I keep the book in the nightstand drawer.

I don't take it out as often as I used to. I don't need those words scribbled in narrow margins to remind me who I am. I don't need promises and declarations scrawled in black ink across rough, yellow pages.

I don't need them because you speak them to me every night.

Reminders come when I feel the heat of your palm pressed against my back, with the faint brush of lips where my shoulder meets my neck. You show me with strong hands, a smile meant only for me, and the warm, steady feeling of knowing that even when you're not next to me, you'll never leave my side.

But sometimes you still write. Notes left on a pillow. Scribbles on the back of a napkin, or the letters you spell when deft fingers dance across bare flesh. A language that assures me I'm needed, that I'm loved.

That you never minded either.

That my scars are what make me beautiful.

I find all the proof I need in ebony eyes that grab hold of mine and refuse to let go.

And I feel it inside me. A heart that once refused to beat can't beat fast enough. A better version of the one it was before.

Before you.

Before memorized words fused a pen and paper, mapping a path, refusing to let me forget. Allowing me to find myself.

Allowing me to find my way home.

But really, all we want, and I speak for the entire human race here, is contact. Someone to let us know that we aren't alone. That the world isn't a dream and you and I really are happening at the same time, even if it's not in the same place. That this is real. You're really there. I'm really here. We're real.

This is real.

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