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I’m shaking.

I don’t know where that came from because it’s never happened to me before. I never suffered from stage fright, I never had a stutter, never got particularly nervous or overwhelmed to the point of trembling. Whenever I’m happy – you know this, you’ve pointed it out – my eyes beam before my lips do, and when I really laugh I make these high-pitched noises you just love to tease me about. When I cry, it’s usually quiet. Subtle, discreet. Blame it to growing up with two older brothers; I had to watch my back, to cover after myself, you know? I hate to admit this but I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Being alone is tougher than usual, sometimes unbearable because of all the thoughts. I smash them down during the day, I try to revel every moment I get, before you… Before I go. But the second my bedroom door closes behind me everything comes crashing down. Every single goddamn night. And my brothers’ shadow is now Mark, only a wall away.

But then sometimes, I can’t help it. Sometimes I really cry. It’s not your fault, don’t worry about it. I’m not saying this to make you sad, my point is that - when I really cry? We’re talking wrenching sobs and rivers of tears. But no matter how fucked up I might feel inside, no matter how emotionally charged I might get, this never happens. It’s never happened to me before. I never shake.

I’m shaking now.

You noticed. I know you can feel it.

For the first time I’m holding you the way I’ve craved ever since I first saw you, I’m feeling your skin against my fingertips – so smooth and soft and… electrifying. You have no idea what you’re doing to me. Hell, I have no idea. I’m a trembling mess, my head is emptied of every thought yet every fiber of my being – it’s cliché, I know, but it’s ridiculously true – every single part of me feels so full.

I knew this would be like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, because that’s just the case with you and me. That’s how it always is. Had I told my younger self there’d be a time when simply having my palm read by a girl would result in me needing a good 20 minutes in the men’s room to cool myself down, young Jim would’ve found me so damn lame. And rightly so. That night we shared grilled-cheese sandwiches on the roof? I still think about it on the daily. I doze off when I watch TV, Pam, it’s ridiculous. I can’t watch a goddamn movie anymore. And it’s torture, but it’s all I was ever gonna get, right? So it was okay. I got what I got, waiting patiently for the next stolen moment, even if the time passing by only killed me slowly.

I was going to wait tonight. For whatever moment you gave me. I would wait, and I’d be grateful. It was only one round, because you’re terribly good at bluffing – who would have known? – and the game ended too soon. But your laughter is ringing in my ears, still. I can still see your eyes gleaming. I got another moment tonight, and normally it would have been enough. It’s been enough, years now.

But then Jan’s presence was a reminder. A transfer. Australia. Four weeks.

Four weeks, Pam. And then no more memories. I won’t see you the same way after that, I know it. I won’t be able to look at you at all, who am I kidding? Don’t question it, okay, I just know. And yeah I know it’s stupid because it’s only technicalities, you’ve been his all along, it’s just an extra ring. But I can’t do this. I’m so sorry, I know me leaving will be tough for both of us. I know you love our moments too, I’m not an idiot. We have something. And I’m putting an end to it before you get to do it, because selfishly I think it will hurt less if it’s my choice, you know? I’ll feel less of a loser that way. I know it sounds childish. It probably is. I’m sorry I can’t be your best friend when you’re his wife. But I can’t, Pam, I can’t do this, not when our moments will never be the same, they won’t be ours – the images of veils and honeymoons and you in white will always be there gnawing at us, eating me up.

That’s why I’m transferring.

I never meant to explain all that, though. Just like I never meant to explain Australia. I bet you think I’m just an asshole that doesn’t give a crap about his friend’s wedding. Or maybe you know. Maybe you’ve known all along.

Well, whatever the case, you know everything now.

Again, I didn’t mean to say it. I didn’t plan this. Well- that’s not accurate- I have planned this, way more thoroughly than a mentally stable, non-crazy-about-you person would. I have all these scenarios in my head of me telling you. So many different moments, you have no idea. I have my speech all ready and planned, and it’s a big one too. Because I have so much to say.

