I wake up late, late enough that the Austin summer has already started seeping through the cracks around our apartment’s single, wall-mounted AC unit. The unit is rumbling like an old muscle car, and runs about as efficiently.

You’re laying next to me, and I admire you in the dim light that seeps through the shades on the window above our bed. My eyes to trace the shape of your face, follow the line of your jaw down to your neck, and then follow its lines to your chest. The duvet still lays in a mountain on top of you. You are cold, because you are still asleep.
I never thought I would make it here. I never dreamed that I would be where I am today. In The City. In our tiny, poorly-insulated, roach-infested apartment. In our shared space that we’re making a life in together.

In our home.

I didn’t think that I would ever make it out of The Fields, and escape the grasp of that wretched town, the clutches which tear your life from you, jade you, and break you.

You begin to snore.
I never dreamed that I would live to be on my own, and eventually choose to live together with someone who feels more like home than any building or space can. I didn’t know it was possible to have a person that is so peaceful be in your life, especially once they know what you’re really like.

Your hands wrap themselves around me and pull me into you. Your hair smells like lavender and fresh linen.
I was always jealous of my friend’s families growing up. For the most part, my friends mothers loved them, and still did even when they didn’t understand their children. I didn’t have that luxury. When I wasn’t understood, I was met with harsh words or isolating behavior. I was jealous that my friend’s parents were more emotionally mature than mine, and didn’t respond to opposition like a hormonal 16-year-old.

I begin to sweat from your body heat, but I don’t move. I hear the 12:13 bus come to a halt at the stop outside our apartment.
I used to be mad at God (or the universe or whatever higher power was up there )for giving me the family I was in. Why couldn’t I have been put where I was understood, or appreciated, or valued outside of what I could give? When I heard to my friend’s fathers talk about their emotions, rage filled me like fire engulfing a house. I can recall my father talking about his emotions maybe once in my life.

Oh, how I will be different, I swear. 
The AC unit grinds to a stop, and I feel the air become still again. You mumble something in your sleep in response. The walls of our bedroom are bare because art costs money and we have none. I think about if we’ll ever have more for a moment, and then get up.

I hope there won’t be any roaches in the bathroom this morning.

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