She’s different this time. She assures herself, ignoring the restlessness that tugs at her pant leg, like a spoiled brat begging for attention.
He’s different this time. He whispers at his brokenness, with the part of himself who pretends to be whole.
It’ll be different this time. They sing-song, their clasped hands swinging, determined to be louder than the god damn voices asking them if this is all there is. And, forever?
Time ticks faster and the people who shouldn’t have a say, but always have something to say, urge them to hurry – there’s a family to be made! So, they run full speed towards their future – a stale fate, camouflaged in pretty hope, but ready to pounce just the same. They don’t foresee it, because they know better than to look that far ahead. (And, because it’s camouflaged.)
Their undoing is the same. Afraid to start over, they dance in circles to the same song. They buy time and make excuses, saying things, like, “It could be so good if only we tried harder! And worked less!” But, their insides, wise enough to see that love shouldn’t be so hard, refuse to listen. And, so, their eyes keep wandering above and beyond what’s right in front of them, sometimes by less than an inch.
Finally, they stall out.
The goodbye looks the same. It’s bloody and takes longer than it should. There are points to be made, you know? They throw the guilt back and forth like a hot potato, because it always has to be someone’s fault – it can never just be.
It’s not you, it’s me.
No, it’s me. It’s always me.
No, really, it’s me.
(It’s always you.)
With no fight left, they concede. Shaking hands, and murmuring something about deserving more and only living once, they pick up their baggage and walk away.
Only one of them looks back.
Their dreams look different this time. They are certain that what they’re looking for – this thing that they cannot name – is out there and waiting for them. And, so they wait, patiently and without regret.
The beginning is the same. Each wearing the coolest version of themselves, they smile, and say, “Hey what’s going on it’s good to meet you.” Only, because that sounds better than looking at a each other and yelling run.
They start to dance, and the song sounds familiar.