Tuesday, August 1, 2017


We got out of the car and you walked around to me.  You reached for my hand and wove your fingers in mine, like we had done a hundred times.  

We walked like this for a block, until we were in my front yard.  You stopped suddenly.  I tried pulling you with me.  But you had rooted your body to the ground and didn't move an inch. Like you had hit a wall.

Like something had just occurred to you.

It was a chilly spring night and the stars were out.  The night smelled like the Pacific.  

I turned to face you.  Why weren't you following me?  

"I can't."  Your face was pained.

"Just for a little while."

"No."  I looked at you, confused. 

We stood facing each other, our hands still clasped.

And then I realized why you had stopped.  I should have known this was coming.  It had to, eventually.

My face must have registered what was happening.  You pulled me to you and wrapped your arms around me.  I wrapped my arms around your back.  We stood like this for a little while.

You tilted your face down to mine.  I looked up at you and you leaned in to kiss me.  I turned my head back to your neck, unsure and sad.  I tried stepping back, moving both of us toward the house. But you stood firm.

My throat was tight and my chest heavy.  I was saying goodbye in my head. My eyes burned and I felt tears fall.  How did we get here?

You pulled back to look at me, your hand on the back of my head.

"Don't cry."

I smiled, "I hate you," I whispered.

You pulled me back into a hug.  We stood there, my forehead tucked in the crook of your neck and shoulder.

"I hate you, too," you whispered back.  And kissed my cheek.

The stars stared down at us, uncaring and unmoved by this scene.  This had happened thousands of times for thousands of years and would continue for thousands more.  These stars would remain long after we were stardust once again.  

I put my hands on your hips, my forehead on your shoulder.  You reached for my hand.

I looked up at you.  I stood on tiptoe and kissed you softly on your lips.  Once. As I closed my eyes, a single tear dropped on our faces between us. 

You held my hand as I walked away.  Our fingers held for a second, and then we were two.

I didn't look back, even though I wanted to.  I knew you were watching me. 

I wanted nothing more than to be with you.  


I walked up the steps, unlocked the door, and closed it behind me.  I sat down on the hardwood and leaned my back against the wall, my legs outstretched, and closed my eyes. 

Why didn't I see this coming?  I should have protected myself more.  I should have been the one to break it off.  As I thought about it, I realized that you must have tried to have this conversation.  

I thought about these last few months, your face lit by the moon, our whispers to each other in the night. Camping, drinking, birthdays, laughing, quiet moments alone.

I heard footsteps on the porch and opened my eyes.

You knocked lightly.  "Hey," you said through the door.  "Can I come in?" I could tell from your voice that you were leaning against the front door.


"Why are you sitting in the dark?"

"There's a surprise party soon and you're ruining the surprise."

"Well, let me in before they show up."

"It will only make this harder," I replied.

"I know," you whispered.  I heard you sit down on the other side of the door.

"Why didn't you leave?" I asked.

"I don't want to.  I never wanted to."

I closed my eyes and tried not to cry.  

"Please let me in.  I never wanted to hurt you."

I was quiet.

I reached up and held the doorknob.  I turned it quickly and let go.  Maybe you would hit your head on the hardwood.


Part II here.

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