By Emily Maybanks
We’re lying with our backs against the solid, cold pavement; our heads against the curb, dangerously close to the road. The velvety black sky far above us is dotted with twinkling stars. I raise my head slightly to take a sip from the glass bottle in my hand before passing it to you.
“Aeroplane,” You giggle, pointing towards the sky as you take the bottle from me. I look back up and indeed, there is an aeroplane soaring across the sky.
“I love watching planes fly overhead,” I murmur, “Imagining where they could be going.”
“Where do you think that one is going?” You ask, amused as you point at another plane. I sigh heavily, feeling my mood drop dramatically in a few seconds,
“I don’t know. But, I wish I could go too,” You press the bottle in my hand and I take in a long gulp. In a quiet, concerned tone, you ask,
“Are you okay?” The stars in the black abyss above blurred as tears swam in my eyes and trickled down my face.
“So many stories were told today,” I whisper, shakily, “Everyone there had a story that they were desperate to tell, that they wanted heard; a story about their time with him. They didn’t ring true to me; all their words sounded empty. They didn’t know him like I knew him. Then, when I stood up to tell my story, the words got lost because I’m not ready to share my memories, my stories of my time with him, not yet. I ruined the day. I ruined everything, like I always do,”
“You didn’t ruin the day,” You say firmly as I have some more drink, “Just because it didn’t go to plan doesn’t mean that you ruined the day; you made the best of what you had in a very tough situation. I know he’d be proud of you; I’m proud of you,” I remain silent, staring up at the sky, my thoughts eating away at me. The alcohol is starting to have more effect at last.
“We can never know how things will turn out,” You sound thoughtful; “We don’t really know anything at all.” I mumble in vague agreement as I have another sip from the bottle.
“He’s up there somewhere,” I sob eventually, letting emotion engulf me, “He’s up there amongst the stars, in heaven. Right now, I wish I was there too.”
“No,” Your voice is firm but gentle, “You’ve just had a really rough day,”
“Really rough,” I agree, smiling weakly. My emotions are all over the place.
“And, from down here, heaven is too far away,” You chuckle lightly and have another drink before handing me the bottle to finish.
“I am so drunk,” I half giggle and half sob simultaneously. You gently entwine your fingers with mine,
“Me too,” You grin and suddenly, we’re both laughing so hard that I can feel my body aching, enjoying the feeling of laughing.
“If I died,” I moan cheerfully, “It would be because you made me laugh so much that I died,”
“Can you think of any better way to choke?” You ask; amusement in your voice and I shake my head, giggling, my head spinning a little.
We fall silent for a few minutes, simply staring, hand in hand up at the planes and stars in the sky.
“Thank you for coming to be with me this evening,” I say quietly, seriously now. I look at you, grateful.
“It’s absolutely fine,” You whisper sincerely, “I’d rather you call me like today than do something stupid. Plus, I love spending time with you,” I smile and look back up at the sky.
“There’s another plane, leaving us behind,” I sigh, gesturing upwards.
“Do you wish you were on it?” You ask anxiously. I smile, genuinely,
“No,” I reply, “No, I think I’ll take my chances on the curb, here, with you,” You squeeze my hand softly and I turn my face to look at you.
“Stop looking up for heaven,” You whisper, “Heaven is here, heaven is being alive, being together; heaven is now,”
“Glory,” I giggle, edging a little closer to you. Our entwined hands are resting on your hip.
“Gosh, I am so drunk,” I laugh. Your serious tone calms me down a little.
“The story you wanted to tell today,” Your voice is soft, “One day, when you’re ready, I’ll listen. I will listen to your words, your story,”
“Why?” I ask sadly, “They sound so empty in my brain now.”
“I love listening to your stories,” You say sincerely, “I adore hearing your words. All your words are like glory,” Tears sting my eyes again. With your free hand, you lean over and wipe them away before lying back down next to me so we’re nose to nose. I’m nervously excited; heaven; glory.
“Your lips look like glory,” I breathe. Before I know it, your lips touch mine, enveloping my lips in a sweet kiss.
This is our heaven. Deep, in the middle of the night, lying in the middle of the road, passing the drink from hand to hand, drunkenly setting the world to rights; this is our moment. This is our drunken glory.