at seventeen, I announced my plans to visit a different solar system;
"you're not going there!" scoffed a neighbour.
"yes, I am - I'm going in two weeks."
my visit went very well;
at eighteen, I moved to that solar system.
as a newcomer, I found myself in discussions about intergalactic matters.
I would comment on how I liked the new solar system and felt at home;
"we're not perfect," said one resident, "we have problems too."
"I know," I responded, "but the major problems in the solar system I came from
either don't exist here or are much less significant."
Jordan selected trays of red flowers from the shop’s garden display - Avery had discovered the need for two more in the midst of planting. children’s voices floated from the school playground across the street; Jordan smiled at the joy warmer spring days brought.
inside the shop, Jordan waited in line to pay, attempted to resist the cute chocolate eggs with toys inside, then, resistance failing, selected two, knowing Avery’s good-natured teasing would only last temporarily. plus, Jordan was bringing the flowers.
“more bad news,” said the person at the front of the line, motioning to a newspaper. “soon it’ll be just like that here.”
Jordan glanced at the headline and remained quiet. news certainly made the two countries seem quite alike, but eighteen years lived experience in one, and over a decade in the other, made Jordan aware of many subtle yet important distinctions.
the label was explicit: avoid the sun.
that was disregarded -
the theatre was only a short walk away,
or that’s what they told themselves
as they tucked into a corner of the packed theatre.
the movie started.
it would become one of her favourites.
her first in ‘life after’.
unraveling would take months, years,
never really finished,
and it had not yet begun that day in the theatre.
she was still telling herself that the doctor’s visit
hadn’t been anything out of the ordinary.
the necessity to see that movie with that person,
to keep the plans.
to keep in motion what was set in motion,
because nothing had stopped.
the almost was not relevant, yet,
or that’s what she told herself
as she sat tucked into a corner of the packed theatre,
not yet acknowledging that month was anything but ordinary.