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  • I was always shy. You couldn't understand it; I couldn't explain.

    I've wanted a literary life for longer than either of us can't remember. You never had any change in your purse. I insisted on wearing a lampshade at the end of parties; you never thought it was not funny.

    We had the most difficult time finding friends we both admired. When my sister got sick I refused your parents' kindnesses; you refused to apologize for them. I never cared about wedding dresses until yours; you never stopped caring until yours. You always wanted to mean it when you said I love you. I never stopped wanting everything.

    Money problems were more difficult together than they were for each of us separately. I assumed it was because you were stubborn; you believed great minds think apart. Sympathy wasn't my strong suit; empathy was yours.

    You always wanted tea, I never liked coffee. If we skipped work in the morning I always felt invigorated. I never knew why you waited til after breakfast to tell me the most important thing. I avoid eye contact with everything with eyes now. You were always shorter than me at the bathroom sink. Your eyes were never not the bluest. I never told you hazel was my favorite.

    We went to the mountains. Your fear of bears outweighed my desire for sleeping under the stars. We went to the ocean. My fear of everything was the highlight of your weekend. I just wanted to feel normal. You hated not being the center of nothing. You said my confused face was just the cutest. I always believed you about things that didn't matter, or did.

    Our mutual resistance to resistance was the glue that made our distance hurt the most. I hate new cities, a little less than you love familiar ones, a little more when I'm alone. I slid into depression; you coasted to parties, alone as you were happy. I always believed you. You never lied, or told me you never lied. You wore a lampshade and it made all our friends confused. They stopped asking about me too soon.

    My voice on the phone sounds awkward; you didn't mind. Your thoughts without your face were oddly not disorienting since I could see it in my head. You wondered at the temperature of my hotel room because you knew exactly what it wouldn't be. I wanted Chinese food. I carried you with me even though I hated the phone. You hated that I hated the phone and so were ecstatic I kept talking. That was the night I told you things you never repeated too many times. I didn't mean them the way you said they sounded. I really hated the phone. I don't order hunan chicken any more.

    I needed the meter money you never carried. You couldn't fathom acting indifferent to my suffering despite the pain I never intended to cause. Tall buildings are taller in person. I get more nervous than excited in new places; you always understood.

    Your suffering kept me up every night for weeks. The place you weren't in beds not ours made me colder than usual. I missed your legs on my feet. You never knew how much that meant. I didn't tell you things I thought were obvious. You hated that.

    Your laugh lines were already deeper. Was their absence because of my presence? Was my absence a present?

    Our friends were all yours. They moved McDonald's to the end of the block near my old house. All the words I never said came out at the wrong time. You were learning guitar. Our conversations became songs. I never cried as much as I pretended not to. You started seeing things you purposely avoided. You were never naive. I always cared more than I said I didn't. I haven't met anyone that didn't seem like they were trying so hard not to be their self.

    If I could do it all over I'd change everything I didn't mean. You always said you'd never give me that chance if it came up. I never understood until it happened, too late. You couldn't imagine something happening that you never would have imagined.

    I have different dreams these days. You fill your days with music and everything I wasn't. Unless you're lying, which you never do, or said you never do. I always believed you. They always say easy things are never worth it. I've never tried so hard at not trying to be nothing less than everything. I exaggerate too much. My hair is growing longer. I've spent a thousand dollars in parking fines. Your words have never meant more. I always knew they eventually wouldn't; I should have told myself that in the beginning, or told you. And now this.
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