Things We Did Before Falling Out Of Love


You kissed me in a bar. You kissed me on the street. You kissed me on the pavement outside of my apartment. You texted me good night. I texted you unintelligible letters.

You kissed me in a Halloween costume. You kissed me in your bed. You kissed my naked skin and lent me money for a cab ride home. You texted me, “I had a good time.” I texted you nothing back.

You bought a red and white striped sweater that I liked. I cut your hair. You bought me an AC Newman CD from the used record shop around the corner. You slept in my bed more nights than not.

When the weather was bad, you got us Vietnamese take out from the Pho shop down the road. We scrounged pennies to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Captain Morgan’s spiced rum. I kissed you with fervor when I was drunk. You walked me home in the cold.

I went away. We said we’d make the distance work. We didn’t make it work.

I took up kickboxing. You met someone else.

I came back in the wintertime. We took a trip to Niagara Falls. You held my hand on the bus ride home. You said it was like we’d never left. We put a Christmas tree up in my apartment with the hardwood floors. You said you loved me. We ordered pizza and had sex long into the night.

I taught you how to rock climb. You taught me how to love. On the sunny days we packed up bags with flashlights and trail mix and chalk bags and emergency first aid kits and we headed out to nowhere for weekends at a time. You said, “Let’s move to a cabin in the woods,” I said, “Yes,” and we kissed inside our four-person tent like we were the only two people on earth.

You introduced me to your parents. I introduced you to my past. We stripped all the mistakes from our skin and we swore never to tell each others secrets. I watched movies that I didn’t even like for you. You told me that you hoped we’d die at ninety-five years old, in a tragic car accident with our hands clasped together, so that we never had to live in a world without each other.

We moved into the apartment with only one window. We bought black sheets to stretch over the bed. We fucked on the counters. We fucked on the dryer. We fucked on the living room floor. You said you’d work eighty hours a week if you had to, and sometimes you did. I did too.

We took vacations. We were the envy of our friends. We took pictures of ourselves with tanned skin, holding coconut drinks and kissing one another on exotic foreign beaches. We laughed at ourselves for being average. We took another sip and let it slide.

We let the seasons change. We let each other change, into people we didn’t always know. We got high and reveled in each other’s bodies. We got low and kissed the sadness from our skin. On the days when things were bad, I hid each knife in the apartment before I left for work. On the days when things were good, we got wine drunk and promised all of our tomorrows to each other.

You kissed me in the car. You kissed me at the doctor’s office. You kissed me with your eyes all lit up and terrified of all the tomorrows and maybes. When the cold came, we moved in closer to each other. We swore that we’d make it okay. We swore that the spring would come someday.

When the earth thawed, we planted flowers in rows outside our house. I caught you staring, in the daytime, at the wild, rambling roads that used to beckon you home. Your mother said the colour had returned to your skin and I stopped hiding the knives in the back of the pantry when I left early for work. You told me you believed people could save one another. You kissed me slowly. I kissed you hard. You kissed me in the dirt and on the concrete and in the early morning hours when the sun had barely risen.

You said, “I’m never going to fall out of love with you.”

I told you, “Me too.”