Bez stops and kneels on the path, picking up a small stone before standing again and facing the sea. The wind blows her loose hair out behind her. She is not wearing a jacket, although the chill in the air is enough to have made me put one on. She steps to the edge of the cliff overlooking the Pacific, closer to the empty air than I would have the courage to do, but Bez is fearless. It’s one of the things about her I love the most.
Earlier this morning, I traced the moles on her bare back with a blue ballpoint pen, birthing constellations on her pale skin, gifting them with names as I went: The Mortal Enemy. The Conjoined Twin. The Midnight Special. When I had finished, her back was a map of her heavens, and I read the future in her stars.
Now on the cliff, Bez takes aim at the expanse of blue-green sea and throws the stone as far as she can. It flies out and drops, and I lose sight of it as it falls down into the water below. She turns to me and says something, but her voice is lost in the wind. I come closer and put my arm through hers. I don’t ask her to repeat herself.
The Red Herring. The Velvet Frog. The Shipwrecked Lady.
There is a spiderweb drawn on my stomach, with my navel in the center. Bez drew it with the pen after I finished with her stars. It tickled when she wove it there, and although I held as still as I could, the lines of the web are sloppy and mussed from the quaking of my belly as I tried to hold in the laughter.
Bez bends again at the top of the cliff and finds a piece of blue glass, worn smooth around the edges. I don’t know how it migrated up the cliff from the shore below, because it obviously has been tempered by the sea. She holds it in the palm of her hand, and I lean my head against her shoulder while she considers it a moment, and then puts it into her pocket. She has a collection of them at home in a cigar box, kept as treasure the way a child would do.
It’s her home now too, officially. She finished moving the last of her things from her small apartment just yesterday, and it’s the first time since we became friends that she hasn’t had a place of her own to return to when the mood would strike her. She has put her bed into the garage against the wall, because we are both aware that she won’t be needing it.
My bed is big enough to hold constellations, after all.