He did something that surprised you. You knew what he was but the ties began to regrow. A mass of veins spreading from him to you. You welcomed him back in. He needed you.
You welcomed him into your home for a time. You began to feel neglected, just like last time. You didn’t really mean to click on the messages between him and the girl he had used to leave you. You weren’t even painted as a friend in those messages. You were the girl who said she would help him out… “Ugh,” he told her. Ugh.
You have a moment of clarity. You take a walk on the beach. You pick up a rock for his collection. You give it to him with a smile. He smiles back and pulls you in for a hug. The hug makes you feel nothing. You realize you’ve conned him back.
I’ve always found a light shade of summer freckle on a man to be an attractive feature. Pair that with an effortless baseball cap and I’m probably halfway to love.
It’s as if I’ve formulated this notion that if you’re a freckled man, you’re an approachable man, you’re a good man; worthy of my planting a kiss on the impression the sun has left on you.
If only all that were true.
The last time I saw him he would look at me like he was trying to peel the layers of facade away from who I truly was. It had been a handful of years since then. Granted, things had changed; including my inclination to be swept up by unremarkable lovers; but he wasn’t even looking at me. I had been in the practice of peeling away my own unnecessary reservations, but I wasn’t totally void of a guard that needed to be coaxed into taking a step back and I was disappointed in his lack of effort.
“Come here, you,” he whispered emptily as he pulled me closer and kissed my neck. This was all wrong. We were supposed to be facing the other way in a warm room draped in California summer and stuffed with meaning.
I began I mourn the evolution of my mentality, because maybe it was just me. Being lost and open to letting someone catch my falling spirit had allowed me to get swept up in all that was him. I had felt like we were some sort of androgynous soul.
I tried to get back some of who I was in that California summer. Perhaps being slightly delusional would help me appreciate this unexpected second chance.
But when I locked eyes with him, I felt nothing. I was no longer pulled into what had once been the spirit of the world.
“Do you always keep your toothbrush in the shower?” She asked, noticing that this was the second time in a row this had happened.
“No, that’s one of the bad things about me.”
“That you forget it in there?”
She didn’t think that was quite so bad.
The nails are always the first to go. They peel and fall away until you decide to eventually cut them off and start from scratch.
And then you watch them grow. Eventually you think, these are definitely longer than when we said goodbye. You take care of them. They grow strong.
Someone comments on them. You then stare at them all day, admiring your work and their strength. They’re perfectly even. All the same length.
Then one breaks. You decide not to freak out. You file it back to a nice shape and notice how much shorter it looks than the others. But it’s fine; you know it’ll grow.
It’s the work crush. The one who suddenly catches your eye as he walks out to lunch and into your heart. Had you noticed him before? Maybe not. Maybe you were too busy learning the responsibilities of your job to partake in such frivolity. But suddenly he’s all you think about during the moments you come up for air amid the day’s work.
It’s the work crush. The one you daydream about while pretending he doesn’t make an appearance in your night dreams as well. You tell your friends he’s just a work crush; an innocent kind of pastime who you would never even consider touching in your real life. In reality it’s probably not healthy to be as obsessed with a person as you are with your work crush.
It’s the work crush. The one who motivates you to actually put together an outfit instead of wearing an oversized sweatshirt and leggings for five days in a row. It’s the one who has you reconsidering what a waste of effort liquid eyeliner is.
And when the work crush approaches you with a work related matter, he’s the one who gets the most thorough and expansive response as you hold back your hyperventilation.