On the first day you told me you felt as if you were dreaming but if you were, you never wanted to wake up. I warned you that dreams can turn sour, and nightmares can flourish before you know it, but you simply laughed and kissed my cheek. It was cold but we huddled close at the bus stop, our breath exhaling at the same time and merging when it met the air. You grabbed my hand and held it tight the entire bus ride home, your body calm next to mine. I swear you didn’t care who saw. Our hands remained entwined until we reached your door. My heart was jumping furiously in my chest, trying to break out, escape, and reach yours. I think you only let my hand go to settle my pulse a little. You could always read my emotions even better than I could, when to others I was a closed and bound book.
I compared you to coffee and told you that you both made me feel warm inside and words fell out of my mouth but they were never enough to fully explain. You smiled and told me I melted your pain and your walls were crumbling down but I wasn’t completely sure if that was a good thing. I wished I could memorize the dictionary and recite definition after definition to explain to you but then I realized some things can’t be put into words no matter how hard you try and they exist best in memory, as a feeling you can revisit when you are down or you forget how to breathe – inhale, exhale, repeat.
You told me I was your crush and played songs for me. I thought there was nothing more beautiful than your fingers running effortlessly along those six strings. Your voice was soft and pure and I locked it up inside my heart for safekeeping. I thought the word ‘crush’ sounded infantile when there are countless other words better suited. Especially as it literally means to squeeze someone with force or violence. I hoped that wasn’t what you meant, although you can be crushed in a good way.
I lost track of the minutes spent nestled close to your body, sheltering from the cold. I can still remember the warmth of your chest beneath my head and the spaces in between each breath you took. I felt crushed. I never had felt so close to another person before, but it wasn’t a bad thing. It was a comfortable crushing, where you can feel the closeness but you don’t quite want to move away.
They say you never quite realise what you’ve got until it’s been taken from you, but I think sometimes you do realise what you have, you just don’t think it will ever fade.
‘I miss you.’ he said simply.
I wanted to tell him everything. I wanted to scream and shout, gabble definitions and feelings like they were running out and everything depended on these last few words.
I wanted to say; “I wanted to stay, I promise, but I didn’t want to hurt you – and once your walls come down, you’re incredibly vulnerable.”
‘I’m sorry,’ I replied.