“did you dress up for Halloween?” she asked, pulling down the sun visor from his passenger’s seat and snapping the mirror up. “my eyes turn greener in the fall, i’m realizing.”
he wasn’t sure how those two statements interconnected but she amused him, the way she tilted her head first this way, then that, inspecting the hues of her Autumn-lit eyes and their chameleon-esque properties. so like her, to change with the seasons, assuming the lightness of feather-blue as Summer sunned sprightly and then sliding into an earthier existence when the thinner air cooled and settled beneath her paling skin. he’d fallen dazed into her blues, but the idea of a greener shift enticed him. he was becoming more comfortable with change, the more time he spent sharing the very air she breathed and attempting to harness her words. he loved to hear her talk, even when it was more for herself than him.
“i didn’t,” he said, hugging a sharp bend as the road climbed and the pine trees thickened. he didn’t think she’d been here before and he was eager to show her things, give her pieces of the world she hadn’t already discovered on her own. she seemed to love so much, for such a small person, and it made him want to give her things – things she could wrap her little hands around and pull close, the way cold fingers encircle steaming mugs in January freeze; the way children cling desperately to freshly-picked dandelion dreams, as though holding the whole world in their clenched fists, a flower bobbing brightly as they run to show beauty to their mothers…
“i figured as much,” she said, closing the mirror and tucking a leg up beneath her. she’d pulled her big sunglasses down and he couldn’t check her eyes for green but he believed in it, knew even Autumn was jealous of her self-sufficiency and felt the need to splash a little of its charm across her world.
“why’s that?” he asked, a little annoyed that she seemed to know him better than he knew her. he had no idea whether or not she was the type to dress up.
“you’re very down-to-earth,” she said, smiling and suddenly pulling lightly, swiftly, at the sleeve of his sweater. her fingers were gone almost as quickly as they’d appeared and he wondered if he imagined it, the little tug. “you could use a little make-believe, you know. it wouldn’t kill you.”
she was teasing him and he couldn’t help smiling at her, wishing she’d push her sunglasses to the top of her head so he could see her better.
“so what were you, then, green eyes?” he asked, easing the car to a stop as they pulled up to the look-out at the beginning of the trail. she didn’t answer and he turned, about to form a guess…
but it was too late, he saw that at once. he’d lost her already, in that split second…the way her mouth parted slightly and she pushed up her glasses, eyes fixed over the edge of the cliff and lost in the sunlight, finding something wonderful over the precipice that was hers alone, in this wildfire moment, with no tug of his sweater to suggest she felt like letting him in and walking him across her thoughts. he struggled with the silence for a second but caved and simply looked at her again – and there it was: the flecks of green she’d promised, glowing behind the un-shaded awe she saved for things she loved, and he all-at-once knew that this green would take no getting used to.