Three years later, a new girl sits cross-legged on your bed.
She tastes like a different flavor of bubblegum than you are used to.
She opens up a book that you had to read in high school, and a folded picture of us falls out of chapter three.
Now there are two unfinished stories resting in her lap.
Inevitably, she asks, and you tell her.
You say: I dated her a while back.
You don’t say: Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I imagine the smell of her vanilla perfume.
You say: She was younger than me.
You don’t say: The sixteen summers in her bones warmed the eighteen winters my skin had weathered.
You say: It’s nothing now.
You don’t say: But it was everything then.
1. Your skin may never be perfect, and that’s okay.
2. Life is too short not to have the underwear, the coffee, and the haircut you want.
3. Everyone (including your family, your coworkers, and your best friend) will talk about you behind your back, and you’ll talk about them too. It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.
4. It’s okay to spend money on things that make you happy.
5. Sometimes without fault or reason, relationships deteriorate. It will happen when you’re six, it will happen when you’re sixty. That’s life."