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"Time Flies" • Lykke Li (by Melissa Flores Anderson)


A year is longer for me than for you.


You laugh when I tell you this, the lines on your face dancing around your green eyes, your gray hair dropping into them, but I know it is true. You brush my brown strands back and tuck them behind my ears, kiss me on the forehead tenderly. You are older than me by at least a decade. Almost two decades. (I know exactly how much older, but I pretend not to know)


A year is longer for me than for you.


I read an article. Two articles. Maybe three. It’s a scientific fact that time speeds up with age, I say. A year is 4.3% of my lifetime. It is only 2.3% of your lifetime. Our lifetimes are not over, you say. If you live to 110 and I to 91, the gap will shrink so we round to the same percentage. (You know it is not the numbers that matter, but you pretend not to know)


A year is longer for me than for you.


You draw a circle and invite me in, warm and secure, and secret. You promise me all your quiet moments, trade your minutes alone to hear my voice, the rush of love keeping us awake into the night. Then you draw a line between us and put me out into the cold, your heart chilled. Time twists itself up inside me and I can’t recall what day of the week it is. (We know we’ve shared our last kiss, but we pretend not to know)


A year is longer for me than for you.


I spend my time waiting for you. I miss you while you entertain other people. I send you hearts and playlists and hand-written cards to remind you I am still here, seconds passing like hours. Waiting to hear you say that you still love me. (I know you don’t, but I pretend not to know)


It has been more than a year and you have stopped counting.



Melissa Flores Anderson is a Latinx Californian who lives with her young son and husband. A three-time Best of the Net nominee, her creative work has been published in more than two dozen journals or anthologies, and she is a reader/editor with Roi Fainéant Press. She has co-authored a novelette, “Roadkill,” that is forthcoming with Emerge Literary Journal. Follow her on Twitter and Bluesky @melissacuisine or IG/Threads @theirishmonths. Read her work at melissafloresandersonwrites.com.

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