the art of us

by Melody M., 15

I laid my head on your chest and all I could think was about the constant, searing fact that you weren’t mine. The thought laughed at me, spited me, pointed its finger and ran away before I could catch it. 

I often wondered what I had done that was so wrong as to merit this punishment. Why had the universe fated me to an eternity of longing and loneliness? Why was I only allowed happiness under the covers of a dark night punctured by silver stars?

A part of me, the pathetic, hopeful part that dulled a little each day, thought that you wondered too. I could almost imagine your hands draped across her shoulder, thinking that her auburn hair smelled too much like strawberry shampoo, and that you’d rather smell the honey and vanilla scent that sat half-used in my shower. 

The problem was that you were art, you were art in the most spectacular form of a masterpiece. You deserved to exist in the Louvre, framed in an intricate gold we could all run our hands across and admire. You deserved to be finished and signed, adored for centuries to come. 

That silly part of me hoped that you knew you had picked the wrong color to complete your work. The minty teal was perhaps too strong of color, when all you needed was a soft peach to warm you on your darkest days. When I laid there with your arms locked around me, I could almost feel it coursing through you. The inkling of knowing. The tingle of a painting grander than the Mona Lisa. The dawn of an idea for a better palette for the landscape of your life. Our bodies touching; that was the last brushstroke. 

One night you brought us closer together, almost impossibly so. Together we fit, skin on skin so artistic we exceeded The Creation of Adam. Your voice was carried through a breeze that tickled my ear and made me shiver. 

“I feel it too,” you’d said, before falling back to silence. 

Did you feel the punishment? Or was it regret? Fear? Guilt? Longing? Love?

I wasn’t sure.

I was too scared to ask.

Los Angeles, California

Notes from our interns on selecting this piece: The extended metaphor of a relationship as a piece of art beautifully illustrates lost love. The single line of dialogue says so much with so little—the end aches with all that’s left unsaid.