they press up against each other and then away. the warmth of their bodies rising, falling, spilling out like their breath. the colors they wear are unreal. their faces are painted and on the other side of the glass they whisper amongst themselves, their quiet words passed along by touch.
there is drink and there is laughter, and the boy with his face pressed up to the window. it is dark out, and cold.
he ran away, down the street, laughing, past a streetlight and the garbage can at the corner, laughing and chanting “I told you so!”
she stamped her foot. she did not say anything, because there was nothing to say. she did not do anything.
she left the city alone.
“there you are,” she says. he is kneeling over a grate and below it are the sewers. the smell that rises from it, the things floating in it. he has a string in his hands, and a hook on the end of it. how can this city bear to lose any of the things within it? he wants to save them. he wants to keep this place eternally alive, so that none of its magic is ever, ever lost.
her hands are on her hips. “it is time for dinner,” she says. “you have to come home.”
he says that he will. he says that he will follow her, all the way out of the city. he will move soundlessly behind her and she must trust that he is following her, for if she should look back before they have left the city, he will run away and never, ever, ever come home again.
she rolls her eyes and she says, “you are being silly. hurry, or we will be late.”
she turns around and she starts to walk home.