/ Philosophy

3. Mackenzie

I don’t really like the way my hair is sitting today. It’s messy and falling into my eyes, making me look more disorganized than I really am. I’m looking at the mirror and wishing I did something more interesting with my hair. I think I am just getting paranoid because looking at myself now I can only just keep picturing the infinite thoughts that will run through Mackenzie’s head when they look at me. They will probably wonder what happened in the past two weeks that have brought me to my current appearance. I got really busy with school and had my sibling’s wedding, so it’s been a while since our last date. I need to leave the house soon, but I keep overthinking this hair. I also don’t like this sweater I am wearing, its sitting too loose over my shoulders, already making my small frame practically disappear. I’m not going to make it out of the house if I don’t stop looking at myself. Anyways I rather be looking at Mackenzie, take my mind off myself. I swear I am not narcissist, I just want to be able to anticipate what Mackenzie will think about how I look today.

I arrive at the coffee shop and I’m already anticipating a comment about my hair. “Well this is different” or “Your bangs are longer” and maybe Mackenzie will ruffle my hair as if I was a toddler whose parents were distractedly trying to show affection.

Mackenzie is sitting at a table by the window, already drinking a latte and gazing out the window. I open the door to the café and watch as they turn their head with the jingle of the door chimes; I melt into my sweater as their eyes meet mine and the murmur of conversations fades into the background noise of their gaze. Suddenly, they stand and break the eye contact, taking three great strides towards me and enveloping me in a hug that makes my sweater suddenly feel small. I missed this.

After coffee, we agree to visit a cute shop that sells plush cat toys across the street; Mackenzie knows I love cats. As we leave the restaurant and begin to cross the street, I suddenly hear a cacophony of screeching tires and a wrenching yell from behind me. Everything is suddenly nothing, as my mind swims into a void of serene darkness.

My eyes flutter. Ephemeral white noise drifts around my consciousness and surrounds me, slowly congealing as my eyes open wider. I see the lights, the reds and whites and blues; the sterile chrome and white sheets, white curtains, white nurse. The nurse opens and closes their mouth, and suddenly sounds explode in my head like the crashing of a waterfall.

It takes me a few moments before I can make sense of the sensation.

“Do. You. Know. What. Happened?” I hear and recognize that the sound is emanating from the facsimile of a human that is my caregiver.

“There was a sound, and a yell…” I stammer as I rack my brain for a memory of how I ended up here. Suddenly, I remember.

“Where’s Mackenzie!?” My eyes are wide in shock as the memory of the accident slams painfully into the forefront of my mind. Thoughts race around the highways of my mind as I search for a recollection of where my date might be.

The nurse looks at me with a concerned look and simply responds, that they are not in the hospital. Moving briskly onwards, they ask for my identity card. They have already scanned my body and prescribed the medication I needed to get better. They load the data onto my identity card and, noticing that I am able to move and stand, help me to get up and put my clothes back on.

As I briskly walk out of the facility my phone beeps to life, and I immediately call Mackenzie; where ARE they?!

I approach the dispensary as the call resolves into a voice and see them on the other side of the room. We make eye contact for what feels like the second time in just 24 hours, but this time it is relief that sores through me.

Suddenly they are next to me, arms again engulfing me, the dispensary machine beeping angrily at being ignored. An eternity passes in an instant and Mackenzie pulls away from me, gazing at me and my stained clothes with concern on their face.

I blush at the gaze, and turn to put my card in the machine. It whirs as the medication is prepared and dispensed into the classic orange child-proof bottle. I always have such trouble with those, I think as Mackenzie turns me back around.

“Your bangs are longer” they say with a grin.