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Untitled (But Possibly True)

“Max...” I whispered through the dark. It was so deep I was afraid he couldn’t hear me. But I heard his head turn on the pillow toward me so I spoke. “I don’t want to die.” He grabbed my hand and our fingers interlaced. I wondered where we were. I couldn’t remember but it felt relatively safe. Max’s hands were cold and smooth but not clammy. I wondered how he could never be nervous or scared. It’d be unfair to ask. We laid there for a while. “Where are we?” I asked.

“Your bed.” He replied. He didn’t sound surprised at the question. I liked that. He rolled onto his side and stretched his arm over me, resting it on my chest. I wondered why we were doing this. I thought I’d ask, but the words didn’t come out. The felt right in my mouth but spitting them out stung on the first word. I swallowed them back. “You’ll only die if you want to.” He told me. I supposed that was right. The only means of dying would be offing myself and I would never do that to Ella. Why is he even here? The words were still sour, even when I sucked on them. I wish I could see the pattern on my sheets.

“How did you get here?” That tasted better. He told me that I had called him and was very upset. He drove in his car to my house because my parents were away for the weekend. I opened the door and almost collapsed. He picked me up, locked the door, and brought me to my bed. I had told him that I missed Ella yet didn’t want to join her. I cried myself to sleep, he said.

“You’re okay. You’re strong enough to not let go of Ella.” I rolled onto my side and he put his arm around my waist. “You’re okay. You’re alright.” He kissed me softly. I had missed those lips, his breath, his pulse. I could feel his hard beating through his fingertips. The darkness had thinned but was still nothing but pure. I breathed in negative space, and breathed out a constellation. That kiss again, but different. I rolled back onto my back. Then back to my side.
I opened my eyes, and the bed was empty. The constellation remained.



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