Pity filled the air as you announced to all of us that you were leaving that night.Your mother cried on the couch as your father slammed three doors. Your best friend from seventh grade asked me what I thought it might be like to hate myself so much.

I said I didn’t know.

You thought you needed to find yourself but I thought I’d already found you. I am looking after your herb garden like you asked. I’ll have you know it’s flourishing. I’ve never seen basil so plentiful. You also appointed me to hold onto your record collection and urged me to play my favorites as I pleased. I do. I get up to turn them over when the music stops. I dance in my black satin underwear in front of a space heater on the colder nights. I know that you aren’t coming back.

But every so often – when my bones begin to ache and I have far too much parsley for one person, right about the time that song you think you know all the words to comes on –

it’s fun to pretend that you are.