by Garrett Houghton
We met. You were from up North. I thought you were from South Carolina. I told you so. You were offended by that thought. You told me so. We were in a foreign country. We sat next to each other in class. I thought you were pretty. I didn’t say much. I just doodled in my notebook. You asked me for a piece of paper. I gave you a piece of paper and asked for your name. You told me your name and smiled. I smiled and doodled more. We got coffee. I showed you a map. We talked about traveling. I told you I wanted to bike to another country. You said you wanted to come.
We went on the trip together. Some friends came. We got lost. We got found. Then we got lost again. We ended up taking the train with our bikes on board. We went out. We got drunk. You peed in a palace garden. I laughed. We drank some more.
We went back to class. We were inseparable. We went to the coffee shop. You ordered a quiche. I ordered a bagel. We laughed. We touched. We held hands walking back to your apartment. I felt nervous. I felt happy. I felt like I had found something that I wasn’t supposed to find. I let my hand linger on your hand. You didn’t mind. I smiled. We went to your room. We kissed.
We woke up the next morning. You made coffee. I made eggs. We held each other as the stove heated up. We went to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth. You brushed your hair. The mirror reflected our faces. I looked at you. You blushed and looked down.
We spent the next four months together. We traveled. We smoked. We danced. We drank. We ate. We slept. We woke up. We fell back asleep. We woke up again but decided to stay in bed. We liked to stay in bed. We put clothes on. We walked to the museum. You looked at the pictures. I looked at you. We went to the bookstore. I looked at the books. You looked at me. We went to a bar. You ordered a drink. You played with your hair. We said we wanted to stay together. We sat in the back. We carved our initials into a table. We rode the train to your apartment.
We woke up. I said goodbye. You said good luck. I packed all of my stuff. You cried. I said I’d see you soon. I kissed you. Then I got on a bus. Then I got on a plane. Then I flew over water. Then I flew over land. I got off the plane. I went to the airport coffee shop. I bought a coffee. I grabbed my credit card and a piece of paper fell out. I picked it up. You wrote that you loved me.
We talked on the phone. We talked online. We emailed each other pictures. I laughed. You said you missed me. I missed you. We texted. I went on a run. I thought about you. Days passed by. I counted them. I listened to music. I read a book. I called you. We talked.
You got on a plane. You flew to me. We met at my apartment. We slept on an air mattress. We walked around the city. I bought you flowers. You kissed me. We went to a park. We sat on the grass. We looked at the sky. I said I loved you. You said it back. We didn’t speak. I was nervous. I almost hyperventilated. You laughed. I laughed. We got up. We went back to my apartment.
We spent a week together. I didn’t want you to leave. You said you had to. You cried. I tried not to. You got on a plane. You flew over water. You landed. I called you. You said bonjour. You laughed. I went for a walk. Months went by. I missed you.
You sent me an email. It was my birthday. I got drunk. I wished you were there. I went to bed. I sent you an email. It was your birthday. You got drunk. You cried. I wished I were there.
More months went by. We talked. We fought. We made up. We fought some more. You got on a plane. You flew over water. You landed. You took a train. I met you at the train station. I was nervous. I saw you first. We hugged. I took your luggage. We hailed a cab. We took it to my apartment. We talked. We kissed. I looked at you. You smiled. You were a mystery.
You still are.
Garrett Houghton is a Kansas transplant who currently lives and writes in New York. His nonfiction work has appeared in VICE Magazine, MTV, The Daily Rind, Thought Catalog, and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. To read more visit his website.