Overnight bus rides, wandering through city streets, unfamiliar faces, and, amongst them all, you. I barely know you, but I feel you in my heart. I would like to remember the way it feels to rest my head on your chest, or to have your eyes break me down from across the dinner table. I wish for a way to preserve such moments, to be able to return to them from time to time. You are continents away, speaking a different language, surrounded by a culture that I never learned to love. Despite my affinity for traveling alone, I wish you were here. I am struggling to find the balance between letting you know that I think of you often, and not showing how much I care. I am afraid that if you realize how hard I’ve fallen, I will lose you.

Yesterday someone kissed me for the first time since I last saw you. He was charming and objectively handsome, and he asked why I was not receptive to his affection. I told him the truth, and he said he could feel that my head and heart were elsewhere. A part of me wishes they were not; I am a realist, not an optimist. But when I close my eyes I am back on that sofa, and you, slowly tracing your fingers over the lifelines on my palms. You look at me the way no one looks at me, and then you say something I did not know I had been waiting to hear. I want to go back to the night we drank too much red wine, after which I was probably a bit too honest. I want to shamelessly watch as you get dressed in the morning, just once more. I remember these things, and I cannot help but hope.

You are lovely, in desperate need of some moral corruption, and you care just the right amount. You have one of those smiles that are few and far in between, one that warms the room and puts people at ease. Your energy is contagious and you are humble despite your intelligence. You make me want to be the best version of myself, a challenge I would embrace with open arms.

It is Tuesday morning. We are in your car, the radio humming music that coincides with our thoughts almost too well. Your hand is on my thigh, your dark skin contrasting against mine. Our eyes meet and you offer me a guilty pout. For more than a moment, I consider letting my plane ticket go to waste: my destination is not going anywhere, but I cannot assuredly say the same about you. The thought tears at my heart strings. You press your lips to mine, and I pray it is not for the last time.

And I as I descend through the clouds back to the ground, against the time caused by the rotation of the Earth, it is still Tuesday morning.