Take me away!

I had this system for getting exactly what I wanted out of people. I needed help. That much was clear. I needed money to pay the bus ride from this forsaken town to go to the big city. Such a cliché, but I had dreams and aspirations.

I looked up and down the street and back at the bus driver, trying to understand his gestures and thinking about how to use my skill for my benefit. I was good at reading people. Amazing even. I lowered the zipper of my parka and climbed the steps of the bus.

“Excuse me, Sir?” My voice was higher than usual and laced with sweetness too. He looked up at me grumbling something that I didn’t catch, but he waited for whatever I had to say. “I really need to take this bus, Sir.” He scratched his forehead, and I could see irritation form on his face. Before he could say something or kick me out, I leaned in closer to him. “The thing is, I got mugged tonight, and my money was stolen and,” I kicked it up a notch by trying to fake tears “Please. I will do anything you ask, just let me take a seat on your bus,” I whispered and waited in anticipation.

To my right, I heard a man chuckle. The man scrutinized the driver and me with a knowing look. I wasn’t above begging now, and the desperation must have shown on my face.

He shook his head and addressed the bus driver: “If you don’t take chances,” said the man in striped pants, “you might as well not be alive.” There was an insulting kind of wisdom in his words and the driver huffed. He shook his head, mumbling about not making him regret this and moved his head in a way that told me to move on and find my seat. I nodded my gratefulness at the man in the striped pants, who shook his head and turned to watch the people outside the window, not sparing me another glance. I hefted my backpack up in its designated place over my head and sat down with a sigh. My great escape from my overbearing home was a success.

Ever since mom had met Herb, life had changed. Mom had been overbearing from the moment I could remember. She had always been nosy and wanted to know everything. I stopped writing my diary because she kept reading it. I hid everything that was revealing about my personality because I didn’t want her to snoop around or know things about me that I didn’t know myself. She kept cleaning my room, changing my sheets, and fixing my clothes when they had a tear here or there. But when Herb moved in, things changed. Everything was different.

I remembered the first evening he spent on the couch as if the house was his. His feet lay on the coffee table, his disgusting toes visible through the hole in his sock. He smelled bad, and I was surprised that there weren’t any flies around him. He scratched his belly, burped, and asked me to go fetch him another beer. Stunned, I had gone to the kitchen, found a beer, uncapped it, and I had walked back to the living room. He grinned at me reaching his hand out for the brown bottle, and I snapped. I didn’t want him there. In my home, with my mom. She deserved better than him. I turned the bottle upside down, and the foamy contents soaked his pants. The growl and the gnarl were fierce, and Herb jumped off the couch. He raised his hand, and I waited for the blow, but it didn’t come. Instead, I saw my mom standing next to the couch with her hands on her hips. “What happened here?” She demanded. I looked at the bottle and thought fast, “I tripped,” I lied. Herb growled again but didn’t argue. “I’m going to change my pants,” he said, and I turned away from my mom, relishing my victory.

I was propelled back to the present when the bus began to move. I wasn’t interested in the passengers and didn’t care to look at those who moved past me. The seat next to me jerked, I did my best to hide my curiosity, but in the end, I turned to look at the stranger whose thigh was touching mine. He looked rough and raw as if he had spent the night on the streets. His lip was split, and his eyes were of an alluringly dark brown. There was a frown on his forehead as he rummaged in a bag on his knees. I kept staring. “Fuck,” he swore and let his head fall back. He must have sensed that I was observing him because he turned to me with a smile. He reached out a hand that was covered in fingerless gloves. “Hi. I’m Henry.” His breath smelled of fresh mint. “Sammy,” I offered, but I didn’t take his hand. I was rude on purpose. I didn’t like strangers, and I hated feeling physically attracted to someone I didn’t know. “Suit yourself,” he chuckled. “I’ve seen you before,” he continued speaking. I looked at him with an annoyed sigh. If I had seen him before, I was sure I would remember him. There was just something about him. Something magnetic. Magical. Rough but attracting. “I saw you standing at the bus shelter in the rain. It was pouring, wasn’t it? Good thing we didn’t get soaked.” I nodded. I still couldn’t remember him, but it was true that I had found shelter from the rain and there had been other people too. It was still pouring outside. I decided to ignore the stranger for the time being. The ride was long, and I needed a little bit of quiet to process these last days. I was exhausted.

