I’m sure you would like to hear about the girl first, but that is not how this works. For, you see, we can’t talk about the girl without talking about the boy. The boy who was losing things all the time. He lost his keys, he lost his patience and, one day, he lost his indents. Everything that was not bolted to the boy, was prone to be lost. Prone to, first, being lost, second, forgotten and, third, replaced. He didn’t realize at first that the indents were gone. And not just that. The line breaks were gone too. He noticed that his thoughts were messier than usual, like those of a tired mind simultaneously processing coffee and beer. He changed the text alignment to justified, but that didn’t justify anything. His thoughts wandered around the page like a pack of rabid dogs. He tried to constrain them with commas, but that didn’t work. A semicolon, he wondered; it made little sense. And just like the day before, he noticed it was raining outside. He knew that it rained only when he was looking. He could hear the rain not raining when he didn’t look. Just like he knew that his watch had different time readings than the ones he always saw. He knew that the watch must have numbers that have no meaning. But whenever he looked, the digits always had one. It was 13:37 or 17:37 or 12:34 or 18:18 or 03:14 or 00:00. And the reading always had a meaning. He knew that there certainly must be different times, dull ones. But he couldn’t think of a single one. Maybe there weren’t enough numbers to not make sense. And maybe it didn’t rain all the time. He walked over to the window and looked outside. A girl was standing on the pavement, lost in thought, looking at the setting sun. A blood orange seeping into the horizon. Specks of dirt dotted her wet shoes. Skin shone through her white damp socks. She held an umbrella. In the other hand she held a stack of papers. A surprise punched the boy’s heart. On the papers there was something of his. Something he had lost, forgotten, but not replaced. It was not the words that were his.
It was the indents.
And the broken lines.