I watch myself fade and wilt in your eyes like valentines flower petals from their vase, falling onto the white desk dirtied with graphite and candy wrappers below. There's thirty one letters from colleges and three love notes left there to peel up at the corners and get stuck with bubblegum but nothing leaves the taste of metal in my mouth more than "Michigan". I'm terrified every day of you leaving. I'm more terrified of your hair being out of place and your smile not being the way I remember it. Do you ever think of the way it would be if you loved me back? Sometimes I wish you'd force yourself into things the way I always do when I'm fitting into prom dresses or looking into my own eyes in the mirror, trying to decide if they're green or hazel like my mom insists every time I fill out a passport application. Think of how my hands would look in yours, the way my chipped nail polish would match your veins, thinly creeping up your arms like you haven't tried to carve them out with office supplies and hours of crying in circles. Sometimes I think I ought to just kiss you, remind you that it's easy to fake things. You should know. Sometimes I dream of holding the side of your face in the bold and silently rotting static of my room and saying "let's run away" and we don't really go anywhere, it's just us, the very edge of the half moon of our shoulders touching, warm like sunshine on pebbles. Most of the time, I don't wish for much. I just wish I could stare into your eyes for even a second without feeling the blood run into my face. Or just that I could look at you. You feel like forever and a universe away and I don't know if that's because you're so perfect or because I only ever see you after your hockey games, which ended exactly five days ago, by the way. Not that I'm counting or anything. And not to say that I miss the way that when I hugged you, I could feel your shoulder blades and the gentleness of your hand on my back, but I'd give anything to feel that again. I never knew if it was as awkward for you as it was life saving for me. You still have no idea how much I looked forward to seeing you even for those painful few minutes where, despite us not making eye contact once, you'd smile at least three times, every time. Again, not that I've been counting. Maybe it was just because you were anxious, but that's okay. They say it helps. I don't know who "they" are, but at this point, I trust anything that holds hope to make you happy. To be honest, I'm not really even sure what your voice sounds like, but I know your laugh like I know the crooked tip of my nose or the smell of vanilla incense. It's all I can think about when I go to sketch anymore, but I can't get the lines right. Amen to that, because I never want to be so in love with a single moment again and because really, I never want it to be over. I just want to make you laugh forever. I just want to see the way your eyes crinkle like that until the sun swallows itself whole and then we all can't see anything ever again. I'd want it just like that, the last light flickering as you come as close to happy as you can be. I'll make you laugh until you're dumb and dizzy and maybe then you'll love me. And maybe you would have to be dumb to love me. But I'll still kiss your nose every night in my dreams and pretend I mean anything to you like you do me.
This is as honest as it comes