I traced the letters of your skin to form the sentences I wanted to hear from you, and my ears sung along as the story I waited all day to hear finally erupted from the room. The first chapter was always my favorite part. I knew it all by heart, and my heart repeated the words over and over to me as I drifted off to sleep, ignoring that that chapter had ended a long time ago. I wanted to live forever in the introductions and smiles that came with the new beginning. The anticipation, the blissful thinking, the exploration; it’s what I lived for. When the games hadn’t even begun.

But then the sentences twisted along your body, and hid in the dark crevices of the room that I wanted to pretend never even existed. These words vowed to bring anguish, loneliness, and betrayals so deep I didn’t think we would ever make it to see the light of day. And when the light finally came, it wasn’t from the delicate sun, but shining embers from down below, promising both of us that we haven’t yet ended up where we belong, even if I felt too charred already to feel the burn.

I never read the last page. Something told me it wouldn’t be the happily ever after I had originally hoped we would deserve, but knew we never would put together enough light to reach. Our sins with us we’d keep, and our scars ran too deep for a redemption that we didn’t even crave, even though it was what we needed. So, I read the second to last page, tracing your body’s indentation along the shape of the sentences and paragraphs. When I reached that page’s final phrase, I placed my frayed bookmark on the very first page and slammed the old book shut. The dust that filled the air wasn’t what clouded my vision when I couldn’t see you anymore, but the stark realization that you had finished and returned the book a long time ago, while I was still re-reading the fantasies bound between its tattered and over-worn covers.

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