Orange.

Who knew a butchered orange could be so sweet?

 

Standing in my kitchen and the dark world beyond can see us so clearly in the light. I think to myself, we’re like a normative couple with the time to cook together. We’re swaying to music and I smile at him as he’s focused on his mission of – making dinner. I pass him by the stove and he swivels us against the sink and I smile at him as he’s focused on his mission of – kissing me. He leans back and I lean into him and still we sway to the music and still the dark world beyond can see us so clearly and I think to myself, 

Is it the motown that makes us unreal?

 

I take him on park tours and he tells me everything and he knows how to make my heart miss a beat. I read him like an open book and we both think we aren’t photogenic (but love pictures) and  I own fairy lights. I barely notice his British accent anymore and we text each other black and white pictures of couples from a different century and he likes gummy candies (and beer). I worry about him being sad and he makes me promise to wake him up in the night if I don’t feel well and we read each other poetry. We visit his dad for afternoon tea and he sees right through me and we sit on a beach staring out at the sea. We sandwich our phones away and he holds his hand against my cheek and we watch a movie with my family and I think to myself, 

Is it the lighting that makes us unreal?

 

We’re young and the future is far away, but we’re not that young together and the future is on our minds. Together and apart we ponder this relationship and how can our hearts feel so strongly so quickly? We take it in turns and we yearn for some answer that will be enough. How will this go, how will this end, will this end – we freak out. We’re too young to have answers, or maybe we won’t ever have any, in fact – maybe it’s best if we forget all about the questions. We’re young together and actually not that young and what if this is the beginning of the story? Hand on heart, because it feels so right, and he tells me he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop and perhaps so am I. But I look at him when we go dancing and when he quotes a reference of mine back at me and and when he chuckles his little boy chuckle and I think to myself,

Is it the timing that make us unreal?

 

Sunlight reaching through the cracked open window because maybe our emotions needed a way to escape the room. Reality roaring it’s wretched wrath and crawling past our gaze, announcing the dawn of a new day and another goodbye. We almost got used to not missing each other. It’s time to go back to, “I love you, sweetie, I’ve got to go now.” But I don’t want to forget the way he smiles a tiny smile when he calls me honeybunny and how it feels to be in his strong embrace, pressed against his body, lining up because we fit (his arms containing my Goodbye Sadness). Little, kisses, squeeze, it’s so cold when he leaves, and I think to myself, 

Is it the distance that makes us unreal? 

 

A butchered orange has never been this sweet. 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene, you know, the future’s in the hands of you and me… but what do I know? -What Do I Know, Ed Sheeran

Honestly.

It’s stupid

But I so feel

Like this

Is goodbye.

  • A turning point

 

If anyone deserves

To have the world

Smile back at them,

It’s you.

  • Neither of us said what we really meant that day

 

I miss him and

I’m not even sure he’s

Mine

To miss.

  • Can we talk now?

 

I missed you,

I said.

I missed you,

He said,

The following night.

  • I’ve got a really good feeling about this

 

What was that?

A self five.

For what?

You.

  • What if this is the guy?

 

My feet are cold.

I guess that’s what you get

With a winter romance.

  • “Not just a winter romance”

 

Good morning,

Sunshine,

This time tomorrow

I’ll be 

On my way to you.

  • A day never felt so far away

 

Good night,

Darling,

I miss you dearly.

Was nice talking to you

However briefly

Thinking of you

Hoping to dream

Of you.

  • It’s okay to cry because he isn’t here to see it

 

I have to go

I’m really sorry

You finish at 9.30

I’ll call you then

I love you

I’m sorry

I know I said

I love you

We’ll talk about it later

I have to go

Bye.

  • “You realize two weeks ago I didn’t know if you liked me or not?”

 

I think my patience will outlast your ability not to say it back.

  • Could you read it in my eyes?

 

Why are you dancing?

Because I want to.

