The Next Time You Love

You stand outside a bar waiting for your friend to arrive. You choke down cigarettes as if you're trying to suck death right from the Grim Reaper's mouth. It tastes like fire and charcoal and impending doom. Your friend appears from around the corner, slowly taking her earbuds out, and smiling as she walks towards you.

You sit down at a high-top table across from the bar. In between taking off your coat and hat, you make all the right small-talk, "How was work? How have you been? I like that outfit". You take a seat across from her and order your drinks.

You continue the small talk and as you wait for what feels like forever for the drinks to come to your table, you take a quick glance around the bar. You start to feel uncomfortable and under dressed. Businessmen and well-dressed women laugh their confident laughs and when they look at you, you think they're laughing at you.

Your friend grabs your attention, reassures you that you look fine and you start smiling again.

When the waitress finally arrives with your drinks, you clink your glass with hers and make a stupid joke and she smiles anyway. As the night goes on, you share greasy bar food and sad relationship stories from your respective pasts.

Each emotion cascades over your body for a second until you remember who you are with

not too drunk but just drunk enough to open up

your fears and your commitment issuesYou say you don't want to let anyone in, againYou tell her you can't go through that kind of heartbreak. You tell her you're afraid, scared, and terrifiedyour feelings are like ghosts. Dead. Whispers of the person you used to be

"that doesn't mean I don't love you"

You smile, tell her you love her too, grab her hand, and take a seat on a bench and light a cigarette.

You try to remember the last time you told someone you love them and meant ityou're still capable of feeling this way about a person that isn't yourself

She holds her phone in her hands and stares at it. She tells you about her ex-boyfriend and you feel your stomach churn and twist and you just want to punch something, you want to punch him, and she notices.

she deserves the absolute best. You tell her that it's his loss, that he's the idiot, and if you see him on the street, you'll be sleeping in a cell that night. You apologize for getting violent but the sentiment is real. You tell her you will take care of her for the rest of her life.

you tell her you love her again, because you doThis makes you feel alive again

"Old ghosts, resurrected" you think to yourself.

i did all that i could.
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