umbrella

I blinked hard twice through the heavy rain and I saw him, under the cover of my wet, unkempt hair and the shade of my polka dotted umbrella. My brain, heart, feet, every cell inside me compelled to walk away. Yet I was rooted there, still.

He had on one of his varsity jackets, the conventional aphrodisiac, which seemed to be drenched along with him. I saw him, trace the very path we used to take together a few months ago, to the same street, to a house opposite mine. A few months ago, when he did not play with my feelings like they were objects, when he did not have that air of arrogance, that narcissistic smile on his face and wasn’t my bully. We haven’t exchanged a word, ever since.

The thoughts of it clenched my heart and I wanted to do many things at once: run away, or maybe towards him, push him, ask him what went wrong, sit down. Yet all I did was stand and watch him as he walked towards me. As if on queue he looked up and his green eyes registered me, looking right into him. No, I did not do any of the aforementioned. Instead I just pushed my umbrella up higher, so he could fit in, and he did, and we walked.

He did not say thanks, not once. Instead he said sorry, like everything he did was just going to be forgotten, a history. I just nodded wordlessly. It wasn’t okay.

We haven’t exchanged a word still. Yet, that day, I know I had conquered my bully.

Aish

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