  • 3 in the morning, wrapped in a fluffy, orange blanket

 

I have never

Seen him this happy.

  • He doesn’t know she said that

 

I have never

Felt this good in my entire life.

  • Only I know he said that

 

I just want to cuddle the fuck out of you

Already.

Read to me?

I can’t sleep because of you.

I miss you so goddamned much, it’s crazy.

How is it fair that so much of my

Thoughts are taken up by you?

I can’t wait to simply hear your

Voice.

  • Thoughts from a distance

 

Honestly

If in three years’ time

We’re still together

I can hand on heart say

I’ll marry you.

  • You made my heart stop. I love you too

 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love. -Make You Feel My Love, Adele

Velvet.

We stole

An hour.

To say hello,

Again.

 

We stole

A piece of time

And made it our own.

Amid the trains

And the busses

And the shops

And the people,

We stole

Glances.

We smiled,

Eyes crinkling

Hearts beating

Cheeks seizing

Absorbing

How it feels

To be together. (Again).

 

We traipsed and traipsed

Over the same

Ground and ground,

Lifting all our baggage and carrying it around,

Piling it up in corners as we sat

So we could get

Close.

Closer.

 

We stole

Back

Fragments of

Thoughts and

Feelings

Swept

Around constantly

By distance

And (my) doubt.

We took

Our (sliver of) time

And put everything back together. (Again.)

 

We stole

A cuddle on a bench, a kiss in an elevator, a picture in a reflection. Embraces by the trains and the busses and the shops and the people.  

 

I trembled, like I always do

When I finally get to see him.

I rested my head

On his chest, beneath his chin.

A vision of velvet emotions.

I leaned my body into his,

Lined my heart up with his,

Let myself be wrapped up in his,

Love.

I let my erratic pulse sing with the silence,

And my incessant thoughts rhyme with the quiet,

And my tireless unsettled movement tango with the grounded hush,

Because all I really wanted

Was time.

 

We walked by all the people and we walked by all the shops, and he got on his train and I got on my bus.

 

We stole

An hour,

And said goodbye

Again.

 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I wanna feel what love is, I know you can show me. I’m gonna take a little time, a little time to look around me, I’ve got nowhere left to hide, It looks like love has finally found me. -I Wanna Know What Love Is, Foreigner

 

Waves.

img_0303

Fireflies, fairy dust, flowing sparks and floating stars, flickering in the air, falling light moats around us when we’re together.

We curled closer.

Peachy lights casting enchanted glow and cold night air I don’t feel when I’m with him.

Heart all aflutter when I realize how he feels about me.

Comfortable quiet of the hushed world beyond and the harmony of our emotions trembling in sound waves between us.

The way he looks at me… “And how’s that?” Like you love me. “I do.”

If you thought my heart was beating quickly before…

The way he makes me feel when he says my name, the way my heart melts at the sound of his softest voice, the way he makes the air crackle with electricity when he’s near me (the boy brings the sun to its knees every night*).

The way he makes me miss him.

The way I almost want to resent him for making me miss him so much (but he says I do the same to him and it’s not fair).

The way it dawns on me every time that as tired as I am of waiting for him, he’s beyond worth it.

The way I discover over and over that he is everything I’ve been looking for (he is my wildest dreams).

The way I’m simultaneously euphoric and petrified when I realize my heart isn’t just my own anymore – it’s also his.

We curled further into each other.

The way I always have and always will forget to take things one day at a time.

The way I simply wouldn’t change a thing…

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

You’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you. -Franki Valli

* “I know I should crumble for better reasons
but have you seen that boy he brings
the sun to its knees every night.” – Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur

21.

