells her the star gazing is better in the Midwest.
She says she’d rather squint and pick out the specks of light from a coastal perspective.
She hates the surrounding sea of red and craves the comfort of her home state, a stubborn blue. A year from now she will still be unable to forgive him for tonight, the dazzling blanket of his own privilege allowing him dry eyes while hers haven’t stopped making a mess of her drugstore brand mascara since midnight. This won’t stop her from falling in love, though, because she’s always been the forgiving and romantic sort.
She can find herself occupied in love with almost anyone.
Despite this, she is vindictively amused by the cycling headlight strapped to his absurd forehead, and almost trips over her own wine-drunk toes when he switches it on to inspect something in their path, forgetting it is still lit when he looks up at her laughter. LED spots linger behind her eyes when he hugs her goodbye, and she notices the moon over his shoulder, waxing gibbous, her favorite.