The very first time they met each other was in a convenience store, the one in the corner between a chop shop and a comic book store. These things are unlike the way we know them. Different words with different meanings, but meaningful, nonetheless.
In the dim light of the convenience store (to please the sea creatures in their glass cages at the front of the shop), the first of them stared at the screen in the corner. In that small screen, the first watched an airplane crash. The flames filled the entire screen, and the shouts of the people in the television could barely be heard over the frames. This was the news, and the news reporter stared at the spice bottle in his hand. Then at the first. Then the spice bottle.
“Cash or card?” he asked.
The second of them was eating dinner, alone. They were in a dim apartment, lit intermittently by the headlights that shone through their window. They had a headache, hence the dimness. In their hands, was a small cube, a phone, its brightness set on low.
Soft taps were the only thing that could be heard, save for the whirring of the cars outside their apartment, A text, here and there. A small smile.
“You shouldn’t be looking at your phone if you have a headache.”
“You shouldn’t be texting me if you need to eat,
“You need to eat.”
“I am eating,” replied the second, raising a fork to their mouth as if the first could see. As if they hadn’t completely forgotten about eating this whole time. As if there weren’t things happening beyond them, beyond what was making them smile, beyond what was making them look, again and again, on the screen in their hands.
In this lifetime, the first’s was Wel. At least, that was how it translated to your language, more or less. Wel was standing on their stove, a small thing painted black. A new thing they had just gotten, a gift from a relative.
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