She stood in the crowd with her head held high, pristine smile and poised composure. The speaker shouted, “…and we must stand strong, united for this cause, never ceasing and never letting each other down!” The crowd cheered and he smiled and scanned the crowd, allowing his gaze to rest on hers. She smiled brightly and winked at him, earning herself a return wink. After the crowd dissipated, she meandered through everyone, her only focus at the speaker. They embraced and he whispered through the noise of the dissipating crowd, “You didn’t have to come my Dawn.” She squeezed him tighter and said, “I wanted to see what you were doing all day. Also, I think it’s kind of cool that you do something like this, Nate.” They hung around watching the city return to its normal state of hustle and bustle. They watched, as young couples deeply in their own state of love and laugh about when they were like so. They watched new parents laughing as they watched their kids run around the open square, a sense of freedom they haven’t felt in a long time until they witnessed their own kids run about without any worry. In Dawn’s heart, something tugged within her and she turned her head to try and catch a glance from Nate, but he was too busy muttering about whether or not the kite will stay in the air, so she turned her head and watched the kites dip and soar along with the breath of the world. Her demeanor quietly slipped into a sense of discontent, but she pushed it aside. Maybe she was tired. Maybe she was hungry. She had a stressful week, so she wasn’t used to this kind of relaxation. She wasn’t able to see Nate as often as she would like, so this kind of closeness felt a little foreign to her. Dawn sighed and Nate subconsciously pulled her closer, sensing some kind of disturbance within her, but not completely willing to acknowledge it. He thought that maybe this sense of peace and contentment within each other would help her sort out those feelings. They didn’t say a word further until night completely fell and a chill hung in the air. Nate felt like there wasn’t more to say, but Dawn was filled with unspoken words that she wasn’t certain how to make tangible, so she let it be.

            At the intersection between their apartments, they embraced and kissed before heading towards their places of solitude, once home to self-discovery, now home to simply a place to sleep. As soon as Dawn closed the door behind her, she released a long sigh that she had been holding ever since she left her apartment. She knew that something wasn’t right, but she was too afraid to bring it up to Nate for fear that he would cower as well and never see her as strong and poised as she would like. She slipped off her sundress and on went the sweats. Her makeup was an afterthought as she snuggled in bed, finally content with her show. A couple minutes into her show, her phone buzzed with a message from Nate reading What are you up to, my Dawn? I’m so lost without you <3 She scoffed and turned off her phone. Nothing was wrong. The world just wanted to see her in a different way than she liked to be. 

Published by Alice C