yes, girls like me really do exist, she says, as he’s throwing it all away. he looks through dark eyes, burning through her back as she’s walking, running, pushing it all away. you’ll always be here, waiting, like you were tonight, her boots slam against the brick, walking faster. scarf wound tightly around her mouth, he doesn’t deserve to see her lips quiver, any light that reflects off her eyes, positioning herself in the shadow. he grabs her hand and pulls her closer. pointing her eyes up, the streetlight scene looked so much better on paper, these colors don’t sparkle. aren’t beautiful. and she thinks of the sweater, their letters, her heart, that’s still at his place while he’s pleading. she thinks she has to pick those up, she starts crying about that picture she saw the other day, no, has nothing to do with him. she hopes he knows, he knows she’s shut down. this has never worked, with her. she rather get lost within her own thoughts than voice whatever’s going on in that pretty head of hers. he’s kicked down the door, he’s felt her, real, only a handful of times. his shirt she loves to sleep in, she’ll give that back, his pen, his heart already slipped through her fingers. she doesn’t know what it feels like. what that wind meant during summer, tasting the salt on his skin. flash. it’s going to rain and their hands, fingers intertwined lay in a puddle of the plush grass. he remembers this, suddenly, and misses her, already. it seems their hands still lay there, buried now from all this mud, she’s thinking it always was a combination of her willingness to leave and her urge to stay. hopping on that plane, writing in the lonely airport, she loved those moments without him. she’ll always move fast, always love these notes more than her heart can really bear. and he’ll always wish he could hear what she hears, feel what she feels when those chords are transfusing through her. will anyone, any one? she closes her eyes and looks— really at him, through him. for the first time in years. she sees some parts of the man he once was, she knows the pieces missing are arranged clumsily within her own, now. the corners don’t match, the vision all wrong. why can’t she make them fit, the edges worn and soft from age. eyes open and she sees you in every one of these paintings. sees us. reads the words they create together, she swears she wrote that. touching the vanilla canvas, parchment paper crumbles from the erase marks, just too many. she had to feel with her fingertips, she remembers now. they wrote this, a minute reel clicking and shifting behind every corner. through every blank wall. she sees.