About you, about what you make me feel every time that I look up and see you, every time that your voice follows the sharp ringing of the phone, every time that you ‘pssst’ me from across the room and my heart skips a beat. You’re what keeps me sane in this gray and dim building. You’re the strength I need to get up every morning - another cliché I know, shut up. Just shut up and listen (yes, that is part of the speech) because I need you to hear this. You have no idea what a relief it is to fully be me, no holding back. To joke with you and have you join my banter in the most brilliant way. You’re so smart and so funny, and I see how reserved you are around everyone else. You’re holding back. I know that you are because you’ve let me know you. Of all the people in that office, you let me in -and I still can’t believe it. You’re so good for me. When I’m with you, I automatically turn to the most authentic version of me, and I think that’s the person I was meant to be, if that makes sense. It’s never been easier to let down all guards and be with someone. Share my troubles, kick boredom to the face, make every moment count. Isn’t that what happiness is? When the room seems lighter and the stars shine a little brighter and that dull gray life is suddenly colorful? That’s what this is to me, Pam. That’s what you are – the color in my life. And that had nothing to do with you being an artist. Okay, maybe partially, because those paintings are brilliant and literally the only ones I’ve ever taken time to really see. But that’s beyond the point – don’t laugh! Come on. I’m pouring my heart out to you here, Beesly, quit laughing.

Oh yeah, in my fantasies you’re laughing. I almost expected you to laugh in reality too, but in a more mocking-type-of-way. You’re not a mean person by any means, but it must sound ridiculous to you that I’ve been all over you since day one and never said anything. Maybe you think I’m a coward for it. Maybe it makes you angry that I’ve never been just your friend, Jim – that every time we hang out I wanted something more than that.

Or maybe you weren’t shocked at all. Maybe you knew all along.

You never did tell me what you think. Or how you felt. You just said, ‘I can’t.’ And it’s funny how two little words can change so much.

Did you mean it?

It tore me, it broke me, I’m not going to lie anymore. I’m done lying to you, there was a part of me that, even though it was impossible, was still hoping you’d laugh. You’d say ‘Finally.’ Or ‘Me too’ or anything really, anything but ‘I can’t’. And all that hope got crushed all at once, leaving me breathless, choking, struggling to see through hot tears.

After four years of waiting I’d made a leap, without even meaning to. I was going to tell you about the transfer, and then the words were flying from my mouth before I could do anything to stop them. Words of a drowning man. I looked at you and begged you to take this sinking boat and point it home. To raise your hopeful voice while we still had time. You had a choice, Pam, and I was hanging off your lips, holding onto the very last shred of hope that I might be the thing you want, but those damned two words were enough.

I get it, though. It only made sense for you to say that. Love makes you blind, isn’t that what they say? In my case, it made me see things where there weren’t. It made me misinterpret. I fed myself with lies and let me believe you were feeling what I was, that our little moments were the highlight of your days too, that I was the one that brought out the best in you and made you feel like who you were meant to be, that that night we were swaying together at the notes of a lonely guitar you saw the stars shine a little brighter as well.

I made all that up, that’s what you said.

And I believed you.

Because that was the possibility I’d feared all along. But here I was anyway, chasing ghosts.

The words fell through me, and I couldn’t react. I was left out of breath, and it hurt to be there, in that empty, dark parking lot, when I only wanted love from you. So I left. There was nothing else for me to say anyway - I’d played my cards, and I’d played them too late.

But there was something left for you to say, wasn’t there?

You weren’t done. There was more.

Perhaps it’s my fault that I don’t know what you think. Maybe I left too soon. Maybe you needed a second to process it…

God, your breath is so hot against my face, it’s driving me crazy.

I swear I can’t remember what I did after I left you in the parking lot, I was wandering aimlessly until it hit me that I’d just ruined everything, for good, and I would never get to spend my life next to you, I would never get to see you smile at me the same way again, I would never get to know how you taste and how your lips feel pressed to mine.

I’m pretty sure I said “Fuck.” Out loud. Like, 99% sure. I heard your voice echoing in the empty halls, and the next thing I know I was bursting into the room like a madman and pulling you to me.

I wasn’t trying to convince you or anything. I swear to you I wasn’t. I already got my answer, and it was more than I could bear. But I had to do it. Before I let you go, I had to taste you. Just once.

Beesly, I just kissed you.

And the crazy thing is that you kissed me back.

I’m standing here now, holding you, moments after; moments that feel like hours. Yet my hands are still wrapped around you and my forehead is still leaning against yours and our gasping breaths are still mingling in the short distance between our mouths and, God, I can’t think - not with you being all I can smell and all I can feel and all I can taste.

You taste so good. You must know that, he must tell you all the time. I had no idea.

