the brown, leather-bound, journal - that’s where he kept the secrets of the universe. secured by a single rubber band, he would often quip that when the time came he, “would be the one laughing”. mostly we joked, often at his expense, but he never really cared. truth be told he guarded that thing with the intensity of a hurricane, never letting it leave is side. there was only one day, a wednesday, when he lost it, the journal. god, i still remember it so clearly. the only day it’s ever happened. it was the same day mason told him about the rocks in the quarry. yeah, i know, rocks in a quarry, who cares, right? well, we’ll get to that. but i remember him running, sprinting, faster than i’d ever seen, back to the cove. he said it was there, under a sandcrab, like a paper-weighted piece of him. “thank god it was still there,” i told him. without looking, “god’s got nothing to do with it. the universe. it’s all here. you’ll see.” still so clear after all this time.
you wrote it again.
you wrote it. again.
no, i didn’t.
yeah, you did. right there.
that wasn’t me.
yeah, it was. i watched you do it.
no way, man. wasn’t me.
i god damn watched you, man. i fucking watched you.
yes it was! yes it fucking was! you said you were past it. you said you-
i know what i said! i just- fuck. i didn’t mean it.
yeah, well, you said that last time.
i don’t even remember.
it was five minutes ago.
i don’t remember. it just happened.
man, you need help.
i don’t need help.
you need som-
i said i don’t need help! i just- i just need some time.
three years isn’t enough time?!
you don’t understand.
i don’t understand?
no. you don’t. it’s hard, man. it’s so hard.
i know, man. i kn-
no! you don’t. you really don’t.
i mean, c’mon. you know i’m here for you. but this, this shit right here, it’s gotta stop.
i don’t think i can. i really don’t.
it’s hard. i know. i get it. i’ve been there. right there with you since the beginning. i get it.
i’m sorry. i’m so sorry.
it’s okay. we’ll work at it.
but it’s coming. there’s-
don’t even think about it. there’s time, okay? we’ve got time.
i just- i gotta get outta here.
i know, man. i know. we all need to.
i saw the sun come up over the hill, green spread across the never-ending. this was it, i said. this is all that’s left. it just felt…it felt like the end. like i’d never see them again. i couldn’t even begin to imagine what it’d be like, back then, if i knew that’d be the last sunrise we’d ever see. those words, just words then. just thoughts. a feeling. they meant so much more than i could have imagined. we sat there as it rose, slow at first, but seemed to pick up speed with each passing cloud. time seems to move faster when you don’t want it to, i said, and she agreed. time’s just a made up thing. minutes, hours, none of it’s real. i hate clocks. this, this right here, this is all i really need. i smiled. i patch of clovers opened to the newborn rays and i held her tight, hoping my words were nothing but a feeling.