Clare, by Noni Jack

Through the Library Window Cropped, By Megha Patel

Wow, you’re so beautiful. Beautiful soul. Beautiful heart. Beautiful spirit. I could spend hours watching and observing you, only to figure out what I already know. People can keep talking and say what they like. Not one of them has stayed long enough to even get past the outer shell of you. Man, how lucky am I to be your friend.

The words that flew from your tongue when you said, I was your best friend. That was the first brick you took down. The wall was so high. So high. I’d been hurt so bad, and you just took the brick down. I did not even let you do it. You just walked up to the brick wall and took it down. No questions. No ifs or buts. No hesitation. The second brick followed when you said, “You are more than my sister, you are my other half.” I could not stop you from removing the latter brick. Deep down I did not want to believe it, but I knew it was true. I did not want to believe it for the most obvious and cliché reason. I knew you had the capability of seeing right through me. The ability to use my big, open heart to every key stroke you pressed. It put so much fear into my heart.

Bricks started falling. Yes, more than one. You were doing it so effortlessly at this point. I could only watch in awe. It was almost as if you had powers over me. Hindering me from picking up more bricks to build the wall higher. Your intentions boggled my mind as you broke down every level of that wall. Your grace…oh my gosh..your grace as you picked up and removed the brick. Remarkable. When you asked me, “what are you thinking?” Bricks fell. When you asked me, “ Are you hungry?” knowing you may or may not have but only one banana left. Bricks fell. When you asked me, “Do you want a hug?” The wall seemed to be melting from the warmth of your love and laughter. Every single time you smiled at anything I ever said to you. Bricks fell. The way you listened to what I had to say no matter who was talking. You were all ears. Bricks were crumbling to your powers.

The wall I built was so high. So high. You did not even know what you were getting into. You had my heart. I had yours. Our heart had the same capacity to hold love. That’s rare. You never lied to me. You understood that I would understand. You never lied. You never lied to me. You either realized or knew that I would never hate you for being your truest self. I would always be there. 2am. 3am. 4am. 6am. 11am. 3pm. 5pm. 12 at midnight I would always pick up. The wall is still so high. You did not even look tired! I’m still watching you. Maybe I was frozen in disbelieve or by your soul to not call out to you. The way you went out of your way to do anything for any single person. It did not even have to be for me for more bricks to fall.

Then you got half way down the wall. I’m in tears at this point. Everyone who has got to this point does not realize I put extra cement between the bricks. My defense mechanism. Your getting to close. I’m so scared your going to do like everyone else and start shouting hateful words. This is when people take my kindness for my weakness. You never said hurtful words to me. You never spit words. You never stung. You never laughed or mentioned getting pleasure from me receiving pain or experiencing embarrassment.

pausing to collect myself

You loved me. You love me. You always had open arms. I’ve realized those powers that have kept me from building the wall back up after you took bricks down, it was never you. You would never stop me from doing anything. It was me. Deep down I never wanted to stop you. I never wanted you to give up. I never wanted to make the wall any harder to take down. I saw your wings. Your wings. Those strong, vibrant, white wings of yours. They were so beautiful. So clear. So bright. You lit up spaces in my corner through the holes in the cement. I am not use to so much love. Yes, I am loved by many. That is not a conceded statement, for everyone is loved. Loved by God. Loved by a sibling. Loved by a neighbor. But the love you have given me and continue to pour out of your heart flows like the gold in Egypt. You have created your own pocket in my heart. You have stuffed so many memories, delights, and sweets in that pocket. You have poured so much love into that pocket that droplets fall into other people’s pockets that they have created.

The days your wings were tired, I would see you resting on my wall. As if I was helping you. As if I was somehow supporting you. As if I was helping you on the days you were not strong. What? Me helping you? “Yes, you are so amazing,” you’d say, “I love you so much.” You said this to me. Me? I was the one who was watching you fly. You have wings, I would mumble. “Yeah, but what are wings when you cannot share the experience.” You touched the wall and all the bricks fell. All of the bricks. Not one brick was left in tact.

You landed on the ground as if your feet were whispering to the ground. You looked at me in the eyes. You never looked at my skin color. You never looked at my hair style. You never questioned what I had on. You brushed some of the brick dust off me, and apologized for how long it took to get to me. You looked into my eyes. My soul. My heart. You know what you did. You hugged me. You hugged me for hours. Hours and hours and hours and hours. You whispered in my ear, “turn around and look in the mirror.” I turned. “Look how beautiful you are, don’t you see it?” I didn’t. “Look again.” I grunted and looked again. I had wings. I had wings. “You gave me wings, they are so beautiful! Thank-.” “No. I did not give you wings.” I was puzzled. You smiled. “You had them all along, I only pointed them out.”

pausing to collect myself

***we are flying high. We are so high. Sharing stories. Sharing our classy styles. Laughing about the people who did not break down the wall. Bouncing off each other ideas about our future relationships. Laughing so hard that we are crying. Allowing our tears to rain across the planet in a way that acknowledges others. Making people aware that there are people like us that are part of this large water cycle. Sprinkling our love and using our wings to send reverberations as we fly. I love you my other half. I love with every pocket and gold mine you’ve created in my heart.

-Noni Jack