Full Stop

Then the feelings just stopped. Coldness seeped into everything, not the shivering-to-the-bone kind, the clinical kind. The detachment that comes from the complete failing of empathy, that emptiness only the naturally empathetic can feel after they’ve been burned for so long that distance became the only way to survive…the only way to preserve sanity. But for those of us who feel that strongly, that deeply, we get lost in that distance. It consumes us.

Alone, but not lonely…yet.

Maybe this should have been a hint, but it’s hard to see the expanse of the fog from your heartbreak from

So here I am. Not free, but not trapped anymore. But trapped all the same by that detached clinical commitment to a reputation, an ideal, an ethical code that keeps me on the edge; unable to explore those deep brown eyes challenging my resolve from across the table even though I know what came before is over. I know we’re over, but I can’t move on.

I’m an oak, when there is absolutely no reason to be.

She intrigues me, quick wit, round for round, dark eyes drawing me in. I could get lost forever. I know where this is going. I know why we’re both still here when everyone else has gone. She knows too, the tell-tale signs from her legs bumping mine, her fingers tracing the length of my arm as we try to hear each other over the jukebox. It’s always the smart ones, the quick ones, the deep ones…then the bartender kicks us out because it’s 02:30.

We both know the score. I know her heartbreak, she knows mine. We’re arm in arm, carrying each other back to the hotel. We both have to work in the morning — she has to plot the route, and I have to fly it. We sneak back down the hallway trying not to giggle and wake our colleagues. It couldn’t be more cliché. It’s the perfection that only coincidence can cause. Coincidence, or something far more sinister.

I know what came before is over. I know we are done. I know I need to move on, but my mind just can’t reconcile “over.” The feelings stopped, and we parted ways, but the moment I entertain the possibility of feeling again…there you are.

And it all crumbles before it even starts.

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So this is how it feels.

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