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By seventhave


Emily makes love like she's drowning — grasping, clawing at the body above her, needing something tangible to hold onto to keep afloat. Her boyfriend, William, has always found this passionate. Alex has always found it desperate, something to hate about Emily, to keep her detached

[When we made love, you whispered my name. My real name. It stings when he says 'Emily,' when I'm supposed to hear him as I heard you, when I'm supposed to respond as I responded to you.]

He says he loves her, Emily. That he wants her to meet his family, and, maybe, he could meet hers. She'd told him of a large family — parents, four siblings — most still in Tulsa, with families of their own, that she'd visit on occasion. Alex resented that too, the big, close family. She had her mother, yes, but that was it, now. Her father had died years ago of a heart attack and she had lost her only brother when they were children to an accident.

[I've never come with William, even after all these times of being together. I feel like I'm betraying you if I do. If I get close, I close my eyes and wonder about the new ADA and I imagine what he or she must be doing wrong. Because they are not me.]

She slips out of the bed, silently, after William has fallen asleep and writes another letter that won't be sent, filled more with questions and professions for a journal entry than a love letter.

When she's finished, she folds it in thirds and places it in an envelope. She writes Emily's initials and a return address — a post office box. She wonders who she has become.

She stands and goes to the bed where William is still asleep. She wakes him, gently, her fingertips on the skin at back of his neck [where I have touched you], where he is most sensitive. He has a long, straight scar there from a childhood surgery that buries itself deep into his hair.

"I can't take you to Tulsa," Emily tells him, softly.

"What?" Sleep fills his voice, makes it rough.

She closes her eyes. [I see your face. Only you.] "And I can't meet your parents."

The End

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