It didn't take long to find a cup and breach the crowd of shoulders. Four minutes. Five. But when I returned from the yard with my beer I could see that the party had changed.
The guy with the wig of tight blond curls wasn't dancing in place by the newel post. He wasn't singing or pressing his microphone into my lips or anyone else's.
And you. Five-six, five-seven. Dark hair. Light eyes. Totally fucking gorgeous. You weren't sliding gumdrops out of a box and placing them singly into the hands of people around you in the front room. You weren't saying, Best hair. Best elbow. Best use of the word 'parched'.
I looked everywhere but you were gone.
Do you know Colin Marreth? I'd come in with him and his friends. And I knew a few others there too. But after I returned from the yard with my beer the party seemed tiresome, normal. I stood in the kitchen. I stood in the hallway. I stood in the room where you had been. I stood in the kitchen again.
Me: five-nine. Light brown hair. The one you said "Best eyebrow" to while handing a raspberry gumdrop.
I had a feeling that was arbitrary. The comment, not the gumdrop. I had a feeling you were trying to be careful to reveal no difference between how you were with me and how you were with others. I wasn't sure I was right. Was there a quiver in your eye as you looked at me, though? Before you spoke? The possibility floored me.
Please contact me if you're reading this. Here's what kills me: I didn't even want that beer. After you said "Best eyebrow" to me and put the red drop in my hand, I felt overmatched, like a cheap umbrella blown inside out. I walked right out of the house.
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