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exile (you're not my homeland anymore)

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all this time / I never learned to read your mind / I never turned things around


Simon Snow’s eyes tell me that he’s going to end it with me, and I am not prepared.

The flight back to England was the longest, most difficult eleven hours of my life. Simon and I were sitting next to each other again, but he wouldn’t look at me or touch me. I didn’t know how to reach out to him, not after that conversation we had on the beach.

I couldn’t even let myself feign sleep as an excuse to lean against him. I just stared at our hands, my left and his right, on their arm rests, so close to touching, but so far apart. I ached to reach for him, to just brush my hand against his, but I didn’t.

I knew he would pull away.

Eleven hours of knowing that once we got back home, Simon was going to end it with me, and I could feel the cold creeping through my limbs, my heart caving in already.


you’re not my homeland anymore / so what am I defending now


I’m going to do it.

I have to do it.

It’s all I can think about on the plane, and then in the cab ride home. The car is crammed, with me, Baz, Penny, and Shepard, and Baz somehow ended up in the middle of the backseat, pressed into my side. (Agatha took a separate cab, to go to her parents’ to get her wand). Baz is so close I can smell him, though he smells like Agatha’s soap (he lost his when we lost our luggage in Nebraska). I miss the cedar and bergamot scent he normally has.

These are my last few minutes with him, though we’re barely even together anymore. I can’t really have a claim to him when I’m about to break up with him.

I miss him already.

I remember his words on the beach. “Why can’t you see that I wouldn’t be happy anywhere without you?”

But he doesn’t deserve a boyfriend like me. I can barely even be called that. I know I’m burdening him.

It might kill me, but breaking up with him is the right thing to do, to stop chaining him to me like a horrible anchor. Seeing him in America, even seeing him over the past year - he’s been growing, flourishing. And I’m holding him back.


I think I’ve seen this film before / and I didn’t like the ending


By the time we’re back at Simon and Bunce’s apartment, I’ve already played a thousand versions in my head of what’s about to happen. I could beg him, tell him how much I love him. I could resort to cutting remarks, my old defense mechanisms.

I can’t think of a way to stop Simon from doing this. Every ending I imagine ends with me going home, alone and crying.

Simon has gone to his room. Penelope and the American are talking quietly in the kitchen. I stand in the doorway of the apartment, hands shaking at my sides.

Every fiber of my being knows what’s about to happen and I don’t know how to stop it.

Simon appears in his doorway and looks at me. His expression is determined. There’s an impossible distance between us, making the five meters seem endless.

I know our relationship has been rocky. The tightrope of it has been getting narrower and has been fraying under my feet while I’ve tried to keep my balance. The few threads left are about to snap.


I’m not your problem anymore / so who am I offending now?


After carefully looking at me for a few long moments, Baz follows me into my room. I shut the door behind us.

I finally turn to face him.

I find myself memorizing his face, trying to burn it into my brain so I can’t forget it when I’m trying not to think. His pale skin and arching cheekbones. His gray eyes, which are quiet and full of dread right now. His soft hair, which I’ve threaded through my fingers so many times I lost count but wish I could do again one last time.

But I’ve put off the inevitable long enough.

It doesn’t matter if it breaks me. I’m broken already. I need to let Baz go, so he can move on.

We both know what’s happening, and the sooner I do it, the sooner Baz can go and be happy, somewhere far away from me.


you were my crown, now I’m in exile, seeing you out / I think I’ve seen this film before / so I’m leaving out the side door


“Baz,” Simon says.

I don’t know how to stop this. So I just stand there and wait. I wait for the train I know is about to run me over on the tracks.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he says quietly. He’s not looking at me anymore. I feel like I haven’t seen his eyes properly in months.

My head feels fuzzy and my throat is closing up. I don’t know how to speak.

“I can’t do this anymore, Baz,” Simon says again. “This isn’t working. I-I wanted it to, and I just can’t. You deserve better. I’m weighing you down. And- and seeing you with Lamb, in Vegas, I knew it anymore. You can go anywhere, do anything, and I’m holding you back from all of that.

I force air into my lungs. “Simon,” I say hoarsely, “I don’t -”

He cuts me off, and he’s still not looking at me. “I have to do this, Baz. Us being together, it was a mistake. It was a beautiful dream, but it didn’t work, and we can’t keep on pretending it could. We don’t belong together. We don’t match. We can’t choose each other. It would just be prolonging the inevitable, and we’d be back here again.”

I want to say something, anything. I can’t stand him dismissing what we had like that. The best year and a half of my excuse of a life, despite everything.

Simon was the one thing I was certain of. Blue eyes. Bronze curls. Moles and freckles scattered like constellations. I was ready to spend the rest of his life with him. The rest of my life, too, if it was even possible.

But I can’t say anything.

“Okay?” he says.

I’m not okay. This is not okay. I’m Icarus, and I got too close to the sun. Now I’m falling back to earth in what will be a fiery crash.

I can only move my head in something that approximates a nod.

“Okay,” Simon says.

I stare at him, knowing this is it. His stupidly blue eyes finally meet mine.

And then I leave, his bedroom, his apartment, him.

I don’t have any more chances.