I Still Think About Leaving All This Behind And Driving Off With You

inadabi
inadabi

The first time you kissed me, it took me by complete surprise. It wasn’t one of those moments you can tell is coming. We didn’t have that slightly awkward pause, the stomach pounding magnetism before two lips finally touch.

Nope. That’s not how it went for us. Sure, we’d been dancing around it for weeks. I was waiting for you to just do it, make the move already, damn! I was losing hope you saw me that way. You had no idea if I wanted you to. You were afraid to overstep your place. After all, we were just friends.

But really, we were never just friends.

So when it finally happened, I wasn’t expecting it. I sat down next to you on the couch and BOOM – you turned to me and planted one on me. My brain took a few seconds to even catch up to what was happening. But then, we were there together. And we never questioned anything else. From there on out, we knew.

I still think about that one summer we spent more time in your blue car than anywhere else. It was one of the hottest on record, and we liked to think it was because of our wanting. You’d drive me to views I’d never seen before. I was enamored with how well you knew our city. It’s like you knew hidden spots that had been created just for us.

The summer we spent apart (but still together) it wasn’t nearly as warm. You were in a different time zone, a different country. We loved in missed phone calls and Skype sessions. We kept trying to remember that blue car, those drives across county lines. But our memories are fickle things. It’s easy to forget what we thought we’d always know.

After all this time, I think of driving off together in that car. I know you sold it after college, but my heart lurches when I see the same model drive by. You were my greatest adventure that I didn’t even know I wanted to take until you kissed me without warning. You were the road trip I’d take again and again.

When it gets really bad, I think about leaving all of this life I’ve created behind and being your copilot. I’m not one for reckless decisions, I prefer my life planned out. I don’t take well to disrupting my routine. But you were my exception. I’d follow you without fear.

I still remember the radio blaring and you holding my hand near the stick shift. I would navigate us to a safe place, somewhere we don’t have to worry about the cruelties or the disappointments.

I think of calling you up and saying, “Meet me by the clock tower.” Because you’d know exactly where I mean. We’d split the price of gas and stop at every weird side-of-the-road shop we see.

I think of leaving everything I know to see what we could be. I guess there will always be a part of me willing to take that risk, willing to drive anywhere with you. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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