She sat back in the bleachers, leaning against the wall. She was intently watching, but what she saw was not what was going on in front of her, but three pictures which, in turn, passed before her eyes. The first was of a boy with dark brown hair and similarly coloured eyes. There were two pictures, instead of one, a year and a half ago with short, managed hair and a tiny smile, and two months ago with long unmanaged hair, poofing around his head, a silly grin and some of the same sad look in his eyes.
The second was of a boy with dark hair and eyes, with a slight reddish tinge. He had a chinstrap beard and a face missing the marks of long emotional pain. He, unlike the others, was markedly athletic, with an obvious motivation and joie de vivre that found its home in sports.
The third was of a boy with hazel eyes and light brown hair that went past his ears in straight bunches and stood up in some places. He, too, had two pictures, one frozen in a photo booth with crossed eyes and a grin, the other his fixed expression of nothing, the one he tended to employ the most. His face was different from that of the others, with a big nose and large jaw.
All three were handsome, in their own way.
All three were identical, in their own way.
She’d been fixated on the second and the third because they could, maybe, have been the first. “If you met someone like me, only better, wouldn’t you leave me for him?”
She said no, then realized that, in her mind, she’d already done it twice.
And, every time, she looked back towards the first and wondered why she had ever wanted more. Constantly and consistently reneging on every action leading her away, on every action leading back. Trapped in limbo between present and past, in love with both he and him. What did “better” mean anyway? She certainly wasn’t any happier now.