I put my head against the window. It was cold against my heated skin. I closed my eyes and drifted off watching landscapes drive by. I am not sure for how long I was zoned out, but I woke up to the sound of Henry sobbing.

It had been a long time since I had seen a man cry and Henry wasn’t just crying, he was bawling. Intrigued I turned to him. He was still clutching his bag with one hand, in the other hand, he held a faded picture. I tried to get a look, but the light didn’t allow me to see anything. “Are you okay?” I asked, and he shook his head, wiping his snotty nose with the back of his hand. Of course, he was not okay, if he had been okay, he wouldn’t be crying. Henry tilted the picture in my direction, clearing his throat as if he wanted to speak but not finding the words. Two young men in uniforms had their arms around each other. They were laughing, I could almost hear the happy sound escape from the picture. It was a happy memory and yet, here sat Henry, crying. “I sometimes can’t help it,” he hiccuped, “I cry. It’s the stress. He was torn apart by a mine. I lost my leg. I wish I had died that day and not him. He was the best man you’ll ever know.” I nodded, not sure what to say. Henry was a stranger after all and I was on this bus to find freedom. I put my head on my hand on watched the blur outside again, ignoring the man next to me. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was such a thing as freedom. We were all prisoners of our memories, trapped in this moving vessel.

45 – obsession

45. That’s the number of messages she had left for him. She wasn’t obsessed. No.

45. That’s the number of pictures she had taken of him. Without his knowledge. She wasn’t obsessed. No, she wasn’t.

45. That’s the number of roses – red with thorns, she had sent for his birthday. Anonymously. She was not obsessed. No, no, she was not.

45. That’s the number of meters she had to stay away from him. Restraining order. But she was not obsessed. No. She was not.

45. That’s the number of women he had dated. None of them was her. She was obsessed. Just a little.

45. That’s the number of times he had sent her away with a sneer. She was obsessed. Just a little too much.

45. That’s the number of birthdays he had celebrated. Until her little not-obsession ended his life.

45. That’s the number of stab wounds on his beautiful yet cold body. She was not obsessed. Maybe just a little.

45. That’s the number which described her relationship to him best. She was obsessed. Too much.

*throwback* cold coffee

I pushed the door open with my foot, startling you. Your eyes were filled with sleep; mine were full of mischief. I came to your room with the intention to wake you up with the smell of coffee, but seeing you like this; naked, hard, embarrassed; it did things to me.

You were a guest in my house — a friend. The polite thing would have been to apologise and leave. But I couldn’t. I was hungry. Starving. And not for food. You looked at your erection, then at me. I licked my lips and tried to find a safe place for that cup of coffee in my hand.

You sat up and reached for the sheets to cover yourself. I shook my head. “Don’t, ” I croaked. You rose an eyebrow, probably intensely aware of the situation too. I kept my eyes on you, avoiding to see myself ungracefully join you on the mattress through the mirror on the wall.

“Hi, ” you said as if you were seeing me for the first time. Your hand was already in my hair, pulling my head; my lips, to yours.

Outside, rain was joining the wind that had been up all night. Inside, we were joining too.

Everything fit. Profoundly. Almost overwhelmingly. The natural flow of things didn’t take us back. It didn’t leave room for doubts or vanities. Every touch meant something. Every time I felt your tongue on my heated skin, it felt as if I was becoming a part of you. Your hands explored my body as if they had never done anything else. The weight of you on my tongue was exactly right, and your taste made me swallow you as often as I could. I was drowning in our lust.

When you finally penetrated me, it only took a moment before the world exploded for me. Shivering, sweating, swearing, I encouraged you to keep moving. But you didn’t. You lay on top of me; your hands were caressing my hair, your eyes were searching my face for something that I couldn’t pretend wasn’t there. A smile appeared on your lips. Proud of yourself and how you had undone me, you kissed me. You were pulsating inside of me, but not moving. Heavenly torture. I begged for more, gyrated my hips underneath you, but you were stubborn. And too close to be consumed by our lust too.

Two micro moves later, you stopped breathing. Your sweat was dripping down on me from the tip of your nose; your eyes were closed. A strangled noise left your lips just before you started to breathe again.

I had seen you. I had felt you. And it left me breathless; and not only because your full weight was on my body now. The beauty and surprise of us in this situation was overwhelming. You kissed my temple and rolled off me with a loud groan and a chuckle. Your arm covered your eyes, and your hand was running up and down your stomach. The most handsome man who I had ever been with.

