Fire Heart

I heard her one night, the sparrow. She called to me and said, “Little one, thou art idiotic. Get your shit together.”

And then she flew off, can you believe it? Narry a word of advice. Just a sentence of vagueness, a sentence of admonishment, and bam she’s gone. What a friend. She laughs, this girl of fire. I remember her from my childhood, when she was my best friend.

I see the hurt in her eyes. We both know I left her. I look away. My apology dies on my lips. Say you’re sorry. Please say you’re sorry.

It’s quiet in here, she says. I like it. What’s this city called? Melbourne? There aren’t enough rocks here, you know I love rocks, but hey everyone has their downsides. Did you know that I traveled to the other side of the canyon? The canyon! The air was ripe and ready for an adventure and I told myself, look, get your shit together you dumb twat I really want to see this THING!!! and off we went. I’m not sure how. Actually I do. That was exposition, I think, aren’t you a writer? Anyway, I asked my friend to, like, fly me there and it was so exciting!! We chucked me in this hollowed out rock and Josephine just freaking flies me to the other side of the canyon, over the dark abyss of moss — we should check that out sometime, too — and on the other side it’s pretty boring. But the flight was great. Josephine says hello, by the way. Her horns are totally growing in, can you believe it? Blue and just outstanding. Dragons are the best, you know.

I nod and smile a little, not quite teary eyed, but my throat is tight. How did I ever forget them? Where did they go and why did I leave?

Silence.

You can come back, you know. We can hang out sometime.

I nod. I shake my head. I turn away. She smiles and laughs, maybe a little sad, but I hear her. She knows I’ve remembered her now.

No getting rid of me, you know. You couldn’t get rid of me before, either. I waited.

It’s good to see you again.

It’s good to see you, too. I missed you. I wish I could hug you, but you are on fire. She laughs.

Perhaps another time, then. Come to the canyon. You know it well.

I did, once.

You still do, you dumb fuck. And I love you.

I laugh, surprised.

I love you, too.

I’m sorry.

She puts her head on my shoulder. She’s just warm, she’s fire, I’d forgotten how warm and tingley across my skin and heart she was. How comforting it is.

I missed you.

I know. She takes my hand and we sit on the cliff and she tells me of her adventures and I listen and smile and tell her of mine, as far-fetched and boring as they come. She laughs and refuses to believe planes are real. Her eyes light up, amused, about dating, saying nothing but sardonic laughter.

We breathe. Maybe we can go see Josephine today, too.

Maybe tomorrow would be better.