terms and conditions

1. Do not leave. I will make it hard. You will feel the residue of the apologies I am made of on every surface in your house and wonder whether your guests can too.

2. Do not leave. I will call you at 2:39 a.m. and will have nothing to say other than “It hurts.”

3. Do not leave. I will break every dish in kitchen with my trembling hands and throw the shards on the table and want you to tell me they are worth more now because I touched them.

4. Do not leave. You haven’t seen it yet, but there is a list of everyone who has down my back and you will soon have it memorized.

5. Do not leave. Sometimes I will claim there is an earthquake far away and that is why I am shaking. You will not turn on the news and tell me I am wrong.

6. Do not leave. We will fight and at the first sign of thunder in your hair I will sound every alarm in this county and be the saddest storm you’ve ever seen.

7. Do not leave. The sound of locks clicking on your door will give me nightmares and I will say it is your fault. Know that it is not.

8. Do not leave. I am every shade of sorry for the way that I am.

9. If you leave, promise to miss me.

10. Please.

—  Terms and Conditions, Elizabeth McNamara