Your soulmate model girl comes to you by way of a billboard in the city. Pale, white limbs resting on her mid-section. Her small town smile and squinty eyes hidden underneath a mess of red hair.

You see her again photo in a frame you found at a dollar store next to the old bags of dog food and plastic cat toys. Dressed in socialite clothing, she was the kind of girl who would be perched behind large windows in big, old homes in the deep South. Courted by everyone in town, she had no masters.

You take a picture of the billboard, put it over her picture in the frame and kept it at your desk. Keeping her close to you in your thoughts before you went to bed and even closer during the day at work. Your pretend life together the new source of your worth.

Your future road trip you mapped out and kept folded in your back pocket. You would drive to Florida together, a place you both once called home. She would tell you about her life while speeding down empty highways in the middle of the night with the windows halfway down, bits of bugs catching on to her lips. About her scientist father who worked in a high-rise at the center of the world. How he kept her in a permanent room in a high-rise building, watched over her with his telescope. Just like he did with her lunatic mother.

The two of you would go to Florida, where the oranges were always in season, and the people never felt stale. Sputtering her genius on napkins on pit-stop diners, the clocks on the wall that seemed to have stopped working a long time ago. She would write letters to her long-lost twin, throw them out the car window, like little after notes.

You’d let her drive your car all the way through the flatness of the state. Turning on to your old street, feeling like it’s a street or two too soon for it to be over. Her strange habit of lighting small candles in gas station bathrooms, blowing them out right away, afraid to watch them burn.

Photo by Linh Pham on Unsplash

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