"Hello?" Her stressed and tired tones channeled across the phone wire.
"Hi," I answered.
"Hellooooo! What's up?" With the recognition her voice instantly became light and easy.
"Nothing. Hey, guess what? I have to write a personal narrative. No one here knows me well
enough to help, so I thought I'd call you."
"A personal narrative, huh? What are you gonna write about?"
"I don't know. That's why I called you. The only recent life-changing occurrence that comes to
mind is...well, you know what it is. That's not what I want to remember as the most profound
thing that ever happened to me." I knew she understood exactly what I was referring to.
"Hmm. I don't know; there's tons of stuff you could do. Why don't you write about the time you
sang? Yeah, do that!"
"Well...I don't know."
"How about..." her words casually carried me with them as I leaned back in my chair and twirled the phone cord around my finger. Our voices transcended the time zones, and for a moment we were side by side on the pastel plaid of my bed again, lost in language, staring at the glow-in-the-dark solar system spiraling its way around my room.
I laughed at some of her suggestions, and eventually the question was abandoned as we moved on to other topics. She started to tell me about her weekend and the retreat she had gone to. My eyes wandered around my dorm room, still searching for ideas. Eventually, as Gene's broken sentences filled my head, my senses rested on the pictures of two girls--one with dark, curling hair and deeply tanned, muscular arms, and the other slightly smaller, more pale, more light--sticking their heads out from behind road-signs or outstretching their arms from a shopping cart. I smiled, and...
... middle of paper ...
...hat I didn't "need" anyone; that I was the one who would first defy the impossibilities of such social isolation. I saw myself as a rock-- impermeable, protected. But, staring up one last time at the fading moon, I discovered that all the while Gene had allowed me to believe I was an island, dependent on only myself, she had somehow been silently and secretly changing that truth within me. I had needed her--needed her to slay my social fears, to uncover the secrets of my passion--and I had needed humanity.
The clock read 4:30 a.m. when I pulled into my aunt's driveway. The moon had nearly disappeared, and the early hours of the morning found themselves lit by that ever-gentle glow before sunrise. As I walked into the house, I didn't even look to find what was left of the moon. I knew that it was still there, just like Gene had said. And that it always would be.
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