Last night I heard that mixtape you made me a few months ago, the seemingly infinite loop of all the songs that reminded you of us. They were fading away, the lyrics in which I had learned to fit the story of us into. Songs hardly ever reminded me of you anymore. Not one time I turned the radio on and remembered so clearly the way your hands felt on my body, how sweetly our lips fit together, the promises of nothing and everything you whispered in my ears. I didn’t remember exactly where in the hazel green spectrum your eyes fell, and I could not bear the thought of forgetting anymore than the quiet sadness of remembering. You were fading away. You and I, and the days when every noise sounded like a love song, seemed like stories I had told myself. And I decided to listen to that mixtape. Maybe I needed to remind myself of why I ever loved you.

By the third track, I could almost taste your lips. The cheap scotch you loved so much, unmistakable flavor, sweet and bitter, which I learned to love. I took a shot. It tasted like you.

By the fourth, I could picture every tattoo on your body, even the tiny one on the left side of your neck, under the even tinier birthmark, the thin outline of a pair of eyes. I liked to think they were mine, once. I remembered the one on your arm and on your calf and all the stories behind them, all the questionable color choices, the drunken mistakes and foolishness of youth you would never get to forget.

By the seventh, I could hear the whisper of all the promises you never got to keep. How we would decorate our house, the Google alert on promotions on plane ticker prices you set on your computer, the long list places we wanted to see, and the lightness of the laughs about long baby names we never would have chosen. So much, too much, and then nothing at all.

By the eighth, I could feel your hands holding mine tight, the light touch of your finger stroking my cheek, the promises of nice thoughts I really did want to believe, all the sweet secrets within those sleepless nights we only half remember.

By the tenth, it started raining outside and I was crying as much as that day in November when I drove away, in the trap of desperate sobbing of choking on the sweetness of moments that will never be again. All the memories so very hopelessly overflowing away from my body, too much for me to bear, and did not want to remember anymore.

By the twelfth, I was parked in front of your building, staring blankly at your curtains, wanting to run out of the car and yell back at you the promises I did not let you keep, to tell you all the things I never did on those sleepless nights and to watch with my heart to my throat you sprint downstairs, and take me on your arms and let me let you love me. I did not move.

And by the thirteenth I remembered, chocked in my own foolishness, why I had so desperately let myself forget. And track one starts all over again.


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