The Second to Last Time I ever Saw You

By Carly Powell

She fell into the worn leather still stiff with anxiety, sweating from nerves that made her hands tremble. They gripped the sterring wheel with white knuckles. Her brown eyes looked uncharacteristically dull; they were overpowered by the dark, bags pooled under them from the sleepless hours of the night before. In ten months, she had seen too many changes to list in her head. Still, as she looked into the rear view mirror, she was confident that the difference was a good one.

He had wasted her potential and held her tight, warping her into something weak and fragile, in need of his attention. In a moment of incredible will-power, she released the steering wheel and took a breath. Had she been breathing this whole time? Every movement felt rushed. She had been staring at the clock on her dashboard, but an irrational distrust led her to consult her watch.

As she traced over each number with her eyes, raindrops splashed themselves across the windshield of her car as if warning her, and she couldn’t help but feel like she was being watched. Turning her head to the left, her fears were realized when her glance was met with a gaze she hoped he hadn’t been shooting at her for long.

A weak raise of her shaking hand was exchanged for an even meeker smile that proved to be just as nervous. Every symptom of her sickness left her body and all that was left was the joy she had missed in the coldness of winter. The promises she had made to herself in preparation for this moment were quickly broken, and she smiled back.