I wasn’t prepared, despite the million years I’ve been imagining this moment, I couldn’t have possibly been prepared for the reality of it. The second your lips touched mine, you consumed me. Your warmth was all I could comprehend. It’s like every kiss I’ve ever shared was through a dream, distant and vague, and then suddenly you came and woke me up. I was so aware of you, of your every touch, your every move. All my senses heightened, all that I am focused on you – as if you weren’t already the center of my universe. I felt it all, raw and powerful and unfiltered, all at once. An explosion of color. A burst of emotion so powerful that I almost sobbed out loud. Instantly I knew I had never kissed anyone before today, not really. You’re my first. You’re my first everything, and dramatic as it sounds, I’m quite sure you’ll be my last. I can’t imagine finding this again with someone else, kissing like this, feeling like this. I could imitate it, maybe, when time has healed all wounds and I can breathe again, but you’re it for me. It’s always been you. I can’t explain it, I wish it wasn’t, but it was. It is. It forever will be.

Your hands are resting against my chest. Innocently, lazily, enough so that nobody would know how a moment ago they were buried in my hair, pulling me down to you.

You pulled me to you.

You know that right?

I didn’t imagine it this time. I didn’t imagine your hands holding me closer, tagging on my shirt, traveling over me, nor did I imagine your mouth moving against mine, reciprocating, your lips parting, your tongue enslaving me, the moan that you whispered in my mouth.

God, Beesly, you moaned.

Please, please, please don’t tell me I misinterpreted that.

My eyes open, my gaze fixes on your face. You’re flushed, your lips are still parted and your breaths still come as pants. My hands are on your hips and they clench a bit as I beg you, silently. I know you know I’m looking at you. I know you know I’m seeing you.

Please don’t deny it.

Please open your eyes.

The clock on the wall is ticking the seconds away heavily, lazily, too far apart from each other. Perhaps the batteries are dying, these can’t be seconds. They’re too damn long.

I’m starting to panic, to be honest. You’re not moving, I can almost hear you thinking. What are you thinking about? Are you regretting it? Are you grossed out, guilty? Are you panicking too? Which one is it? Please let me know, I can’t stand not knowing anymore. You know everything now, it’s your turn to play your cards.

Come on, open your eyes. Let me read you. I’m going insane here. Pam… - oh!

Light green is all I see, the hue of the new spring growth, bright and soft all at once. In the darkness your eyes are shining, full of emotion, glistening with tears.

Don’t cry. That’s all I can think of at first. Please don’t cry. I’ll do anything to make this alright again.

It occurs to me then that you don’t look sad, nor panicking. I don’t know what to make of it.

You’re looking right at me, though. You’re not looking away. Your eyes are so close, I’ve never seen them so close before. They’re captivating. They’re boring into mine.

It hits me then, again.

I just kissed you, and you kissed me back.

What are you doing?

You told me no. You said I made it all up. I told you that I love you and you shot me down. I wasn’t supposed to see you again, I was going to leave. You let me leave.

And then you kissed me like you had been holding back all this time too.

Had you?

Gosh, I can’t think when you look at me like that, when you breathe on my face like that. You smell like cocktails and... you smell like you. You’re driving me crazy.

“You have no idea…” I whisper against you, and my voice is hoarse and my feelings so open, “…how long I’ve wanted to do that.”

Perhaps I shouldn’t be talking. I’ve already said too much… even though it wasn’t enough.

“Me too.” You reply, eyes never leaving mine.

I’m speechless.

You mean it.

Pam, what are you doing?

You sigh, and briefly the pools of green hide behind your eyelids as they flatter closed. Your hands were still against my chest but now you’re moving them, they slide a bit higher. You take hold of the collar of my shirt, tag on it a little.

Do you want… Are you pulling me closer?

I’m feeling so much. It’s overwhelming. It’s engulfing me.

“You’re shaking.” You murmur.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

You shake your head, your forehead against mine. “I think I am, too.”

It is insanity that despite how hyperaware of you I am, I didn’t realize it was the both of us trembling, together. You had to voice it out.

You have to voice it all so I can understand it. Because now I’m terrified of reading through the lines. You’ve made me terrified, but you can fix it. Will you try?

What do you want?

“You kissed me back.” It’s a statement of fact, and I wish I could keep the awe from seeping into my tone.

You take a second. Then you nod. “Yeah.”

