February 2, 2011

They Know

She doesn't have to ask what types of music I like. She made half the strewn-about, mix cds in my car and filled my ipod on its third day. He knows my lost bank card most likely sits in the boot on the floor of my closet and orders my favorite type of wine without me even noticing. She knows when "I'm fine" really means I'm upset and I'm doing everything I can to fight it. "I hear it in your voice," she'll say. When I swear like a sailor, they don't even flinch. I know he doesn't approve, but he lets me be and never, ever says "I told you so." They take turns making fun of the ridiculous things I ask at dinner time but let me build xbox cities with them on Saturday afternoons. Ask me if my ass is okay after I slide through the kitchen in socks and land hard outside the bedroom door. Don't question why I'm dancing around the driveway at night.

She knows how much sugar to add to my coffee and which playful nickname infuriates me. He says things he knows I don't want to hear and doesn't let me skirt away from uncomfortable issues. He calls me Bacon after I start cooking it on a nightly basis. We speak in an almost code language of encouragement and determination. She knows my mischievous grin and who kissed me last. Together we wear pearls and then build one-match fires and shower periodically in coin-operated stalls. Eat s'mores for dinner without consulting the other. His fingers always gently find the nape of my neck. She knows she can lift me up at any time and how much effort it takes to flip me upside down - literally and in public. He knows how to let me cry and never gets uncomfortable with it. She'll give me dibs on the last cookie.

I miss my friends. Every single one of them. The way they know me. The way they would shoot milk through their teeth if they heard me described as quiet while taking a gulp. I like to think that they'd have to agree, but then they'd smile to themselves that they get to keep the treasure of my motor mouth and the command "Emily. Breathe." I like to think that they're next to me cringing at the "get to know you" middle school questions we never seem to grow out of: what music do you listen to, what boy do you like, what's the coolest thing you've done lately? I like to think that the things they love the most about me are the exact reasons why it's so difficult to answer those questions. So I give cotton candy answers out loud and leave my friends their treasures. And for myself, the reminder that I do have friends and how well they know me. How well they love me.

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