“Okay, this is what I see.” But as soon as my lips part, she lets go and shoves me under the bed. “Hush! My mum is coming! I told you it had to end. I knew we’d get caught! Oh Juniper, why do you have to cry so damn loud! You’re such a brat! I hate you!” I’m quiet now. I’m breathless. I’m folding a butterfly. I say nothing because I don’t have to. All I have left to do is wait. I hear a conversation. I hear her on the bed above me. I feel her squirming. She can’t get comfortable. She can’t rest. She can’t sit still. She can’t stop thinking of holding me. Her mum is shouting. She’s tuned her out. I’ve tuned them both out. I’m humming in my head and talking in her sleep. This butterfly is perfect, only three thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine left to go. Her mum raises her voice. Jade screams. I almost move, but I don’t dare. I’m tempted to run. But I outwit temptation. I want to disobey, just to see the look in her eyes; but I’m too well behaved to bend time. I keep folding butterflies. Or am I?
“No way! I’m a brat. I’m coming out!” The scene I had planned on making is immediately played down by the emptiness that surrounds me. I suppose I’d been thinking too long. They are both gone. The room is different too. There are a lot of desks in this room. They all have wheels on the bottom. I stand in front of an empty classroom and start performing. I memorized the entire script for her. Who is she? “Okay, this is what I want to believe. It’s Christmas Eve, midnight, to be exact. We’ve just snuck into City campus, AH building; room 316 maybe. I don’t know, that part is blurry; I was too excited to check the number before rushing in. I sat you in the seat you were assigned. Then you asked to move closer to me. I let you. But I insisted you shut your mouth and stop interrupting me. ‘I cant concentrate baby. This is strictly from memory and I’m so fucking nervous, I might start crying.’
‘To hell with the introduction Juniper, I didn’t come here to watch you fidget like a baby. You are supposed to be teaching boy! Entertain me!’ You throw your feet up and start sucking on a mint. ‘Okay, this is what I want it all to be. I’m alone. I giggle and watch the seats shift with gravity’s unwillingness to play along anymore. You walk in. Every chair hits the floor at once. Neither of us startles. We’ve both known everything all along. You sit and say nothing. You close your eyes. The building rises. My voice breaks. I am trying to tell you how I am going to get us out of here. We must close our eyes.’ You are agitated. I stop explaining and sit by your side. ‘Do you remember the first time you saw me?’
‘You had a bike on your shoulder and an evil sparkle in your eyes. When you opened your mouth, the room shook. When you set down your backpack, it slipped. You set it up. It slipped again. You started breathing heavy and reached again. It ran away. You chased it. But your ass was glued to the seat and you already had both eyes on me. I was performing, as always. You were mesmerized with your reflection through me. I stuck my pen between my teeth and gave you a name. You held this name for me. Yes, Juniper; I remember everything.’
‘Okay, this is what I see. I see the City on fire. I’m staring out of the window. I’m crying. You’re still trying to unstrap your helmet. It falls and breaks the silence. Neither one of us are afraid. You come behind me and wrap your arms around my waist. You tell me story after story; the river where we end, the train where we began. You tell me to close my eyes. You tell me to sleep. I lie. I cannot sleep standing. You call me a liar. I fall asleep explaining our escape to you. You are not concerned with an exit route. You’ve come to witness my dreams. And that’s exactly what you intend to do.’ I open my eyes to you staring. Your lips are parted. I finally have your attention. “Now that you have me, what will you do?” I wake up. Jade is standing over me. “Well? Out with it boy! Do you want this day or not? I made your dreams come true.”
“Yes. I do. I will awaken you.”