It’s so strange. Upon meeting you, I unintentionally gave you a nickname that happened to be after the same character as the very first stuffed animal that I used to cuddle with as a toddler every night before bed. Call me crazy, but I swear, I can’t help but see the entirety of my childhood reflected in your face. When I look at you, I can’t help but feel a little homesick.

Your eyes, the same shade of green as my mother’s plants that lined the sidewalk of my childhood home. Your eyes, haunted like my childhood bedroom the summers my sister and I would sleep on the couch in the living room, playing Blink 182‘s Small Things music video on repeat to distract ourselves, because we swore there was something dark lingering in that closet, one room over.

Your hair, the same shade of brown as the wet sand my sister and I used to sculpt into castles fit for the royalty we truly believed we would one day grow to be, as we watched the tide come in, threatening to swallow whole our daydream. Your hair, as short as my father’s temper on the consecutive nights when he would drink too much and I would pray too hard to be somebody else.

Your lips, as full as the moon that adorned the sky on the nights that my mother and I would go on car rides to nowhere in particular, just as long as it wasn’t here. Your lips, as soft as my mother’s voice when she would sing about that very same moon until I was fast asleep, dreaming of one day meeting someone just like you.

Your smile, as bright as the future all of my elementary school teachers swore was waiting for me. Your smile, as warm and inviting as the sunlight streaming in through the living room windows on the mornings when that house still felt like a home.

Your jawline, as strong as my belief in Santa Claus as I would stare eagerly in to Michigan skies, desperately searching through the falling snow for the tiniest glimmer of magic to foreshadow his arrival. Your jawline, as sharp as the cool night air when I would lay on the roof of my aunt’s van at the Drive-In Movie Theatre, watching the stars fall one-by-one and wondering if you were somewhere out there.

Truth is, I prayed for you long before I even knew who you were. Now that I’ve met you, I feel like I’ve known you forever. Your presence brings the inexplicable comfort of something familiar, like a childhood stuffed animal I had presumed long gone. You resonate warm memories of a past you know nothing of, and hope for a future that would be far more beautiful if you, against all odds, chose to be a part of it.

Above all else, when I look at you, I know that finally, I’m home. TC mark

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