The little things keep coming back to me.
Your black pants with the leather detailing, the tattoo on your right arm. The first time we kissed, the glow of the street lamps, my black dress whipping in the wind. Listening to you beatbox on Christmas Eve, believing it was the sound of my heart galloping with joy.
Your maroon sweater with the penguin in the corner. I took it to bed every night until it no longer smelled like you. Then I kept it for two more nights just to be sure that when I returned it, it’d carry my scent to you.
The look on your face when I said I was leaving, you were tugging at the bed sheet like you could check the thread count.
The first time we met. The first time we officially met.
Every conversation we’ve ever had. Every invitation you extended. Every time I crossed the street, walked down the alley, up the stairs to your place.
The first time, you were sitting outside waiting for me. I felt guilty. That’s how I felt most of the time with you, guilty and uncertain. Then I was surprised to find how disoriented I felt leaving your gaze, when the world would suddenly snap into focus. I never thought we would happen. It was just friendly chatting, just a movie, just an afternoon at a coffee shop. Then we kissed beneath the glow of the street lamps, my flimsy black dress whipping in the wind, your warmth keeping me steady despite the cold, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful it all was.
Your hands. Which were always clammy. Until they weren’t. Until you were swallowed by movies, emails, flights, and visitors. I grew weary of fighting for square footage in your life.
Two nights after we retired to friendship, I saw you at the bar down the street. You were looking at me the way you used to, with infinite affection and tenderness. I felt heat creep up my face under your gaze.