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Taylor Swift's song starts with seagulls. And mine starts with the sound of the N, the wrong yellow-logo'd train that took me a few stops too far for the first date.

There’s smooth jazz, beautiful vocals, and the soft clank of my cube against glass in my Old Fashioned. There’s nervous laughter and “Can I please kiss you now?” before we’ve finished the first round. It’s one singular voice singing happy birthday to me but two spoons hitting the china to share the sweetness.

There's the sound of brie cheese sizzling on bread in the air fryer. Of glasses of wine being poured one after the other. There's the voice of ET going "ouch" several times as his finger lights up. There's giggling, and lots, lots of chatter only to be interrupted by kisses between punch lines.

There's the ceramic dishes hitting the sink the next morning because we couldn't be bothered to clean up sooner. There's the ping of rings being picked up off the coffee table and back onto my fingers. Paper towels are ripped to cushion my to-go breakfast while shoes are being slid on, hitting the floor, and out the door with the click of its lock.

Screws, nails, bed frame pieces, and a shotty fan are all clanking around my loft. It's hot, and we say it every fifteen seconds. Cardboard boxes are slid around the freshly cleaned wooden floor. There's no carpet, every step is echoed. There's more chatter, but as a much slower and more serious pace than before. Noah Kahan is 80% of the playlist from the early afternoon to late evening.

How have you been and are you bored yet?

The weather ain't been bad

If you're into masochistic bullshit.

And then there's the buzz of my apartment intercom. There are slow steps up with sneakers that never come off and a weak smile as an accessory. Finally, a break in the tension with genuine laughter - I'm joking about sending a birthday message post-separation. "Toxic, but I'll welcome it" rings. We have the Spotify blend playing as softly as our voices. We skip "Is It Over Now?" as we both know the answer.

We have the smooch of my favorite kiss between us..just before the door's weight hits the lockset with the strength it's been pulled with. It's the closing note of our song.

And then it's silent.

It's the silence of going to bed that night without a message, without a hauki, without a song playing, without a show on my laptop. It's the stillness of unfollowing each other across every platform we've intertwined ourselves on. There's the emptiness of my mailbox while I'm awaiting a response from the officially unanswered birthday card. There's the thought of "is he gonna be there?" when booking concert tickets, or heading to cocktail bars, or in airports that are mute to all except my mind.

But after the noiselessness of the story, there's a silent action with the loudest communication.


It's the "you do not get to see my life when you have walked out of it". It's the "I miss you, and I can't see your name on my phone this way". It's the "I'm tired of caring when you seemingly don't".

It’s the frozen thumb over that button. Over and over. It’s the tap of my acrylic nail before the print of my thumb solidifies my decision. It’s over now.


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