Your eyes feel like they are made of clouds, threateningly heavy as you duck to hide your face. Your wrists howl enchanting songs to make you ignore her, and they fade behind the dawn when your skin grows cold, your whispers become heavy, throat restricted. You feel as though you’re made of loose twisted strings, ripped apart from the words which floated from your mother’s mouth like glass. You can still count the bruises with the tips of your fingers as you attempt to ignore the persuasive snarls from blue veins.
Every part of you aches for Holly. You scuff your shoes around the gutter, cigarette on your lips as you struggle to still your shaking hands.
You used to be the long and deep sigh that softened the walls of her lungs, she walks without shame and without you. You want to scream her something beautiful, but the words feel too safe in your mouth so you bite them back as you watch her walk from her car to the warmth of her house.
You used to trace the edges of your voices when they met in the dark and now they only exist in your dreams, behind doors with broken hinges you thought you had locked. You shed her like a second skin right off your shoulders and told your mouth to swallow her name. You had Sophie and she had San Francisco. Although you never had Sophie. And you’ll never have Sophie. Things fall through quickly when you’re a beat cop, without a proper home, without a partner, with PTSD and no hope of a future.
Everything seems harder without her limbs beside your own, and you’re always holding onto to her slightly, like a ghost you should let go of but don’t or won’t. When you squeeze your eyes shut you can feel her trailing on your skin, a wisp of palms on your waist, a momentary flash of warmth…
She was meant to be in San Francisco.
But it’s been two months and she’s back here.
You wonder if you have something to do with it… if she’s come back for you. If she loves you like she said she did.
It’s a bit too assuming to show up at her door. But you can’t make yourself walk away. Not after glimpsing her for a moment.
Soft songs carry echoing reminders and you struggle to inhale and exhale without her behind you, a piece gone from aching lungs. You feel as though she would seep through your fingers, turn into rain and get lost in the cracked sidewalks… the broken sidewalks that you used to be. You’re not like that anymore, you think.
When you were with her, you could barely remember what the ground felt like. And now you know it more intimately than you could ever know yourself. You trace your scars like roads you want to travel over and over again, becoming the lines in your palms.
Your bones feel heavy like anchors, but they could never bolt down into the sea’s floor long enough… you could only murmur the things you meant and scream the things you didn’t.
You can’t stay steady. Her door is in front of you now and you can’t ready.
Your knuckles crack and your eyes widen at the force you use.
“I’m surprised you made it over.” She laughs gently, opening the door in seconds. You suppose you could have been less obvious.
“Well,” you grumble, “I wasn’t exactly invited.”
“Neither was I,” Holly points out, “But I obviously had to come back.”
“Obviously,” you grin, staring at your shoes.
She leans against her front door, hip jutting out and a grin curling her lips. “I came back for you,” she says quietly, timidly.
You look up and grin. “I figured.”
“So arrogant,” she scoffs.
You’re silent, tracing her figure with your eyes. You need just a moment to recover. To take in her voice and smile and body and presence and just to take in the fact that she’s there again.
You bite your lip as a small whimper escapes.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispers.
Your arms find their place around her shoulders and hers fall to your waist, chests press together, breathing as one. Your lips touch her neck gently, drinking in her warmth and how safe she makes you feel. “I’m so tired,” you say weakly.
“Talk in the morning?” She offers.
“Please just hold me.”
And she does.