I’m From West Milford, NJ.

Satellite overhead image of New Jersey from Google Earth 2022

I should have known from the beginning things where going to be complicated. That was always how you described them. “It’s complicated” you’d say. And it was, because even though we already had our first date and we had already shared a bed many times, the picture on the nightstand of the cute couple sitting on Santa’s lap was not you and I. It was you and him. This wasn’t my bed to share. You weren’t my boyfriend to lie next to. I had always known I was the other man and I’ll never forget that New Year’s Eve when we were apart, me at a party in Soho and you at a party with your boyfriend texting back and forth how we wished we could be together to kiss at midnight. We couldn’t be together but that was the night you finally told him. You told him you had met someone else, you had met me. You told him it was time to separate. You told me how he cried and I remember not being able to look past my own joy to see how hurt he must have been.

We lived for the next few months playing house in the apt that had now become mine to share. The nightstand no longer held that picture of the couple with Santa and the bed finally felt like the place I belonged. But it didn’t last long. I could tell your interest was waning. You were texting a lot but this time it wasn’t to me. I remembered how you used to send me texts when you were with him. It broke my heart to realize that this was now happening to me. When I walked away you never stopped me. All I wanted was for you to come after me and tell me you wanted to be with me. You didn’t.

Instead I ran away, to Paris for the summer. A place everyone else goes to fall in love, I went to fall out of it. When I returned I felt like I had started to put things past me, started to move on. You did too. Now you live with your new boyfriend in the home you’ve made for yourselves.

But our history has begun to repeat itself.

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