I put my head on your chest, your heartbeat sang a song for me, while I retraced the pattern of the tattoos on your skin. Your eyes were filled with sleep again. I covered us with the crumbled sheet, making sure that the wet spot we left was covering me and not you.

In a while, I would worry about the meaning of it all, but right then I decided to go with the flow and let it happen.

Only the coffee had grown cold.

The letter you will never read

Revisited post from November 2015

You asked what I see when I look at you. Well, I am not sure if you can handle it, but this is my truth.
I see a man who doesn’t love himself and who doesn’t acknowledge his achievements. At the same time, you like to brag about them, and you are proud of the things you create with your mind and your fingers. You love what you do. It’s your passion, and you need it like the breathing air. Yet you hate it because you are a hostage of it too. You are so soft-spoken and yet so vulgar too. You are yin, and you are yang. I love that mix. And I love our calls — hours of your voice in my head. And although you like to steer them to the lighter side, you can’t always hide the torment of your soul.
How can I make you understand how much you helped me get in touch with myself with your sheer presence in my life? How? And I still don’t understand what it is you see in me. You told me that I am different and that I understand. You said that I am beautiful, not only my body but my mind too. You said I could be perfect for the right man. But, why did you choose me? Out of all the women who want a piece of you, you picked me; and I didn’t even flirt with you, I was just grateful for your visibility. I can’t see anything of value in myself. Ha, maybe that’s a lie. I have many qualities too; I just don’t recognise them every day. Still… What do you see in me? What do I have to offer that you so desperately seek?
I will never understand any of this.

We are sharing fears and fantasies, and so many of them are similar. And I wonder why? I read your words before I ever met you. Did you make me into this woman with your art? You say you write from the heart and everything you write and say is true. It’s the same for me; bleeding emotions. But I don’t want to save you. I can’t; I am not strong enough. I can’t be the one to protect you from yourself. I can offer you other things, though. I will never give you my heart, it belongs to someone else, but I can give you a part of my soul. Isn’t that even more intimate? It’s the part that your words shaped. The part I am offering freely every time we talk. Just don’t forget that I am not a toy and not a whore; you can’t buy me with cheap words and front row tickets.

I don’t expect anything apart from honesty and respect. I said that before, right? We even talked about it. See; lately, I don’t always feel that respect anymore. You are too sure of yourself, or so it seems to me. And that’s what lets me keep my distances right now.

By now, we both know that I am more to you than you let on. We both know it. It’s in the way we talk and the words you chose. What we know too is that you punish yourself — living a fantasy that can never come true. It’s easier to reject people; me, when I set the limits myself.

One of your first concerns was that I would fall in love with you. You said that you could not fall in love with me and that it could never happen. You even asked if it hurt me when you said the words, but once again I said that I already have a man in my life who I love dearly. You said that every woman you ever loved left you. And you sounded so sad and resigned. I hope my words that day were a bit like a hug.

There is so much about you to love. More than you see. I am untouchable for you, though. Unreachable. And maybe that is exactly what you need, what you want? It lets you pretend that you will not be hurt like emotionally although we both know that you are already hurting. The truth is, you are scared. Scared that someone could love you for who you really are — scared that someone might see you and see all the craziness in your head and still love you. At the same time, you need that love. Crave it. I can hear the longing when you speak. It will never happen if you punish yourself with pushing everyone who tries to love you out.
A lost soul, that’s who you are. Afraid to be found. Afraid to be understood. But I do. I understand. And maybe that scares you even more.

I don’t need you in my life, but I let you in willingly. There’s a place in my heart for you. Just for you. You deserve love. And you are not alone. You are valuable. Your writing changes people, brings them inner peace and joy. And pretend all you want, talk about serenity, spirituality, and calm for hours on end, but regardless of what you say, you haven’t found them. Or maybe you once felt them inside, but they wandered off?

Could I ever dare to ask this question? Do you still have dreams? Are you too broken and lost to find hope?
You said you feel old. You aren’t old. Just tired. And it doesn’t help that you neglect yourself, your body; your emotional and physical health. You are better than that, and you deserve better than that.

I know that your perfect person is waiting for you. Somewhere. Maybe it is me. Who knows? I believe that this person is the piece that is missing for you to be complete.

