The teenage boy jogged into the room, breathing heavily. ‘Sorry I’m late,’ he gasped. ‘The bus was a nightmare.’ The tutor nodded at him in response, and turned his attention back to the class.
For God’s sake, Johnny, he cursed himself. This was starting to turn into a habit.
He sat down, took out his books and a bottle of water and gulped heavily.
He felt a poke in his ribs and turned his head.
‘You okay mate?’ the ginger haired boy next to him whispered.
Johnny nodded. ‘Just thirsty.’ He grinned.
He flicked open his textbook, quickly trying to find the right page. Fuck. He swore under his breath. Paper cut. He sucked his finger. Why was it always the smallest things that hurt the most? Today was turning into one of those days where he wished he’d stayed in bed that morning.
‘We would live in the city. Me and you always hated our tumultous hearts for yearning both for the bustling city life as well as the serene countryside. But we’d compromise. We’d live in the city, for ease regarding work, in a flat we could barely afford but we wouldn’t care if we were crammed in a single room. You always said a home is not a house, it’s the people that occupy it and you made that ring true. We’d scrimp and save, travel as often as we could to the countryside to explore the mountains and lakes, and everything we could. It becomes so easy to forget the beauty of nature when you’re stuck in a cramped office with crappy air conditioning and only the thought of your last crinkled cigarette coupled with not enough sleep when you finally get home to get you through the working day. But we’d make it beautiful. We’d hire a camper van every summer, eat whatever we wanted, safe in our cocooned home on the road. I’d drive us round those breathtaking country roads whilst you held your breath every time I neared the edge but you put me at ease, and you knew it. Maybe we’d have a little cottage, no, we would, a little tucked away one somewhere not many people had heard of, and we’d return to it each year, every time a little more in love with it than the last. You’d have a room for your photography equipment, and me for my writing. I’d have stacks of books and post it notes all over the place and whenever we argued you’d say you hated my mess but really my clutter made you smile. I used to catch you glancing at my scrawled notes when you thought I wasn’t looking.’
you could search the whole world for that perfect moment you’ve spent you don’t know how long looking for. go on, i dare you. you’ll never find it. you’ll just keep tripping over ‘what-if’s and ‘could-have-been’s until you don’t know where to go anymore. the truth is there are no right moments, they’re all wrong until you seize them and make them your own. the whole world’s out there aching for your touch if only you had the nerve.
I don’t know much but I do know that you built a mansion together and when she left you had nothing but chalky air and the memories that burnt your throat as you tried to swallow them down and walk away with something intact, or just anything at all
and you bit off your tongue because your mouth filling with blood saved your tongue screaming out her name when you couldn’t sleep at night and you still catch yourself seeing her in strangers when you go for walks and try to remember each footstep is bringing you further away from her
and your anger has reached the point where you can’t do anything but scream alone in the shower and hope no one is listening and it’s been over a year but she still means the world to you and you still burst into fits of sobbing when you think about her
and all the countless dates by concerned friends don’t mean anything when all you see is her smile and you meet pretty girls but none of them can compare to the blue of her eyes or the feel of her hair or the way she understood you without you having to utter a word
and you pray for her to change her mind and turn around and you swear you’ll never find love again
but you will, you will
see i don’t know much but i do know that mansions are built every day and although you never have the same love twice, you will love again, you will.
I know you feel lonely but if you want I will hold you.
I’ll hold you through the darkness.
While your shoulders shake and your eyes speak every word you kept inside yourself.
The world can be a cruel place to hide but you will feel alright again.
When the trees cry out your name and the skies seem eternally grey, I’ll show you how to feel the sunset in even the loneliest of winters.
I’ll tell you how I kept the words you wrote me wrapped tightly around my heart, firmly tucked away for when I need them again.
Last night I dreamt of a hundred frosty winters spent kissing you, blue lips on blue lips – keeping out the ghosts and the frostbite. Our lips sung a song felt only as your eyes locked onto mine, our bodies a tangled mesh of ‘I’m sorry. Stay. I love you.’ The kind of words only bodies can express best but the exact remedy we need.