The day felt too long for my own liking, but a rare night’s fog never fails to fill my cup. 

The air was distinctly pungent with the smell of December—crisp and healing to the soul. I’m glad to share it with another, though I wish it wouldn’t be ruined this way. 

She and I, walking as if sister and sister, stopped with every step to watch the fog. The lights from cars and buildings illuminated the seemingly invisible mist, but as it passed over the rays and into the shadows once again, it disappeared. I finally looked towards the horizon to see a burnt orange hue waiting for us directly at the end of our path; I didn’t heed the warning, though I wish I would have. 

I saw the two gleaming white lights: my exit ticket to safety. The rhythm of my feet seemed to rush, matching the fluctuating pattern of my heart beat. I could see my way out but I was foolish to think she would hold her tongue. She was patiently waiting for this moment; she knew a storm was brewing, but I wonder if she knew it was by her own hand. I felt a pull to turn around. My curiosity was a magnet to hear what words were anxious to tear into my mind. My eyes begged her to not, but she had succumbed to the orange mist, blinding her eyes from seeing the plea of my own. 

She knew. The love I had just lost: him. Him, whom she had just won.

She who once held me when I cried, she who wet a towel to cool my burning forehead, she who wiped my tears with her own sleeve. I knew the envy looming in my future should she continue to speak but I let her gloat—after all, a fictitious sister was better than none. 

I inhaled, and she exhaled.

“I didn’t know what love felt like,” she smiled. Her feign cut through the mist to look me in the eye—a conscious effort, carefully deliberated like poisoned ivy chooses its rung as a mate–just to distort my fresh yet weak sense of solace. 

She who once felt—or pretended to feel—the burning, the yearning I feel for him, and yet still decided to stick the thorn further into my side. I could do nothing but say,

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”

Photo Credit: Natalie Bright