When we get to the field, the night is in full bloom
. The air is cool, the moon is full and the world is silent and beautiful
. Here I am at home, I tell her, here where the stillness
is only broken by the occasional cicada
calling out for its mate and the only lights come from the sky
above. I brought her out here to show her this, even though I know she is more at home in the city
. She asks where the nearest Starbucks
is with a wry smile on her face. I just smile, I don't have the courage to tell her how beautiful her face looks in the glow of the moon
. I know it would upset her, for reasons I could never understand
We walk over to the power lines and I take out the fluorescent light I brought. The night before I told her about the power lines, that they give off enough power to light up a bulb. She pretended not to believe me, she always liked to give me a hard time. She said she thought it was cute when I got defensive and pouty, I was usually happy to play along. But this was the perfect excuse to bring her out here and relive a bit of my childhood. We go underneath the power lines and hold up our light. It emits a soft glow in the night as the radiation from the power lines hit the tube. I don't know why, but fluorescent lights always look softer and more radiant in the middle of a field at night. We wave the tube around for a few minutes and I give her a smirk. She just smiles and punches me on the arm. I lean over to kiss her cheek, but she pulls away and gazes up at the stars.
After a while we walk down the railroad tracks to the little creek where I used to play when I was younger. It's different now, the little bridge is overgrown with weeds and gates have been put on the crossing. In the distance, you can see the housing developments that are slowly growing into the land where I used to sled in the winter. In a few years, it will all be gone, but on this night we can ignore the invasion of civilization and enjoy the feel of the country. We sit on the little concrete bridge over the creek and throw rocks down the tracks. The cicadas are louder here, but if you close your eyes and listen you can hear a rhythm in it. I used to sit for hours just listening to them, it's a sound that I never grow tired of. We sit in silence for a while and I notice she begins to play with her shoelaces. She doesn't want to say anything but I know she is bored. I give in and we head back to the car.
On the drive home we are both silent, lost in our own thoughts. When I pull up to her apartment, we both look at each other, knowing one of us has to say it.
"This isn't working out, is it?” she says.
She's right, but it hurts me anyway. We talk a few minutes, both of us knowing it's over but pretending we might be able to make it work. Eventually she gets out of the car and leans back to say goodbye.
"I hope someday you realize how amazing you are", I say to her before she can speak.
It was the last thing I ever said to her. She never believed me when I told her how beautiful she is, she would not believe me now. I had thought that I could be the one to show her, that maybe it would finally sink in and she would see the beauty that I see inside her, but I was wrong. As I drive away I think about how beautiful it will be when she finally blossoms, and how I won't be there to see it.