The clouds engulf the stream of planes. The dust that is carrying you away, reminding me of a child's toy flying high in the sky, the look of surprise as the child cheers as it goes in circles. The patterns reminding me of the smoke that releases itself from a mouth letting go of a cigarette. Though I am not surprised, I am not cheering, I am only wishing that you would come back down-parachute and all, to tell me that you're sorry. To tell me that you're staying.
I find the bed too cold. The sheets wrapped around me like a mummy, I breathe in the scent of days before. There are so many things I want to say. I want to tell you that I'm not who you think. I want to tell you I was scared. Most of all, I want to tell you that I have a ring waiting in the bedside table with your name on it. A ring that has been there for months, waiting for a hand to rest on, always meant for you. It's hard to admit to myself that it's my fault. I always say I wouldn't wish things on you, but this, I wish so much it were you to say all the things I said. I let my mouth and my head slip from my control. I let everything else take over. If you were to have said these words, I would have forgiven you.
Maybe it's because I love you. Maybe because I know you well enough to know you didn't mean it.
I guess you didn't know me.
I guess you didn't love me enough.
Or maybe you loved me too much.
The truth is you were always the star. The center of the universe, letting it all turn around you, spinning so fast that you never give the crowd a chance to catch their breath. I was jealous. I ached for you to put me in the middle of your world, let me be the star just in this sect of life. But I was always placed beside yourself, floating with my arms outstretched and ready to hold you when you let me. Second best wasn't comfortable. That's why you came home one night to me throwing your clothes out the bedroom door, collapsing into them so your smell took a hold of me. I felt weak. I mumbled to you, I said a lot of words that I forget now and I wouldn't want to recite even if a gun was to my temple. There was one phrase though, the one that I watched slowly enter your heart like a knife strategically placed:
"I regret you."
I never meant it. You were the one thing in my life that was right, so right.
The music I sang, the lyrics I wrote, the characters I played…they could evaporate, disappear. I could burn the discs of every performance, watch filled notebooks turn to ash. I could never erase you. There's a mark, like a scar, that you have made. It's under all of my many layers of skin, trying to claw outward as I watch myself destroy perfection, it's here to tell me to never let go of you. It's here for a reminder. It's right there on my heart, sometimes worn on my sleeve, because I want the world to see what you mean to me.
Everything crashes around me.
I feel more with my eyes shut than with them open.
I think it's because I see you on my shut lids.
The outline of your pale skin, shining in the glare of the sunset, with your icy blue eyes connecting with mine.
I need a memory. A memory that isn't the last one. The feeling of my hand brushing so softly over your tear stained cheek as you gathered your things, plane ticket printing out of the printer we bought together. Always together.
It takes me two days without you to realize it. That I'm supposed to crawl back to you, I'm supposed to apologize with balloons and chocolates. I'm supposed to call you hundreds of times to try and get you back. This – us - was never about the ordinary, or what is supposed to be, it was about the differences in life. The small features of the earth that tend to go unnoticed by most. The marks on each other's faces that people want to overlook, but our eyes always seem to find and appreciate the beauty of.
So I get the biggest suitcase I can find. I shuffle about with my hair a mess, beard growing in; I don't bother to hop in the shower. I throw piles of close in the suitcase breathlessly, I grab the handle with force and I begin to run out the door. I know I'm forgetting many things. I might not even have the keys to our place in my jacket pocket. But who cares? I may never come back. I might find you and stay right beside you because I'm afraid you'll run once more.
Everything feels fast until I get to the boarding line for the plane. It's too slow then. I need movement. I need to scream for everyone to get out of my way, because I need to get to you. I have to tell you the truth. I have to pull out my ring and beg on one knee. I can't let you go. I can't just stand back and watch the planes in the air, wondering which ones you're flying in these days. I'm finally on the plane. I shake in my seat and I try to close my eyes. People look at me like I'm crazy.
I am crazy.
Crazy for a boy.
Crazy for you.
I land in New York City with a thud. The airport is crowded and nerve wrecking. I hurry through the people, grab a taxi after I find my suitcase, and I tell them where you're staying. At least I hope you're staying there. It's your favorite spot in New York, a room that overlooks Central Park and you can see the horse drawn carriages parading down sidewalks in a form that looks like you can reach out and play with them below you, a toy horse and buggy, toy people and toy trees. The word at your fingertips.
The taxi pulls up to the building in streaks of yellow. I nearly drop my suitcase as the doorman recognizes me, his face full of confusion, full of "Where have you been"'s. I get in the elevator and the familiar looped music plays. I recite what I'm going to say in my head over and over. Repeat and repeat again.
I knock on 314 with my hands shaking to the point I find myself slamming my palm into the door. When it opens, you're right there, with the deepest of eyes and the sharpest of breaths.
"Ever since I pushed you away all I can do is stare up at the sky hoping you'll fall right back down into my arms. I've been someone who I am not. I fell myself; into a dark place that I told my heart not to go so many times, but it didn't listen. I didn't listen to you. I couldn't possibly regret the best thing I have ever had. The best person to ever step into my life and leave my speechless. It's so hard to talk to you because I can only see the look on your face after I broke you. Broken isn't for you, Chris. You what is? Love. All my love, to be exact. My love, my life, it's yours. So take it, take it, and let me in. Please.."
I've formed a river of tears. My face drenched and you looking at me with eyes that burn into my skin. You move from the door and I run in with my suitcase clattering to the floor. Soon everything is lips and touches. This is the way we say sorry to each other. We melt into one another and it aches in ways that don't have words. I feel so sorry and sick with guilt. But you drink me in, let the guilt evaporate and the love replace it. I love you. I love you. I love you.
"You're an asshole." There's a pause, a sigh, a sound that makes my lip quiver, "But I love you."
"I am an asshole. I will admit it, just for you." I breathe every inch of him in, "I'm hopelessly in love with you."
The night consists of apologies that won't end and soft music that reminds me of a dreamy lullaby. There was a dream I once had, you were in it, and I was singing in a hushed voice, the lyrics were our movements. Every hum and oh, making a melody that is irreplaceable. Much like you, unique and heartwarming, incredibly beautiful in ways that no one has previously seen.
Then there is us. We are broken;
we are scarred,
Our love is a religion. A religion that brings faith and healing. You are my place of worship, where I find myself praying in a whisper words like: "Never leave, never leave." You tell me you won't. You tell me I'm special. You say that I'm a star.
I believe in you. I believe in this.
Because you aren't a regret.
You're a treasured moment.