He knows where I work, where I spend all of my time between classes. I am always available, always accessible, and that's not fair. I envision him walking in, like he could not waste another day or minute. He places his hands on the front desk and, in rapid breaths, asks if I am here. He sees me before the receptionist can answer. I am sitting alone at one of the tables, copying quotes into my notebook--the ones that endear me, from Tammy Williams' "I Write" essay.
His neck is straight; his light blue eyes are serious. He's sure this time; this is deliberate. I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. He walks over slowly; his face is hot from running in the cold, outside air. I write to quell the pain. His dark-brown hair is stiff and swooshed like I remember. I write to remember. He is wearing his blue robot shirt with grey jeans. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. Did he even have grey jeans? I write to forget. I don't remember.
He reaches the table where I am writing--alone. I haven't noticed him yet, I haven't seen who it is, but I hear his breath. I recognize his breath. I feel the cold air on his clothes, and I sense someone tall standing beside the table. I write to forget. I write to forget. I write to forget. I look up. My heart pounds in my throat. But...I thought you were done with me, my face says. Blood creeps up to my cheeks; it is pounding in my head and in my ears and in my throat. I feel stinging, prickling blood in my arms and legs. Is this real? No. His expression is real; he means this. "I made a mistake," he'll say, and I will cry, because he is damn right he made a mistake.
I write as though I am whispering into the ear of someone I love. I will jump to him. I will hold his face in my hands. I will whisper into his ear: you have a good heart. And I will wait for something different to find me.
I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams.