• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 02
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At a party, someone told me the past and the future couldn’t cause me pain. It was my memory and my imagination that were hurting me. The kind of conversation that could only happen with a stranger, at 2am in a noisy kitchen.

Head tilted, he explained this calmly, his lips close to my ear. A voice somehow both gritty and soft. Salt on a heavy snowfall.

I looked down, letting my eyes get lost in the lace of my dress. Looked up, holding his blue gaze, hot and cold. Flexed onto my tiptoes and leaned in, knowing my words smelled like red wine. “How do you know I’m hurting, anyway?”

Someone has a name. I loved him profoundly and pointlessly. It’s a name that only gets bolder and louder the further I try to push it from my head.

“Did you know every time you remember something, you’re actually remembering the last time you remembered it?” It was me who said this. Another spill of early hours words, knotted in his duvet, caught in a shard of streetlight through his dirty window. He didn’t have curtains to draw. His eyes were closed, dark curls fanned against the pillow. A half-asleep nod, a finger tracing the edge of my face and settling against my lower lip.

At work, I cut the cable ties holding the stack of papers. I collect the pertinent headlines, type them up, circulate them to a mailing list of hundreds of people who probably won’t have time to read them.

When I’ve clicked send, I stare down at my fingertips. Blurred dark by newsprint. I reach for my notebook and leave a black smear on the page. A jolt from schooldays hits me, biro letters carefully printed, hearts painstakingly inked, I.D.S.T. If Deleted Still True.