When I drink wine, I drink Malbec. The taste reminds me of you.
It’s wrong, I know, to do things that make me feel closer to you. I know that temporary relief from the pain of your absence does me no good. But neither does missing you so much I can’t think.
So I’m sitting here on my couch drinking Malbec in the t-shirt you gave me the last time I ever saw you. As the sweet, smooth wine rushes over my tongue, I can feel you coming back to me.
I’m not at home anymore. I’m sitting cross-legged on your bed in my underwear with a half-eaten plate of pasta in my lap, holding my near-empty wine glass. My hand is turned upward, the stem of the glass is gently wedged between my middle and ring finger, and the bulb of the glass rests against the palm of my hand.
I let my lips linger on the rim of the glass and glance at you through my lashes, trying to notice if you’re noticing me. You are. I feel the warm buzz flush through my cheeks. Feel my lips close a little looser. Feel my body start to hum with the anticipation of your hands on me.
I’m dizzy with bliss.
As you move swiftly toward me and lay me back on your bed, I wrap my arms around your neck and stupidly giggle into the soft spot between your jawline and your collarbone. You grin down at me and guide my head to the pillow with your lips, tangling your fingers in mine.
My entire body is smiling.
Or, it would be — if this were not just a sick fantasy that I let myself indulge in to remember what it feels like to be with you.
The loneliness is sobering, and as my buzz melts away, so do the green walls of your room and the warmth of your chest pressed against mine. It’s cold here.
Heartache washes through me, a crashing wave of emptiness that begins deep in my chest and ripples out until my entire body is drowned in the suffocating reality of your absence.
The closest thing that I’ve felt to your embrace in months is the way your shirt wraps around my body. I pull it closer to me and breathe in as deeply as I can, closing my eyes and searching for the slightest trace of your scent, desperate to fall back into my illusion.
I breathe in so deeply that my lungs can’t hold any more air, but your scent never comes. The sting of disappointment pricks in the corners of my eyes, and my tears spill over.
With each broken breath, I feel the cotton of you shirt shift against me, the way I used to feel you stir against me while you slept. I pull up the sleeve to wipe the tears from my cheek, and though the fabric wrapped around my own finger feels rough against the soft lower lids of my eyes, it is nothing like the roughness of your fingertips.
The closest thing I have to a piece of you is nothing more than a deafening reminder of what I have lost.
I fell in love and all I got was this stupid t-shirt.