Home- A Short Story

“How do you know?”
“I just do. I know that isn’t an answer but it’s how I feel.”
“Can you try explaining it to me?”
“Will it make a difference?”
“Probably not. But, I’d still like to know.”

I could hear the tears welling up; breaking up is always a delicate situation.

“You don’t just wake up and decide these things. Least I don’t think so. For me, it just,” I snapped my fingers, “happened. You ever get something and even if you don’t have it long you often ask yourself how you managed without it? That thing just becomes part of your life, every day, and you hold such an attachment to it you can’t imagine life without it or not having it any more? That’s how I knew I was sure about us. When your touch became like putting a shirt on fresh from the dryer. The scent of morning coffee in the kitchen before leaving for work. The first bite of your favorite dish. Maybe that’s what it’s like to have a phantom limb. I don’t know. But, not having you might be the equivalent.”

As a tear fell I could see the gears in her head asking “why me?” and I ask myself the same thing. Also, “why am I so lucky?” But then it’d just go back to her asking “why me” to which no answer could be made. She was home. Her smell, the crook of her neck when I hugged her from behind with her long dark hair obscuring my vision (how great it feels when it tickles my cheek!). The lingering touch after she’s run a finger across my hand (the thought of you makes me weak in the knees). The press of her lips.

You always go back home. Every place you live once leaving is temporary. How long it takes to go back, well, I knew I’d wait until it was time to return. This, in my opinion, is when you realize you’re not “in love” but the starting line to get there, just like how you “love” the thing you couldn’t be without.
I didn’t want the image of us no longer together to be cliched; we’re both “successful” and somehow find ourselves looking at one another from across a room thinking back to this very moment. The ache to reach out for each other growing more powerful with every breath, bringing us to near tears. Jeopardizing it all just to be back right here, in this moment, at its peak emotional capacity.

Something tells me that’s what’s supposed to happen. That it’s the only way to return home. Why does it have to be so complicated? I just want to stay home.

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