I desire to tell you stories, of both love and loss sprinkled with sweet little words which mean nothing yet ultimately everything. Knowing you, you will hear them all with your eyes wide open and jaw slightly dropped in enthusiasm as you embrace each one of them as if yours. You cradle them in your arms while humming a familiar somber tune at midnight when you are at the peak of excitement and everyone else no longer cares. That is when you go out: with my stories packed in a large backpack slung over your right shoulder as you and your imaginary friends huddle in a dimly lit streetcorner and there, you share my anguish and despair to them in an animated voice. To make it sound more convincing, you would at times pause for a second, gathering your thoughts, imitating someone who’s picking up memories like broken glass. One of your friends hushes you. It’s okay. You don’t have to. Your eyes start to brim with tears, and a drop or two will roll down your cheeks: slowly, in the most revoltingly dramatic manner. But these stories are not yours to keep. It was not even your love and loss to begin with—not your hurt, not your sleepless nights, not your regret, not your moments of defeat; never your darkest hour. They were all mine.  My story begins with Once there was a boy who fell in love with another boy. Yours will end differently. Yet no matter how hard you claim what is mine, in the end, my stories own you.


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