Budapest

I like to stand at the foot of the bed and throw myself on the bouncy mattress. My hair splashes around my face like water and I pretend that I am a weightless, powerless body, made out of straw. I turn my palms toward the sky and play dead.

That’s what I was doing as he packed his suitcase. The big bed in the hotel room was wide and flexible, so I bounced for a long time. He neatly folded his clothes and placed them in his bag with care. He tucked his Christmas gift under a sweater and even folded my clothes that I left on the floor the night before.

He finally sat down next to me. I knew he wanted me to leave, but I was clinging to every minute with him. He said he’d rather see me leave, than watch me wave as he got on the airport shuttle bus by himself.

He didn’t know what to say. He lay next to me and put his head on my shoulder. I touched his hair – so painfully soft- and cried.

“Please tell me that it’s going to be all right,” I sobbed.
“I can’t promise you that; I can’t promise you anything,” he almost laughed.
“No, not just us – in general.”
“Yeah, in general, everything will be all right.”

That was the last time I saw him.

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