And, suddenly, the light was gone. The emptiness enveloped the corridor and the space between the two of us seemed an eternal and unacceptable rift. Our third party member had gone ahead, and we, the girls, had been left to our own devices. He had kissed her goodbye, after I'd managed to clutch him briefly, our customary hug. The usual length I squeezed out was halfed in his hurry to stick his tongue down her throat. A dirty, jealous, darkness filled my eyes as he pulled away, breathless. Her face was flushed and her eyes bright, exactly as I would have looked if his lovely lips had been on mine, exactly as I longed to look every time he said goodnight and walked away. Every dream he'd ever crushed flooded into my head, my best friend, kissing her.The moment played in my head as my heart faded deeper and deeper into the dark and dim of despair, walking alongside her as he disapeared through a door up ahead to the right, sprinting with a spring in his step. She was striding, light on her feet and blushing to the core, quiet as usual, and unaware of the demonic beast rearing its head and bloodied fangs behind my eyes. And then the pop and crash as the heart of darkness sprung from the shadows, plunging us into its immeasurable emptiness. With a muffled cry, she, who thought me only a friend, inched toward me, stretching out her hands to find mine in the black. For a moment I considered moving away, leaving her alone, in the dark: to let her know how it felt to be there all the time. But I couldn't do it.
"It's fine, just keep walking." my voice shook as I realized I was doing it all for him, not for her, not even for me...The look on his face if she were ever hurt plastered itself to my eyelids and I pulled harder, dragging her forward, down the hall, as she clung to my hand wordlessly, whimpering. We walked in the darkness for a while, and I struck up a conversation. Wordlessly. I spoke of him, our common ground. It was easy in the dark, to tell her how I felt. Without a word, every tremor of my heart and falter of my confidence was felt, as our sight had been lost to us. Blind to expression, she heard my hatred, she smelled my tears as they traced tracks on my cheeks, she felt the emptiness I could no longer hide. She stopped me, in the middle of the nowhere we were traveling together, and I heard her breath catch.
"You really love him...don't you?" she murmured, her hand searching for my face. I reached up and guided her wandering hand to my cheek, where she could feel the warmth, and nodded.
"I'm sorry." we said the words together. Without another word, we continued forward, through the murk, stepping in time, and thinking.
Then as suddenly as our pop and bang had thrown us together, a slam and click tore us apart. A flashlight beam, followed by a pair of hurrying brown sneakers and a head of dark, curly hair emerged ahead to our right. The windowless hall and the dark companionship sharply seemed a dream and a lie. His flashlight lit up my wet face and mussed hair as he took her in his arms.
"I was worried." he murmured, wiping the glisten of a tear from her cheek as I ducked away to hide my feelings. And then, as he closed his eyes to kiss her once more, a romantic and heartfelt flood of worry becoming action, she turned her head slighly, her eyes wide open, and looked at me, sad to be so happy, too happy to think of being sad.