Part 1

Finally. Sweetheart, darling, sunshine, honey. I, miss, you, dearly. Far, apart, distance, expanse, away, shake, mama, shake, your, head, come, home. (21)

Tiny, dancer, I, love, the, peace, in, the, backseat, wish, I, was, there, direct, you, into, my, arms… I, love, you. (21)

Tom. (1 because you should know)

Part 2

Break, down. Missing, him, him, missing, me, so, much, happening, alone, confusing, questions, doubts, taken, aback, is, this, right? Missing, him. (21)

Always, waiting. Always, waiting, for, a, call, always, waiting, for, a, text. Him. Always, waiting, for, him, always, waiting, for, him. (21)

Confusing. (1 because it’s true)

Part 3

Trembling, in, your, arms, overcome, emotion, real, real, real, “You’re, not, a, burden, honey, you’re, a, blessing”, embracing, me, at, last. (21)

Warm, cozy, comforting, glowing, whisper, soft, tender, new, close, closer, illuminated, attentive, quiet, melting, fuzzy, admiring, dazzling, serenity, hushed, golden. (21)

Happy. (1 for good luck)

Part 4

Good, morning, Sunshine, snuggle, me, don’t, leave, and, then, and, then, and, then, his, life, was, almost, almost, and, I, can’t. (21)

I, can’t, believe, I, can’t, breathe, how, close, I, was, to, losing, him, please, fear, don’t, panic, leave, so, me, afraid. (21)

He’s, I’m, we’ll, be, okay, okay, okay, surreal, real, not, everyone, was, lucky, hold, me, we, are, gratitude, okay, unsettled, alive. (21)

Alive. (1 to remind myself we are)

21 days.

And. (1 to write this)

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I believe in miracles. -You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate

Home.

I love the life I lead. I love the (brave) new world I’ve built for myself here. I love everyone around me – all of these people I didn’t know four months ago, who are intertwined in my story now. I love the aspects of my life that didn’t exist before.

But I want to go home. Real home. Just for a few days.

For a few days I want to go to sleep in my old bed – a bed that knew more restless nights than restful ones. A bed that is soaked to the core and coated in memories of pain upon pain upon pain. A bed I used to lay in and dream about having the life I have now.

I want to go home, so I can crawl into that bed and cry.

I want to cry surrounded by walls that are used to containing my tears, walls that know how to stay standing in the face of whatever it is I’m feeling. I want to cry covered by the blankets that have kept out the cold, harsh reality and kept in my dreams when I just wasn’t strong enough to get up. I want to cry looking out the window and seeing the view I saw every time I cried until I went and upended my world four months ago.

I’m tired.

There, I said it. A word that I use all the time, still, but the implications of which I’ve been pretending no longer exist.

My (brave) new world is intense. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I feel physically, mentally and emotionally wrung out by all that has happened since August. I have everything I was hoping to have, everything is going so well, and being happy about that is exhausting me. I never stop moving. I never stop feeling. (I never stop feeling like I’m missing out on things, whether I spend time in my new world or my old world. I’m always torn between the two – I want to be in both at once.) I never stop missing people.

“I miss you.”

Tomorrow, I’ll go home. I’m so overwhelmed I just want to cry. I wouldn’t change a thing.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

Must be love on the brain, that’s got me feeling this way. -Love on the Brain, Rihanna

Now.

img_8829

I used to wonder. Now I don’t have to. I used to hoard love songs in a playlist called “Some Day”. Now I don’t have to. He was baffled. Now he doesn’t have to be.

Now I don’t need to be confused, or overanalyze, or miss him and worry that he doesn’t miss me or feel the same way.

He misses me. He feels the same way.

And so the girl has a boyfriend.

And she really needs to find a good nickname for him.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

It feels so real, lying here with no one near, only you and you can hear me when I say softly, slowly, hold me closer, tiny dancer. -Tiny Dancer, Elton John

Blanket.

I made soup last night. It came out delicious. McLaughin came over and we sat on my couch and ate soup out of mugs. I turned off the stove.

The pot caught fire.

McLaughin and I went out and met up with our friend, Tom. Together we went to… where he works. Was this wise of us? No. Is it what we did anyway? Uh-huh.

