I woke up this morning fuzzier than usual.

It's easier to remember in my sleep but the memories are now tied with hopefulness--your hopefulness. Your jacket was cold on the outside as I hugged you, and I remember your body warm as I slipped my hand in and tried to squeeze. I remember you tried to kiss me goodbye and I moved from it as I sobbed. I didn't want to miss that kiss but still I moved.

The journey alone has been quiet. You text me or email me or my own brain will write your words for me...

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The gate closed behind them. It was a screen door, really. The three stairs led up to the kitchen; they stood and talked for a few minutes. His hand brushed her neck, in his ever-so-charming way. She wanted to believe him this time, that this time he wasn't the boy who held scissors to her neck, or threatened her so many times before. She wanted to be friendly, and not kick him out that night in February. He was charming, and deadly. Forceful, and mean. With her ponytail in his hand, he covered her mouth, her parents just upstairs. His...

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We stood watching lights of a city I would soon leave behind. Atop the hotel roof, we clung to each other on my last night in Cleveland. The triangle-shaped Rock Hall was lit beautifully. The river below, the stadium where the Browns played just a short ways away. It had been an incredibly hot day for Ohio; yet we held hands the entire day. Woke up with fans blasting, drinking ice water that had turned lukewarm overnight. My feet stuck to his hard wood floors, making squeaking noises as I walked to the kitchen in my summer pajamas; a night...

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She sat cold in her bedroom; freezing. Holding the book to her chest like she couldn't let it go. That book held all of her secrets. Good and bad, ones that could even get her, and some others arrested.

She knew she had to pull herself together; at this point she was sobbing, thinking of everything that was going on in her life, why she was sitting in a nightshirt in the 60 degree house when it was -8 outside, when she could be bundled up somewhere else where it was actually warm outside.

She opened her journal for some...

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Ridiculous. I've tried to write to you probably 30 times since you moved away. I have unfinished letters, words stuck in my head, of a million different ways to say the same thing.

In April I wrote a letter to you in my head on the car ride home from the mountains. Then I went home and typed it up; deleted it, then pulled it out of the 'recycle bin' on my desktop.

Now it's January, the only thing I ever sent was an 'I Miss You' card with a dog on it that looked incredibly sad and I have...

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"I can't sleep with her next to me," I'd protested.

And, predictably, Elsa had looked wounded and said, "Love me, love my cat."

So I loved her cat. I mean, how could I not?

And a few days later:

"I can't sleep with the TV on," I said. "I'm sorry. I've tried."

"Okay, Julie," said Elsa reasonably. "That's fair."

And she turned the TV off, even though that got her to sleep quickets.

And a few days later:

"I can't sleep," I said. "It's just a thing. Go back to bed."

And she looked at me, and then she went...

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