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Oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways: seven milligrams, fourteen milligrams, twenty-one milligrams… I know you wanted to leave me. I’d seen it in your body language, and in your eyes, and in that multitude of daily interactions that used to have warmth, but now don’t. I’ve also read your texts.
I studied the instructions.
The second point was ‘remember, no cigarettes,’ but that won’t be a problem. I put the patch on your lower back just after you fall asleep at night.
You’re more irritable during the day, but you’re at work, so why should I care? You wake up felling good. Well, when I’m home.
You left me three weeks after I had started. You left a note, but I didn’t bother to read it. You were back three days later, and you were worked up something crazy.
We had a fight, and then we had a dinner, and then we went to bed. After you had fallen asleep I put another patch on the base of your spine, and then set my alarm to ensure I woke up before you, as if it were necessary.
When you woke the next day, the patch recently removed, you told me that, despite everything, it was nice to wake up next to me.
I smiled, and held you close, and thought about how much nicer it would feel after I’d upped the dose to twenty-eight milligrams.
I went away on a business trip about a month later. I could tell that your irritation was building, the relationship irritation that is, not the withdrawals. I thought you were thinking about leaving again, and so I pulled some strings at work and got myself sent away for a week.
It must have hit you hard, you were so stressed when I got back. You had a twenty a day habit worth of nicotine that you’d been missing, after all.
You felt much better the next day, didn’t you?
I love you. I found a pack of cigarettes in your jacket pocket. It was a ten deck, so you might not have noticed yet, but you will. One day you’ll stay over at a friends and you’ll wake up, spark up… and not miss me, or think you do anyway. I’m pretty sure that sketchy guy down the road can get me some heroin. So we’ll be fine. I promise.