I ask you out, as I always used to. You show up like you always used to.
“I could eat, to be honest,” you say.
“Me, too,” I say.
10 p.m.: We find ourselves wandering through the dark alleys of downtown for something to eat. This is the first time I see you after that, well, thing. That thing that got us screaming at each other in pure rage that, when we were finally calm, we both called it.
“This isn’t working,” you said.
“I know,” I agreed.
10:15 p.m.: We find a ramen place. It’s not that crowded. We find a seat right away. A really friendly, albeit obviously exhausted server approaches us for our order. He leaves after everything’s settled.
“How have you been?” you ask.
“Fine.” With the subtlest sigh, “Same, same.”
We talk over ramen. We talk over each other like everything’s normal. We start arguing about a lot of things — things we have different views on. It’s probably culture, or how we were brought up, or both.
10:42 p.m.: We finish our meal.
“Drinks?” I ask.
“Fuck yeah,” you answer.
We go to that bar where we first met. Where you first saw me shit-faced dancing as if no one was watching. Singing Backstreet Boys at the top of my lungs while everyone else was minding their own business. That’s where we first talked about Trump and white privilege, police brutality, equality, the LGBTQ+ community, you name it.
I see the darts board.
“Wanna play darts?” I ask.
“Sure,” you oblige.
We play a couple of rounds. We trash each other out, and you’re getting into my nerves. I lose, you win. You smile this annoying fuckin’ smile.
“I win,” you brag.
“Fuck you,” I say back.
11:05 p.m.: I’m drunk after maybe 4 drinks. And just as you have probably already seen coming, I start dancing. You put up with it really well this time. There isn’t disgust in your face. I can see you smile—a really reluctant smile, that is. It’s as if you don’t want me to win, even when there isn’t anything to win.
11:35 p.m.: “I have to go home,” you say.
“Me, too,” I say back.
“You sure? You can stay,” you insist.
“No, I don’t wanna miss my last train,” I lie.
“I just want to walk with you one last time,” I say, but only in my head.
You walk me to the train station. Nobody says anything. The silence is deafening. You look at me, confused. “You look upset. What are you thinking?”
“Nothing,” I lie.
I wish I’m that overthinking, assuming-the-worst kind of person so I can just say it—take me home.
Take me back.
Take me home.
11:50 p.m.: We’re at the station, and you walk the other way.
“Good night,” you say.
“Good night,” I say back.
And that’s the last time I saw you.