I thought about everything we had been through. The bus rides early on in high school, the growing crush I had on him from the moment I met him, the day I announced my love for him through a long silly text message, the day he stopped hiding his sexuality from me, the day he stopped hiding it from the world, the days he would have to call to see if I was going to school or if I was too depressed to peal myself from bed, the morning rides into school together on icy roads, the first time we got stoned together and almost lost it in the convenience store, the day he met my boyfriend, the times before that when he would hold me when I was sad.
I remembered every secret in that moment, things I’ll never repeat to anyone no matter the circumstances. The weight of every single one hanging to every memory with a sort of heaviness I’m still unable to find the words to describe. The hotel parties where we dressed like sears models and posed in front of the brightly lit mirror for someone with a camera. The creepy photos my mother used to take of us walking home from the bus stop together. The friends that recycled us. The friends we both let go of. The drinking, the chain smoking, the sitting around getting stoned and shooting the shit.
The time my dog died. The time my rabbit died. The time my memere died. The times all of those scummy boys broke my ignorant, fragile heart. When I adopted my fat headed kitten with no tail. Then when she had to go to kitten hospital. When my best female friend moved away. Multiple bad days. A number of mornings that followed horrible evenings. The time I got alcohol poisoning and he was scared out of his mind. When my memere had her strokes. When my gram had her strokes. When my nieces were born, both of them. When i tripped and needed someone to text just to feel connected to someone somewhere else. When I had to babysit. When I hated myself. When I ate more mushrooms and needed him the following morning just to be around someone made up solely of good. And then, when I learned to love myself.
He’s talking and talking and explaining and I’m listening but I’m thinking. I’m hurt, upset initially and I want to ask why but then it clicks. Just like everything important seems to, a second later. I’m so proud of him, of us. Of who we have grown into. I’m proud of the person I’ve become because of the person he was to me for eleven years.
“Yes. You need to go.”
“I do. I love you.”
“And I love you. Always.”