i slowly peel open my eyes as the summer sun bleeds through the slits in the blinds, a prismatic display of technicolor beauty.
i let out an exhalation of relief, as my subconscious works in tandem with my circadian rhythm to inform me that saturday has come, and there are no strings or obligations attached.
out of the edge of my peripheral vision, i spot a fluorescent-colored post-it note attached atop my alarm clock with the words "wanna go for a ride?" scrawled in black felt-tip pen with the poise and passion of a calligraphist.
how can anyone know where i lived or had access to my room? i had just moved in a couple of weeks prior and had made no effort to establish any connections.
i intended to keep it that way, only letting in a select few into my inner workings.
i get dressed, step outside and am immediately bathed in the warmth of summer. i can feel the radiance of the sun seep into my soul and warm me from the bones.
as i walk to my car, i notice another neon-colored post-it note on my windshield with another clue inscribed upon it.
"the journey's long."
before i even finish reciting the phrase in my mind, "and it feels so bad" leaks out from my throat.
i begin to piece together this jigsaw conundrum, the pieces molded and shaped by her--our--musical acumen.
i get into the car and as i pull down the sunshade to shield my still-dilated pupils from the shining sun, another clue drops onto my lap with the gracefulness of an autumn leaf succumbing to gravity.
"i spent two weeks in silver lake."
as i close my eyes to allow the heat of the sun to bleed and dissipate through my eyelids, i softly sing "the california sun cascading down my face" into the warm air.
i gently hold the note between my thumb and index finger as i begin to notice that it was two post-it notes stuck together, adhesive side in, with another lyric logged onto the side opposite.
"come closer and see."
i immediately put the car in reverse as i decipher the code and discover the algorithm and go towards the only place that we've shared time together that had any resemblance to a tree, "see into the trees, find the girl, if you can."
as i drive down towards the beach with the sidewalks lined with palm trees, i keep my eyes aware and scanning for any other clues, anything to get me closer to this end-game or salvation, whichever comes first.
i squint and can barely make out another clue at the base of the pier as the setting sun washes out any sort of color in the paper, turning everything into a beautiful, calming sepia tone.
i park the car and walk up to the base of the pier and grab the note and raise it to my eyes, impatiently waiting for my eyes to focus due to the lack of light.
"stop me if you think that you've heard this one before."
as i raise my head, i can see a single, solitary silhouette at the edge of the pier. she rests her arms on the railing and i can see her summer dress fluttering in the wind in unison with her softly-curled, flowing locks that burn of crimson and lavender in the wake of the setting sun.
as i walk up to her, she senses my presence and turns around and we steal glances and establish gazes at the exact moment she finishes rotating. we lock stares and as she lets out a subtle smile full of endearment and elegance, i slot the last piece of the puzzle together.
"nothing's changed, i still love you, oh--"
she cuts me off mid-lyric and whispers as she bites the bottom of her lip and our noses touch.
"i still love you."
i quickly inhale to see if the continuing lyric applies to our situation, but she places a fingertip atop my lips and gently shakes her head as we stare and fade into each other.