I went there, sat there, stood there, waited there, even begged there for something, anything to happen.

       It was a Thursday, and in the dying moments of day, when the last rays of light stood up to be killed in the sky, I could feel someone behind me, just to the side. I could feel a presence, a shadow, standing just obscured behind a tree.

       I turned around.

       I looked.

       "Rube?" I asked. "That you, Rube?"

       But it wasn't Rube.

       I was sitting down against the small brick fence when I saw the person step into the last remnants of light, and walk slowly toward me. It was Octavia.

       It was Octavia and she walked over and sat next to me.

       "Hi Cameron," she said.

       "Hi Octavia." I was shocked.

       Silence bent down then, just for a moment, and whispered to each of us.

       My heart threw itself to my throat.

       Then, down.


       She looked into the window I'd been staring at. Stephanie's window.

       "Nothing?" she asked, and I knew what she meant.

       "No, not tonight," I answered.

       "Any night?"

       I couldn't help it.

       I promise you, I couldn't..

       A huge stupid tear rose up and fell out of my eye. It stammered down my face to my mouth and I could taste it. I could taste the saltiness of it, on my lips.


       I looked at her.

       "You okay?" she asked.

       And all I did from there was tell her the truth.

       I said, "She's not comin' out tonight, or any other night, and there's nothing I can do about it." I was even moved to quote Rube. "Y' feel what y' feel, and that girl doesn't feel a thing for me. That's all there is to it.." I looked away, at the dying sky, attempting to pull myself together.

       I began wondering exactly why I'd chosen this Glebe girl as the one I wanted to please, to drown in.

       "Cam?" asked Octavia.


       She kept wanting me to look at her, but I still wasn't ready. Instead, I stood up and stared into the house. The lights went on. The curtains were drawn, and the girl, as always, was nowhere to be seen.

       Yet, there was a girl next to me, who'd stood up now as well, and we were both beside the brick fence. She looked at me and made me look back. She asked one more time.


       Finally, I answered, quietly, timidly. "Yeah?"

       And Octavia's face cried out to me in the silent city night as she asked, "Would you come and stand outside my house instead?"