Smudged 

I wish you would come home.

I’m scared.

The lights are on and the welcome mat is set just for you.

Well, that dream never came true and now I’m pacing back and forth down the alley looking for you.

—–

I remember that one crisp, fall, breezy day at the end of the year.

With one foot in front of the other, I thought about calling you.

But, you probably didn’t want to hear from me anyway.

With hesitation, I picked up the phone.

After four rings, I let you know my parents were going to be in town the following week.

I craved you’d show up, but you proved me wrong again.

You didn’t care about my family or my skyscraper expectations.

I didn’t give a damn about your schedule, your wife’s parents coming into town or your work commitments.

I guess I was naive and put too much trust in you.

I thought we were neighbors, but suspected we were strangers.

—–

The next day, you pulled up to the brick building.

You surprised me, which I thought wasn’t in your vocabulary.

But you did it. You won the spelling bee.

—–

Fifteen months later and my heart is still smudged, but there’s less clutter.

I didn’t realize the messiness of my disposition then — but I do now.

You aren’t within walking distance anymore, but the lights are still on at home.

My expectations are looking more like apartment-sized baby houses and you have a blooming family.

I’m no longer pacing the streets to mask my fears.

—–

As I sit here tonight with a puppy dog and a wife of my own, I’m reminded of who you might still think I am.

But, I’m different now and don’t need your acceptance.

I guess you could say we both discovered what it really means to feel at home.

Thank you for picking up the phone the other day.

Thank you for standing by my side, even when I’m the most fragile.

And most of all, thank you for not bolting.

Do you want to meet at the corner of 19th and Portland tomorrow?

 

 

 

 

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