Physical Improbabilities

A sunrise is a sunrise in Arizona or in Barcelona—at least at the fundamentals of a sunrise—but Abby is inclined to disagree with the fundamentals. Sitting with her head on Logan’s shoulder, their hands intertwined, and hundreds of miles away from all of their responsibilities, Abby can’t comprehend why she ever gave a damn about the fundamentals.  

Ever since she was a child, she’d built her life around the fundamentals of “a recipe for success”. Her moves were calculated a hundred times before she followed through. She chose to be an artist, but made sure to go to the best school, with the best shot. She works until her hand cramps; ambitious and occasionally egotistical Abby likes to know what lays around any corner.

Maybe because she had suppressed so many childish desires in the past, she ended up not only running away from college two weeks before her finals, but also roping Logan into it.

Logan kisses the top of her head. “It’s getting cold,” he says. “We should head back to the room.”

Abby snuggles closer to him. “Just a moment longer.”

She watches the last rays of sun disappear behind the Barcelona skyline. The city reminds her of New York because of the richness of architecture, not that they are similar. It’s the way Barcelona’s history is engraved into its buildings. New York had always stood out to her because modern architecture clashes against the old bricks and rusted fire escapes. Barcelona is just as grounded in its history, with homes that look like churches and restaurants that look like castles, café’s that are hidden behind ivy vines but are so much bigger on the inside. The titles on the sidewalk are a spectrum of colors and flowers and the walls in interior of every building creates an atmosphere of a never-ending garden throughout the city.

They had been in Barcelona a week. A week in which Abby spent all day using her Spanish and turning to Logan with almost sorrowful eyes every time they passed a place her mother had told her about as a child. She had always wanted to try authentic Crème Catalan her mother didn’t know how to make it, so it was always store bought. As soon as they landed, even before finding their hotel, she had searched for the best place to get Crème Catalana. The creamy, warm, cinnamon custard tasted better than any store brand she’d ever had. Logan ordered them five more to take back to the hotel. And then they slept. They slept a whole day away and she almost resented it until she saw how the bags under Logan’s eyes had slightly faded.  

They’d been sitting in the library at three a.m. when Abby had bought their plane tickets and booked the hotel. Logan stared at the screen, but as sleep deprived as he had been, it didn’t hit him until moments later what she had done.

“We have it in savings,” she had said to lessen his panic.

Like everyone, they played out scenarios in their heads about dropping out of school and flying anywhere to get away from it all. Like everyone they thought it, and like everyone they never did it. Escaping is like being a kid and believing you can fly even though it is inherently physically impossible. It could have been Logan’s bloodshot eyes from three days without sleep, or her own blackhole of anxiety and stress that had pushed her to the point of throwing physically impossibilities out the window—or maybe she had just been that delusional from two days without eating.

All she knows now is that she won’t regret this. Not even when she gets back to finals’ week with nothing started for her classes. What is a couple more all-nighters amongst all the ones she has already done the last three years of her life? At least now she can stay up knowing she has walked the streets of Barcelona and watched amazing Flamenco dancers. The women wore such lovely red dresses that when they spun, they looked as if they’d become the color red itself. They would dance with a passion that Abby had lost at some point, between working until she dropped and taking classes unrelated to her major.

Logan brings her hand up to kiss. “Abb’s. We need to go.”

She turns to kiss his cheek. Yes, they had to go. They had bills to get back too, projects to start, groceries to buy—she needs more socks because somehow, they had all disappeared, but they had done it.

They had flown, physical improbabilities be damned.