Through the distance of space and the closeness of technology we discuss the dissipation of relations that never were. I tell myself I did the right thing, then apologise to her for not making any promises. Thinking of the future and ignoring the past, I tell her, I don’t want anybody to get hurt. She calls me an asshole, it’s true enough so that I pin it to my heart beside my other still-beating disappointments, a sodden general’s medal array. None for valour. I’ll a see you later, she says and then it’s done, because nothing ever happened.

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