You’ll be the death of me, I swear you will.

“Pam.” A single syllable, yet so heavy with emotion that it cracks. Despair, confusion… Hope.

There it is again. Hope. A minute ago I was a drowning man, losing the battle to the waves, sinking into the darkness. And now you’re in the freezing waters with me, you’re grabbing my hand and I don’t know what to think. You’re the one that pushed me into the ocean, are you back to finish your job? Will you push me further down, make sure I’m done for good? Or are you… Are you pulling me out?

Your breaths aren’t pants anymore. Your grip on my collar is just as strong, though. You’re holding onto me, you’re not letting me go.

It’s so surreal. We’re breaking all barriers tonight, barriers that we carefully set for ourselves since day one. I’ve only ever touched you accidentally, momentarily, unintentionally, just… by chance. And tonight that changed. I meant it to be our sort of goodbye, that big gesture that you do under the premise of parting, the ‘grand finale’, if you will. I needed a last, final dose, one last fix before going to rehab for good. Sorry for comparing you to a drug, but I can’t quite explain this otherwise, I’m a poor excuse of a poet.

Kissing you was my goodbye.

And now you’re not letting me go.

And the craziest part is that you don’t even know I’m leaving.

I’m struggling against this fizzy feeling that’s bubbling up my chest, I bite the inner side of my cheek so hard I taste blood in order not to break into a smile. I have to keep myself in check, because there’s another barrier to be broken tonight. You need to talk to me.

I pull back enough so I can see you clearly. You’re still looking down, and so without overthinking about it I raise my hand to your chin.

This is the first time I get to see my fingers on your face.

You’ve been thinking, that much I can tell. There is a faint crease between your eyebrows that you seem unaware of. When I lift your chin up so I can see your face, you raise your gaze and look at me.

“Are you okay?” is the question that comes out of my mouth, the most vital of them all. Because even though I’m the one drowning, I need to make sure you’re alright.

Your gaze jumps from my one eye to the other, almost as if you’re searching. I don’t know what you’re looking for. “Yeah…” you trail off, and it sounds like you’re just now realizing it yourself. “Yeah.”

I nod, because at this point it’s all I can do.

You’re right here, holding me, holding my gaze. That’s another boundary crossed.

The way you’re looking at me… it’s electrifying.

A million times you have met my gaze, yet never like this. So openly, so boldly. Even though I’ve laid it all out for you already, in this moment I find myself exposed, and scared and unprotected. It takes boldness and it takes courage for me not to shy away. Somehow, I don’t.

And you don’t either.

That’s what’s driving me insane.

And I’m trying so hard not to make assumptions, but you’ve always been so easy for me to read. So now that I see your flushed face, your widened eyes, your parted lips, I know that it is fascination I’m looking at. When your eyebrows shoot up and you blink a few times rapidly, Pam, I swear that it feels like you’re half-expecting me to disappear into thin air. And I can’t help but wonder… Have you pictured this before? Have you imagined kissing me, only to be abruptly pulled back into reality? Has this happened to you too? Do you ever… think about me?

Because I swear to God, Beesly, your face right now is mirroring my own. And all I feel right now is awe… that damned hope… and love. Always love.

And then suddenly, I get it.

It’s a shock to my system, because it comes out of nowhere and the realization hits me like a brick to the face. I even slightly jerk backwards in a very cartoonish way, and if this wasn’t the most pivotal moment of my life, we would have had a good laugh over it.

There have been so many times when I thought you had feelings for me. I’m always so certain of it in the moment, but every time I think it over later I shake my head at myself and say it can’t be, because you are in love with someone else. When those moments all piled up, I couldn’t help it. There was this shimmer of hope, enough to keep me restless day and night, until I did something. Until I told you. And then that hope got crushed, and I knew I had been right all along; I had been seeing what I wanted to see from the beginning. I had been reading too much when there was nothing to be read.

And that truth swallowed me like the ocean. I came in here searching for you, but I was blind. There was no light in the dark water, just the deep waves that were hitting me, over and over.

I couldn’t see anything…

And now suddenly, I do.

The waves stopped pulling me down. I finally reach the surface. I take a breath.

I see.

I never misinterpreted anything, did I?

