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1d3f8cdf2c58f0caa13c01819e9558f2You wore jeans and a button-up white shirt. It had once been your brother’s. I wish I had known that night would be the beginning of a bad idea.

They weren’t lying when they said you find what you’re looking for in the person you never thought you would. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that you would muster up all of the love I didn’t know I had. I love and hate you for that.

Your love was not easy to achieve. When I think of us, I am still uncertain if I ever had it. Maybe I had disillusioned myself. Maybe I was in denial. Maybe I was afraid.

Whatever the reason, the conclusion remains the same: I wanted you. And I was a mess, but I wanted you. And I wish you wanted me to the same extent that I wanted you.

“Stay.” I said one night in bed, just above a whisper, a simple request, meant only for you. You were getting ready to leave, like always.

We had been like this, many times, yet we were always too afraid to acknowledge that we could be something more. That we would always be something more. There wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to be the one to initiate things, but how long could I be a lover in the dark?

“Why?” I bit my swollen lips, still sore, and shrugged my worn shoulders.

“Because.”

“Because why?”

“Just…because.”

“Because isn’t an answer. Tell me why you want me to stay.” It’s not meant to be a statement; it’s a question. Because you love me, don’t you, is what you want to say. You’re just not strong enough. Nothing can train you to hear ‘no.’ My vision suspiciously became blurred.

“Because. Because, because, because, because. Stupid fucking word. There’s always a reason with because. Don’t eat too much candy because you will get fat. Don’t leave the lights on in the bathroom because it wastes electricity. Don’t throw your heart away because you’re going to get it thrown right back at you, twice as hard, and you’re going to miss it, and it’s going to fall and hit the ground and break. God never said because. He just said, Thou shalt not kill. Take it or leave it, guys. Don’t ask questions, I’m God.”

“What’s your point?” You knew how to goad me.

“Well, maybe I want to be God, okay? Maybe I want to say something I don’t need a reason for. Maybe I want to eat candy and leave the bathroom light on and be in love! And if you don’t like it, well that’s too bad, it must suck to be you. And maybe I just want to say stay. Maybe there’s no because. What does it matter? I could give you a hundred reasons and you still wouldn’t.”

My chin sunk into the pillows. Now that the words are gone, there’s nothing left to hold it up.

You were holding me. When did that happened? How could I not have noticed? Something that feels like this…and that’s when I realized this is why you don’t notice breathing or your cells dividing or blinking or your heart beating. As a child I always wondered, this thing, it keeps me alive, how come I don’t notice it?

But you do notice. When something goes wrong, you notice it. When apiece is stolen from the puzzle, the picture doesn’t look right. But when it’s slotted back into place…

When our lips collide, it tastes like iron and regret. I found myself curling into you, your arms wrapped tight around me, the steady thump of your heartbeat under my ear. I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since either of us have said a word, but somehow that primary organ speaks for you.

“Give me a reason,” You said. Asked. Pleaded. “Give me one reason.”

I sighed softly, like a heavenly prayer, meant only for you.

“Because I’m tired of being scared that every time you’re gone, you won’t come back.” The mouth is a puppet of the brain, but the eyes belong to the heart, to the soul. The heart can say please, can plead, without blushing. It’s already red.

You didn’t come back. A part of me wasn’t even surprised.

I told you I loved you as you told me that you were leaving. That was always the theme of our relationship; loved and leaving.

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