The One That Got Away

He was tall, and he had a great smile. Like me, he fell into the category of blonde but stuck with brown eyes. He made me like my eyes though just because he told me they were beautiful. He shared my love for puns and we spent a lot of summer nights 200 miles apart laughing at the dumbest jokes we could find. He was a wonderful kisser, but when I got invested in the movie we were watching, he waited patiently for it to end before making his move. I knew he was smart, but he never tried to prove it. And I knew he was kind, but he didn’t have to exaggerate it.

He never let our conversations burn down to ash. Anything from corruption to redemption to passion to apathy; nothing was off-limits. He discovered what I liked to talk about and he set me free to do it. He liked to watch me light up when I told him about my dreams. And when we exchanged photos of our summers, he reminded me to smile.

But he was the one that got away.

He was messy and defensive when he drank. It was only a beer or two when I was around, but the calls always came in after he and his brothers broke out the forties. He would beg me to come over and tell me I was judging him when I turned down the invitation. There would be four calls, two voicemails, seven texts, and three snapchats from him whenever I managed to sleep through the commotion. His apologies were weak compared to his hangovers.

He was always vague about his plans and busy when I wanted to see him. I thought that after more than three months apart, he’d want to be together, but perhaps not. He still kissed hard, but he wouldn’t hold my hand. He’d still tell stupid jokes, but I couldn’t bear to pretend that they were funny anymore. He grew pushier and I didn’t get to see the end of movies anymore. He always ate the last piece of pizza without asking if I wanted any. Our photos to one another weren’t sweet and happy, and I wasn’t smiling anymore. He didn’t ask why not.

Perhaps I was the one that got away.

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