You look tired and as if you lost weight. I know what kept you going these past few weeks was the thought of being with me. But I worry who you’ll become once the novelty of me wears off. I worry you’ll go back to who you were.

You take me out for dinner that night. It’s a nice Italian place, you said. The owner is an old Italian man, and you enjoy some banter with him as we walk in. You try your best Italian accent and it elicits a smile from the owner and some of the waitresses. I smile too, because I’ve always been attracted to your charm. And your French accent remains strong even when speaking Italian.

We sit down for dinner and you make your usual jokes about me being a vegetarian. I had a lot on my mind before and wanted to talk about them, but I let you do most of the talking as usual. You talk about your job, your friends, your colleagues.

You mention one of your colleagues by name, and from the way her name sounds on your lips, I get the feeling there’s more to say about her than what you’re saying. But I don’t ask. You’re a bad liar and I’d rather not catch you in a lie. I’m here now and that’s all that matters.

We walk back to the apartment and you’ve had too much wine again. I unlock the door for us, you take off your clothes, plant a kiss on my forehead, and collapse onto the bed. I lay next to you, listening to your heavy breathing. I think about the life I’ve left behind. About what’s to come. I haven’t felt this lonely in a while.

Part II here.