Too many years ago I found a boy who stole my heart near immediately. The feeling of this, the overwhelming rush of emotion, betrayed everything I had once believed, or not believed. I was not a love at first sight kind of girl, too many crushed dreams and disappointments had long ago distinguished any belief in such happy ever after nonsense. I was on my way to jaded, one-way ticket in hand, building a wall around my heart brick by brick, day by day. He somehow managed to slip in-between a crack, pulling me asunder, barely catching me as I fell hard for him.

He held me close to him, his breath on my neck, his voice swirling somewhere in the tangling tendrils of my hair, and asked me to not leave just yet. At that moment I had no intention of leaving ever. But morning came, and with it a rush of fear. I turned away from him, tucking myself as far under the bed sheets as I could manage, and held my breath. Shadows encircled his bluish gray eyes as he looked at me in the early light. He asked me to look at him but my eyes would not meet his, not completely. I said something about a plane ticket and going home, promising to see him soon. He asked me why I was hiding from him and I forced a smile and said I was not hiding at all (I was).

He kissed me goodbye at the airport, both of us swearing it was really a see you soon (it wasn’t).

I heard some years later that he moved to LA, not too far from where I told myself I was home. I half-dreamed that I would wander into a coffee shop, or stop at a corner newsstand, when they were still prevalent, and I would see him there, as if he would still be waiting for me. He would take me in his arms again and kiss me, saying “there you are” into my hair. And this time, this time, I would not run away from him.

Baker Baker (live) :: Tori Amos

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