You helped me move all my things out of my tiny bedroom into my tiny car on a hot sweaty day at the end of August. You would barely let me lift a finger but still brought me water, even though we both knew you were the one doing all the work.
You got me a hotel room when the dusty memories of my quickly emptying apartment clogged my lungs and pretended the only thing you could imagine doing with the luxury king sized bed you got was watching TV meant to distract us from reality and holding me until I fell asleep.
You caught my tears on the tips of your fingers each time you caught the future starting to cloud my vision and told me you loved me salty and beautiful and held me close to keep me in the moment with you.
You woke me up in the early hours of the morning to say my name and I was struck by how much I loved the sound of it whispering past your lips and I kissed you hard because I didn’t know how to tell you I loved you.
You sat beside me as we drove out of our city with the last four years of our lives overflowing my car. Your basketball was tucked next to my ukulele and you looked at me with that half smile and told me we could drive anywhere in the country if we wanted to.
I caught myself trying to memorize your face at every red light. Though neither of us said anything, I knew we were both watching the miles and the minutes slowly pour out behind us in the review mirror.
You kissed my tears away when I dropped you off, your face glowing in the light of my headlights.
You told me everything you loved about me, which included everything that no one loves about me except for you, and I wanted to tell you everything I loved about you but my throat ached so badly I was scared what would happen if I tried to.
I tried to not feel safe in your arms because I didn’t know how I would be able to drive away from you but sometimes your heartbeat is the only thing that can calm me down and your skin is the only thing that can thaw all my cold.
Before I left you reminded me “baby steps”.
Which is what I would remind you of all those years ago when we were two confused teenagers unable to navigate our own hearts and I tried to smile because I know that’s what you wanted me to do but my heart was breaking because now we’re using those baby steps to move further and further apart and not closer together.
Submitted to ArtParasites by Marguerite P.