I'm Only Going Over
by Cat Hellisen
There are a million of them, flicking between worlds faster than grasshoppers, the whine of their wings cicada summers, white scythes sighing.
I caught one, once. Or it caught me.
We are at a party. Teen drama of stupid petty fights that happen under electric light, in sterilized bathrooms and modern kitchens, stealing vodka from a liquor cabinet, topping up the bottles with water. Cheap crackling wine bought from under the counter at the local corner shop. She's watching us and talking to no one. Lonely, maybe. I thought she was just some friend of a friend of a friend's. No one gatecrashes lame parties like this. Louise had thrown it--telling her mom she's inviting a few friends 'round, and she's so big-eyed and neat and she'd never be like that, oh no, and of course her parents believe her.
So here we all are, half drunk on watered-down spirits and being seventeen. Some best of Pandora station is playing and it is bland as shit. I've been watching the girl from the other room, kinda falling in not-love but hey, I wanna know your name and chase your smile through the dark.
She reminds me of my childhood, when the nothings would come sit with me when I hid in the little alleyway on the side of the apartment, and tell me that it would get better. It had for them, they said. I just had to wait until the time was right. And then I grew up, and I stopped inventing imaginary saviors. Now I look for the other people who don't fit in, and we have a five-minute connection. Or a one minute, or whatever. At least they're real, and we both know no one's ever going to save us.
She's one of us, dragged here to a stranger's house by someone who has already deserted her. We could be soul mates.