It wasn’t the same when we were both alive.

That’s the irony–is that the right word? Maybe not. Maybe it’s the opposite of irony. Maybe this is just the way it was always meant to be. Me here under this blanket of existence and you… You wherever you are. I stretch my arms above my head as if I could reach the stars. As if I could reach you. The little muscles in my back resist my need to fly, my need to soar above the past.

You were always the most alive person I ever laid eyes on.

The way you wove through the traffic of life. You told me you weren’t a dancer, that you hadn’t ever considered it, but I never believed you. A warm breeze sifts through the night. I can’t decipher where it’s coming from, so I choose to believe it’s coming from you. I can see you now, right here with me. Laughing. Your eyes like a sunset. Remember when I told you that and you cried? It was the only time I ever saw you cry. I realize I’m not wearing shoes. The asphalt beneath the soles of my feet is hot. How can it be hot in the middle of the night like this?

I should lie down. Get a better view of you.

You would joke that I was asking to become roadkill. You always saw me that way. Fatalistic. I suppose in retrospect I was, always pushing that fragile line. Testing the shark infested waters. You said that once, didn’t you? That was yours. But you were right. I was reckless. You were wrong about why, though. As I was wrong about you. About what drove you. And you could never see what drove me.

It was always you.

I never wanted to die. To leave this life. I wanted nothing more than to stay here as long as I could. But I wanted to stay here with you. I need to stay here with you. I needed you to stay here with me. Something bulk and round is growing in my throat. I can’t open my mouth because it will spill out. I have to close my eyes now too because something is breaking inside of me and I can’t let it slip away. If I move I will implode. I feel the weight of it on my chest. I need to stop thinking. Of you. And focus on something else. Like the stars.

Goddamn this sky.

I can still see it with my eyes closed as if it exists only inside my head. As if I made the whole thing up. As if I made you up. I can still see you, but parts of you are slipping away. I forget what your hair smelled like after we swam in the river. I am forgetting the exact constellation of freckles on your left thigh; was it two diagonal dots with a third off to the side, or three?

Everything suddenly seems brighter…

But I won’t open my eyes to see why. Even though I think I know the reason. My heart is racing but I can’t tell if it’s because I am afraid it will hurt or if I am excited because I may get to see you again. The brightness is expanding so fast. I don’t know if I planned this. Did I? Did I come here for this? To do this? Or was this just an after thought?

It’s so bright now.

It’s happening. This is my last chance to move. To live that long life I so desperately wanted to live. With you. But you’re gone. So maybe we can start over? Maybe I will see you there. Maybe you’ll be waiting for me, with that smile of yours, waiting to tell me you were right. That you always new I would end up here. That I was always swimming in those shark infested waters waiting to be taken under.

But I won’t tell you the truth.

I wouldn’t want to hurt you. If you can still hurt after–wherever you are–wherever we end up. I won’t tell you that, this is never what I wanted. That all I wanted was to create magic with you, to see the world with you. To grow old with you. All I wanted was you. And I guess this is the only way.

I open my eyes.

And see the headlights inches from my prone body before–

The world goes black…


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flash fictionFlash Fiction