Vignettes

The Two-Year Stand

It’s the ways we fell asleep that I think I’ll always remember.

Sometimes I would close my eyes and press my ear to his chest to hear his heart beating, just a minute or two, before turning over and away. There was a part of me that always understood all too well: I could have it in that moment, but only for a moment. It was never really something I would ever possess.

For a time, that was enough.

Beyond the fire, the little tenderness that always followed. Sleepy kisses on my forehead, on my bare shoulder, along my spine. The gentle graze of fingertips back and forth on my arm, draped across him, as I fell in and out of slumber. The featherlike brush of hands as they traced the curve of my hip, the dip of my side. Memorising with his skin the texture of my own skin. His touch is seared into my memory.

Sometimes he would pull me close, an arm slung over my waist, his hand on my chest, or holding my hand, so close I could feel his breath on the back of my neck. A soft kiss, a whisper.

Sometimes we were face to face, with foreheads pressed together, hands clasped between us.

Sometimes, apart, our fingers twined across the small gap that separated us, holding on to each other as we both slipped away into dreams.

Sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night, or whatever hour of morning or midday passed for night with us, and gaze briefly upon his sleeping face. Lips pursed, brow knit ever so slightly, hair tousled, eyes shut under long lashes, peaceful. Then I would close my own eyes again.

It will always be impossibly strange to me, that in those moments I felt like I had never been so close to — but also so very far away from — another person. So comfortable, but so tense. So safe, but so afraid. So warm, but so cold.

He would plant three kisses on my lips before leaving me in the mornings. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

I knew I would always be saying goodbye from the first time that I kissed him and felt it in my chest, in my belly. Every kiss started to mean something after that. Every kiss I gave him was a farewell.

I would sleep in the remnants of his warmth for as long as I wanted to. And when I woke, I would make his bed. I would gather my things. I would gather myself. I would lock his front door behind me, and then I would be gone. Like I’d never been there at all.

It’s the ways we fell asleep that I think I’ll always remember.

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8 thoughts on “The Two-Year Stand

    • Surprisingly, I think moving on will be fairly easy. At least infinitely easier compared to previous times! Haha! But yeah, it’s the moments in between, really. Never the big things. It’s the little things that stay with you always. :)

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        • Trust, I know what that’s like. 😂 I’ve tried to teach myself to see them as good things, and look back on them with fondness. See them as things that I’ll have again someday, with someone else, when the time is right. 😊 Then I just keep going on living my life best as I can. It’s all we can do, really.

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    • Thank you! ♥️ With any luck, being able to write this means that my writer’s block is finally over and I’ll be able to keep it coming. Haha! Though I fully intend for this to be the first of a series of vignettes in the same vein, tributes to my ex-lovers. 🤞🏼

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