• Cheers.
    For all you are, and all I’m not. As I stifle a cough from a deep hit, I slowly shake my head. I never believed I would become someone who gets high to escape, much less to feel normal. I don’t know what I’m escaping anymore. Is it you, me, it? I realize when my mind is not preoccupied with the intricacies of weed it tends to revert back to its old ways: over analytical and nostalgic.

    I awoke with your image burned in my head but cannot remember a thing. It always comes back to you. Am I making something out of nothing? I’ve grown used to your indifference and no longer think anything of it. Five years is too long to chase after you, anyone. Still I tread behind, tracing your steps and grasping for your hand along the way. I can’t do this anymore, the back and forth. You have been a distraction for far too long. I shouldn’t even think about going near you anymore. But you know me all too well, and I always come around.
    “I’m here.” You call me two minutes before you reach my apartment as always, although I’m always ready and waiting.

    I peer out the window after hanging up and wait for your car to pull up. It takes about a minute before I see your black car with its missing headlight drive up to my apartment building, which sits on the corner of the street. I walk out of my apartment after locking up, pausing for a second to make sure the door is locked. New apartments always make me nervous. I walk down the freshly painted stairs and out of the building, letting the heavy door slam behind me, and approach your car. I open the door and slide in.

    Why do we always avoid eye contact at first glance? After driving for a few minutes I decide to break the ice and turn to noticeably stare at you. You pretend not to notice and keep your eyes on the road even after a minute or so. I take this time to look you over; it has been months after all. You wear a hat as usual, although a few curls peek out. I can tell you haven’t shaved in a few days, but I actually like that look on you. The passing car’s headlights illuminate your face every few seconds and I can see you haven’t changed a bit. I am convinced you will always retain your boyish good looks; the same gleam in your eyes will shine years from now. Your lips magnetize my eyes, and I drown in their softness for a while, my mind wandering.
    “Where we goin?” you ask me, as if I have any ideas. But the question does break my stare.
    It seems like the obvious, thoughtless answer. We head in the direction of the bar we usually settle for and I’m relieved to not have to think of somewhere to go. I make an effort to make small talk until we get to the bar.

    “How’s work?” I ask, even though I already know the answer.

    “I got a promotion.”
    Oh, I guess I didn’t know that. Well, that was my try. It’s your turn. But I know better by now, and I know you can easily be silent the whole ride. That kills me; I’m as chatty as they come. I turn to look out the window to wait you out, hoping the scenery will provide some entertainment or distraction. I never realized how many times we have gone to this bar, or taken the same route, for that matter, until tonight. We get off at the usual exit and turn down the little side street you claim to be your discovery though we always run into traffic. We fly down a few blocks and make a sharp turn that makes me clutch the seat as I slide to the side.

    “Where’s the fire?” I ask, and you shoot me a quick look but don’t verbally say anything.
    We pull into the bar and once inside order the usual drinks: beer for him and vodka lemonade for her. The usual initial awkwardness is there, and we somehow get into a conversation about my apparent sluttiness. You know my buttons well by now and you enjoying pushing them.
    “I just like to have fun with you…” you later tell me. I know this by now and usually play along. I usually end up finding out random interesting tidbits about your feelings towards me. It’s usually entertaining, to say the least. Three drinks later both of our guards are down and we openly flirt as we become more relaxed and open. You finally get up to go to the bathroom, giving me a chance to collect my thoughts.
    I never ask about your girlfriend, although you pull the same move I do. Nonchalantly bringing her up in random conversation that would be trivial without the mention of her. It only verifies that you have a girlfriend, and I never ask anything and quickly forget. But I am now getting the undeniable urge to get an update on the girlfriend situation. I look behind me towards the men’s bathroom and anxiously wait for you to step out all while I rehearse the question in my head. I feel a buzz go off on my lap and look down, startled. I forget my paranoia makes me leave my purse on it, and it takes me a minute to realize the buzzing is my phone. No more drinks for me. I delve my head into my purse to search for my phone, and quickly slide it open once I find it underneath my wallet
    . He called.