We played Monopoly in the student center and smoked a joint. I fell in love with you in that moment. You were wearing a beige turtleneck sweater. Your hair in dreads, pulled back by a thick cotton band. Your face, symmetrical; your laugh, contagious; your smile, young.

I haven’t written about you in a long time, but I used to. I have journals and journals filled with our history. Stories we shared and created together. Dreams we slept with together. If I printed it all up – well, the world would see all of our highs and lows, passion and drama, insecurities and fears. What they would see would be us at the age of 18 learning about people, relationships, emotions, sex and love. If they read it they would grow along with us from age 18 to 26. Then they’d see heartache until 27 and then finally some sort of peace. But at the age of 30 for me and 32 for you they would be as heartbroken as I am now.

I stopped writing about us because I had to move on. I stopped writing because if I kept writing all it would do would bring me back to your beige turtleneck sweater. But now all I want to do is go back to the student center and play Monopoly. All I want to do is go back.

There are these flashes of memories that spin like a Ferris wheel in my mind, encounters that I had pushed hard against to forget, and for a while I had thought were gone. It scared me that I couldn’t remember you, but pretended it was okay. You know, to heal. I had to create boundaries, borders and walls. I had to ignore you, turn you into a stranger. Because after being with you for seven ½ years – how else was I supposed to move on?

When I say I want to go back, I don’t mean to redo our past. What I want is to go back so that I can be with you just one more time. Pick any kind of moment, and I would go back to it. I would go back to fighting with you in the parking lot by Pongos. I would go back to laying on the beach with you in Valencia. I would go back to getting lost in the parks in Costa Rica. I would go back to helping you with your senior project. I would go back to silence with you. I would go back to any time.

I break down. I lay on the floor in the fetal position and I cry. I sob. I hurt. At the right moment we would grow up. And it would be then that we would come back together again. We had said it aloud and to ourselves. I grab my stomach because I feel the need to vomit. The possibility of our future is gone. I always thought we would exist in each others life forever.

I push myself up off the floor and make my way to the bathroom. I look at my reflection in the mirror, then I start to rub the wooden ring that you have the match to.  I have 50 or 60 years that I will have to live without you.

I want to go back to Park Place or Boardwalk. I don’t want to Pass Go. I want to go back.

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  • Christi Mueller

    Very touching and compelling, and yet very hard to read at the same time. It’s amazing how sometimes things that are so beautiful can come from something so tragic and regrettable.

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