NovemberI've said before that you and I connected with a candle wax fusion. Sam and I were more like a seed in damp earth, slowly opening and spreading roots where we could. There was no need nor rush for labeling ourselves. Sometimes we would smile at each other in Calculus or eat lunch together with touching elbows but not always, and Sam made me sort of forget you.
Until you called me a week before Thanksgiving break.
You: A rustle. "Hi."
A pause. I put my thumb on the page I'd left off on and searched for a bookmark in the silence.
You: "Cahya come over?" A sob.
I dropped the book to the floor, my old instincts of protecting you flaring back up. "What? Are you okay?"
You: [sniff] "Not really. Not bad bad, like I know you're thinking, but...a little bad. And I'm home alone. You don't need to come over, I know it's getting late."
It was only 8:15. "I can come."
I used my car to get to your house this time. Nothing I could fling romantically on the front lawn. A scrap of toilet paper from a few months ago still clung to the walkway.
I surprised myself when I thought of Sam as I stood on your front porch. You had consumed my being for a long while, dear, and we had rescued each other quite substantially, and the thought of someone else surpassing you was so strange.
You answered the door with bags beneath your eyes and a bowl of cinnamon sugar popcorn. You grinned forcefully and shook the bowl at me. "I know you're sick of it."
I smiled back. "Good to see you."
We sat on your couch middle school dance-distance apart with no spark or feeling of excitement, only your telling me that Frances Hemsley was a prick who kissed lots of people at parties, and recently there had been a few that weren't you.
"Ouch," I said, helping myself to a handful of popcorn for nostalgic reasons. It still tasted like crunchy dirt as it had before but I felt it needed to be eaten.
"I just want you to know that I am actually the worst," you said. "I'm sorry for cheating on you."
There was a static silence in the air. It was the first time you had actually told me that you'd done it.
I didn't feel incredibly sad or really relieved or anything, the words were just sort of there. I turned to tell you that it was okay when you kissed me.
Your mouth was foreign to me now, a desperate acidic taste that made me gently push you off of me. You were crying.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Dammit dammit dammit I'm so sorry," you said, and the bowl of popcorn fell to the floor, spreading cinnamon sugar confetti everywhere.
I felt strangely calm and thought of Sam, and that I would tell Sam what happened, and that was when I held your wrist and said, "Not all good things can be repeated" and your eyelashes looked so nice when you cried but that wasn't okay to say, and you just asked "I don't want us to just have been a transition. Why can't good things just stay?"
"Every fall has to end in hitting the ground," I said.
You leaned your head on my shoulder and I held your hand, and you whispered, "I don't want to be alone again."
"You're not alone. You've always got your left foot."
You laughed, and we sat in a silent room, and I knew we'd be okay.