The sparkle in her eye is magical and breathtaking. Her cheeks blush, and a giggle escapes her lips. A silent conversation floats between the couple. As the minutes pass, I am able to define the characteristics of the thread that tethers the humans together.
If I glance quickly, I am unable to witness the magic. However, if I patiently watch, the thread will appear. It shimmers when the sunlight bounces off of it. The thread glows in the wicked rain. The thread can easily be located at night. It sparkles beneath the stars and exudes brilliance.
I grin at the couple. My voice aches, begging my mouth to move, but I restrain myself. Life changing secrets are visible through my pupils. A thread glimmers between lovebirds who are meant to be. The unlucky ones, for whom the love is temporary, share an empty space.
“Julianna, are you listening to me?” I quickly turn my head away from the couple, blaming myself for staring. Landon, lying on the plush grass, throws a question in my face. I roll my eyes, “Were you informing me that a man was behind me with a gun?” He furrows his eyebrows. “No, of course that’s not what I was talking about.” I snatch my backpack and jump to my feet. “Then, I was not listening to you.” Landon scrambles to find his shoes before running to join me. “Where do you go?” He asks.
I begin to respond but my attention shifts. A boy and a girl stroll through the park. I slow my pace and search for a shimmering clue. A thin rope ties their bodies together. Suddenly, a body slams into my back. Landon grasps my arm and pulls me away from the woman who ran into me. She glares at me and finds a new path to follow. “Jules, you have to focus!”
I swiftly turn my head, noticing that the boy and girl disappeared. “It’s like you are living an entirely different life inside of your mind.” His striking blue eyes blind me with their uncertainty. He really wants to know. He wants to know what haunts my mind. He wants to know what secrets I am hiding in the depths of my eyes. I am tempted to tell him, but I swallow the words. “I don’t go anywhere,” I stammer. “There’s just so much, too much, to see. You only have to search for it.”
My phone vibrates in my back pocket. I lean in and wrap my arms around Landon. “I have to go; I’m cooking tonight.” He returns my hug and shakes his head as I run away from him. “I will never understand the mysterious Julianna!” He shouts. My cheeks burn with heat, and I force myself to run faster. I know for certain that if I stop and turn around, the thread I have always been searching for will not appear.
That evening, I was focused on threads and on Landon. My mind was not present as I chopped carrots and onions; my hands were slick with sweat. I furiously sliced the food, frustrated about the threads. For years, I studied the threads. I envied the threads. For years, I prayed that I would notice a thread between Landon and I.
Suddenly, the knife slips out of my grip and slices my thumb. Blood streams down my hand, feeling similar to warm, thick water. I throw the knife on the ground in a fit of rage. I reach into the medicine cabinet and am confronted by an empty box of band-aids.
Using my right hand, I throw a paper towel over my throbbing thumb and apply pressure. I glance out of our frosted window and recognize the signs of an oncoming storm. Lacking the mobility to grab a coat, I run out the back door.
Across the yard, Mr. Pearson’s living room lamp illuminates the windows. I shuffle around his garden of red peppers and cabbage and climb the porch steps. Still clutching my hand, I kick the glass door lightly. “Mr. Pearson? Are you home?” I yell through the glass.
I am about to walk away when a stocky man struggles out of a dusty, blue recliner. I smile and gesture for him to come to the door. He hesitantly slides the door open, but he only leaves a small crack. “What do you want?” He growls. When he speaks, his glasses slip down the bridge of his wide nose. I continue to smile, despite the fact that my finger pulse thumps with ferocity. “I just need a band aid.”
A gurgling sound escapes his mouth, “Fine. They are in the drawer next to the stove.” I offer a thankful grin and slip through the door. While unwrapping the bandage, I peer across the room at Mr. Pearson. My eyes immediately glance to his heart, searching for a thread. After moments of concentrating on his chest, I realize that he also is staring at me. “What are you looking at?” He snaps.
I jump in my skin and swiftly tape the bandage on my thumb. “Sorry Sir,” I mumble. “I know that you don’t see nothing there, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something,” he whispers to no one in particular. I freeze and walk to where he sits. He peers at me through his bifocals. “Miss Julianna, it’s there if you want it to be there.” My confusion is caked on my face, “Mr. Pearson, what are you talking about?” He pulls himself out of the chair and leads me to the door. “Go home and clean up the knife you cut yourself with before your mother gets home.”
He practically shoves me out of the door. A few reflective raindrops fall onto my hair. Looking back into the old man’s home through the cloudy light, I catch a shimmer. A thread barely visible to my trained eyes connects Mr. Pearson to a woman in a picture framed with glass. Mr. Pearson slightly turns, and a sparkle glows in his eyes. The same sparkle I saw in the woman’s eyes in the park that same day.
Suddenly, a realization hits me in the face. I gallop into my home, sling the bloody towel into the trashcan, and snatch my car keys off the counter. In the confines of the car, my heart beats boldly. The rain pounds fiercely against the windshield.
Before I realize where I am headed, my car screeches to a halt in front of Landon’s home. I jump out of the car and find myself standing on his doorstep. I knock multiple times in order to pass minutes in the icy rain. My body shivers, but I refuse to leave his doorstep; I need to know.
Finally, Landon opens his door. The crust from an afternoon nap occupies the corners of his eyes. The V-neck shirt gives me a glimpse of his lean and muscular body. A light scruffle shadows his jaw. His crystal eyes sparkle in the rain. His chipped front tooth reveals itself in a brilliant smile. “My mysterious Julianna, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
My eyes shift to his heart. At first, I see nothing but the cotton fabric of his white shirt. Then, slowly, a shimmer sparks in the air. I focus, I will it to form, and the thread grows. It lengthens and defies the laws of science, stretching across the space between our bodies. Then, in a single precious moment, the thread touches my heart, sending vibrations through my body. A tear, disguised as rain, slips down my face.
“Disappearing again?” He asks gruffly. I leap into his arms and passionately embrace Landon. My wet lips brush against his ear. “I’m not disappearing,” I whisper. “I’m seeing what I have been searching for.”
Caroline Donovan attends Archmere Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. Her passion is writing, but she also enjoys playing sports. She competes in athletic events throughout the year. Caroline is a huge fan of John Green and has read all of his novels. She aspires to be a bestselling author and use her unique perspective to change the world.