When we come home, I’ll be the one with freckles—still splashed across a childlike, joyfully dimpled face—who dances away from her past with every banjo-encouraged step.
I’ll be the one who smiles and hugs and laughs with the strangers she’s finally remembering as her own, a tribe reunited. I’ll be the one who pauses in the middle of that crowded space, a look of equal-parts-concern and equal-parts-elation for the happiness that she’s been gifted tonight.
When I come home to you, you’ll see a girl—nameless and faceless—before you see your oldest, dearest, somehow-all-grown-up friend. You’ll react to a liberated stride in that bar room before you recognize a smile.
When you see a familiar gaze attached to this being you’ve so confidently approached, you’ll celebrate inside before you touch her shoulder. And though you’ll never know the spinning eternity I experienced in the moment I faced you, I’ll never stop trying to describe it—an entire decade of lost happiness surging through an unsuspecting heart.
I just can’t believe it was you.
When we come home to each other, we’ll entertain “forever” in that first embrace—holding lifetimes warm between pressed torsos, holding memories tight between clenched fists and eyes, squeezing the very breath of this impossibly beautiful moment as if it’ll somehow slow time.
When we return to the safe space of home, we’ll have no idea what we’re actually returning to—the second chance; the worthy fight we’ll embrace in the years to come.
When we finally make it to that perfect day, let your heart move you across that well-worn hardwood floor.
Let the ancient memory of me guide you home. To us. To love. To the moon… and back.