How they love her

It’s that time when students finishing years of school, moving towards an unknown adulthood, write messages of devotion in texta on each other’s uniforms. There’s a girl at my bus stop covered like that as if all the good will in the world is there for her. Her name is Chrissy. How do I know? I read the back of her school shirt. ‘Best wishes, Chrissy. Always friends’; ‘Chrissy is Ace’ (beside an Ace of Spades). And a poem of sorts that makes me smile and remember, because at my age sometimes you start forgetting no matter how hard you try not to. ‘Missy Chrissie, Makes me Dizzy, Because she is so, good to Kissy.’

The afternoon is warm. People going about their normal, unchanging days circle around her. Once they were her, with the world before them. Once the messages of love and devotion were for them. Now they come and go, come and go, like I do and I hope for Chrissy something more than that.

As if she knows my thoughts she turns. Her eyes are not bright but bloodshot, her pretty face blotchy from the invisible anguish of having somehow fallen so quickly from such love. And the people like me, coming and going, circling around her, care nothing, and in this peak-hour crowd the messages mean little, for she is completely alone.

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