We tell ourselves lies to survive. Carefully constructed falsities to get us through the day. I sat in the passenger seat holding your hand. It was raining — I didn’t notice it at the time. Why didn’t I notice? English majors notice everything, English majors even notice things that aren’t there. Funny.
Your car smelled like coffee. I was wearing shorts. My legs stuck to the groves in the seat. We sat in silence for a while. We were never silent.
I asked you if it was weird that I wasn’t worried. You turned to me and ran your fingers through my hair, smiling as you assured me it was not. You told me that three years was nothing because we had the rest of our lives to look forward to. I nodded in agreement. If I were reading a book, I would have marked your words with a highlighter and labeled them as “foreshadowing.” Sometimes I wish my life were a novel.
I looked out the window. It was still raining. My environmental science professor told me that the odds of being struck by lightening are 1 in 3,000. That’s quite a large percentage when you think about it. If the charge hits you in the heart, you usually die because the electrical impulses that cause the organ to beat are disrupted. The heart is the most vulnerable organ in the body. During class, we watched a movie about a girl who was struck by lightening on her way to work. She suffered severe nerve damage and lost her hearing, but her heart was fine. The doctors said she was lucky.
Did you watch that movie? You always loved movies, especially the tragic ones. We were lost in conversation, “…This car,” you corrected me, “It’s not a car, it’s a Honda Civic”. You were so pretentious sometimes, but I loved you for it. I kissed you with the entire force of my soul, consciously trying to leave a fragment of myself on your lips. I kissed you so many times in that car — in that Honda Civic. One time, we made love in the backseat. The next morning, you called me and told me there was a dent in the ceiling. When your parents asked you what is was from, you lied to them. I wonder if your girlfriend has asked you about it. Maybe she doesn’t notice, or maybe you took it to a mechanic to get it repaired. If I took myself to a mechanic, do you think they’d know how to repair the dent in my heart?
When we first started dating, you said I had a motto. When things were difficult, or when I was puzzled, I justified the situation by saying “It will be fine.” You thought it was funny that someone with such a large vocabulary could explain things with such a simple, concise phrase. It became a term of endearment between us.
It was pouring now. I got out of the passenger side and closed the door behind me. I didn’t look back. The soles of my shoes squeaked as I ran. I went up to my room and started packing. I thought I heard thunder. A few moments later, my phone buzzed.
“It will be fine.”