Three fifty-four and I’m where you told me to be. I notice new spray paint suffocating patterns on a tiled wall - there was mention of a surprise. It’s been two weeks of urgent, prolonged contact. You’re twenty-four and there’s three years and a language disparity between us.

You appear, arms outstretched for no reason other than to celebrate the fact you’re reaching perfection. ‘Surprise!’ you say, and point to the graffiti. Already I know this is all my fault. It’s because you brought up that Demi Lovato song you enjoyed and I, wanting to offer positivity, pointed to a lyric: don’t tell your mother, kiss one another.

‘You inverted the lyric,’ I gasp, pushing the limits of how deadpan I could be against your generous essence. I feel embarrassed for you and for me, and I’m not sure I like you anymore. The cost of all the different colours was not worth it for this. What’s worse is I cannot deny your beauty in this moment, only now you appear childish, still high on the fumes of your creation, and I don’t want to kiss you.

By Edward Sellers