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His silent departure no longer bothered me like it used to. The first time he appeared in my room did startle me and it took about two weeks and a few visits to a therapist to convince myself I wasn’t crazy. I turn back to the stack of cardboard boxes and resign myself to a day of unpacking.
My move to London about a month ago had been surprisingly smooth for a last minute decision. My family did not take the news well but they understood. My mother had been the first and only person, besides the therapist, that I told about seeing him again. It was my mothers idea that I seek the help of a therapist first and then when I found out about the dream marketing job that could take me across the Atlantic ocean and away from all my memories of him it was her who told me to go. I think she thought that I could leave him behind and I did for about a week and then he showed up again in my new apartment and I decided to stop running. His presence had become comforting even though I knew it was unhealthy.
The unpacking took the rest of the day and he didn’t come back until I returned from bring the boxes down to the recycling. He was sitting on my couch staring at the wall so I walked over and sat next to him without saying anything. We just sat there both staring at the wall, neither of us talking, neither of us needing to as we both just found comfort in the silence together. My stomach growling is what eventually broke the quiet and I got up to fix myself a sandwich in the kitchen.
“It is so strange never being hungry.” he says as I close the refrigerator. He has moved from his position on the couch to a stool at my kitchen island.
“I wish I knew what that felt like. I would be a lot skinnier.” I say trying to lighten his mood.
“You don’t need to be any skinnier you are beyond beautiful just the way you are. Besides you have lost weight this past month. I suppose that is my fault. You always forget to eat when I am around.” as I come around the counter and take the empty seat next to him. He turns so we are facing each other and smiles at my sandwich.
“Peanut butter & jelly?” He says with a smirk.
“Hey,” I say with a frown “ I haven’t had time to grocery shop and I only have this cause mom sent it from the states.”
He doesn’t say anything and continues to sit silently next to me as I force down the sandwich and a glass of water. Once I finish I clean the dishes and put them away. He follows me around the house as I get ready for bed. Tomorrow is Monday which means back to work so I take extra time setting out my outfit and organizing my bag. The firm I work for is full of young professionals, almost all from the UK and so I find myself attempting to blend in with them as much as possible. This means putting extra thought into my clothes and accessories so that I don’t scream American.
“You are working tomorrow?” he asks.
“Yes.” I say and see him frown.
I change into my pajamas and climb into bed, turning off the bedside lamp. He is barely visible in the dark laying atop the covers so I turn to lay on my side facing him. He reaches over and pulls the comforter up to cover my shoulder.
“Don’t go.” I say fighting to keep my eyes open.
He reaches out and tucks some stray hair behind my ear. I lean forward into his touch instinctively moving my hand up and over to where his chest should be and feel the top of my quilted comforter. I open my eyes and he’s gone.