the y you chose

I dreamt of wolves the night we didn't say goodbye - the night you left me with two single letters and not much more. 

"Should I move on? y/n"

You answered quickly. 

"It's not that easy."

I dreamt of wolves, which was a departure from the whales and the water. Five or six of them, out in the cold, caliginous night. Snow on the ground muffled their movements, but I knew they were there. And they knew about me, too. 

We went back and forth. You talked about how hard it's been. How you're figuring yourself out. How you're trying and fixing. "I know," I said. "I believe it. And I'm not crowding you or rushing you. But it's been three months and I'm checking in." But you wouldn't choose y and you wouldn't choose n, so we went a few more rounds. 

The wolves paced underneath my window while my mind roamed other dreamscapes, anxious and aware that some unconfronted danger was waiting for me. Finally I came back. It was an empty, echoing shell of a building, like the weird, abandoned camp we found that night in the woods.

I think wolves have always reminded me of you. You like to move in packs, with whom you trust everything. You can be solitary when you need to be. You were made for the cold, and for never being caught. 

I felt compelled to open the window and climb out onto the ledge. I was dangerously close to the ground, to the animals below. I couldn't stop myself from reaching out to them. Shades of ash and smoke; lanky, hungry, menacing. The nearest snarled at me as I extended my hand. But slowly, gently, I ran my palm across his furry head. He flattened his ears and stood still for my touch.

It went on for maybe an hour. "It's been horrible and the only outlet I have is music and going outdoors." By now how pointedly you were avoiding saying anything about me, about us - only you, you, you - had me desperate to end it, finally. Just a month ago you said "I'm doing this for you," but you weren't, were you? You aren't. I've turned off all the music, I've lay alone and silent in my bed listening as hard as I could, but all I have heard is snow falling, covering and quieting every trace of us.

"I already know how you feel about music and outdoors. I'm asking how you feel about me. Should I move on? y/n."


And just as I'd willed it into existence, the y you chose lit up the otherwise dark room, a tiny point of light like a candle burning out. I didn't miss a beat before I asked one last question. "But it was awesome for a while, right? y/n"


I didn't remember the ending to my dream until late in the morning, and when I did, an avalanche of feeling knocked me breathless. In the end, the perspective shifted from first to third person, and as if filmed by drone I saw myself sitting in the snow, surrounded closely by the wolves. Two stood like sentries at my shoulders: noses up, noble. One lay across my lap, a wild thing choosing to be docile and calm. Two or three others were a blur of fur and limb and majesty. They were mine and I was theirs and there was safety and trust and an unspoken intimacy. 

I won't look for you again. You can have your forest back, and I'll find one of my own. Snow will fall and erase our tracks, faster than it took us to put them down. Winter is merciful that way.