I think you’re following me, and closing in fast. I still can’t confirm, but I have a sense.

For a while I was almost certain you’d left town without a goodbye. And that I missed that perfectly important moment where you were sitting on the tailgate of a U-Haul truck, fingering the plastic beaded necklace I made you in summer camp, and secretly waiting for me to kiss you on the cheek and pedal my bicycle away like a drunk comet. But I moved too slow, and you moved a pen pal’s distance away. I walked around, with all that loss squishing loudly in my sneakers.

But I was wrong. Maybe your dad decided it would be healthier if you lived back home with your mom, since he’s always traveling to Berlin and Zurich for business. Because I can feel your presence is near. Did you burst from the cab? Are you running in the rain, heading straight for my house? Are you plotting your entrance? Are you crafting the perfectly mawkish line that will make all of this grief seem worth it, and more tiny than a bug bite? Something like, “I was here all along,” while pushing a glitter-tipped finger into the center of my Pixies t-shirt. Are you? Because I can smell your perfume. I’m breathing it in, and this time I’m holding it.

I’ll be here, typing away, hoping for the best. Please, just keep running.

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