When I wake up, my room is pitch black, which is strange because usually light comes in through my window, even at night, because San Francisco never sleeps. But I check my phone, and I have 4 missed texts from Tenshi so I scroll through them and then apologize and tell her I was sleeping and that I hope I didn’t wake her up, but if I did, I was sorry for that too. I check the time, and it’s 4:17 in the morning, so she might be up. I don’t think she sleeps at all, honestly. If she does, I don’t know when. It seems like she’s up all night and all day.
Almost immediately, I get a response back. She wants to meet, so I grab my hoodie and keys and leave. I don’t try to sneak out or be quiet, I just go, which is really unlike me. I stop at Starbucks and pick us up a coffee each and make my way over to Union Square Park to the benches. I have to wait about 15 minutes before she gets there, but I don’t mind. As I see her start to walk, I put down my coffee and get up and walk towards her. She gives me the kind of hug where when you’re done, you have to ask if everything is okay. I keep thinking that she’s going to let go of me and for the longest time, she doesn’t. When we finally let go, she takes my hand, and I lead her over to the bench and hand her coffee.
“Thanks,” she says, and as she takes a big gulp of it, a small smile lights up her face, and she gives a relaxed sigh and says, “I really needed that.” Her fingers clasp in-between mine, and for a while everything is silent. I sit and finish my coffee, and when I’m done, I get up to throw it away, but Tenshi stops me. She puts down her coffee and kisses me hard on the lips, but it’s almost desperate. I kiss her back trying to be a bit gentler and then all of a sudden, she stops kissing me and I see the tears that are falling down her cheeks. She wraps her arms around my neck and buries her face into my shoulder and screams as loud as she can and cries and cries and cries.
So I hug her back and let her get out what she needs to get out and when she’s done, she looks at me with her eyes all puffy and more than anything I want to be able to look her in the eyes and say something that would make all her pain and suffering go away, but I realize that there is nothing to say, and that’s okay too. Because as long as I’m here, and she knows that I always will be, everything will be okay. But when I look her in the eyes right now, I realize that Tenshi, like me, is broken. And I always thought that being broken was a bad thing, but it’s not. Because inside, we’re all a little broken. And I never realized how beautiful being broken could be until just now. Tenshi was every bit as broken as me, if not more, and yet she accepts the parts of me that are broken and when she looks at me she sees me every bit as beautiful as I see her. I think the reason why we’re all so broken is because a part of us went missing when we were born and we spend our whole lives searching for that missing part, and when I’m with Tenshi, I don’t feel broken anymore.
I take her hand in mine and lift it up and kiss it, and then kiss her again. And she laughs a little behind her red, swollen eyes and smiles again. She sniffles a little bit and pushes her glasses back into place, and relaxes back on the bench. I don’t bother even asking her if she’s okay because I know she’s not, and when she’s ready to talk about it she knows that I’m here.
“You wanna get out of here for the day?” She asks me, like she’s got a plan already. It’s as if I can see her mind racing faster than either of us can comprehend and even if I said no, I’d end up going with her anyway.
“Yeah, let’s leave. Let’s go somewhere. What’s the plan?” She thinks for a second and looks down Powell Street.
“How far out of the city can BART take us?” She asks, trying to think about it herself.
“Well, we could cross under the bay and go all the way down to Freemont, if you want. I’ve never exactly been down that way, really.” I know that it’s an expensive ticket to go that way, too, but what the hell? I was in the mood for a real adventure.
When we get there, the station is really freaking cold. I think this might be because Tenshi is still wearing my jacket, but either way, I don’t mind being a little cold as long as she feels comfortable. I pay for our tickets, and we start walking down the stairs to wait for the train to come. The circular bench like seats seemed inviting for five o’clock in the morning, so we sit down, waiting for the blinking sign to tell us where we’re to go.
Sitting together, underneath the mall, waiting for our train, the silence starts to eat away at me. I start to feel my heart beat a little faster, and I start to lose my breath. Everything goes out of focus. But then, Tenshi grabs my hand, kisses my cheek and lays her head on my shoulder. And the world starts to slow down, just enough so I don’t feel so crazy anymore. Enough that I feel like maybe, I might actually belong. It’s like I know where I’m supposed to be and that’s exactly where I am— sleep deprived, holding hands with the girl I love, waiting for a train to take us away from all the people and noise of the city.
We end up waiting there for half an hour, Tenshi’s fallen asleep on my shoulder, but the sound of the train shooting through the tunnel towards us wakes her up. The lights flicker on and off and I see Tenshi yawn as we stand up. The last car is empty, so we walk in and sit all the way in the back corner, together. I take out my phone and keep checking the time, anything to keep me awake on the long ride to Freemont. When we get to the point where we’re crossing under the Bay, I can’t help but fall asleep too. My head lies gently down on top of Tenshi’s, and my eyes start to close until I see nothing.