I believe in this; we are fragments blown away, that can only find peace when we are put back together. Complete. I am not sure if I could complete you. No, I probably couldn’t.
But the fact remains that I see you — your pain and your misery too. I can’t end it or make it go away, but I can be there for you. I want to be there for you.

Am I still a stranger, that’s what I wonder. And if I am, why do you rely on me to cry and to talk freely? Is it because I am not there; not real? If you keep everyone at a distance, you don’t have to be you. You can hide behind your words and your talent. You can pretend to be someone you are not. But hiding your true self makes you unhappy and miserable.

We are the same, you and me. You just had more time to become the jaded person you are while I was lucky enough to have someone stop my downward spiral at the right time. You stopped it. Made me open my eyes and see. Made me happy, at least for a while.
Life is hard at times. Feeling rootless is too. You ask me to tell you that I love you. In my own way, I do. And yet, that one question is the opposite of what you said when we met. Why should I love you if you will not love me back? Why do you need to hear those words from me so often? Is it already too late? Perhaps you are already genuinely in love with me? We will both laugh about this, right? We are not the romantic kind of people, we’ve established that a long time ago when I asked you never to forget me.

I know that I had you after you read my first email. I had you after the first time you heard my voice. You were mine when opened up about your fantasies and I didn’t flinch or ran away. I had you after the second time you asked if I was there and I said yes. I will always say yes.

And that is what I see in you, and that is why you love me. And I love you too.

The one you will never have

*Repost* Come

I run, and I run. My legs are burning. They are heavy as lead. But I keep running. I run towards the dark alley that is calling my name. An alley I would avoid at all cost every other night. Not now. Not tonight. You are calling me. And I have to find you. I need you.

“Come, Cathy!” I hear it loud and clear. And I keep running and running. Because I want to catch you. You are my safe haven. I need to find you. Your presence will give me peace. And I keep running towards the dark. And the unknown. Edged on by the hope to find you, my love.

“Come, Cathy!” And I want to come to you. But I can’t reach you. No matter how fast I run, you are never there.

“Come, Cathy!” It is beginning to be frustrating. Devastating. Desperation sets in. How can I reach you? And I run and I run. Until I can’t run anymore and I stop. Everything is dark. There is no sound. Claustrophobic. Empty walls are closing in on me.

“Are you there?” I whisper. It sounds like the loudest scream in this absolute silence. I can hear my blood pounding in my ears. And I realise that I am afraid. Fucking scared, actually. Of this silence. Of this void. Of this emptiness. Of you not being there.

“Are you there?” I whisper again. There is something cold and wet on my cheeks. Tears? And I can’t fill my lungs with enough air to breathe properly.

“Are you there?” I turn around several times. Turning in never-ending circles. I don’t know where I am — lost and confused. And I am so alone. And so cold. Cold and alone. Inside, and outside too. Lost in the dark. In the unknown. Inside my dream.

“Come, Cathy!” But I can’t do what you want me to do. I am not there. I am not real. Nothing is.

I wake up drenched in sweat. I remember the voice loud and clear. I know the voice. Your voice. My heart is pounding against my ribs, and I can still hear my blood’s flow in my ears. It makes me deaf to every other sound surrounding me. Around me, the bedroom is bathed in a red hue from the sun touching the closed blinds. “Come Cathy!” resonates behind my eyes, and between my ears. I don’t know what it means. I can’t remember a thing. Nothing that matters. And in my agitated state, it feels as if someone is watching me. I am at peace. I am safe. Because this is real, and you are not there.

Letter to a stranger – happy new year

Dear stranger,

First of all, happy new year. I didn’t send an email or message for Christmas this year. I preferred not to get in touch. We both know how bad it is for our sanity when we are a part of the other.

Today I made a list of all the reasons why I never loved you. I wished everything I came up with were true, but you know well that it isn’t. I miss you so much. I miss the way we were and the way we never were. Maybe it is all just a huge pile of turds.

I loved your eyes

I loved your hands

I loved your voice

I loved your words

I loved your smile

I loved your c*ck (a lot)

I loved your humour

I loved the way you touched me

I loved your vulnerability

I loved your creativity

I loved your thoughts

I loved that you saw me in the dark

I loved me when you loved me.

I loved everything about you. Every moment we shared; every tear we cried; every heart-felt laughter. I even loved the sounds you made – all of them.

If I were a drama queen, I would tell you that I don’t want to live without you. I knew love; I tasted it in your arms and on your skin. I would beg you to come back to me.

