A walk after dinner. The streets, strongly lit by neon and colourful lights, was beginning to slowly fill in with strangers. Her mind reeled. Thoughts raced past the reality: Strangers. Proximity breaches. Small bumps. Accidental touches. Loud noise. Disgusted looks over her appearance. Eyes over her flaws. Space, lack of space.
One quick heartbeat. “Was it because of the climb?” she wondered.
Then there was the second heartbeat. Followed by third. Succession of rapid thuds. Hands on her chest, she tried to hold it back. Rubbing her fists in small circles over her heart, silently asking the red thing to slow down.
He looked at her. “Are you ok?” he asked.
Silence. A nod.
They kept walking towards the brightly lit street.
The easy, comfortable silence between them let her mind wander. Her thoughts raced again: His disappointment when she says no. The decline of interest. The need to search for interesting communication for the lack of hers. Questions. Multiple questions. “Why is he with me? Would he rather spend time with someone else? Would he rather talk to strangers than watch me struggle vibrate my vocal chords?” Lack of knowledge. Lack of interest in common topics. Ignorance in politics. Ignorance in music. Ignorance in movies. Ignorance. Lowering self-esteem. Feeling ordinary. Wondering if he is there next to her out of obligation of friendship. Repeated nos. Repeated denials to him to do that one thing he wants to do together. Unable to fit in, again. Frustration. Questioning the very existing thread of friendship. “Why friends with me?”
Eyes closed. Fear gnawed at her hesitant heart. She agreed to do it with him. She walked next to him in the middle of the street.
Mouth sealed. Words dead in her throat before they materialized. Discomfort ignored. Her sense and soul as empty as the emotions of the city.
Wild mess of paranoia threatened to burst out of the vein in her head.
Deep breathes. Control. Pause.
She walked on next to him, as he looked into his phone.