(after Trista Mateer)
In another life, we’re spending the holidays in Hawaii. We don’t fight as much this time, though. My hands aren’t nearly as cold. Your voice, that same softness I first fell in love with during all those summertime phone calls. Nothing stern here. The water is warm and we get ridiculously drunk off only two Mai Tais. At the luau, you check ahead that something in the meal will be gluten-free. You know I hate to ask. You do it for me.
In another life, we adopt that West Highland White Terrier named Sherlock we met at the mobile adoption. You start getting allergy shots and he insists on sleeping on our pillows every night. I mention the idea of a little brother, and you think that means I’m pregnant. You say you’re a little disappointed that I just meant another dog. Imagine, a little us, and you bring me closer in bed.
In another life, you don’t suggest I get off anti-depressants. You’re aware my love for you has nothing to do with my disease.
In another life, I don’t dodge your phone calls while you’re in Paris. I don’t flirt with the idea of you not coming back. I turn off the TV, answer your Skype. I find the story of you getting tipsy on champagne amusing. You tell me you miss me and I say it back. I’m not resentful that you left me.
In another life, our dads don’t die.
In another life, they are joking with each other at our engagement party. They consider starting a folk duo, offer to play our wedding for a family discount.
In another life, I’m turning 25 in two months while you get to remain 24. Older women are your thing, you tease, your tongue tracing my aging lines. I take your mouth into mine and remind you it’s important to listen to your elders.
In another life, Alyssa is officiating the ceremony. We write our own vows and my mother can’t stop crying.
In another life, everyone was right. Everyone was right about us.