But here is the truth: I know that you are happier without me. And I know that you love her. You deserve to be happy. I am glad that you are. And I don’t want you to be back. I couldn’t handle it. It would probably kill me.

If I were able to let you go, I would find my own happiness too.

You are probably wondering why I am still attached to you after all these months. I can only guess; I guess it is because you were the first person to love everything about me. You didn’t try to change me or my moods. The nagging voice inside my brain says it is because you didn’t care at all. Maybe it is true.

I still like the memories we made. I still like you even if you hurt me like no one before.

I miss your hugs. I miss the way you took care of me. I miss who I was with you. Wish you were here. I am a little obsessed with our past right now. I am looking back at the time when I was less alone and lonely. Must be the time of the year, I don’t know. Everyone is looking forward to the change of the new year. Everyone is making plans for the future. But the year cannot change us if we are not ready to change. I don’t make sense at all. I feel silly admitting all these things. Every healthy woman would drop you and move on. But you were my breath, and some days I think back to that time when you told me how to breathe… You left a void nobody can ever fill, no matter how hard they try. Could it be that I am addicted to the way I felt with you? Could it be that I miss how I felt, not who made me feel that way? Am I giving you too much credit? Will I ever be able to take back my life?

I hope you think of me with a fond smile once in a while. I wish I left a small trace inside of you. Something good.

Forever not yours,

Sweetie

Sweet taboo

Take off All your clothes, you ordered. There was not an ounce of doubt; not a flash of hesitation, I complied. You knew I was your puppet, and we both enjoyed it. I stripped, trying to be sensual, but being my clumsy self instead. Of course, I couldn’t get my skinny jeans off my feet. Of course, the hooks of my bra got caught in my hair. Of course, I blushed and wished I hadn’t started this at all. My confidence was hanging on a thinning threat; any moment now, the wrong word – or what I interpreted as the wrong word, would make me run.

Look at me! Another order. I wasn’t submissive, but your voice and the mood we had created in our sanctuary made me obey. I looked at you, and you were smiling. I could see that even though my performance had been underwhelming, your body was reacting to me as much as I was reacting to yours.

You got up from your chair. Large steps. Warm hands. Shivers. Kisses. Nibbles. Don’t move! I didn’t dare to move. I almost forgot how to breathe. I was your prey. You were the predator. You devoured me, and it was the most enjoyable torture I ever endured, entirely at your mercy — flames of lust licking at our souls until they were sticky and we were unable to break apart.

Sweetest taboo. Again and again. We were made of passionate desire; feeding off each other, until it became too much to bear and our hearts exploded; our souls imploded, and our remnants were scattered; blown in the wind — eternal stars on the night sky.

Upside Down 2

Josh sat against the far wall, hugging his knees and keeping an eye on the woman in his bed. It wasn’t her beauty that held him captive; it was the gun in her hand. He hadn’t been able to find any sleep, and in the end, he just gave up. Josh was counting the hours until it was time to get up and get ready for work. But then a thought occurred to him. Even if he had to get up, that didn’t mean she would leave. He groaned and stared at the stranger on his bed. The entire situation was unpredictable. He didn’t like that. He loved his routines and his structured life. A stranger entering his life in the middle of the night was not his idea of structure. It was a sure way to chaos. Josh rolled his eyes and got up. His glasses lay on his nightstand, and he fumbled for them in the near dark.

The rustling close to her head woke Milly up. Disoriented in the dark, she sat up and pointed the gun at the stranger ogling her. She saw his face pale, and his Adam’s apple move when gulped.

“What were you doing?” She asked making sure that her voice held enough venom to keep the man away.

“Glasses. I need them,” Josh stuttered.

“Lights!” She ordered, and he just nodded, doing as she said.

“Time?” Milly demanded.

“6:30. Please lady, I don’t want any trouble. Just, please leave so that I can go to work. Please?” The man was brave yet agitated. Milly smiled.

“Sorry, no work for you today, Stutter” Milly laughed. No way she could let him go now.

Josh sighed. “May I get dressed, please?”

“Very polite. Get dressed, and we will plan our next steps over breakfast. I hope you have coffee.” Milly got out of the bed. She wasn’t concerned about the man trying anything on her. She had good people skills and trusted her feeling that she was safe for now. As if she was in her own home, she searched through the man’s drawers to find a fresh t-shirt to wear. Josh felt his ears swallowed with heat as this strange woman rummaged through his personal belongings.

