Clutching the program like a scared child, I looked at my dried ink twin below me. It was my turn to expressively disembowel myself in front of the bored masses seated in the oak pews. It was my turn to own up to my potential.
"Aren't you going to say anything?" he says, painfully internalizing his feelings. I am embarrassed by my dampened cheek, which glimmers like an orange flag. As I smother despiration and desire, I am mute.
My eyes spastically panned the audience. Their airbrushed smiles and mirror masks amplified the spotlight. I closed my eyes and remembered to breathe.
I forget to move. He continues to produce sound while I stare at the oak drawers. My eyes leak secrets I don't want him to discover.
My legs slid from under their hiding place. My ivory coat was exposed by the light as my legs receded into another hole next to the wooden music box. I looked at the instructions before me. Although the symbols spoke to me in another language, I comprehended the cues. I had been through this several times before, yet practice or directions could never place me in the right path. I swallowed the chill and placed my hands on the large box. My fingers, like the paper program, sensed the future in inky black and white.
Upright like a mast, my body sways slightly from imbalance. My face lunges clumsily towards his, and we meet in the middle for the last time. I crawl back to my extreme, he clutches his.
The last instruction was followed. Gazing at the sated bloused and loafered sardines in the oak boxes, I smeared a grin on my face and briskly sealed shut the paper wrapper around my coat.
I am hiding now from the box and his voice. In my room, a miniature music box lies dormant, yearning to feel contact, while his presence springs from paper petals.
I ache to feel both again, but for the time being, I do not know when I can go back to either.