“I’m really happy I met you.” he whispers.
We had reclined the seats of his car so far back that we could look up at the starless sky – clear, save for it’s patchwork of clouds – through the skylight. I say nothing as I pull myself upright to reach for the cup of tea, which was now cold, to look out at the very skyline I used to be ambivalent about yet now have grown a particular fondness for.
He continues, “I used to feel lonely; I guess a little bit lost as well, until I met you.”
It is four in the morning, and we are going nowhere fast. I want to curl myself around him and fill in all the empty spaces that make him feel alone. But I won’t, simply because to do so would be irresponsible.
I can no longer be irresponsible.
I feel his gaze on me, so I turn to receive it. His eyes, blue in the daylight, are now grey in the cover of the night; they look at me with a precision, they are deliberate, sure, and demanding.
He demands of me everything that I am not.
“I wish we had met at a better time.” I finally reply, leaning in to tenderly plant a butterfly kiss on his brow.
“So stay.” he says.
Stay. Such a simple word, yet so complicated for me to do.
“We both know nothing is going to become of this. And I am learning to be okay with that.”
“What do you mean nothing is going to become of this?” he asks, the likelihood of my leaving stains his eyes.
I hate it when he looks at me like this; the weight of the next four weeks fills my chest, so much so that it crushes my breath.
“I wish I could promise you more than just this.” I say flatly. It was not an apology. I have no answers, no solutions, no guarantees.
I know that this is reckless. Being with him is reckless. But here I am, alone with someone I shouldn’t love.
Not that it was love, but the capacity for it. A madness shared by two.
If people came with warning labels, mine would simply read: evasive.
Even after all this evolving, I have yet to learn how to stay.
“The bonds you make with others need to be elastic to accommodate for the impermanence of people, otherwise they will snap under pressure.”