It was a mistake I made, those years ago as a thoughtless young man just edging his way into the world and wrapped up in foolish notions of the past. Your words in my ear in an October night through however many miles of fiber and telephone cable, visions of a golden bridge in my head and static in my eyes, and rejection slipping past my lips.
It's a rejection I invented. It was a lie then, and continues as a charade now. It's one we both play into, smoothly, an intricate balance of stolen glances and whispered admissions in sleep.
Then, as now: regret. You're a fortune in my mind, so don't go far.
There's been some element of that night in every moment we've spent together since, nearly five years of dancing silently negotiated steps to a song whose theme has never changed since it began that evening. Each new kill marker on your fuselage brings you to me, however briefly, before you vanish again, wrapped in more concrete concerns, only to emerge again when you seek solace.
That solace, for you, is me.
I wonder if there's something to that, or if it's yet another symptom of my unparalleled ability to focus on minutae, to trick myself into hoping for the impossible. I wonder it as your fingers lace through mine in the darkness, or work the muscles in my back, and when you look away from me, spinning long narratives out into the silence, painting verbal pictures of a distant vampire dawn drained of color.
I wonder if you know how I always listen.
And so this is our dance defined. Me, there for you when you need me, and you, providing me the illusion I require, both as hope to maintain me and as pennance for letting you slip by years ago -- the illusion that you need me.