5 long seconds too short

The ginger across from me was fixing her hair when I noticed tattooed on the inside of her arm

“what will your verse be?”

Our eyes met and there was nothing either of us could do to avoid being the only ones on the crowded bus

I knew right away she grew up pining for a sister

I knew that the person who first convinced her she was beautiful made her realize her name Emery is not dumb but perfect

would be the first person to crush her and leave for
easier love

I knew she held her mother’s hands and watched her slip away

Sinking into that bed

I knew she still had nibble marks on her favorite book and would caress them with her fingertips remembering, hating herself for being angry when her dog did that.

I knew she just got a promotion but regretted all the things she had to do to get there

And I knew she wanted me to help her feel less lost, to accept her sneeze, to never lose patience as she paints

her toenails,

can’t decide where to eat.

We could shoot hoops and ride skateboards and have tater tots with breakfast and

never have to make it weird.

But she also knows.

I’m already


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