He says cab now, not taxi. And cop, not police. He holds his cigarette differently. And gone is that middle parting. Even his smile has changed. It used to be carefree and open, slightly silly but full of joy. Now he wears it at angles, holding his jaw tight – it looks perfect, but not right.
He is adopting the ways of the city, and he does it effortlessly. But I’ve known him for too long; I know he must have spent hours, locked up in a room, in front of a mirror, imitating gestures, accents, mannerisms, repeating them over and over again till he fit in.
He tries to teach me too – he is very gentle about it. Sometimes I follow his lead, sometimes I’m determined not to; and the more I think of it, the more I’m inclined not to. I am a square and he wants to be circle, and try as we may, our story will end here.
He sees it too, but I’ll have to be the one to say it. I’ll do it before he heads back to the city. I’ll break his heart, he’ll break mine.