i run to be free

I Want To Meet Your Parents

“Hey, love.” Joe calls out before walking into the room. I look up from the book I was reading, smiling over at him.

“What’s up?”

“Are you busy this weekend?”

“Uhm,” I tilt my head to the side, running through my schedule in my mind quickly. “No. I think I’m free.”

“Then maybe we can go visit your parents so I can finally meet them?” He asks hopefully, and I feel my body freeze.

“Joe.” I warn.

“Come on, Y/N! We’ve been dating nearly a year and I have yet to meet any of your family! You don’t even talk about them!”

“And I asked you to not ask anymore about it!” I snap back, standing from the couch, my book clutched tightly in my hand. “I thought you were respecting that!”

“Sorry for wanting to get to know something about you a bit better.” Joe rolls his eyes.

“You don’t have to know everything.”

“I just want to meet your parents, love, that’s all.”

“Just stop asking!” I tell him sharply before pushing past him and heading for the bathroom. Once the door is closed behind me, I lean against it heavily, breathing deeply as the tears fill my eyes.

He had asked before over the past year we had been dating, about meeting my parents, but I managed to make up an excuse. And whenever he asked something about them, I would brush it off or change the subject. Because Joe didn’t know the truth. And I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. So I shut him out.

I know I shouldn’t, because it’s only pushing him away, when I want to pull him closer. But I just can’t.


“Y/N?” There’s a soft knock on the door ten minutes later, and I glance up at it from my spot on the floor.

“Come in.” I tell him, watching as the door opens, Joe’s face appearing around it.

“Hi.”

“Hey.”

He moves in to the small room, sinking to the floor beside me.

“I’m sorry. I know, I shouldn’t pressure you about it. I just,” He sighs, glancing over at me. “I just want to get to know you fully.”

“I know you do.” I nod, reaching out to slip my fingers through his. “And you deserve to know. So…this weekend. We’ll go.” I can’t look him in the eyes when I tell him, because I know I’ll start crying, but I mean every word I say.

“Only if you’re sure.” Joe replies, but I can hear the happiness laced through his words, and it feels like needles along my skin.

“I have to do it eventually.” I shrug, my eyes locked on our hands.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me yet.” I mumble, closing my eyes as I rest my head on his shoulder.


Saturday rolls around, and it’s a normal, dreary London day. There’s a fine mist falling from the grey clouds above us, and I tilt my head back as stare up at the sky, feeling the moisture on my skin.

“Ready?” Joe calls out cheerily as the door shuts behind him.

“Yup. Let’s go.” I offer him a small smile as we slip into the car and it pulls away from the curb.

I’ve managed to avoid any questions Joe has asked about my family and where we’re going, but now as we drive closer, I feel my grip on his hand tighten.

“It’ll be alright, love.” He mumbles softly.

I don’t reply.

And as we pull up outside of the location, I remain silent while he thanks the driver, climbing out behind me.

“What are we doing here?” Joe asks, his voice hushed and confused.

“Just, come on.” I finally speak, leading him into the grounds.

There’s no one around us. It’s silent except for the sound of our footsteps on the gravel. The mist is still falling from the sky, leaving a fine layer of water along our hair, skin, and jackets, but still, we move forward. I don’t pay attention to my surroundings, the path familiar and etched into my mind. I had taken it so many times before.

We come to a stop, and i glance down at the three markers, smiling softly.

“Joe, I’d like you to meet my mom, my dad, and my brother.”

I look over at him, taking in his shocked expression, before it settles into one of understanding. He frowns lightly as his eyes move across the names and dates etched into the stone, before he meets my gaze, a small smile on his lips.

“Thank you.” Joe says again before kneeling down in front of the markers. “Hello Amy, Grant, Derrick.” He nods to each of the markers in turn, and I let out a small gasp, my eyes filling with tears as I watch him.

“Sorry it’s taken so long for us to meet. Y/N was a little hesitant. I think she wanted to make sure I was right before she introduced us.” I feel my body begin to shake lightly as he continues to talk, his voice gentle and soothing. He touches the individual markers with care, brushing his fingers across the years that all match, the year they all passed away. Finally, Joe stands and pulls me into a tight hug. I latch onto his shirt as I bury my face into his shoulder, crying.

It had been nearly two years since I cried over the loss of my parents and brother. Not that I didn’t feel their loss greatly, but because I felt as if there was nothing left to cry with. But watching Joe interact with their markers, it had become too much.

“I’m so sorry, love. It’s not fair. But thank you,” He pulled back, lifting my chin so I met his eyes, also shining with tears. “Thank you for introducing me.”

“I wanted to tell you sooner…”

“No. It’s fine. I understand.” He tells me, leaning down to kiss me gently.


We stay there a while longer before we turn and walk the familiar path back out of the cemetery. Both of us remain silent until we are back home, changed into dry clothes, curled up together on the bed.

“Tell me about your mum?” Joe asks quietly, his fingers running up and down my arm.

“She was amazing.” I start, smiling as the memories rush in. “Gods, she would have loved you…”

We spend the rest of the afternoon talking. Me about my family, and him asking questions. By time we fall asleep that night, I feel as if Joe has actually met my family, and it lifts a weight off of my shoulders.

i was woken up by the sound of dogs barking suspiciously close, so i went outside and there was a pack of four large/mid-size dogs in my yard. they had dug in under the fence. not a cat in sight.

i’ve been traumatized by large dogs breaking into our yard before and killing my cats, so i enter half panic mode and half rage mode and just start throwing empty pots and shit at them (they’ve gathered around the fence hole) until they dug their way back out. i put a piece of rebar and a metal bowl over the hole, which probably won’t do fuck

so now there’s just a pack of dogs roaming free in my neighborhood. i absolutely fucking despise my neighbors for just letting their dogs run free without making any considerable effort to keep them in their own fucking yard

i haven’t found any signs of fighting or any cat bodies, so i hope they all found a place to hide. im sick to my stomach and i’m laying in bed now just shaking. i hate my neighbors and i hate their dogs and i don’t understand why NOBODY on my street is capable of keeping their dogs in their own goddamn yard. this is the second time in a week this has happened

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.