It will happen like this: there is no thunder or roar. The weather does not change for you, there is no storm. You will not realise that the sky is softly breathing into the back of your neck. You will not realise that it is telling you to put your armour on, to paint your nails the deepest shade of red that you own, it is whispering ‘he is coming and he looks like the last Christmas that you remember feeling happy.’ Because when you turned 13 you started putting yourself in shoes that didn’t fit you right, and kept going even though your toes ached and your heart felt like it was rubbing itself raw on the inside of your ribs.
At 15 you slept with a boy who didn’t call you and it hurt. At 17 you wondered if there was something about you that said you’d be lonely forever. At 19 you could barely look at yourself in the mirror without wincing. You will not know until it happens because it will not be different than any other day, because you are not listening to the sky, instead Half Moon Run is telling you to walk faster, and hitch your bag tighter on your shoulders, the evening wears you like an old dress.
You do not know yet that when he comes he will touch you there, at the place where your schoolbags have been making ridges for years, he will hold you reverently and desperately because he has touched before but he was never this full of someone when it happened. There will be no fanfare and your father will not roll out the cavalry or cock his gun, even the flowers will smell the way they always have, even the streets will hold your walk the same.
It will happen like this, your cheeks will be flushed from walking so hard, your chest will be a heaving mess, you can’t remember the last time you went to the gym, you can’t remember the last time you stopped running from your own reflection, you can’t remember the last time you did not feel like your loneliness was suffocating the life out of you. The sky will be telling you to ‘turn around and see for once’ but you’re not listening because you don’t know how, there will be no drums when you meet, your headphones will fall from your ears though, you’ll pause to catch your breath and he’ll catch up with you and he won’t think you’re the loveliest girl he’s ever seen, he’ll be holding the something important that you left behind, he will think you look messy and warm and flushed, months later he will put his mouth to the hollow of your throat and whisper ‘I can’t believe I didn’t know what you would turn out to be.’ But for now, he will give you your lost back, your hands will brush and all he will say is ‘hello.’