To You

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This story was written in light of a relationship gone horribly wrong. This incredibly raw piece about growth, independence, love, loss, and recovery is sure to touch readers' hearts.

To You

By: Payton Potter

My dear, do you remember the way I always looked at you? Remember when we laid in a freshly plowed field, below the cascading stars, while smoke billowed from my lips and you smiled slyly? You said you hated kissing a smoker; that it made you feel like you were kissing an ashtray. You kissed me anyway. Do you remember our hours on the phone, night after night, when I snuck out into my parents’ driveway for a quick cigarette? Remember the way that our conversations always lasted three hours? You said that I was like no one else. You told me that your heart loved my heart.

Surely you haven’t forgotten about the day when I lied to my mother just to eat spaghetti in your apartment. How about the day when she finally found about you? I went through hell trying to convince her that I loved someone ten years older than me. I always went through hell for you. I thought she was going to kill me. Or maybe kill you. She certainly thought that you were going to ruin me, and perhaps I thought so too. In the end, I think that you may have, but no more than I ruined you.

My dear, my beautiful poison, tell me that you remember exploring me with your hands, beneath those same stars, while the passion tightened my muscles under the gentle touch of your fingertips. I hope you always found what you needed. I did. Every time. And though you now feel a lifetime away, I still sleep with that hopeless stuffed animal you gave me. Remember the night when I snuck out and met you in the dim parking lot of the church? You gave me that bear, and it sat up front while we claimed the back seat for ourselves. Imagine if my mother knew about that night! Or if she knew about the night before. Or if she knew about the night after. 

Remember our trips? You showed me canyons, Monet and Picasso, and quaint riverside mills. I showed you rooftops, pictures of Madrid, and sang you my songs. Remember that night on my dad’s roof? We slow danced to Chasing Cars, and you told me you loved me for the first time. I love you too. I could’ve stood there and swayed with you forever.

Do you remember the day that I moved away? We promised each other that distance wouldn’t get in our way. Remember surprising me at work? Remember the time I showed up with flowers at your doorstep? I still have those flowers, pressed neatly in a frame, handing on the wall. Baby, we made it. We made it so far, so long, so strong. Then I came home to you. I painted our room that horrible, murky shade of green. I knew you hated that color, but you never argued. Your home became our home, and I found my peace there.

I found pain there too. I found words, like knives against my chest, that cut straight to my heart, my every insecurity, and my worst nightmare. I found whiskey there. Some days I felt like you knew more about hurting me than you knew about loving me. But I held on to you because your heart loved my heart, and there was nothing else that I could ever need. Then one day, the bruises fell off, you dammed up my holes with glue, and I stuck even tighter to you. 

That was the same day that you quit drinking for me, and I quit for you. I got my ten year chip last week. They gave me yours too. I wish you could’ve been there to hear my speech. It was about you, babe. I told them that if I had a dollar for every time I said that token AA phrase “one day at a time,” I could’ve paid for our house twice. I always felt the same about loving you. One day at a time. 

But simplicity gave way to our painful world, and the luxuries of youth were never meant to last. Not even for us, and our seemingly eternal ballad. I died your salt and pepper hair even though I always said that it made you look classier. You rubbed my tired feet every night. Our trips lessened, and we tried to start a family. I hope you haven’t forgotten the day we left the doctor after being told “no, it isn’t possible.” The tears on our faces clouded the road ahead. My wonderful, endless partner, not a day goes by that I don’t think about that drive home.  We should’ve made it home.

Don’t you remember the cold press of the glass on our ribs and the pulse in my thumb that kept you with me for a moment?  You pushed your lips to mine to give me the painful bubbles from your chest like cotton candy spun right out of your veins. And I took it. I took all of it and held you tight because I knew they would be there soon, to break the glass and give us light. But your thumb didn’t last like mine, and I sat, numb, as your strong arms drifted away from me.

My dear, my sweet, eternal love, I fiend for your touch like I fiend for a smoke at the end of a day full of your memories, of your footprints everywhere I look. I want to smell your skin more than I’ve ever wanted to feel the burn of alcohol in my throat. I always dreamed that you would stand beside me to the end, but it was me who stood beside you as I greeted your family  while they touched your motionless face, their tears smearing your makeup. I watched as your mother sang a hymn. I sobbed as you were lowered down into the ground. The mound of dirt on top of you took me back to our freshly plowed field, our fieriness on the blanket below the stars, the night made just for us, our faces touching in the cool night air. I light a cigarette. I wish I had quit smoking for you. You never kissed my lips without tasting ash. You’ll never kiss my lips again, and you have forgotten it all.

Submitted: December 02, 2014

© Copyright 2021 paypottr. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Speechless... The emotions are just breaking

Tue, December 2nd, 2014 6:08pm

Chris Green

A heartfelt piece. The descriptions are very good and the detail of the reverie. Nice work

Wed, December 3rd, 2014 6:28am

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