When I entered your house I took off my shoes. I always liked feeling the heating pipes under the floors. You looked at me and didn't speak.

We hadn't talked much in general. I arrived directly at church, we hugged but we weren't able to say anything to each other. The church was full of familiar faces, all worn down. Tommaso's mother was crying, when they took the coffin away she threw herself on top of it and we all held our breath. I tried to cry softly. I never want to be loud at funerals. Tommaso had many friends and they were all here. I had come back on purpose, gotten on a last-minute and very expensive train. I hadn't thought about where I would stay, most of you had grown up there, you had your parents' houses or your own if you stayed. I had lived in a three-room apartment with the dishwasher always broken throughout university and then I left it and packed up.

Carolina told me that I could stay with her, she was the one who called me in tears to tell me about Tommaso. They had always such a tenderness for each other. We all did, throughout university, we had become this peculiar big family, somebody was always gonna have your back. Everybody helped me move when I left. Carolina and I had lived together for a while, it was a happy time: we spent Sundays in our pyjamas cooking what was left over from the week and we always studied sitting on the floor in the living room. She stayed, started an internship in a local newspaper and she and Fede got a beautiful house, small but with a view of a park. I wish I could have stayed in our old house, nothing against Fede and the view, I just missed the broken dishwasher and the floors.

After the ceremony, you hugged me and then left your arm around my shoulders.We had only said practical things to each other: did you arrive by train? Yes, this morning. The suitcase? In the station. Oh. Where will you sleep? At Carolina’s, I think. Will you come and have a coffee with me? I said yes. I wanted to stay close to you a little longer. I told Carolina that I would join her, and she smiled at me slowly, her eyes still swollen from crying. We had never all been so quiet. I hugged her: later, love.

While you were driving I played the music. I asked you if you preferred silence: I don't think Tommi would be happy with us if we didn't play music. Tommaso had been the DJ at all our parties, initially to get girls’ attention, then he started actually having fun and making techno music playlists for everyone, trying to convince us they were perfect for studying. You were sad in that collected way that always upset me. You were like this when you took me to the station with my blue suitcase full of all my life here. That calm had made me furious with you until Marco had confessed in a phone call that you too had taken it rather badly and that you had spent three months listening to "Ain't no mountain high enough" again and again. Ours was a surgical break-up, clean cut: a disappearance.

Now we were in the car together. I wondered if we were gonna have sex, it would be a sad one if we did. When we arrived you made coffee, you faced the counter and your back looked at me. I was curled up in the yellow armchair. You brought me coffee and sat on the floor. We had always done it this way.

We talked about Tommaso and then about all our other friends. Then you asked me: are you dating anyone? No, you? No. I half-smiled: Carolina says I should get on Tinder. And what do you think? I don’t feel like it. Mh. Marco says I should go to parties. Mh.

I relaxed, we continued chatting about our lives. Me about specialization and the new house, you about work and your family and the dog you wanted to get. Life was flowing. Me and the dog you had when we were together, Mez, adored each other. As soon as I came home he would come to me waving his tail and I always spent some time sitting on the floor with him, you smiled about it. You once confessed to me that you liked the idea of ​​Mez being a bit ours rather than yours. Mez had died of old age a few months after I left, you made one of the very first post-breakup phone calls to tell me.

I got sad thinking of Mez, you noticed it and pointed it out to me. "It's nothing". I wondered if I would know your new dog's name. We were silent for a while.

Then we talked about Tommi. We remembered the time he dyed his hair blonde in his second year of college and after a week admitted it was a terrible idea. “Somehow knowing he was less handsome had made him more confident. He had found that DJ gig by going to talk to a terrifying PR person.”, you added.

“He also hit on girls a lot.”

You laughed, “True.”

“Did you miss that stuff?”

“Hitting on girls?”

“Mh. Yeah.”

"No. But now I feel out of age to learn.”

“Me too, you know”

“Fede says it's never too late.”

“Maybe they are right”

We smiled at each other.

“Do you want to eat something?”

"Sounds nice, actually. Do we have to go to the supermarket?”

You got up and opened the fridge.

“There are artichokes and salmon”

“Okay, can I help you?”

“No, I'll do it, don't worry. Put on some music"

You cooked and I watched you for a while. I set the table and didn't have to ask you where things were. We sat down, our knees touching under the table. I tasted an artichoke. We use the exact same recipe.