Just Between Us

By Sara Ritchey 

Before I wrote this, I remembered the time you told me how much you loved the rhythm of my heartbeat — and when we hugged, you pressed yourself into me; our heartbeats colliding, dancing under moonlit skies. And when bright shooting stars flew across the night, you always told me you had everything you’d ever need.

Before I wrote this, I sat memorizing your mesmerizing eyes and got lost somewhere in between blue and always. Your eyes took me to blurry places, where I couldn’t make out my own goddamn name. You made the words in my head jumble; a jungle of tangled letters, until I could only make out three words. I love you.

Before I wrote this, I realized I love you’s could be lies. Trampled on words with muddy shoes until they are so far in the dirt, they begin to decompose.

You see, before I wrote this, I repeated it to myself so much it lost it’s meaning. I love you, I love you, I love you, I — it played over in my head like a scratched record. Your words echoing off the sides of my head, until I had to slip in headphones to drown out the sound of your voice.

Before I wrote this I scratched my skin, where your fingertips had traced. Lines of red paint fell down my arms as I continue to scratch trying to get any sign of you off of my skin.

I remembered the time you engraved words into my bones, and I let you, being sure to lay still as you took your time. You liked digging every letter deeper than the last, and when I winced you shrugged it off, continuing your work of art. When you were finally done, you let me see your masterpiece. It was a picture of another girl. Maybe in a different time, you said. Maybe if you were anyone else.

Sara Ritchey is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram

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