12/8

I’ll call you in the evening when we’ll both make a point not to be busy. The hello may seem shy as it eases past my lips, but everything beyond that will be vibrant. Neither of us have ever been much for small talk. We’ll jump into the memories like we jumped into the lake. It was April and far too cold for such nonsense, but the memory proves it was a mistake well worth making.

We’ll talk about it all; nothing is off-limits. It’s funny because we only have the six months of stories together, but somehow new details seem to surface each year. Once we’re through with those, we’ll move on to our lives of today. Family and lovers and pets and friends. School and work and hobbies and dreams. We talk like best friends. It’s easy to forget this is an annual conversation.

We get around to our goodbyes eventually, and I’m happy to say we’ve gotten better at it. Each one is less messy and less painful than the last. They’re not great, but they’re better. We promise again to stay in touch. We both know what that means. The thing that only I know is that thoughts of you still haunt me. It’s been five years. I mean, come on. No one ever means to hold on this long. I’ve loved others, but I’ve always loved you too in the shadows of it all.

I’m tired of thinking about you, of wondering about you. It’s draining, and as harsh as it might sound, it’s not worth it. Don’t misunderstand me. You are very much worth the time we had together. I love you for what you’ve done for me. But I can’t keep this up forever. I can’t allow my happiness to depend on one phone call a year. You’re not my everything. We’re not what we wanted to be. Giving it up would do us both a world of good. But one of us will always call, and the other will always answer. We’re proof that old habits die hard.

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