We met in the midst of dust motes floating around the old chalkboard-classroom of University Hall. You introduced me to Amber – your close friend, I thought – and your thirst for after-tutorial Starbucks between 11:20 and 11:35 a.m. After all, what did it even matter to be five minutes late to class when we will all one day be so; what did it even matter if none of it ever really does when the curtain drops, when the record ends, when the symphony of consciousness rises to a close. So you went for Starbucks, and I walked to lecture alone – vying for that front-row chair so that I might ease the pain in my hips – and watched, noticed you in the months afterward, through red winter parkas and brown spring attire – until we met again in the odorous lab of second-year microbiology, and you drew me into your world of friends, of housemates, of late-night wine and cheese gatherings – until my heart – that soft, useless thing – quickened its beat upon hearing your stories of ex-crushes and Halloween near-hookups with a would-have-being-a-bad-decision girl. You drew me into you, you: an everyday girl, who in my daydreams was hardly so; I latched onto you and pulled myself out of that dark, solitary hole – because you were there, you were there, you were always there. I let myself be swept away by that river of friends, of daydreams, of late-night phone calls about life, the universe, and your complaints about organic chemistry. I turned a blind eye, because the illusion was far better than the solitude, better than watching my life collapse again into that small, small state. I let slide it all: the apathy, the sleep abnormalities, the ****** innuendos, until I texted you a few nights ago, two minutes into a rising panic initiated by the realization that my ex had killed themselves – a discovery that later proved to be untrue – and you replied with laughter and an inability to help. You just don't know; you just don't see that to complain of your ex-girlfriend's low libido is a reflection on you, not her, or even the two of you – so I put down the phone; I ignored the messages for a day, then two, and my world changed, opened anew –
I can live without you.