the end of an era

August 20, 2008 Candace Morris 7 Comments

She stepped out of the restaurant into the torrents of cleansing summer rain. Euphoria umbrella'ed her in its nostalgia…memories, the ticking clock, the time now gone, laughter to come flooded her mind as the water strangled her wispy bangs.

A friend…the first for one, a gift for the other. Healthy, honest, open, shy, reserved, similar.

Crossing 4th, she grabbed one last look at the restaurant – hoping for one last glimpse of the group saying goodbye, but to no avail. Looking forward, yet again, she sighed with deep contentment and knowledge that what had passed between them (early on, mid-way, and of late) was good. Very good.

Frustrated by her own ability to conjure emotion at the appropriate times, she wished she could have expressed more stunningly what had happened to her that morning while thinking of the goodbye lunch.

Earlier that morning, while running the hot shower water, a thought. “This is the last time I get to say goodbye.” And the shocking tears and welling emotion that she knew would one day come finally did. Appropriately, the shower and the rain brought her back to her most honest self, a self that is genuinely sad to see a friend move. A true and necessary mourning of the end of an era – a Seattle without her is no Seattle at all.

No get-together will be the same. No laughter complete, no tear truly felt, no hope fully realized until she comes back.

She remembers when they first got together at Vivace, one terribly weak and hard from a relationship gone awry, the other trepidatious of adding women to her life. Turns out neither needing saving, yet both drew such inspiration. They knew the potential for a deep connection was there, but carefully respected that time was on their side.

She remembers the wedding – the time spent in the forest behind a camera – capturing the bride's vehement vulnerability and indelible shoulders. She remembers the parties, the purple couch, the frustrations with all the opposite opinions and cigarettes – but never leaving feeling disconnected. In the darkest orbs of eyes, the Mexican beauty always knew how to express with her humility that everything you do is loved and noticed.

She remembers the sneak-ends, the Cure, seeing Darjeeling together, wandering around Nordstrom’s, reminiscing about Florence. She remembers the hair cuts, the molé, the sex version of apples-to-apples, the way-to-big-for-us ice cream cones, the oceans of booze, the gum portrait, the most deadly of secrets revealed and subsequent grievous tears, and the guarded but deeply understood knowledge that they have something special; after all, when you've danced with someone at 3am you know them to be something birthed of stars and moon - just like yourself.

She must not let her leave without her knowing that she is integral, will be missed, and Seattle's gut will not take in its truest, most cleansing, and brightest breath until she is back.

Drenched and back in the god-forsaken cubicle, she knows this only:

It’s the end of an era. Seattle without Niki is no Seattle at all…

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