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Four Reasons Why

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I want to give you up, but for four reasons.

The way your eyes touch my face. The warmth of a smile lingers in the corner of your eyes when I speak. The flicker of sadness when I lean down my aching head on my desk, hearing the silence between us pounding in my ears. The hard bright light of anger, cold and silent as the stars, fixed and burning on me when I laugh and talk happily with your friends. When our eyes meet, you whip your head away—quickly, in an instant, so that I wonder if what I’ve seen was just a dream. But those eyes of yours hold me fast. They tell me you still care. And so I stand, unable to give you up.

The way you call my name. When you turn and try out my name in your mouth, hearing the two syllables of my name rise and fall in your vibrant, quiet voice, my heart falls apart. Just that slight wistful ring of sadness, that flavor of hesitating carefulness, the swaggering carelessness, and yet the tenderness that lies deepest of them all—your voice holds me fast. They tell me you still care. And so I listen, unable to give you up.

The way your hand moves, silent and cold and warm at the same time, your palms open with honesty that your lips can never utter. When you reach forward and hold my hand, with your eyes telling me, “I’m sorry,” with your lips uttering my name, and the warmth of your hand seeping into my heart as you tell me, “I’ve missed you,” then my tears well up, and though I know I should walk away, my heart drags me next to you, forces me down to my seat, and crushes down my head into your arms. And so I love, unable to give you up.




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