So like, she's got this scar, and if you know her then you know her goddamn scar because whenever she meets somebody one of the first things she does is show them her finger and the spot where the saw sliced it open when they cut a ring off it a few years ago so early in the morning. So that's her story. What she does when you meet her is ask did you notice her scar? and no, you didn't so she launches into the story.

Admirably, interestingly, the story has not changed, not been embellished, none of that over the 10 gazillion times I've heard it. The details are the same, they stay: wedding day was yesterday and tonight is honeymooning for her and her groom but she has an allergic reaction to what-the-fuck-ever and each one of her fingers on her left hand swells up like balloons and the ring is choking the neck of one of them and the choice is to hurry and saw the new wedding ring off or saw the finger off later after the rot has taken it away. So to the doctor they go and she's shaking the whole fucking time and then the doctor's shaking the whole fucking time because they woke him up because however the hell she got this allergic reaction infection thing she did it at 2 thirty in the goddamn morning and so the doc's tired and all and then - shit - he slices too far and opens her finger and as the ring drops to the floor the blood begins to flow sweetly again and the drops frighten her to fainting (for that's a not-so-uncommon quirk that she has) and she wakes up with stitches and her story and drops of blood in her mind. 'She' is Chloe and I guess it doesn't sound like it from the way I just talked about her but I am completely and madly in love with her and I always have been even though now she's married.

We've been best friends for-fucking-ever and I always thought that she was secretly in love with me like I was with her, that she had a secret idea that one night we would be up watching monster movies near dawn and outside it would be rainy but we would walk to the store anyway to buy Raisinettes and the store would be chained up and we would laugh there but the store wouldn't have an awning so we would hold our coats over our heads and when we would go to cross Broadway a lot of cars would come from nowhere and I'd stand in front of her so the tire splashes from oily puddles wouldn't dirty her clothes and when we'd get to the other side of the street I'd trip on a slick spot and she'd help me up and that is when we would be looking at each other but instead of it being quietly awkward we would kiss and then later we'd marry. But she married Mark and I never did tell her I love her and I have never hated anybody the way I hate Mark. I guess like last Thursday Chloe and I were walking around while Mark was playing poker with his dipshit buddies and all when we remembered that the news had told us that morning that tonight would have a lunar eclipse, so we looked up trying to find the moon and when we found it she said it was beautiful and I thought it was too but I kept my mouth shut because I'm no good at telling her how I feel and when I try to it comes out all wrong and I come out like an ass. The eclipse was either just starting or just ending -- I couldn't tell – and I asked her how they knew it would be an eclipse tonight and she smiled and breathed through her mouth and it was cold enough to see her breath and I thought that her cloud of an exhale looked beautiful so I stopped looking at the moon and started looking at her face and I got nervous every time she breathed. She asked me what I was thinking and I knew I wouldn't be able to answer her but that I wouldn't be able to lie so I told her that she looked really nice tonight and she smiled her biggest smile, which she doesn't like because it's rectangly and she doesn't think that smiles should be rectangly but I think that everyone who sees her smile must go home afterwards and write a poem about it or a paint a picture or write a song, it's that fucking beautiful.

She knew I was joking when I asked how they knew it would be an eclipse tonight, that's why she smiled. She knew because we went to school together, but I guess you didn't know. We started walking again and maybe out in the country it would have been darker but in New York City there are goddamn lights everywhere and maybe the idea is to help you forget how small you really are. We were talking about Mark and his poker game and they had been married for five years and she thought they were in a rut and then she dropped the fucking bombshell – she didn't know if she loved him anymore. She wanted to know what to do.

"Marry me," I breathed. I knew she wouldn't really hear it.


"Nothing, I don't know... if you don't love him then I guess you should get a divorce."

"I really thought we would last."

Neither of us knew what to say then so we kind of shut up and looked at the cars drive by and people walk by -- since I've quit smoking I've this habit of looking at the hands of people on the street to see if they are smoking, and I'm always disappointed for some reason when they're only holding a cell phone. Fifteen minutes went by; I still didn't know what to say but I wanted to say something, you know?

So I asked if she wanted Raisinettes and she said I was brilliant as it started to rain and when we got to the store at the corner it was chained – 2:30 in the morning and the store had no awning. God, I thought, if you're fucking with me... She said "Makeshift umbrellas!" and pulled her coat above her hair and I did too and we ran but there were cars everywhere and I saved her from the puddles and I thought this is it, this is my dream, this is a sign, I have to fucking kiss her and we got across the street and I slipped and she helped me up and we were looking into each other's faces and it wasn't at all awkward and the eclipse was ending now – I knew because while we were silent together and I was counting cars and cigarettes, the moon had vanished and was returning now, just a sliver still covered – and we were looking at each other and her breath was making clouds that didn't hang in the sky, it was making clouds that floated to heaven if we were going to kiss and floated to the soulless fucking atmosphere and full moon if we weren't and her clouds fogged my glasses and her clouds meant everything and if we kissed her clouds would stop and my clouds would stop and everything would work and Mark wouldn't matter and her scar would be all that was left of the bastard; scars are forever but lovers aren't always and our clouds floated and the eclipse ended – this had to have been a full minute now of looking at each other even though I couldn't really see her through my hazy glasses and I was thinking of clouds and smoke and Mark and scars and the moon and most of all I was thinking that this wouldn't happen again and I was frozen but I took my glasses off, our faces so close, and we smiled and her eyes closed and I closed mine too, we leaned in and I knew.

this is my very first write-up (node?), a short story of mine. sorry if i made any clueless mistakes.

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