Reach for the toothbrush and pause. My well worn blue handle sits in a discarded water glass, along with the toothpaste…and her unused green. The joke was, “a pretty green tooth brush to go along with pretty green eyes.” I’d said it with a smile, truthfully teasing, and she’d smile back at me, happy with the jokes, with the smiles, with the ability to find comfort in sharing a sink before sharing a bed.
It seemed like ten years ago instead of only a couple months. That first time she’d stayed over. We kissed on the landing and I’d invited her in. I think I’d asked if she wanted to have a sleep over. She looked up at me calmly, with just a hint of mischief in her deep greens, and remarked that she didn’t bring a toothbrush. I’d told her that she’d just have to use mine. When the sleepovers became a regular occurrence, and it seemed more natural to sleep curled up with her than it did alone, I’d decide to present her with her own. A pretty green toothbrush to go along with pretty green eyes.
Our relationship was temporary before it began, as I was moving a thousand miles away to follow my dreams, and she was very much staying put. She’d promised to visit, and I couldn’t wait to see her. When I moved out west, I’d only brought a couple of duffels and my typewriter, but somehow her toothbrush found its way into my bags. When I set up my new home, her toothbrush got a prominent spot in my daily routine. Every morning, still groggy, I thought of her. And every night, before getting into bed, I thought of her again. But time moves on, and so did our lives. The calls became less frequent, and the longing less intense.
And then one particularly hung over morning, I’d had enough. I took the pretty green tooth brush and buried it in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Right next to the memories of her pretty green eyes.
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