Waiting for his uninvited guest to follow him, Josh stood in the door. Milly switched shirts, retook hold of her gun and trotted behind the man who kept checking is she was still behind him. He got busy with breakfast, and Milly took a look around. There was a large shelf filled with books. She had read some of them too. His music collection was small, but here too, she saw similarities between the albums he owned and the music she had on her phone. The phone she had dropped when she ran from Giuseppe’s minions. Exploring the pictures of the young man, she stopped in her motions. Milly looked from the picture in front of her to the man handling a skillet in the kitchen. It couldn’t be. She had hit the jackpot. With a devious smile and a plan forming in her mind, she joined the man who was preparing her breakfast.

“I am Milly. Sorry for the inconvenience.” She put her gun next to an empty plate and grabbed the mug in front of her. “Milk?” she asked, and Josh pushed a small jug in her direction.

“Josh,” he offered.

“Don’t you mean Richard Joshua Weller Jr?” Milly smiled knowingly. “You are the only son of one of the most wealthy men in this city. Quite a dump you are living in.” She took a sip of her coffee and waited for a reaction. Josh was busted. He had hoped she wouldn’t know who he was. “You are my ticket out of my predicament,” Milly added, one hand on her gun again.

Josh admitted defeat. His heart went like mad. He had been waiting for a situation like this. That he would invite it in through his bedroom window came as a surprise. That it was a woman with legs for days and a smile to kill for was part of the irony that accompanied most of his existence.

“What do you want?” Josh stuttered.

“Money, Stutter. Easy as cake. And your daddy will give me what I need, or his sole heir will not survive this chance encounter,” Milly informed Josh and took a slice of buttered toast from a plate in front of her.

untitled flash fiction 20180701 or With you, I want to live

“Do you ever think about suicide? About ending it all? Just vanishing? Being gone? Not existing at all?” he asked, avoiding making eye-contact. He took a sip of his coffee and looked at the people on the other side of the street. She didn’t answer. She didn’t know how. “I do,” he continued. “I think about it. All the time. Not about death itself, but how to make it easier for those around. And I wonder what they will say and who will miss me.” Their eyes briefly met, before he averted his gaze and looked at the clouds in his coffee. “I would miss you,” she croaked, cleared her throat and repeated the same words in a steadier voice. “Why?” he whispered. “Why” was a question that often made his life unnecessarily hard. That three-letter word made him dread and anticipate answers, all at once. “Because the thought of not having you close to me breaks me inside. The void you would leave would swallow me.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He didn’t want to make a scene, but she had a thing with words; always finding the words that forced his emotions to explode. “If you were gone, I would probably follow you. There is nothing keeping me here. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here,” she whispered sadly. He didn’t know how to react and how to respond. He just covered her hand with his trembling one. She looked at their hands, then she lifted her head to look into his face – into his eyes. “Please don’t leave me behind,” she begged. “Never,” he replied. “I love you too much.” She nodded, wiping the corner of her eye. A tear was threatening to ruin her makeup. Lately, she had thought about taking her own life a lot. She led a happy life, but something dark was clawing at her thoughts. Something devastating was fraying the edges of her fragile soul. Holding on was much more exhausting than she would have ever thought. Why was living and staying alive so easy for most people? Why was it so hard for her? And him too. “Let’s promise each other to stay alive together for as long as we can. There are reasons to stay alive, right? If I remind you of them, and you me, we will be okay.” On the other side of the street, a toddler was crying in his stroller. From her point of view, it looked as if he didn’t like being strapped tightly in the stroller without any means to break free. “Freedom is just an illusion. A creation of the mind. The emotional cage we are living in is a creation of the mind too. It either helps us to stay sane, or we will break and grow insane.” He tilted his head to the side and took a sip of his coffee. It was as if he was seeing her for the first time. He had been too busy with his own thoughts, missing that she was not alright either. “Depression is a selfish bastard,” he thought out loud, taking his hand back. “We should go,” she ignored his statement, got up from her chair and put her bag over her shoulder. He stood next to her, kissed her forehead and let his hand find hers. She looked up at him. The affection in her eyes made his heart race. “I love you,” he blurted out. He had never said the words before, but they had never been this true and important to share either. A genuine beaming smile appeared on her face. She didn’t reciprocate his words. She didn’t have to; he felt her love wafting off her skin. Being alive wasn’t so bad, if he was allowed to do it with her.