His accent, smooth and pure, was a pearl. Brooklyn- far from here- the place still flickered in his eyes, and would always. Georgia was not the place for him. It was just hurried step, a brief run away from family and other truths. He missed his hometown.

We spent every weekend together for a year. On our first night we gorged ourselves with blueberry muffins and pink lemonade while listening to The Velvet Underground, trying to fill our perceived hollow parts with colorful sugars and saturated words. I was trying to forget thehorrid relationship I was in previous to meeting him. He was trying to forget some graceful woman in New York. He could make me cry too easily; he had a gentleness I’d only witnessed in leaves. Before this I’d been running with wolves.

“You’re in love with ghosts,” he said. Just a line from a movie. The words he offered really referred to himself.

He’d trim his room with tin foil, paint up a primary color triptych, and I would watch with rigorous eyes. He’d light a match on the book, lean over, and I would breathe in his light cologne over the flame. I wouldn’t be able to withstand that scent for years afterward.

Once I had a dream I was in figure skating competition again and blood seeped through the ice and over my blades. Skinned bodies were stuffed in the pipes beneath the floor. I woke up terrorized, but found the comfort of his heavy breathing beside me. His form there under the sheets calmed me, a simple mollification I didn’t know could exist. His hidden hands offered safety without having to touch me then, just in being there.

And when the end of it all came, which I knew would arrive as surely as any pessimist knows, it came virulent. Remained that way in my thoughts for years. A girl in his department enveloped him. I had to pull the defeating words out of his mouth myself.

Tell me what's going on. Tell me now.

They were going to New Orleans together that weekend.

So brief flashes funneled into my head as I ran to my car. Lakes bathed in orange, cities falling past the windows, a deluge of Saturday nights tornadoed into my mind where they stung ferociously. Lost, wasted, torn by these things that just happen. This could not be repaired, not anytime soon. His face floured to dust in my vision, grew ephemeral in a memory. His green eyes gave no light, the pearly voice grew to granite.

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