Old earth was childhood.
The light that passed through the tree branches as she walked to school. The sound of pencil on paper. Laughter. The taste of the apple her sister always packed her for lunch.
The bliss of knowing one was safe.
Reading stories before bed, the mint of toothpaste. The way the wood planks of the old house settled, the way the radiator ticked. Window seats and birds singing the next morning.
As she grew it got a little trickier. The morning news. Packing lunch for herself. Wrestling her hair into a nondescript ponytail because why bother. The grumbling of the car engine turning on.
The scratch of pencil on paper accompanied by the quiet phone notifications. Math problem after math problem on an old notebook. Kids talking.
The sound the car keys made when they were tossed on the counter. The leaky faucet. The turning of pages.
News report after news report, the sound carrying from upstairs. Hurricanes, wars, death, sadness. Creaking of floorboards.
The chatter of kids on a street corner, the way the cold wind urged them to continue conversations inside. Clinking of glasses at a restaurant. The cry of joy when someone found out they got into the university they wanted. Pool balls hitting each other to spiral off in separate directions. Sports fans on TV.
The way glasses always slide down his nose. The scuff of boots on pavement. The bubble of boiled water when it’s cooking something. Laughter, hands moving through hair.
The way he always said her name. Scarlet.
Staying up late to watch the comedy channel. Messaging each other back and forth all day, even during class. The way he talked about how he was going to college far, far away from where they were. She said it was a little early to be thinking about such things, but she might go to school out of country. It was what her sister did.
The crackling of the fireplace during winter. The smell of first snowfall. Frost covering the window until she couldn’t see through it. Leaving dishes of leftovers outside for the cats who liked to visit.
Thinking of space. Of flying away and never returning. He mentioned she should get a tattoo, something relating to flying. She said she’d think about it, but she never did.
The smell of hot chocolate and textbooks. Twitter alerts lighting up the dimness of the room. Glue and newspaper clippings splayed across the floor. Quiet chimes from earrings, audible only to those who wear them.
The confusion when there was a crash. The panic when the garage caved in, relief when she found out no one was in it at the time.
The safety issued when her sister came home and told her everything would be ok. The glittering of the sunrise on the frozen lake, the way the rest of the world moved unhindered by time.
It was the week he went missing, only to return besides himself with unease, that Scarlet knew things were beginning to change for good.