We Had A Love Like An Airport Layover

alyssa
alyssa

You and I, we love like airport layovers.

We are scribble notes on boarding passes, tucked into secret pockets like inside jokes.

We are subway maps read upside down, disoriented laughter and the most confusing kind of understanding. We are lost travelers with broken compasses, always leading us blindly into each other’s arms.

Some nights I hear your mind playing airport security on your heart. I see alarms go off beneath your eyes whenever your hand finds its way mindlessly down the small of my back. The panic radiates sirens as you realize that’s not how friends behave.

But other nights we are drunken confessions, or interlocked fingers laced like red-rover children. Wide-eyed and aware of every risk, we are intertwined minds but never intertwined limbs.
We are deep secrets poured across ceramic tile in the smallest hours, any evidence all too easily swept away by morning.

The scars that clutter our elastic skin are just stamps on passport pages – proof of all the places our bodies have dragged our hopeful hearts. Yours are covered with the names of prettier girls that I’ve never met, and mine are tattered with souvenirs from boys who you know all too well. But the beauty lies in how our blank pages line up, the untouched, the potential, the ‘maybe-some-day-when-the-timing’s-right’ spots. Besides, I always learned more about you by things you left unsaid, unfinished sentences or gazes that linger moments too long for ‘just friends’.

We are victims of just passing through, lost somewhere within the blurry lines of leaving and arriving.

We are born in bittersweet goodbyes and die in happenstantial hellos, so believe me when I say she seems good for you, and I’ll ignore the hint of jealousy when you demand he treats me right.

See you and I, we’re just airport layovers. Hidden birthmarks like undiscovered landmarks that won’t get the chance to take our breath away. You will probably never be my final destination, and that’s okay. I will not pack my little life into a suitcase and make a home inside your bolstering heart, because it’s always beating ever so slightly steadier for someone else. I will not be the reason you light up when people ask of your months abroad, because the oceans in my eyes or the taste of salt on my skin will be fumbled into someone else’s seaside memories.

I’m not the vacation of your dreams or the trip of your lifetime.

Instead, I am the city you set foot in, ankle deep in a wave of equal parts friendship, lust and hesitation. I am the town you spend moments wrapped up in on your way to somewhere else, somewhere safer. I am the place you refer to with gentle wonder and ambiguous phrases, like ‘it was exciting, but I never got a chance to explore it’. When asked, I will hold back a smile and half-heartedly lie that someday I will go back, maybe-when-the-timing-is-right, never thinking too much into why we keep blaming a man-made concept for preventing something so clearly written in the stars.

So when you and her grow apart and when he breaks my heart, just like the times before, I will let you love me the only way you ever knew how and we’ll pretend that it’s not love at all.

You and I will be desperate embraces before last boarding calls and anxious glances outside the windows at takeoff- so painfully tempting, but never quite enough to stay. TC mark

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