Every time I try to write about you, it comes out in broken pieces, fragmented, like the time we’ve spent. It is always Sunday morning, and sometime within the two nights prior I have watched the clock hit four. Yesterday we waited for the sun to rise. I said, What if it never does? It broke through the clouds as I picked my jeans off your living room floor. You had already hung up the photos we had knocked off the wall the night before. Through the picture window, I could see my house, the town I grew up in, and I have imagined this exact life being the one that I had always tried to run from. For some reason, it feels safe within your walls.
Before this, we were always looking out someone else’s windows, finding ourselves placed haphazardly into lives we were not living, beds that were not our own, while the sun crept up and turned the sky the same shade of 7am red. Temporary places housed temporary feelings this time last year, and it feels as if it is happening all over again. We are not good at talking, but when I drive towards my house and take two lefts instead of a right, I say to the dark: “I am scared, I don’t want to care” as if admitting it out loud is the same as admitting it to you.
There is one memory that I cannot forget and it is the way you kept your shoes on the first time you came to say goodbye. You barely opened the door, told me you couldn’t do this anymore, and as you left the house that I no longer live in, I crawled back into the bed that still smelled like you. I stayed that way for days.
“You are so hard to leave,” you once told me. And since the first goodbye of the second time, I have been waiting for another symbolic ending, something that will tell me things will not continue this time around. How can you rewrite a story when the main plot points are exactly the same as the last? We started the sequel in sock-feet, but our “I missed yous” were drowned out by the reminder that somehow, I always go away.
Now I have nightmares about drowning in flooded mine shafts; I do not want to step foot on a plane. I keep my lips pressed to yours, afraid that if I open them I will spill all my fears. I do not want to think about the distance that will be coming, again – the one that I am creating by placing coasts and, this time, countries, between us. I want to fall asleep with your knees tucked behind me, I want to be able to reach out and touch you in the bar. I am afraid that the words I admit to myself will only be heard in the dark of my car.
You are so hard to leave.