autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

A neighborhood girl (memory)

I used to know this girl, way back in the old neighborhood. She was the kind of person everyone talked about wanting to be. I’m sure you’ve met the type; strong, independent, caring, wise, and always just slightly ahead of everyone else. She was the kind of person who never seemed to be caught off guard so, naturally, everyone wanted her to be their guard.

It was odd, the way people gravitated to her. She was like some great magnet and people, well, I guess they couldn’t help themselves. It wasn’t that she was beautiful; though I suppose she was attractive. It wasn’t even that she was shining in that way that some people are; her charisma was quiet and deep, like a mountain by a primodial lake. You got the sense to be around her that she had this unshakable core; that she was somehow joined to the center of the earth itself; solid and immoveable, even as she danced like an Autumn breeze amongst leaves.

I long ago lost count of the people I saw her help and heal over time, and I don’t think anyone ever tried to keep count but me. I know she never did. It wasn’t her purpose and she never really noticed. In fact, had you asked her, I’m pretty sure she would have said that she’s never helped anyone. She was humble like that. I think it was part of her perfection; maybe you can only really help and heal when you don’t think you do.

She would have been 45 this year, just like me. I still remember getting the call and how completely surprised I was to hear the news. They sent me the note she left and I burned it after reading it, just as she asked.

To this day I remember what she wrote and, to this day, I keep the last secrets she gave me. Sometimes, I wonder if she really thought them so special or if she just gave them to me to keep me safe; a last act of a long-ago warder.

Oddly enough, the last time I ever saw her, the last thing she actually said to me was that I inspired her. I often wonder if that was a good thing, all things considered.

I have no idea why I am thinking of her tonight other than the weather is the same and the quiet is the same and the calendar says I should.

I feel sad and alone.