"You're that constant of high school, the inseparable couple," she mused as she flipped through an old yearbook, not noticing the girl across from her, frozen in place.

"You really think so?" the girl whispered, voice nearly lost in the breeze from the open window.

"Yeah, if our class had famous couples, you would be up there. Everyone loves your guys' relationship. It's sickeningly adorable." She continued to flip through the pages idly stopping at a picture of a couple dancing, the girl's boyfriend staring past the couple at the camera. "He even appears in the yearbook."

"Yeah, but he wasn't the subject of that picture."

She just shrugged before turning the page.

"It's just that we're going separate ways next year, you know?" the girl said, turning to face her from her position on the end of the bed, staring out the window.

As though sensing the attention the other girl looked up from the old yearbook and closed it with a gentle flutter of pages. "Are you scared of leaving him?" she asked.

"Not so much scared of leaving him, but of being attached, growing but restrained."

"You think you'll find someone else?" she asked incredulously.

The girl turned to the window, hiding her certainty, her guilt. "Maybe, but it's more of a suffocating feeling. I've felt it before, I'm not to the point where it's no air and no fun, but I can feel something around my neck, not tight enough to be uncomfortable, but I can feel it." She rubbed her neck as she stared, lost out the window.

"But you two love each other!" she said, staring disbelieving at her friend.

"I know, but we're not … grown up yet. We love each other for who we are right now, we're bound to change in college…"

"But you could grow to love that person too," she said, insisting, it was like someone had told her the force of gravity wasn't 9.8 meters per second squared, but actually 3 meters per second squared and didn't pull down, but repelled up. A high school memory without them together, how strange.

The girl just sighed and pulled her knees to rest her chin on them. "I'm not saying I'm going to break up with him. I don't think I could. Everyone ends up hating me afterwards. It kills me on the inside too. Every time I'm parting with a little bit of myself, accepting that another ideal or hope or something isn't truth. Sometimes it's about accepting reality, that we couldn't be happy in marriage or that we couldn't agree on something… I just don't know." The girl seemed resigned as she stared out the window.

"But aren't you happy with him?" she asked, unable to accept this defeat.

"When I'm with him, it's fun, but when I'm alone, when I'm left to dream…"

"But dreams aren't reality, if you're happy with him then you really can't ask for any more than that, can you?" she asked scorning the lack of reality.

The girl sighed again, "You don't understand. You've never had a commonplace disagreement about what is better, English or Spanish, or whether the perfect pet is a cat or a dog. Just small things like that can be so much more trying than you would expect."

She stared at the girl, she could understand, but if they appeared so perfect, so complimentary together, and the girl still couldn't be happy, was true love, happiness, even real?

"Everyone has their own ideal happy ending, right? The American Dream. Mine is to live where I grew up, not in a McMansion or even in a comparable home somewhere else. I want to live in the same city. I don't know if he could do that. It's an insider kind of thing…" she hesitated and glanced at her friend sitting at the head of the bed almost glaring at her.

"I don't expect you to understand, not yet anyway. You will someday, but maybe you'll be more willing to make sacrifices in relationships than I am. After all, relationships are born from compromise. Maybe I just don't know where to compromise."


Question: Is it clear who is talking? I hate giving character's names if there isn't need, but I feel like this really isn't clear. Just let me know and I can change it. Thanks for reading!