Chapter Three

I didn't talk to you for three days.

I'd drive past you in the parking lot during lunch and you'd be sitting on the edge of someone's truck bed, legs dangling over the edge, hiding a cigarette with your palm cupped against your face. You'd trace out my eyes from behind your sunglasses and smile, not showing your teeth, and my stomach would drop to my toes and I'd be able to breathe again, at least for a little while.

I didn't know if I'd done something wrong and a small part of me wished I'd had, just to have the chance to talk to you. You were the air, all-encompassing, and I was the nicotine, burning through your healthy lungs, dissolving them into black piles of ash.