By Emily Grant ‘21
It smells like breakfast and 10 a.m. and pencils and him. He’s there, somewhere.
I’m there, too, leaning toward him but not too close, whispering, and he’s drawing smiley faces in the corner of my book. He borrows it sometimes, highlights things he thinks are “important for discussion” or that might end up on a pop quiz.
The book wasn’t actually mine. I don’t have it anymore.
It looks like green sweaters and gravel paths and the view of the room from the chair I sit in. I’m walking in the shade, laughing, stumbling, trying desperately to say all I want to say in the short time we have, before he goes left and I go right.
Before I said too much. Before he just left.
It tastes like strawberries and cocoa puffs and popcorn. It’s dark and he’s still there, somewhere. I want all the things I can’t have. I lay there and wonder if he wants them, too. I don’t remember much about the movie when it’s over.
And I slept, cold and alone.
It sounds like laughter and the rustling of sheets, like half-truths and fragmented promises. He forgets sometimes. Or maybe he doesn’t want to remember. Sometimes I think I made it too difficult.
It feels like hand holding and rain drops on warm skin, and the next day like hearts splitting in two and betrayal etched into your wrists. The door slams shut and I remember how he used to close it gently. I remember how he makes me feel now and the way he used to make me feel.
And it felt like home.