McLaughin was up to date, but Tom wasn’t, so I found myself sitting and filling him in on the entire story as he walked back and forth around us. I told Tom the truth: “I hate him for not being interested.” I say it’s fine — if he isn’t into me, I’ll just move on. There will be plenty of options.

But that’s easier said than done.

“I feel pathetic!” I exclaimed to my friends. They comforted me, laughed with me and distracted me. The waitress brought over our drinks.

It’s cold here. I was wearing Tom’s fleece and shivering. And then he came over and handed me a blanket…

“No! Don’t read into this,” McLaughin said as soon as he was out of earshot. “There are plenty of blankets around, it’s not a move.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t ask for one… he thought of me.” As I finish my sentence I drop my head into my hands because McLaughin is right and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Yet I really can’t help but think about that night, how such a big chunk of the flirtation was around me being cold and him warming my hands…

Tom patted my knee. They both agreed: the situation is bizarre. The wires got crossed somewhere and we’re obviously not on the same page, but it’s just strange of him to make such obvious moves and then flip a switch and turn cold.

They also agreed he’s incredibly handsome (not the word they used).

As we neared midnight, I decided it’s worth enjoying this feeling. Because really, this confusion and angst? It’s so perfectly normal (it’s almost laughable). Tom tells me I’m “practically ‘Sex and the City’”.

They walked me home. They didn’t try to kiss me when we got there*. 

I let myself in and transferred my smoky soup to a container. I started scrubbing the pot and scraping off the charcoal layer at the bottom. As I scrubbed and scraped (and scrubbed and scraped) I felt lousy and elated and stupid and… happy.

Because this, ladies and gentlemen, is what happy looks like. It’s been six weeks since I moved here, five weeks since I started my job, and the biggest problem I’m dealing with is some stupid boy who’s playing it hard to get. It’s been six weeks and I feel like everything’s falling into my place and my life is starting.

“She believed she could so she did” has never felt truer than right now. Everything really is coming up roses.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I’m drawing perfect circles round the life that we could share. -Light Up the Dark, Gabrielle Aplin

*Ha. Humor.

Onion.

My single roommates and I sit around our living room, scrolling through Facebook on our phones and announcing: “Engaged”… “Married”… “Engaged”. They understand there is no max to how shit I can feel. They say I make love to my food – I take my time, I make sure everything is well orchestrated, I put background music on…

My roommates and I sing nursery rhymes as we walk to the ice cream shop. We read each other texts from guys and congratulate each other on being empowered. We share our writing and speak truths.     

There was a gathering at work, a celebration. I was waiting in line for the sandwich bar with a few friends. He walked over and asked if I could put some red onion on my plate for him. I said yes. Later, after, he said, and I quote, “Thanks for the onion.” So, you know, I figure we’re friends now.

I was walking back from my pilates class a few days ago and all I could really think was, “Eff yeah”. I’m simply loving all of this.

I feel surrounded by hot and cold, hot and cold. I’m giving it no thought.

My roommate calls, “Come look at this girl’s wedding dress!” We flick through pictures and I smile inside out. One day those pictures will be of me, but not yet. I’m good.

I am thrilled through and through with the here and now.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

Everything’s coming down roses. – Whole Lot of Heart, Ingrid Michelson

Goodbye.

 

All of my adjectives might just never be enough for this.

It ended with a smile, a kiss and a hug.

It ended with pictures, gifts and moving words.

It ended with stories of the beginning and the excitement of adventures up ahead.

It ended with the feeling that I am incredibly cherished and loved.

It ended with the knowledge that these people, my people, believe in me.

It ended, and I’m feeling brave.

A long time ago I wrote in tiny letters along the edge of a collage: I know we’ll be fine when we learn to love the ride. I’m starting a new collage and along the edge I will write: She believed she could so she did.

It ended without a real goodbye, because we all know this isn’t the end…

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I’ll softly rise and I’ll gently call, goodnight and joy be with you all. -The Parting Glass, Ed Sheeran