They had found themselves in a large grassy field, which opened up along a wooded trail crowded with pines and vines and which branched out from the large road the had been on hours earier. The sun was shining brightly all around them, and they sat so they could see the view in front of them. It was a stunning dusky blue mountain range which meandered out into the abyss of the horizon and seemed to go on for miles on end.
Cornelia opened a can of sardines for the tenth time that week. It smelled putrid, but Peter loved the taste. They had been living off of canned goods for the past three weeks, and she and her brother were beginning to smell like barrels of fish. She speared it gingerly with a fork, and chewed it thoughtfully. Peter opened his cream linen satchel and snatched out four rolls of bread, which had been carefully wrapped up in a wrinkled paper towel , and grinned.
“Two for you and two for me”, he said cheerfully. “The ones I nabbed from the bakery, remember?” Cornelia nodded, her mouth watering at the sight of them. “‘Cause I didn’t need me no Victor Hugo to tell me that –stealin’ a loaf?” “THAT AIN’T NO SIN!” they cried in unison. One thing Peter was known to do was quote literature, since he was quite smart, so Cornelia had subsequently, learnt various references from all the classics; that was one of the phrases they liked to repeat the most. Peter handed his younger sister one of the white rolls. She figured the sardines didn’t taste so bad if you ate it along with the rich starchy taste of the bread.
“Man, I wish Ginger was here” sighed Peter, looking over Cornelia’s head, into the distance.
“You always wish she was here, Pete. And when she was here, I…I felt so alone.”.
They had picked her up as they were traveling, maybe two months before. She was living in this shack in the middle of a abandoned town, and her mother was giving her hell. Apparantly, they were the first signs of civilization she had seen for years, and she said she would do anything to escape, so they let her come along. Ginger was the kind of girl everyone could envy. She had this small cupid’s bow mouth and Auburn hair in loose curls, big green eyes that sparkled in the sun, and lots and lots of freckles.
Then, the second week after they had met her she saw Peter kiss her at night, his lips right up against hers, and them smiling and laughing and laughing, and when she fell asleep, all she dreamt about was her brother with that girl, intertwined on the porch of a house at dusk. All she could do was sit there and watch them, unable to stop them, feeling so helpless and empty. Like she was going to be abandoned and stripped of her heart. And she didn’t know why she remembered the dream, but whenever she closed her eyes and thought of it again, her eyes still stung with sadness.
“She was gonna take you away from me”
“Aww don’t be silly, Corny, I was just thinkin’ about her”
“No, you were going to run away and leave me here, alone! She was scary, she was bright, fine, she was…no good!”
“Don’t know what you mean Cornelia, she was a darling, she was…oh god…so perfect.” his voice quieted into a hush as if he was having a memorial service for her faint memory. “I would never leave you sister”. But he said it faintly, ever so softly, as if he was just saying thoughts out loud.
Then he pressed his lips together like he was trying to remember that kiss.
She rested her head on his shoulder, and hoped he was telling the truth.
Copyright 2014 Golden Star Poetry