painted white and green

I thought coming home I'd be sad to see what had changed
How much the town had grown without me
A city would new and clean and better than before
I never saw myself as all that instrumental in anything.
All I saw were new coats of paint on the same old houses
They hardly covered the water damage or crumbling walls
But merely illuminated them in bright moss green and titanium white
The town hadn't changed nearly as much as I had
In writing this I wonder if my change was as transparent as that of the houses
Could they see the water damage and crumbling walls too?

I saw the boy I'll call my first love, though he wasn't the first.
I was terrified he would be perfect, moved on above me, and onto a new life
I was right, at first I thought I was.
Looking closer I see the paint chipping around his edges
Underneath it the same sweet boy who's heart I broke
I saw him, despite boasting his faultless reality
I heard the anger and bitterness in his delivery
I saw it because I did the same
We laughed over new stories and reveled in small accomplishments
Gossiped on people we couldn't care less about as an excuse not to check the time
My heart skipped and sprung when he retold our best stories
Inside jokes reminded me how he knows every side of me
He'd seen me in every ugly cry and uncontrollable laugh and he had forgotten none of it
Thing reminded me of him too, of course.
Late nights and the time I dragged him in the ocean with me. I've never been so cold but he promised he wouldn't complain so neither did I
Like the first night I held him, he cried like the kid I knew in fourth grade and I realized no one had been there for him like I had that night.
We drove home in silent agreement that the memories stayed and nothing had to be said about them.
Through thick coats of paint we were both just kids
Kids who wanted to seem new and changed
Kids painted white and green

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This is a poem I wrote about coming home from college and what it felt like to see someone from my past.