Dear Skye

Kendall Phanco

Dear Skye,

      Remember that morning where the mist was so thick it clung to our eyelashes and made them sparkle in the light?  I remember how I had hush-walked, padding down the stairs, shoes in hand.  There you were outside, your breath becoming one with the cold droplets in the air.  We got in your car and drove for so long.  Forever, it seemed like.  But I was happy to be with you, sitting there and letting the hum of your old jeep fill the silence.  You loved that car; you’d had it ever since you were 16.  We stopped, you turned the key, and I pulled on the chilly metal door handle, opening the door onto the hollowed whisper of the forest.  You smiled at me, your eyes filled with the sparkle of adventure. I loved that look.

      Remember that morning where the sun had already heated up the air like an oven?  It was hardly six am, but as soon as I stepped outside I was awash with heat.  Within minutes, sweat glued my shirt to my back, clinging stickily as I moved.  You pulled up in your brand-new mercedes, the first car you’d ever had.  I remember you being so proud of it.  I was just thankful that it had air conditioning.  We drove out of town, icy air blasting our hot faces.  We had on a Beatles song, and you were singing all the words in the falsetto that you knew I hated.  I never really hated it though.  Seeing you so happy would be the best part of my life.  I knew I loved you then.

      Remember that morning where you were outside waiting for me before the sun had barely, barely peeked its head over the horizon?  I had flown out the front door and into your arms, and you held tight.  We started walking towards the woods, hands clasped.  I’d never tell you, but I liked walking, even though you were ashamed that in your 23 years on Earth you’d never been able to afford a car.  It felt so right to fall into step with you, watching you breathe in the crisp air like it was the elixir of life.  Out of the building next to us came the melancholy voice of Paul McCartney, and you frowned.  You had never cared for music, or if you did, nothing old.  You were always so focused on the new, and what was next in the world.

      Remember that morning where it was raining so hard that the streets turned to rivers?  We were far away then, huddled together in the hollow of a burned-out oak.  Through a crack in the wood we watched flowers being pelted by the piercing drops, dropping their petals like clothes to the floor.  You pulled me closer, and I felt your hot breath on my cold cheeks.

      The more that you’re gone I find that I hate you.  I’m sure I do.  I hate that you left, that there will never be another day like the ones you gave me.  I hate it!  I don’t think that, even if I could, I would ever say another word to you.  I feel my chest tightening with anger, heart squeezing, and I know that I would never want to see you again, I hate you— no.  That’s not right.  I don’t think I do.  I think I love you.  I loved you then.  I’m confused, Skye.  I don’t know the answers to so many questions, and more keep arriving every day even as I slam the door in their face.  The questions.  I stuffed a knit scarf, your scarf, or maybe it was mine, under the door frame.  I tried to keep them out, but they’ve snuck into my ear, sitting blankly in my skull, waiting.

      Why did everything seem clearer when I was with you?