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Wake Up

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In the hours of the early morning, things fall apart.

I watch as his chest rises and falls in the bed beside me and feel my heart begin to drum, like the noise of the neighbor’s lawn mower against the quiet of the afternoon on those sunny days or the beat of a bass as our car passes another. The clock moves from digit to digit without thought. I move from thought to thought with the weight of the world pressing against my shoulders, eyes dull but alive—just watching and watching and watching. The layers of my heart peel away like sunburnt skin, lying on the bed beside his sleeping body and the bed sheets that we had bought together. And still my heart drums like raindrops against pavement, the smell of hot asphalt and exhaust from the trucks that ran through it, no more children than we were adults, some kind of symphony to the summer. Those months move so quickly.

His eyes open and find mine, reading why are you awake and here, come back to bed.

My heart aches and he pulls me into him, arms folding around my body like the paper cranes that we had made as children. One thousand pieces of origami paper and one thousand years of happiness. Happiness deteriorates like paper with time, turning brown with age and eventually withering into nothing at all. I want to fold another thousand and store them away where they will withstand time and remain the same as I grow older and I wither away like the paper, but I know that I never will. My hands are awkward and clumsy and weighed down with adulthood and the worry of the world.

Outside, a car horn blares and ruins the night.

I close my eyes.





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