We made it back to your building at 5:17 AM,
holding hands and sharing the same bottle of wine,
running across the lobby,
trying not to be seen,
and giggling to ourselves with red, blushing cheeks.
The elevator couldn’t decide
between smelling like intoxicated students
or smelling like your hair;
a cheap cherry-bomb shampoo from Asia
I bought for you as a little inside-joke
about your least-favourite Tyler, The Creator album.
Taking turns sipping the wine,
arms latchted on to each other
and holding tight
as if it’s what we once were.
We made it back to your floor at 5:35 AM.
Going up 4 storeys had never felt so long to me before
but I’ve found that time tends to go slowly
when you’re just living for the moment
— like a late-night with old college friends,
walks back home with your favourite album playing,
or catching up with your best-friend.
We made it back to your flat at 5:38 AM.
Gradually undoing our layers of reticence,
and reminding ourselves about our little inside-jokes
from the years we’ve known each other,
just in case we might’ve lost them
to our time away from each other
or to our mutual intoxication.
Laughing about our Uber tonight
then making fun of your flatmate who’s never there at night
and always receives obscure packages through the mail in the morning.
We must’ve been so loud,
thank God your flat was sound-proof.
I played some Curtis Mayfield songs on your phone
as you prepared some toast and coffee for us.
We were always too restless to sleep at this time anyways,
remember how we’d be up this late around this time last year too?
life was different when we were underage
— forbidden from buying our own alcohol or visiting clubs,
yet our souls managed to stay the same together.
The morning was slowly climbing up your window
I could see its head peek through the gap in your curtain
to see what we were still doing this late at night
— it probably recognised us too;
our familiar howls of insobriety
and constant celebrations of youth.
I wonder if it hated us.
Seconds and minutes weren’t an issue
but rather the calendar which showed me
the few days you had left here
and the several months you’d be away.
I checked that calendar routinely
before I slept and after I woke up,
you’ll just never know.
We let our secrets fall on your bed again.
They found new homes between our strands of hair
and our lips which burnt of Merlot and Chardonnay.
The sight of you in front of me,
the scent of cherry-bomb shampoo,
the sound of Curtis Mayfield’s music,
the lingering taste of wine on your lips,
and the touch of your skin,
made me remember all the times we were together,
and forget about the cold days, long nights without you.
All the packets of cigarettes in the morning
and boxes of beer bottles in the afternoon
trying to describe you to my friends and family
as if you were a long, crazy dream I had.
People either got sick of it or didn’t really care,
so I always found myself rolling in the backseats of my friends’ cars
like the bottle of wine on your floor.
The reminiscent feeling overwhelmed me.
I shed a single tear and you somehow noticed.
You asked me why and I told you it was nothing,
“hard to explain, just a rush of nostalgia and stuff, I guess”
you laughed then said I haven’t changed,
I laughed too, agreed and replied “you too”,
but if only you really knew
— no one stays the same.
I wonder if she checks her calendar as much as I do.
I made it back to my home at 7:20 AM.