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springtime in perpetuity

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beca’s been different lately

it started once you were on your own, in your little two bedroom, sun-drenched and stuffy and full of promise. she would rest her legs over yours when lounging on the couch and let her fingers linger on the small of your back when she would squeeze past you in the tiny kitchen so she could reach the sugar

beca’s been different lately

she fell asleep in your bed at the end of july, on the hottest night of the summer. in the morning she acted like it was an accident, but it kept happening. eventually she dropped the ruse, stopped pretending and started showing up in your doorway at night with her phone charger and a glass of water, and you’d just smile and pull back the sheets and try to ignore the hopeful flutter in your heart

beca’s been different lately

on a thursday in november, over drinks, she told you she can just picture you on your wedding day. the comment wasn’t out of the blue, exactly, but it felt like it was, especially when she held your stare for a long, long beat

beca’s been different lately

she came home with a girl in the early hours of a january night when she thought you were asleep. and while a little thrill went through you — that it was a girl — it was followed by an avalanche of anger because she wasn’t you. you cried hot tears into your pillow that night and didn’t talk to beca for the three days that followed and when she asked you what was wrong you didn’t answer but you knew that she knew

beca’s been different lately

or maybe you were the one who was different, now. because it was spring again — your favorite time of year — but this time it felt lacking. the stuffiness was bordering on unbearable, in the apartment and in your chest, but then beca threw open the windows and a cross-breeze swept through the rooms, kicking up papers and fluttering the ends of your hair

that night beca slept in your bed again and in the morning there were petals, from the flowering tree outside, scattered on the floor like pale-pink confetti

beca’s been different lately

she kissed you, finally, in the hallway beside your apartment door, and then yelled at you for making her kiss you first. a kind of fiery giddiness flared up inside you because you felt annoyed and elated in equal measure. you told her you didn’t know she’d been waiting and she asked how that could be possible and you said you didn’t know and, also, why are you both still yelling?

the two of you were laughing as you took her hand and led her back down the hall and halfway down the stairs, which you’d just come up, to the stairwell landing. you placed a hand on her waist and pushed her back against the wall and, as her eyelids fluttered, you whispered ‘pretend it’s two minutes ago’ and then you kissed her just like you’d always wanted to, just like you would’ve if you hadn’t been so clueless, just like you’d been the one to kiss her first

beca’s been different lately

she moves her phone charger and water glass permanently to your nightstand and herself permanently to your bed. you keep the windows open all through the spring and summer and into the fall, when you wake to yellow leaves, from the tree outside, scattered on the floor like flecks of sunshine

at some point, without realizing it, it stops being different

everything’s the same, but it’s perfect and you don’t mind

when the forecast calls for snow, you close the windows

that’s okay, too

you start and end every day with beca

and it still feels like spring