It was still dark when you asked me what my days were like, “before,” you said, “in your other life.” And when I didn’t answer, you wondered why. “I meant, how did you spend your weekends,” you added, as though I hadn’t understood the question. I wanted to tell you, but the answer wouldn’t come. “I don’t know,” I whispered, hoping the memories would appear if I spoke quietly enough. But they never did, and I thought about where all the Saturdays and Sundays had gone. I began counting them, fifty-two weekends a year, fif… I stopped. I didn’t want to know. Pressure formed behind my eyes, my throat felt tight, and I was glad you couldn’t see the details of my face. Those days, those years, all felt so far away, like I had never lived them. I could hear you talking, but I focused only on myself and the missing years. There was too much sadness, so I did what I had done for over a decade. I disappeared.
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You knew I had left, run away for the briefest of minutes as the sun began to rise. So you touched my face and pulled me back. You could tell that I didn’t want to be gone anymore. I wanted to be there, with you. I stood up and opened the balcony door to allow those first few beams of dawn to become a part of our memory. In the presence of the hazy morning light, you fell asleep, and I climbed into bed next to you. You smelled like lavender. When I kissed you, you squeezed my hand and I could tell you were dreaming. So I closed my eyes and chased after you, hoping to find you in the distant place your dream had taken you.