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over coffee, stirrin’ in the cinnamon

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You’ve wished over and over for it to be him.

 

You remember that letter—where it is now, you’re not too sure—that letter he wrote you in the spring of 2003. How he’d used words like “exquisite” and “dazzling.” Rave reviews from critics always made you a little lightheaded, but this: private and meant only for your eyes—it’s another feeling altogether. You fell in love with him the very moment you finish reading. He signs the letter with nothing but his first initial in lowercase—a.—and you feel your heart soar.

 

He’d healed your heart. Wicked had been a monster. It broke you and opened you up and closed you back again and never quite fixed you. Idina had made her choice—it’s Taye, always Taye. But Aaron, he’d been there. He’d held you and whispered soft nothings into your ear and he’d write for you. Oh god, he would write for you. His words were pretty and they had been only for you and you alone. He wrote about you, too. And you’ve always fancied yourself a muse to some strong, intellectual writer. It’d been wonderful. He’d beguile you with his thoughts on The Pirates of Penzance and poetry by dead men. It would make you feel warm—the same warmth you’d feel whenever Idina laughed.

 

But your time with him was never beautiful. It was never beautiful like it had been with you and Idina. Or you and Marc. Or you and Clara, whose face and name and voice are nothing but a distant memory now. It had always been tense and tempestuous. You think back to a fight Andrew had accidentally witnessed, and how quickly it made its way to a song he’d written for you. I wanna engage you in conversation that doesn’t devolve into screaming and throwing plates.

 

He’d been a good distraction. A reprieve from Idina. From pretending and hiding. This time, you can let the world know you’re in love. But it was never beautiful. Never, never beautiful. His words had been. But your love was not.

 

Still, though.

 

You’d still wish for it to be him. Sometimes he’d come frighteningly close. You still believe there’s a ring somewhere. That at some point he’d made up his mind and he’d ask you. And you would say yes. And Idina would join Clara, and Marc, and all those you’ve loved and lost—they would all be distant memories, until they become forgotten.

 

He’d come close, sure. But he’d never really quite get there.