-1One - (Lucy, NEW YORK)
While sitting at her desk Lucy Sly opens the grey dictionary that she took from home to the 'A' section.
The pages are brittle, and dog eared from heavy usage in the last year. As she flicks pages upward she thinks that the dictionary is several years old, more then likely purchased at a Value Village when she was still a child. She stumbled upon it years ago in the drawer of Alice's desk in the living room. In the years since, like all tools of learning, it has been cherished, and hated.
Lucy stops at the word Assault, and with her finger marking her place she stares down at the meaning: ATTACK…
The word itself is so vast, holding many meanings, many pains, and too many feelings to contain in a one word explanation.
"What are you doing?" Carter asks from the bed, and Lucy closes the dictionary quickly.
"Nothing." She turns toward him with a smile before composing pen to paper, scribbling a quick sentence out. She hopes that he will notice no change in her behavior.
Carter is hunched, cross legged on the bed in his apartment. His bony fingers type ferociously on the keys of his laptop. "Finish your paper yet?" His eyes flip up to her from across the room, fingertips still beating the machine mercilessly.
Lucy pushes the dictionary away toward the end of the desk where a few of her other books rest in a neat pile. She writes a few more sentences but can't keep her eyes off the dictionary, which is now an arms length away from her. This is ridicules, she tells herself, and scribbling a few more sentences into her notebook, she loads the remaining books into her backpack.
"Done already?" He asks as she stands up from the desk, her hair falls over he face and he can't read it. "Just once I would like to finish my homework first," he jokes, and he can tell from her posture that she cracks a smile.
"It's almost time."
Lucy turns to him, backpack slung across her shoulders. She watches him look her over, they both know that their future is uncertain, and without words they both conclude that their lives together, as both of them have known it, will irrevocably change forever after today.
Tilting her head, she can remember back to the first time they met, nearly a year ago. How looking into his eyes she knew that he was the farthest thing from Washington that she would ever find. The one person in the world who could, at that moment pull her tethered existence into the orbit of the strange, and new, and wonderful.
It wasn't love at first sight, neither of them were cynical, or foolish. When they meet he was well into the middle of Medical School, and she was beginning her first, and last year at Barton Academy, a school known for anchoring and educating the worlds brightest minds. Their courtship was riddled with intense conversations, and their age gap of six years made her feel adult, and more alive when she was with him. It was as though his presence cemented her placement in the world, and for the first time in her life she felt that her whole existence meant something. He made her believe that her past could easily have been a plot line in a grocery store mystery novel.
Carter closes his laptop slowly, uncrosses his legs and moves to the edge of the bed. She moves toward him, and they kiss long, and deeply. As always when she's with him, she forgets everything that doesn't matter.
His arms circle her back, pulling her closer to his chest, he breathes in the scent on her neck: "Are you sure I can't drive you to the airport?"
Lucy pulls the hair back from his face, she wants to memorize this moment and hold it with her for the next three months. "It's better this way."
He sighs against her, and kisses her one more time before releasing her.
He walks her to the door, his bare feet shuffle against the hardwood floor. The sound of it nearly chokes her, and she has to hold back tears. "So, we'll call each other," she pledges, and he nodes his head in agreement. "And email, and text…"
"And I'll come up when I can," He butts in quickly, although the realization that his summer courses will preoccupy him enough that no matter how much they wanted to see each other the actual happening would be slim at best. "Or," he counters, "You can always come back and stay with me. I wouldn't mind, I swear it."
She smiles again, determined not to cry in front of him. She kisses him one final time, and leans down to grab her suitcase by the door. Before leaving she laughs at the whole ill-fated melodrama of her situation. Of leaving him, of going home. Of the agony of wanting neither reality, but knowing that both are inevitable. As a parting, she says: "I'll see you again soon," and as she moves down the hall she can hear the door moan shut behind her.
In the street down below she hails a taxi, and when prompted for direction she instructs him to drive her to the airport.