I wake in the familiar haze of hangover. I have been back in D.C. for less than two months. In two more months I am moving to South Korea. And two weeks from today I am leaving D.C. to head to Charlotte. I let the next two years flicker through my head, a series of still frames in which I am always alone. I roll over sleepy in his silent bed. He is an old friend. We have been fucking since I got back from New Zealand. It is new and fun and perfect. We are both leaving. It is always only sex and we know this. He tells me about all the horrible things he does to his girlfriends. We laugh. I am attracted to him. I am fucked up. I slide my panties back on realizing he is going to break his promise to fuck me again in the morning. I didn’t get to come. He is late for work. We sit in strange silence on the way to the metro, everything still, we are paused, suspended. The same stoned silence the night before. Something feels different. What is different? Why is he being so strange? He didn’t touch me the same way, I know it. I am crazy. Everything is fine. I am positive he doesn’t want me anymore. Or maybe it is the other way around. My eyelids drop and flutter with the hum of the beat-up van and the breeze swings warm and soft on my face. Something has changed. I can feel it in every piece of me. I am often wrong.

“I have a strange feeling that was the last time I’m ever going to fuck you.” I shatter into the silence. Only silence follows.

We arrive at the metro and he kisses me on the cheek chiming, “Have a nice day, honey!” some sick twist on the domestication our once weekly sex sessions so flippantly mock. We were always friends. We are only friends. “Have a good day at work, dear” is my usual response. Today I mutter “see ya” and hop out of the van. What is wrong with me? I do not look back.

I push headphones immediately into my ears and let the weight of whatever it is push me deep into the ground. Was he really the one being so strange? For over a year this is all I have known. An endless string of boys who I leave or who leave me. Always running, keep moving, don’t get stuck, don’t let them get you cause you know you have to go. Two weeks here, six more in Charlotte, one in Denver with the boy I know I could fall in love with. Maybe. I think I could. But I won’t. He thinks I am perfect. He is wrong. I won’t let him find out. Gone again. What happened to the girl that threw herself on the tracks at every chance, begging for a train wreck? Since when do I push them all away? Now cautious, cold, and calculating. I say cruel things to remind him I don’t really care. Our affections are only for the sex, for the show we are putting on. I like kissing him. We do not care. He will never get to me, no one can catch a girl running so fast. But he is perfect because he will not try. He’s a runner too. We laugh broad and free at how little we care. We are invincible. It is perfect. No strings, no emotion, fuck whoever you want, play house when you like and never call. I want him to call. It is just sex. It is all I want.

But now I am sinking stones. The ground breathes and heaves beneath me. It is swallowing me whole. I let the maudlin strums of Nico Stai drown me. I am enveloped. I am invisible. I am suddenly made of sorrow.

He is not the only one I will throw away. Not the first, not the last. Another name, another month, another dick, another run. Another year of garbage to collect, of hearts to discard, of self-inflicted wounds. I will tell him when I fuck other men so he knows he is not the only one. He tells me when he fucks another woman and I don’t care. Fuck her the same day you fuck me. Give her the tights I leave on your floor by mistake. I do not care. I remind him what we are. I remind me what we are. He is not the one that needs it. I can’t get stuck, can’t let anyone change my plans. Not this girl, I am stronger than that, I am independent, I am utterly alone. I will tell myself this is what I want. I will travel the world. I will meet boys and kiss them and fuck them and love them and leave them and hate them for leaving me. I will run until my bones are dust, until I am the only one left alone. Because that is the only thing I know how to do anymore. Leave.