by Emily Frost
the sun was setting over southern california as we stood on the top floor of a rundown parking garage. you were waiting for me to find my car and i was waiting for you to tear your gaze away from the skyline. you had spent your entire life in this city, and yet you were still shocked that you had managed to survive here for this long, it was written all over your face. from here, we could see where spotless silver buildings disappeared into the mountains, but you were all i cared to look at. our minds were both elsewhere, but i liked to think they were in orbit around the same star.
i would’ve dropped you off in your student housing so your roommates would think i was the sort of person you shouldn’t be ashamed to introduce to them, that i was just a sweet chaste midwestern girl whose hand you clung to for warmth alone. but you fell asleep in the passenger seat as i drove, so i took every back road i knew until we were outside my apartment complex. i let you sleep on my couch. i stayed awake on the floor before you for longer than i would have wanted to admit, adrift in this moment of stolen peace. i stood up and set pastel coffee mugs on my kitchen counter for us for the next morning - sunny yellow for me, vernal lavender for you, the colors we agreed our souls were while waiting for the bus at two in the morning that one night after i lost my keys and my better judgement. there wasn’t much i could offer you, but i wanted to give you something to help you rise, wanted to give you something that wasn’t a place to crash in my shitty apartment or my deepest secrets.
emily frost is a student and writer from the dc area. she edits with polyphony lit and the lumiere review. her work has been featured in or is forthcoming in publications such as southchild lit, the ice lolly review, brave voices, and holyflea lit. her creative endeavors are fueled by dark roast coffee and obscure historical facts.