I open the cardboard lid and place photos, notebooks and last year's smiles away at the very bottom of the box. They're either joining the rest of boxes for the new house or in the charity pile. How do I know what memory to keep or not when guilt dirties all the days of sun with smog? Guilt. Hatred. Jealousy. All ugly emotions that I will crumble into paper and throw away.
That is why I'm leaving.
No matter how pretty the words I use to explain to friends, the true reason as to why I'm leaving is because I can't stand how ugly I've become. I will leave him when I still have the logic to. Because we both know that this cannot continue any longer. Smiles that I can only see. Secret glances. Touch lingering longer than needed. My fingers brush through the fur of the plush dog he gave me. I stare at its honest eyes. He was always like a large puppy. He kept me warm on rainy days. He made me laugh when I felt like crying. He liked to sleep on my lap. He was always gentle. Always.
He loved me like family.
But I secretly wanted him all to myself. I won't say those three words. Feelings are too complicated to be broken down to merely three words. I was happy for him to be my friend but always I cringed at her name on his lips. Feelings are complicated. So I still don't know how to describe my feelings for him. All I know is that things used to be simple and now they're not. And that his smiles were enough.
I wonder, if they still are?
I kiss the nose of the dog and imagine for a second that it's him. I gently cushion him between my other toys in the charity box and close the lid. I'm glad that I met him. All those years of memories will fill me a lifetime. All those laughter will sing me asleep on quiet nights. I won't forget him. He who is more than a friend.
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