Tell Me.

“Have we met before?”

“No, because I don’t believe in past lives.”

“Then how is it you already know too much?”

“Tell me.”

And that was it. I told you everything. Maybe I told you too much. Maybe I gave it all away. Open-book syndrome, they say. We sat down, across from each other, the wind blowing outside, and it was noisy. I had to look you straight in the eye and tell you what I feared telling you the most. And you said you already knew.

I remember that night, even though my memory betrays me, lies to me, deceives me. I could have made it all up.

You had that drink they used to sell at Starbucks years ago, I forget the name. Caramel hot chocolate, was it? Your caramel curls, inquisitive eyes, nervous laughter, and me, talking about how all I wanted in life was to be a professor. When I said it out loud, my voice cracked.

“You will be,” you said, smiling at me, like I was the only person in the world with a dream.

“I love how optimistic you are. But I am a realist. It’s all downhill with me. Can’t we just accept it?”

“You’re too strong to accept it.”

Perhaps you overestimated me. Or maybe I glorified my supposed strengths. I should have been human. I should have cried out when you walked away. This superhuman is an illusion. I was the first to give it up. No superhuman ever suffered from lack. But I have my dream now – and a phantom limb that is you.

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