Breathe, God damn it, breathe.

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The damp smell wafting through the walls was the first sensation that hit me as soon as I opened the door. Three steps down into the hall, I threw the keys to the front door on the side table that also held an old rusty TV. A few sheets of typed-in paper, some take-away menus occupied what was left of the surface of the table. I threw my shoes into some corner and fell stomach-first on the single bed that reeked of its old occupants.

You knocked on the door – work bag on one shoulder, two bottles of beer and a bottle of dark rum in your hands. I made way for you, we exchanged no pleasantries. I smoked. You drank beer. We talked of love, poetry and work.

Somewhere in-between the countless drinks, you picked up my papers. I protested weakly, you opposed vehemently – reciting one word at a time. You carefully lay the last paper in the stack, turned around and pressed your lips against mine. You pushed and kicked your way into my otherwise tightly guarded world that night.

We made promises. It was a thing of past, never to be repeated again. Two days later, we were together again. And again. And again. Along the way, we lost count – minutes turned into hours, hours to days, days to years. We were none the wiser. You carried your scars hidden beneath your dimpled smile, I carried some of mine plastered to a pile of papers and others under my fingernails. Here we were, two heartbroken kids in their twenties, spending days and nights like we had known each other for a century.

No. It was not romance, we were not head over heels crazily in love. It was not only-sex thing. We were in love – or almost love. I believed it when you told me that we will always be together, no matter what.

It has been 3 years, 6 months and 12 days since that night, since I last saw your face or heard your voice or held your hand. 111,369,600 seconds of my life have been spent thinking about the words you said that night. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, when the glaring lights flash in my eyes once again. The sound of the breaking glass pierces though my ears. I turn to look at you and all I see is blood. No, don’t tell me that you love me. Breathe, god damn it, breathe!

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