Like Nothing Before


I blinked at Tom, who was holding onto my wrist. He wanted to know if we were okay. It was the question I’d been asking myself all morning, the question I’d been trying not to ask him when I came in here. The stoic nothingness I had seen on his face before he left this morning was gone, replaced with something raw and open.

“Yeah,” I said slowly. “Yeah, I think we are.”

A grin blossomed over his face. “Good. Great.”

He stood, and we walked to the car hand-in-hand. Outside, birds started twittering back and forth to each other, the first sign of early spring. I smiled at them.

“You like those chatty assholes?” Tom said with a grin.

“Oh, come on, you’re telling me you don’t like them?” I nudged his shoulder before dropping his hand to climb into the car. “They’re basically a musical promise it won’t be cold anymore soon.”

He shook his head. “Some of us have the body mass to survive a little winter.”

I swallowed, waited for the comment to sting. I’d lost more weight than I thought
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