- 'Boats & Birds,' Gregory and The Hawk
The hallways had gathered dust, bathing in the fading sunlight of the afternoon. The oil paintings hanging on the walls had started to fade a bit from sun damage. I walked along the hallway, my hand floating along the wall, coming to rest on the dusty windowsill that I had once made my familiar spot that I came to to think back when I was here.
Looking out the window at the grassy lawn that seemed oddly placed in the concrete city, I tried to prevent the tears that seemed to already be welling in my eyes. School was in session, but I hadn't seen one girl walk through these halls yet, though I had only been here for a total of ten minutes. Hadn't seen the gaggle of girls in high heels trotting by, gossiping and trying to hide their scars from each other.
"Do you come here to think too?"
I turned around, startled, and saw a girl of 16 standing behind me. Oxford shirt un-tucked from her skirt and wearing five inch Miu Miu heels, her dark hair lying beneath her shoulders, the similarities were frightening.
"Oh, I don't go here. Well, I used to. Not anymore."
Her green eyes stared at me for a moment.
"Well, this is where I come to think. What made you come back here?"
"One of those shit things they make you come to?"
"No, more like I've been in hiding for a bit and realized I needed to reconnect with the people who are the reason I'm even alive right now."
"Funny, I came here to hide."
"So did I, a long time ago."
"Did it work?"
"No. I still had to face my past. You probably will too. But it'll make you stronger. And the people who help you through it? They'll be the ones that are your life long friends."
"So why did you hide from them after?"
"What do you mean?"
"You said you had been hiding recently."
"Yeah, I was."
"I guess I wasn't ready to really accept who I was. I knew who I was here, but once I was out in the real world, everything seemed to get a little fuzzy."
"So are all your other friends back too?"
"They will be. I don't know when. But we agreed to meet sometime this week."
"What if they don't show up?"
"What makes you so sure?"
"We all have ghosts here."
She looked at me for a moment, then walked beside me and looked out the window as well.
"Maybe you could help me with mine."
"I can't promise anything."
"Promises are a joke anyway."
She laughed, the hallway brimming with the light her laughter brought. I studied her for a bit, still stunned by the similarities between the two of us. Finally she spoke, still staring out the window.
"I didn't even catch your name."
We turned at looked at each other as she held out her hand for me to shake.
"Nice to meet you Poppy."