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I arrive to jet lag and ill-fitting clothing, which means my first week home is full of awkwardly early bedtimes and an excessive amount of (very short) runs around the neighborhood.

But then I slip back into my old shell of catching up with friends, and it’s almost as if I never left. Responsibility is looming, but it hasn’t caught me yet and I’m more than content to ride out the last few months of my year of unemployment.

I Skype the English boy every day, until I am blind to the fact that this—us—is impossible. More than anything, I love the feeling of looking forward to something every day. He is across an ocean, but he can still make me feel safe.

Until he doesn’t, and in that instant that morphs into minutes and hours and then days, I lose him.

It is the two I left behind and am now returning to that I call first, that talk me through another failed relationship, and I’d like to think that part of the reason I can’t stop sobbing is the irony.

And with that, without him, my trip is officially over.

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