a timeline of the good things

the first night

he was the tall friend of a guy and I noticed and that was that

the real first night

he was the tall guy who I semi knew and who I stuck with when the party died

“you’re chill as fuck! let’s exchange numbers?”

the club

going and not really expecting anything but then we were dancing and cuddling and he was an adorably atrocious kisser and so I turned around and kept dancing with him. talking in the stairwell. walking around the downtown freezing our asses off, trying to figure out the uber app.

the first date

walking with my hands hooked into the loops of my backpack straps. yoga pants and a printed shirt. his fake lack of chopstick skills. his smile, him leaning toward me and I toward him. the end of the night, in front of my building, looking at each other before I give him an enthusiastic hug, yell “let’s do it again!”, and vanish, much to his bemusement

the second date

hands still hooked into my backpack, journeying to downtown to my spot under a freeway overpass, where the cars sounds like thunder and the sewer sounds like rain. we sit there, slightly cold but it feels right, and in each silence he leans over to kiss me before I abruptly begin talking again. it’s a game that I play until I tire, and I acquiesce and we are kissing and it is electric. on the way back, I hop onto ledges and stairs to test their heights and kiss him, eye to eye, lip to lip. we hold hands.

that one concert I performed at

and he showed up and brought me godiva chocolates and it turned out months later that he’d walked to the mall a mile away to get it before 10am.

the official first day

I meet his grandparents at a concert, which he sits through good naturedly. after, we wander to a room in the hall near my dorm and sit and are attempting to do work but we end up kissing and he says I wasn’t sure how to introduce you to my grandparents but can I call you my girlfriend and I say yes.

countless other dates

his birthday; he says no gift is needed; just being with me is enough. we go to a restaurant on a cute street nearby and I force him to let me pay. we meander back slowly under the fall leaves and sunshine, stopping to kiss under a warm glow of orange light. we eskimo kiss and hold hands the warm way because my hands are cold.

another concert in that same room. we sit in the back right hand corner and I tease him by nibbling his ears the entire time and we leave early to go make out in my room.

friday night and we decide to exercise but when I get there I convince him to run with me. his friends laugh at him but he says you could convince me to do anything and off we go. a group of partiers laugh as we run by oh, look at that, a couple running together on a friday night, and he sprints past me and stops and turns around for a kiss and I run towards him and he fakes me out and then we’re laughing too hard to run any more anyway.

we make plans to hang out but when he arrives I drag him to a talk by an author I’m super excited about and he says later I love when you surprise me like that and means it.

the one and only time we attempt to go partying together and we end up making out and swaying in a room with loud music.

halloweekend and I’m too sick to leave my room and he rushes around to get a tea kettle and ginger tea but then I tell him to not come anyway.

in his room and he say can I go down on you but I’m too nervous about the hair I haven’t shaved so I say no but I offer to go down on him but it’s my first time and I’m sure I’m awful but then I spend the next week googling is oral sex real sex

he finishes so hard and then he looks at me and says you’re getting really fucking good at that and it feels amazing

eating lunch together and texting things like “be there in one!” because being one minute late felt too late. we talk so much during lunch that he leaves his food untouched until I walk out to get more food and when I get back his plate is completely finished because he was so hungry.

we run into his friends everywhere and they are always so excited to see me, saying I’ve heard so much about you with a knowing smile and twinkling eyes and it feels amazing

he comes to visit me back in my hometown and I’m so excited to see him I rush at him with a kiss which he remembers to deflect for a hug because my mom is watching.

texting him while on a bus ride for hours and hours and smiling uncontrollably the entire time

and then second semester began




3 days later, 12:40am

Today was the first day I felt normal again.

It’s fall, which takes me straight back to this time last year. The brisk air, the peacoat pulled out far too early and too eagerly. I bounced to class across campus with WH by my side. It’s the same and it’s completely different.

I talked to a guy today – we’d met last year, on the same night I’d met JKm and gotten his number and hung out in his room. We’d walked to that party together. I hadn’t remembered him until recently. AF.

We did homework a bit together and talked a bit. He seemed eager to get to know me. We exchanged contact info on the premise that we would do homework together again in the future.

It’s far too soon to start anything. And yet, when I’m distracted, I feel like the year had never happened. I feel free. It’s only when I remember that the past comes curling around my ankles…

2 days later, 6:08pm

from that night, I want to remember, if nothing else, this:

JKm is lying by my left side; I am sitting with my knees drawn up. we are thinking, independently, of the last year. I turn my tearful face from the sky to his. we look at each other, bare. open, for the last time.

we both smile

it is bittersweet

it is painful

it is the end

but it was still a smile