It was midnight. They walked barefoot on the hot, summer asphalt in silence.
Silence can mean lots of things, like lack of words, anger, sadness. But not for them.
They had spent a lot of the summer like this. Together, going places, doing things. Each of them contemplative and silent, but still bonded together in a strange yet unexplainable fashion.
He liked to drive for miles and miles aimlessly through the countryside.
She would open the sunroof and recline the passenger seat, kicking her feet up on the dashboard and tracing the silvery specks in the sky with her mind that was, for once, in a serene state.
For them, silence was how they spoke. The gentle whisper of the un-uttered secrets hung between them as thickly as the humidity in mid-July.
There were no words needed to understand. They had already said it all.
She kicked a stray pebble in his direction and he kicked it back, the soft tones of his deep, mellow laughter blending in with the rich, velvety darkness of the night.
She looked at him with her face glowing in the dull, orange sheen of the lamplight.
He looked at her expectant expression laced with a restless curiosity that he loved so much, and smiled.
They ran, the wind streaking through her hair like invisible fingers unknotting a tangled mess.
Their heavy breaths were released in almost-perfect sync
Until, exhausted, they collapsed in the long grasses of the field
that were wet with the dew of a premature morning.
They lay catching their breath as the crickets and frogs serenaded them with a din of beautiful choruses.
She stood up and walked to the side of lake, watching the reflections of the tree branches above vibrate with the ripples of the water that shook the sleek surface, even though the air was still.
He tore off his shirt in one sleek movement and dove in the water, breaking the glassy surface
that had held her in a trance.
She did the same, stripping down to her underwear and transforming suddenly into a reckless mermaid, pulsing through the smooth, cool water, barely realizing that the moon above was a perfect, geometric circle.
They climbed out of the lake, dripping wet and returning reluctantly to their human forms.
In the guarded havens of the water, nothing seemed quite so difficult.
He drove her home in the wee hours of the dawn, right before the sky turned from a deep shade of blue to the reddish shades of the rising sun.
Her wet hand clasped his, as if they were each others' last solid anchors to the rapidly revolving world around them, to the complexities of their individual lives that neither had a firm grip on.
And when she let go, she wondered when she would see him again,
Or if she would at all.
But sometimes, it was the mystery of not knowing that kept her going.