The way you leaned on me and fell asleep on my shoulder. The way you watched me during the basketball game. The way you left the crowd and sneaked into my room when I wasn’t looking. The way you traded a 400-dollar-iPod for my lousy teapot. The way you sighed next to me that windy night on the roof, your eyes closing in content, your nose tinted red from the cold. The way you kissed me at the Dundies, how you stopped me outside of Chilli’s, the question you never asked. When I told you I was long over my crush on you, your smile did fall as quickly as you turned around and walked out the door. And when we were on the deck of that cruise ship and I opened my mouth and nothing came out, you stood there waiting. Expectantly.

You were looking at me then the way I know I look at you when I want so badly to just tell you.

The way I looked at you in the parking lot, ten minutes ago.

The way you’re looking at me right now.

Oh my God, Beesly. You lied.

Oh my God.

The next wave that engulfs me isn’t one of lies and despair. It’s bright as the early morning sunrays, it’s blissful like a child’s first laugh and it’s pure as fresh-fallen powder on Christmas Day. It’s bliss. Flawless bliss that washes over me and all life returns to my body, all color returns to my vision, and for the first time since I met you, I let go.

I smile. Truly smile. It’s a smile that starts inside me before it even reaches my lips, as if the sun somehow topples down from the sky and makes a home right here in my heart. I must look like a duffus, I know – I know – but I’m not used to happiness and its intensity shocks me.

What shocks me even more is that your eyes are gleaming, and your mouth is twitching, and then suddenly you’re hesitantly smiling back at me.

You steal my breath away, right as I’ve finally found it.

But it’s okay. Steal it, steal them all away. They were only ever yours anyway.

The entire world has shifted, the earth has been knocked off its axis, and yet somehow my hand is still tucked below your chin, lifting your eyes to mine. Once I realize it, I can’t help it; I move my hand to cup your cheek. I feel your warmth, your softness, against my palm, and it shoots a shiver up my arm, which travels down my spine, all throughout my body.

You let your smile widen into a brilliant grin, and I won’t ever be able to think of beauty again without seeing your face, right in this moment. My thumb grazes the corner of your mouth, and you react to it the same way I do. You lean in and so do I, and our foreheads rest back together as if we’re through having the most exhausting conversation and the gravity that pulls us towards each other is too strong to resist. We fall together effortlessly, as if it’s only natural that we would meet each other in the middle.

You chuckle softly against my thumb. Your laughter tastes like sunshine.

“Oh my God,” I whisper against you, and your eyelids drift closed in content. I can count your eyelashes, you’re so close. Your hands are at the base of my skull, and you’re playing with the messy hair at the nape of my neck.

It’s the closest I’ve ever been to heaven.

And I get it now.

The last barrier is down. You talked to me the second you kissed me back, I was just too afraid to listen.

You told me how you feel.

Pam, I... God, I just…

Is it lame that I am so extremely giddy right now?

After four years of self-restraint, this release is compelling. Of course it won’t last forever. Reality slips back slowly. But it’s okay, see, because even though your smile is fading your cheeks are warm. And even though you reach to remove my hand from your face, you give my palm a small peck before releasing it, and I all but jolt at the electricity that shoots through me, from your lips straight to my core.

It is a crime that you pull back, further away from me than you’ve been since I first walked up to you. But then you lean back on my desk the way you always do, and I get a second for it to sink in that this is actually you. That this is actually happening.

You should know this by now - I’m not a complainer.

So I put my hands in my pockets and I stay in place where you left me, just a foot away from you. You lean back and grasp the desk with both of your hands, as if to study yourself. I struggle to hold back a smile at that because that’s exactly how I feel. We’re in sync, just like we’ve always been.

I should probably say something, and as I struggle with words I realize there’s nothing compelling that I need to say anymore. It makes me feel so weightless. Growing up my favorite film has been Peter Pan, and for whatever reason the image of me flying over Big Ben suddenly fills my mind, and it takes all I have not to crack up at how ridiculous and random it is. I might tell you this someday, but not right now.

Also distracting – you’ve pulled your lower lip between your teeth and now you’re biting down on it.

“I need some time.” You say after a moment, ever so softly. “To think.”

I nod. “Okay.”

That was all I wanted anyway. For you to consider the possibility of us.

And - I just can’t believe it - you are actually going to. I see it in your face; you’re considering it already.

“Okay.” I murmur again in barely a breath, but you hear my smile anyway.

You look up.

“Sorry.” I duck my head down, because I don’t mean to be acting like a giddy moron, but you can’t blame me for losing it a bit right now okay?

