It only takes a moment to turn on the radio
and get caught up with the latest music playing in town
It only takes a moment
to pick up an instrument after a while
and start playing again
‘You’re pure’, he said, staring at her in the one moment when her eyes didn’t meet his.
‘You’re pure’, he repeated.
‘What do you mean?’
‘I’m saying you’re not like other people. You’re different. You’re kind in your words and in your smile and in your touch. I know because that’s the way you treat me. That’s the way you are with me. And I’m sure you’re the same way with everyone else.’
‘And who said I can’t play favorites? Who said I can’t be that way with just you?’
‘Because you’re pure.’
‘You keep using that word’, she said, almost frustrated. ‘But what do you mean by it?’
‘I mean people are easy. They drink and they laugh and they spend money and they forget. They are doused by a few compliments or silly words and they immediately come around. You’re not like that. I can never treat you like I treat normal people.’
There was a hint of blush on either side of her face. No, wait, those were just her rosy cheeks.
‘And I can never treat you the same way I treat other people,’ she confessed. ‘Why do I feel you’re always shunning me away? Why can’t you let me express my love and tenderness to you? Why do you push my feelings away?’
‘I’ve never been good at this love game. I’ve never fully understood the rules and I was never really good at playing it.’
She held his hand. He pulled away from her.
‘Listen,’ he started again. ‘There is a crier in me, a crier that cries day and night. The crier yearns for something or someone, I don’t really know. Perhaps he yearns for some long-lost notion like true love or some other form of absurdity I don’t really understand. But he’s part of me now – he inhabits me – and he makes sure I am always standing on the shore, away from the deep end, where I am safe.’
Tears. How dull and insignificant they were. But hers were unlike anyone else’s – they were pure and sincere and expressive in every meaning of the word.
‘I’m sorry,’ she said.
‘Listen. Listen closely to what I’m about to tell you. Listen.
If I were to imagine the perfect girl, the smartest and wittiest and funniest and most beautiful character ever, she wouldn’t come even close to you. That’s how I see you. And that’s how I always will.’
‘I envy the man who ends up with you. I envy every guy out there who thinks he has a real shot with you. I envy those who’ll actually get theirs, those you’ll acknowledge and those you’ll ride with and go dancing with and have quiet dinners with. I envy them all, and I wish to be every one of them.’
He searched his jeans pockets. Tears were still filling her eyes like a gushing waterfall pouring into a lake.
‘Why can’t it be you?’ she asked. ‘Why can’t you be that guy?’ she screamed.
‘Honey, I told you, I’m not one to play the love game. I’m just a man who recognizes something exceptional when he sees it.’
He took out a note from his pocket and slid it into her hand. He then closed her palm and kissed her on the cheek.
The man and the crier both walked away. One of them way carrying the other inside of him, but it was hard to tell which one. She looked at the familiar silhouette slowly distance itself from her, the shade slowly splitting and forming two figures instead of one. Finally, they both departed under the sun.
The girl stood there, almost motionless, her eyes weary from the tears they released. She opened the note in her hand – delicately, ever so softly – and read the words written in ink:
You are Pure.