Mary drew her name in symbols and calligraphy all along her arms. Taking pride in details, she used a black Sharpie pen and sat in her room for hours, tracing and retracing the shapes. She copied lyrics from Beatles songs on the backs of her hands and braided magnolias into her wispy light-brown hair. She wanted the scent of the flowers to seduce like an unspoken art. Silence was a key. Mary hardly spoke to anyone. And when she did, the phrases were so opaque that the person on the receiving end of the conversation could do nothing but shake their head and mumble. "The rain looks disappointed tonight," Mary whispered, as she sat on the front lawn with her best friend Billi. "Don't get out the umbrella." And they both lay down on the grass in the storm, Billi silently cursing to himself about his clothes getting soaked. When asked, years later, about her disappearance, Billi just shrugged. "She is what she always wanted to be: an enigma."

Mary waved her hands in tiny, fluid motions around her body. They almost appeared to be counting a waltz. 1 2 3 ... 1 2 3 ... 1 2 3 She held her hand out to Billi, expecting him to dance with her. "Where's the music," he asked. Mary smiled strangely, "There is none." They danced and Mary counted off the steps, changing the pattern every few seconds. 1 2 3 ... 1 2 3 ... 1 2 3 ... 1 2 ... 1 2 ... 1 2 ... 1 2 3 4 ... 1 2 3 4 ... 1 2 3 ... "It's a nice tune, isn't it?" she asked him. Billi sighed. "It is if you're not listening to it." He twirled her around one last time and walked home, unable to get the throbbing rhythms out of his mind.

Mary was running again. To anyone who knew her well, it was obvious that she had no real destination. But to bewildered strangers on the street, she was a spectacle. Boys were always chasing after her yelling, "Where are you going? Where are you going?" Of course, she was moving to fast to hear them anyway. And Mary bolted down the street, the wind whipping back her sandy hair, a beacon for the ordinary people who grazed the sidewalks. * * * * * "Do you know where she was going?" Billi laughed, "Of course not. It would be really ridiculous of Mary to really 'go' anywhere." The reporter shrugged and walked away. Destinations never held many answers anyway.
"I love you." "What?" Mary asked suspiciously. "I...I love you." Billi started pacing back and forth anxiously. There, he said it. He couldn't take it back now. Although he wished he could since Mary's silence suddenly unnerved him. "Well?" he asked quietly. "I don't know," Mary said, an uncharacteristic loss for words. Billi sighed and resumed his erratic pacing. "I just want to know, do you love me?" "Did you see that bird?" Mary said absently, pointing outside the window. "She's lonely. She lost her son." Muttering, Billi picked up his jacket and started to walk out. Just as he had opened the door, he heard her faint answer. "Yes."

Billi drove off to the hill where he and Mary had escaped to so many times in the past. He could still see her there, laying in night-shadowed grass. Using dewdrops to dot tears beneath her eyes, she would tell him the names and myths of all the stars. Sitting on that cold grass, Billi stared at the constellations, seeing traces and shards of a vision of him and Mary, moving in slow motion across the sky. * * * * "When was the last time you saw her?" Billi shook himself out ofthe recurring memory. "I don't know. It was hard to tell if I ever really 'saw' her or not." The reporter looked amused. "Meaning?" Billi's eyes wandered off again. "Well, I saw Mary in everything, it seemed. But if you're asking the last time I 'saw' her...then I guess it was when I confessed my love for her." "Why do you think she ran off?" "That's irrelevant," Billi said, giving a lazy smile, "There are many theories. All of them true, of course." He got up and walked away to return to that hill.