I don’t want to forget you and the way your whispers at
night kept us awake until morning. That was when we first started dating. Those
were beautiful mornings.

We floated on sleep deprivation and stories from our
childhoods, the occasional peal of laughter rippling through the stillness of
dawn. I didn’t mind when you robbed us of sleep because you gave something to
me, to our little world, that I still hold precious. Your layers, your
vulnerabilities, your hopes and dreams and the multifaceted, hypocritical, delightful,
explosive surface of your being that would shine in the early light. Rays cast
through the dusty blinds would illuminate your face. What a precious thing that
was. To see your smile and your futile suppression of your amusement at
whatever embarrassing tales we happened to recount.

It’s harder to remember those mornings now. As I sit here
typing this story, swirling lukewarm tea, those memories have constricted like my
taste buds when I touch lips to my mug. Astringent.

When you left me, no one gave me a guidebook on how these
things were supposed to unfold. Or rather, unravel. No, too neat. Erode. Memory
and time, time and memory. It all collects like the leaves and fragments at the
bottom of my mug. To be poured down the drain. Eventually forgotten and

Your whispers are but an occasional hum I hear throughout
the day. Sometimes welcome, other times an annoyance, I struggle to clearly
listen. Bits and pieces are all I’m left with. Your laugh, I remember. I recall
stories you told. That time you engaged in a dance-off at a birthday party and the
first moments you knew you were gay. Bits and pieces and I collect them all. Together,
they barely fill the time between lights off and slumber.


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