It's Just Us
written by: Kerri Caldwell
And it’s just us, just under the upper hand, holding on with spit and chewing gum.
I say I don’t deserve you and you tell me
“I’m nothing special. I just happen to fill the parts of you that hurt you the most. So it seems like I’m always saving you, but I’m just a witness.”
“A witness to what?”
“You saving yourself.” Your voice and eyes don’t betray each other, but this is just the start, so you mean these words, and I believe you. Eventually, I’ll doubt all your good intentions, and you’ll say all the right words in all the wrong ways.
Which one of us will break first?
We’ve always been the greatest sin. Kids that became old enough to know, but still too young to care. Misery is all we’ve ever known, but it hasn’t left us bent. Everything is covered in something brand new, and when they leave us on our backs, waiting to bend at the break, we laugh, barely dented and scratched.
Those kids will fade into gleeful savages, smirks replacing our laughter. The universe is as relentless as we are. Each blow burns and marks us, but we keep coming up for blood. I like to set fires, and you don’t mind waiting out the chaos. This is our time to demand answers that start wars in our hearts because we’re still learning things we should already know. This is the fleeting opportunity to leave destruction behind us so that regret doesn’t follow. Now is for nights to never end and for days that never begin. I am always new and you are only endless.
It’s just us and the moon at 2 a.m., ice cream and bare feet and mosquitos, our favorite movies against the dark, 100 colors we’ll never be able to fully take in, no matter how many times we meet the sun in that magic hour.
You have hope, my heart, and indifference.
I am restless, full of light, and never let you doubt if you’re mine.
Sometimes I’m too solid and you’re too soft. Your justified frustration ignites my undefined anger. I’m too much and you’re not always enough, and what should end like the last word of a book begins a new chapter instead.
We lay our timeline before us, hearts ready and feet steady. I bring along messy thoughts and you can’t let go of yesterday. Before hesitance can grow into doubt we recognize each other in flashes where our youth refuses to be forgotten. It’s in your laughter when you jump out and scare me. It’s there in my sun kissed, strawberry stained grin. When you’re singing in the shower or when I’m wearing your shirt. In evening bike rides, sharing earbuds under heat lightning. It’s how you look like the way I feel. The smell of rain, my shampoo, and your favorite hoodie. The knowing looks, fading bruises, and tangled sheets. We settle into ourselves, content only for a blink of an eye.
I make space in our lives while you make space in our tomorrows. We’ve never had a plan, that’s never been us. We’re impatient for something brand new, that same beginning, like when I found you. You bled into my life and I stole all your fears, and as time accumulates, my fear bleeds into all the pockets of our lives.
Our friends embrace us with hugs of uncertainty and too much belief that our story will end like the ones I’m tired of hearing about. Our families are a symbol of conflict. Beautiful reminders of a magnificent pain.
There’s a beauty about us I can’t see. My bitter, wounded soul transforms the girl you love into the girl you’ll never stop loving. Even when I tell you I love you in the same breath I insult you. I push you until you’re holding the gun, and hand you the bullets with my spiteful words. You never pull the trigger, even when you’ve loaded the gun. Instead, you tell my broken parts
“There’s a beauty about us we can’t see, only when the universe smiles down on us. I think we took too long being selfish, and when we were finally ready, she’d forgotten about us.”
“She didn’t forget. This is punishment. This is our penance.”
Every night I’m someone’s prayer and every morning I wake up wondering which bridge I’m going to burn by the end of the day. The universe smiled at everyone we knew, and they have a beauty in their lives that makes me ugly.
I can’t allow us to make a home out of this. I tell you
“We’re not making good memories.”
Your words come out “they’ll be different in the rearview” but you don’t believe them and I don’t hear them anyway.
And so this chapter ends the book.
No place in the universe
Just a fucking mess
And it’s just us
Just under the upper hand
Holding on with spit and chewing gum.