And after 10 minutes (which turned out to be 2 hours) my phone tumbles in my pocket and the vibrations cascade down my leg. I answer.
Me: You don’t sound the same
Him: Please listen to me. I can’t tell you what I want to because if I did I would be naked and I would be everything and you would see every stain and every bruise and every scar. I can’t tell you what you want to hear because it’s those words that haunt me. And I can’t tell you how much you need me because it’s wrong when I know I need you more.
Me: Why do you sound so different?
Him: And I can’t tell you to forgive me because I haven’t forgiven myself
Me: Your voice…
Him: I know. I don’t sound the same because I don’t feel the same. It’s because I left your hands lonely as you lay suffocated on the floor. It’s because I was a coward and I wanted it to be perfect and it wasn’t because I am too tall to lie next to you and my neck hurt from looking down and my arms ached under your back. And I didn’t realise that it didn’t have to be perfect. It’s because in that moment you were everything and I was just a boy.