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Submitted By samanthab
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IF YOU WERE TO FILL THE OCEAN, I WOULD DRINK IT DRY [12.20.00] leopard printed sheets stained invisibly red with the jagged pieces of a million broken hearts. stacks of books and records creating makeshift tables covered in empty shot glasses and spare dice from a dozen board games. an old acoustic guitar nicked and scratched shoved in the corner and half obstructed by clothes. a lone coffee table full of markers and papers and aspirin and bottles and bracelets. we find ourselves in the strangest of places, our heads all full of thoughts. i always seem to find myself exactly here, hands on the ever warming keyboard or wrapped around an icy glass of the strongest thing i can find behind the makeshift bar. nothing is ever permanent here, always transitioning, always changing. i used to fear my knuckles making contact with the black door, his ode to the rolling stones. i used to wonder if someone long and lean and blonde would be on the other side. but it was always him, looking down at me with dark eyes and a slow smile like expectation.

he asks the questions you're supposed to ask. how are you, what are you doing with yourself, how is so and so. there's hesitation in that whiskey thickened voice when he reaches a particular name. i cough and mumble through a response before pushing my way past him, seeking that pack of cigarettes that's forever lying on the table. they're mine to steal, the way he said i did his heart in the beginning. it was mine, taken before it was given and there was a time i told him that i never wanted it. there's still snow frosting the window panes and fingers trace lines against the glass between the warmth inside and the slowly dropping temperatures outside.

fine, always fine, is the answer even when i don't know any better than that. i need a drink, something designed to make me forget and he always remembers. the shivery taste of thick black licorice hangs on my tongue, sticky and i wish it meant i wouldn't have to say anything, just sit in silence and watch the way the curls of smoke climb toward the ceiling when i exhale. there's an impatience in every one of his movements, quickly flipping through channels even though he knows there's nothing on, there never is. he settles on reality with a huffed sigh, girls embarrassing themselves for the right to date a celebrity that no one wants to admit to remembering.

fumbling with bracelets and rings and almost a half dozen cigarettes later before words are spilling from lips that were once put to better use against his own and that little spot just below his ear that drives him crazy. he doesn't understand half of it, the irregular beats of my heart, but he doesn't have to. he reaches out and tangles his fingers with mine, and tells me to stop, to shut up, to breathe.

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