The card portrayed a guy on a horse. I barely held onto it for a second before handing it back to my best friend, Fay Rumen.
My cheek flexed in disbelief. This was stupid.
“It doesn’t mean anything, don’t worry,” she said as she cuts the deck and holds it towards me, making me draw another card. “It’s only symbolic.”
I wasn’t worried. I didn’t believe in psychic readings anyway, and I didn’t need cards to tell me the future. I’d seen it for myself.
I flipped the next card over. An angel.
“Oh, what was that one again?” she asked herself. “I know it’s something about an absence of harmony.”
A silence stretched out between us like the fading chime of a clock somewhere far away.
“Harmony,” I whispered.
It was like we’d known each other our whole lives, like we’d stayed up every night talking on the phone, sharing every story; the things we love, the things we want. She was everything to me, everything I had ever hoped for. The dream I thought would never come true. The perfect girl.
Ordinarily, I would never have had the guts to talk to a girl like Harmony. I always wanted so badly to just say something, even a simple hi, and not care if it sounded awkward. But my nerves held me back like chains, imprisoning every word in my throat. As much as I wanted to break my silence, the chains would keep me trapped and time would slip away. Eventually, I would lose my chance. Or worse, I would blurt out something over-helpful and she would realize I’m that guy, the one who minds girls’ purses while they party with people they want to date.
Some will say I suck up to get girls’ attention, any kind of attention. But the truth is more complicated. Sure, there’s the physical stuff. As I’ve grown older, I see girls more vividly. Every feature burns into my mind. Long, silky blonde hair that shimmers like sunlight slipping through the clouds on a breezy day. Smooth skin glistening like a moonlit night. Just when I think I’ve seen all the beauty that could possibly exist, another face kills me. A smile will start a fantasy where one graceful touch could change my entire world. You know how that goes.
But there’s more.
For me, it’s true what they say about eyes being windows to the soul. To see someone’s joy, or their pain and disillusionment, feels like sharing past experiences they can’t hide from. It’s as if everything they’ve witnessed is locked deep in their eyes, where most people never look.
I suppose that’s what made Harmony different. She looked.
She truly saw me.
No one else had ever bothered.