Contact Without Consequences

Tell me it’ll end well.

Tell me we’ll sit criss-cross applesauce on wall tapestries fashioned into makeshift beach towels until the August sun bleeds purple dye onto our sweaty thighs.

Tell me we’ll make it to the cities forever unchecked on our bucket lists, that we’ll take on the streets clutching clammy hands and not worrying if the shoulders of strangers bump into ours without apology. That if someone clears their throat we won’t turn the corner or evacuate the sidewalk, we’ll just keep walking and the conversation will, too.

Tell me it’ll end with our friends piled on top of each other, a singular giggling mass in the center of the apartment rug, that we’ll be the sun in our own solar system again, that gravity will tether us together and not further out of orbit.

I miss touching without thinking. Contact without consequences. Pinky promises and deafening stadiums and the pink birthday candles I never got to watch my best friend blow out. I miss blushing at coffee shops on rainy Saturdays when the characters in my novel finally share more than just a glance across a crowded room.

A crowded room. That feeling of being held. Of being alone but never lonely.

Real life has no proper replica. No suitable alternative.

You and I, the ones we love, the world we share.

Tell me we’ll get it back.

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