Through the Hurt and the Smiles (Part II)

A/N: Hey guys, please read the first part before reading this one, though you can read this as a stand-alone too, 🙂


 

When I’m away,

I can hardly recognise you in the pictures you’ve sent me; you’re darker, leaner, and the bags under your eyes bring tears to my own. You’re haggard and tired despite the smile on your face, and hollow even with the twinkle in your eyes.

The paper is crisp in my hand, and the face printed on it makes me want to curl away from the rest of the world and cry until you’re back with me.

I will remember how you kissed me,

The last memory I have of us? It’s bright and vivid in my mind.

When I think back to it, I lose my breath like I’ve sprinted half a kilometre, go weak at the knees and feel my heart leap from my chest to my throat all at the same time.  It’s an experience that frightens me at the thought of it, and also makes me want to repeat the experience over and over again.

Under the lamp-post,
Back on sixth street,

It’s dim, and not romantically so. I can hardly see the pavement in front of me, but as your fingers wrap around mine, I feel minutely more confident as I take each step. I slap my only free hand over my mouth to stifle a bark of hysterical laughter when you curse. A solitary lamp-post flickers, and you’ve finally caught sight of the street we’ve been walking down.

You turn an incredulous glare to me, but I can’t help myself, and I’m stifling hysterical giggles at your tired, worn expression.

I’m sorry, I try to say, but the laughter takes over, and I double over laughing, right there in the middle of the pavement like someone’s punched me in the gut.

Hearing you whisper through the phone,

All those memories make me smile now, cordless phone nestled between my cheek and my shoulder as I hear your voice. It’s tinny, and it echoes awkwardly, but it’s your voice, and it’s as close to you as I’ll get for the next six months. You’re filling the silence with random sentences; the dog that misbehaved that morning and the bunkmate who woke a minute late.

You break away for a second, and I know that our time is about to be up. Your voice returns, now softer and a little more serious. Biting my lip, I finally gather the courage to speak to you about more than the regular idle chit-chat.

I tell you to take care of yourself.

I remind you that I’m not the only one waiting for you to come home, and that I’m not talking about the large furry dog that trots into the room, tail wagging and tongue lolling cheerfully.

You listen silently, so silently that I have to check to make sure that you’re still listening. When you reply though, your voice is low and filled with emotion I haven’t yet heard from you.

You only say one line before the call is ended.

“Wait for me to come home.”

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