She could make me smile at a funeral. It’s a discussion we have via text message as I walk around the church. I mentioned the funeral taking place as I pass it by, deciding to change my route out of respect for the family of the deceased. Just so happens before I learned about the funeral, we were talking about the domesticated rabbits that found new freedom in the city. There’s two of them. And she jests if the funeral is for the rabbits. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s for a human.” She counters, “A human killed by rabbits?” As the conversation continues, I let it slip that she’s quite some wizard. Having the ability to make me smile with such a dark subject can be a special gift few will ever possess.

She twists my words. She boils them to the most literal sense. Several times I’ve fallen victim to her logic traps and I find myself clawing at the pit, trying a way to argue a way out; I fail each time. I lose track of time when we text. Before I come to, she’s wishing me a good night, letting me know her phone’s almost dead. When I’m self aware of the time spent texting her, the anxiety of being a bother rises from my stomach to clench my heart. Am I being too obvious?

She makes a bleak day the brightest of the year. Standing in the YA section, reading through the shelves, I feel a panic urge heat my body. A feeling I haven’t felt in quite a way. Even with New Mexico, this raw heat didn’t course through me. At a friend’s party, she accidentally touches my hand reaching for a napkin. Maybe it’s the time we’ve spent talking about all things nerdy. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting better at this being human act. Still, what goes through my mind isn’t the same thought that runs through it had someone else touched me. There isn’t a feeling of burning. There isn’t a sensation of panic. I don’t retract my hand. Maybe that’s a strange reaction not to do because I offer no sign of assisting her hand to find the napkin despite that I’m staring at both our hands.

Jeanna tells me that maybe it’s time I took a chance. Monica tells me the same. And my “wing man” seems to be doing her best to keep us together no matter the circumstance. But the mindfuck is still fresh in my head, and I don’t know if I want to let myself be that vulnerable again.

Still…

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