I knew where you were going to take me, as soon as you grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the door. The noise from the backstage of the theater- a medley of voices, drills, and screws being dropped- was lost as the black-painted metal closed behind us. The rain had let up a little since I had last been out, a few hours before, but the mist from the sky was still apparent enough. And cold; very cold. But I suppose autumnal rain was never famous for its warmth.
Ignoring the sidewalk that wound itself through the puddles, you opted instead to pull me through the mud-soaked grass, and I, ever the trusting fool, followed willingly enough. A mad dash across grass fertilized from year-old puke, looking gray, not green, as the evening darkness surrounds us. Or maybe it's just the clouds, ominous in their stark contrast with the pale sky.
There we were, running. Running across the sidewalk where it ran parallel to the brown stone walls of our school, and the forest was in front of us. The mist blurred the trees together in a mass of browns, greens, and dark shadows that stretched before us. Splashing through puddles next to the parking lot, and I remember coming down in the summer to watch the marching band practice. You always used to laugh at me for visiting their practices so often, and jokingly called me a stalker. But that was then, and this is now. And now, the bottom of our pants are a few shades darker than they were when we first left the warmth of the building for this cold, biting wind.
A quick glance across the street, and you lead me into the edge of trees. A thin stream of water follows us alongside the dirt path, as our pace slows to a walk. Silence between us as we pass Stoner Circle. Then up, up a hill that denies us to rise easily, instead letting the mud slide beneath our feet. You stumble, but make it up without falling. And I, as always, follow.
Down the other side, and we arrive at our destination. The bridge is nothing special; quite the opposite, actually. Rotting planks of wood that bend underneath the weight of anorexic girls, providing a crossing over what was once a river. Sometimes, like now, water rises a few inches in the rain, but it dries up within a day after the rainfall. Despite the dampness of the wood, you sit on the fallen tree that rests over the water. I choose instead to sit facing you, in the middle of our little bridge.
Really, I don't think we're supposed to claim it. It's the property of the school, but what's it to them? Nothing but a simple convenience for classes that occasionally come out here. But it's more than that. There, the words "Marry me?" in Sharpie on its edge. Just beneath, written with a blue pen, "Just say when." To anyone else, it's vandalism. To us, it's another fond summer memory, of coming out here with a group of friends to talk.
That's what we always do when we come here. Talk. Our own little confessional, in the shape of a badly-crafted bridge; as opposed to the usual ornate box in a church. We were never the type to go to church, anyway.
Your green eyes shine with that familiar expectancy, and I know what you want. My confession. I sit silently, waiting for you to say it. For some reason, I need to hear your voice, if only to give me courage. You tell me that I've been acting weird. Ask what's wrong. And there it is, out in the open.
Secrets come out of a person, in this place. No matter how hard you may try to conceal your words, keep them behind your tongue, your lips will betray you and spill all that you wanted to hide. It's just the way that things work, out here.
I didn't want to tell you. That much I knew, as soon as you grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the theater. As soon as I knew where this would lead. But out there on our bridge, as the rain began to fall faster, harder, through a break in the trees, and the river rushed on beneath us, I confessed. There's just something about that place. I didn't want to tell you, I didn't mean to tell you. A half-truth would have sufficed, but I said it all. Every last thing that you didn't want to hear, that I didn't want to say.
Lightning, and the sky lit up around us, around you. You looked at me with such disappointment. Maybe it was just the rain, but I thought you might even be crying, for a brief moment. A crash of thunder, and you got up to leave.
And I, as always, followed.
I don't know what I can really say about this. I purposely switched tenses, though I'm not sure why. Slightly different style than usual. Comments?