I create homes out of people; making their body my vessel of love and refuge, cozying up the space and nestling in their warm. Their voice, the soft rumble of their sleep, the scent that seems to permeat their very being. I relish and adore the comforts of them. I get used to them; the consistency and our feelings and the progression of the relationship. As time goes on, the room fills with trinkets; I play songs on repeat that remind of a memory, I take pictures of the places we go and went to, forever embedding a moment of us in my brain to file away and look back to. You take note of the small things; what turns them on, stuff they hate, likes, dislikes, the music they prefer to listen to on a road trip, the way they act before they cry, when they’re emotional and how to help them. You know this person almost as well as you know yourself.

Too well and almost not at all because they’re a whole city that still needs to be explored and devoured. Shops that still need to be seen and music that still needs to be ate. They’re your whole world, your top priority and the very thought of losing somewhere you finally feel comfortable scares you and entices you so much that you dive into them like they’re a pool, creating rippling waves and disturbing their inner peace just enough to see slight growth within them. They’re apart of you now. They’re all you’ve got; hardships, flaws, and all. You both drink this up; say it’s forever, that the future has to be prepared for the duo that is the both of you.

And then it changes. It happens so slowly.

The home that you once created for yourself is falling apart. Pictures falling from the walls, the food — no matter how precise you try to cook it — burns with every try, fights become louder than the melodic music in the background and the bed that once felt just a little bit two small for two people suddenly feels like the universe is under you and the space between the two of you is similar to the distance from Pluto to the Sun. Your movements are no longer organic but are forced feelings of affection that you try to recreate and for some reason you cannot grasp why it suddenly feels foreign to kiss, hug or even be near the person that was once your world. You worry that it’s your fault, that you surely did something wrong. Or that maybe it’s karma; maybe stealing that pack of gum from Walmart sealed your future and this is your punishment. But I assure you it’s real. The anxiety, the worry, the tears, the impending uncomfortableness that was always there and evident is making rifts in a relationship that seemed to have stood the test of time. Your attempt at fixing it is too late. The damamge is done; the damage that was so small and minsicule that it couldn’t be detected early enough to fix. You lose them.

The process is slow, it doesn’t happen over night and for the first time in your life you’re looking at this same person like a stranger, an alien in your home that was now empty except for the fragments that were left behind. They become a stranger to your affection, your person. You let it be.