12 seconds

by Harsimran K., 17

 – after the Miami building collapse

A chair was being straddled somewhere down the office. Tender was the night. Chin up. Hands on her hips, she stood high. The ward boy was intimidated by her puffed chest. After eavesdropping into her facial muscles that were about to go crimson, the water knew it. That’s why it smirked. It’s always the water. They held eye contact for twelve seconds straight. The Audacity. He had thought. The ward boy rushed to his feet as if they were made of light. Not a pejorative, but she was falling for him—a kiss. Her insides churned. She already knew that she’d fallen hard. The wind. The rain. The season of migration, it was. Two lovers. Sirens. Grief.