They met at the gazebo behind the old elementary school. Glynnis spread tiptoes and watched him clomp up the hill, his fists stretching knit jacket pockets. A confident moon hid any insecurity, his posture straight, not stiff. A joyful shiver tickled her soul, delight in knowing she was wanted. She couldn’t see his face, but it didn’t matter. This was about connection, not attraction.
They met online in a community activism forum. Evan amused himself reading her passionate battles with experts, until he realized he was on her side, even when she was wrong. He stood up for her once, and she wrote to thank him. She sounded innocent, irresistible, so unlike the others.
They met in second grade in Mr. Westley’s class, before he was fired for reading Bible stories. Glynnis knew all the stories and corrected Mr. Westley when he missed a moral. Evan adored the tales, more horrific than his brother’s comics, terror dripping from frameless watercolor pages. He knew she didn’t remember him.
They stepped together as he entered the gazebo, her backward move instinctive. The moment paused as avatars unmoving they sought inhuman reflex. Pixels to pores and breezing tendrils, she pinched a stray curl from glossy lips, his fantasy in living clay. Words and symbols, eloquence and poise, months of careful construction reduced to scaffold this instant as his fingers unfurled.
They stepped together toward the view they could not see, subtle squints at moonlight licks on twisting river tails. Evan grasped rotting wood, shooting electric sins to ground in timeless earth. Her pudding voice slid over familiar words, soothing repetition in mumbling bubbles that floated beyond reach and popped with moonbeam needles.
They stepped together and melted in first touch as he exhausted her words in wet acquiescence. Life was only his fingers on her waist, seeking spine and releasing energy he no longer claimed as his own. He pressed harder, sending his past into her forgiving bones, praying for a future without lies. Glynnis opened to his gifts, his firm pressure burying her secrets in layers of hope and acceptance. At once they both existed, and were no more, present instant by instant.
Knowing warmth parted them in morning ignorance. Their final touch on shadowed path spoke nothing. They stepped away together, private icons revealed through foggy beams, the dust of missing generations. He teased away her curl in fluttery fingertips, exploring his new lightness in her butterfly laugh. This time he would not sever the connection.