“I haven’t decided anything,” you warn, and I know you’re saying this seriously but –come on- there’s a grin growing in your face again and you sound amused by my reactions and it’s making me woozy.

“Oh, yeah,” I agree nodding. “I know.”

You study me for a second.

“Are you…” your voice dies.

“What?”

“Forget it.”

“No, what?”                    

You’re hesitant, but you steal a glance up at me anyway. “How long have you felt like this?”

I swallow slowly, my jaw clenching. I know this isn’t the time to hold back, but I’ve been shielding this away from you for years. This feels surreal, and it’s scary. I answer you though.

“Honestly… since day one.”

I watch you breathlessly as it sinks in. A faint crease forms between your eyebrows.

“You said it was just a crush.”

What a coward I’ve been. “It was never just a crush, Pam.”

You hear the tension in my voice as clearly as I do. Your head lifts and our gazes lock. Your irises seem liquid, their emerald depths enslaving me.

“How long have you known?” It’s my turn to ask.

You widen your eyes slightly, but you mask it right away. I can read you now, you’re going to deny it. I get it – trust me, I do. This isn’t easy. But we’re past all the evasiveness, aren’t we? What’s the point of it anymore? Who are we fooling?

You seem to be thinking the same thing, because your gaze softens before it slides back to the ground. “Since day one.” You admit in a little voice.

I take a sharp breath. Jesus.

My mind goes into a spiral. Day one… When I walked up to reception and almost dropped my bag when my eyes met yours. When you first joked with me and for the first time in my life, I blanked out on a reply. When we went out to Cugino’s and I totally thought we were out on our first date… Holy crap, you knew.

A small noise from your lips brings me back to the dark office, and I notice you’re staring. “What?”

“You’re blushing.”

Shit.

You cover your mouth and your eyes are sparkling, and I’m dying inside.

“Shut up.”

“It’s cute.”

Shut up.

But you’re teasing me. It’s the closest to ‘us’ than we’ve been since the parking lot.

So I grin. And I see my reflection on your face as you grin back.

There’s a moment of prolonged silence, the only sound being the steady ticking of the clock. Its rhythm has gone back to normal now, the seconds flowing between us smoothly.

We can’t stay in the dark office forever. The possibilities of what follows are endless, and even though hope has permanently made a home at my heart by now, I can’t help but feel unease. Everything will feel different when we’re alone, after we’ve slept on it. How will you feel when you wake up tomorrow, sunlight slipping through your window?

“Will it be weird… on Monday?”

It’s not me that voices my concern - it comes from you. I should know enough by now to not be taken aback every time you read my mind. But it’s really something, isn’t it?

“Probably.” I half-joke.

You nod.

“I promise to be on my best behavior.” I offer.

“Oh?”

“Totally.”

Your eyes narrow ever so slightly. “And what does that entail, exactly?”

“Oh, you know.” I shrug, aiming for nonchalant. But then my gaze falls on your lips.

“Wow.” You flush bright red and look away, a sudden smile on your face. Your voice shoots up an octave. “Wow.

“Scout's honor,” I vow, three fingers in the air and everything.

“You’re a dork.”

And don’t I know it.

“I’d better go.” You add, however. You steal a glance at me, head still turned towards the door.

“Yeah, I should probably go too.” I can’t even remember where I’ve left my stuff. I think my bag is sitting somewhere in the warehouse. Thankfully I haven’t had much to drink, so I should be safe to drive – even though I feel pretty intoxicated. It’s of a... different kind.

“Jim?” you pull me from my thoughts.

“Yeah?”

“I kind of… don’t have a ride home.”

“Oh!” Right. “Of course, I’ll drop you.”

“And my stuff is downstairs…”

“Yeah, mine too. Let’s go.” I nod towards the door, hands still in my pockets.

And before you join me out, you fly to reception to pull a bag of French-onion chips from your drawer. You open it much later, when we stop at a red light, and offer some to me with your cheeks tinted pink. It doesn’t really register that we’ve left that dark room together until we’re a block away from your place.

You never touch me again tonight. I didn’t expect you to. The last sight of you I get is the small wave you give me from your porch as you unlock your front door. Your purple dress is shimmering in the dark, your long curls are falling freely on your shoulders.

It's only when I'm sitting alone in my driveway and my car smells of you that I realize I'm no longer shaking.



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