I'd keep a notepad with me in my back pocket. In it, small reminders, ideas for stories, half-intuited and very haphazardly scribbled. I'd imagine in other people with the same habit that they'd hardly ever look back on the older pages after some time, discarding it when the pages were full. But I'd always come to grow attached to how ragged the pages would get, like a sallow complexion on them from sun and coffee stains.

The pencil was a little nub I'd break off from a larger piece. I think I was more eager to use it just to wear it down. Ingredients for the day whenever we were both free, a clean sentence that'd crystallize in my mind the more I felt compelled to write it, all from an imaginary scenario I'd envision in an instant and usually in motion. Most of the story ideas I'd discuss with you, writing a page or two at most.

As well, I would jot down instances of synchronicity, the smallest coincidences that would act as a piquing in my mind like similar tunes. A word would come to me and then I'd hear it so plainly spoken by another, a newscaster on the radio, a character on a TV show. It would startle me in a way I could never convey to you, the passages it took for me to think it through, eventually coming to a point where it felt like I was allowing something to be wrested from me in acknowledging it. It felt that way to me, at least, that everything could be predetermined if I would only think it as such. My cousin called my habit a manifestation of the boredom brought about by my home life.

I told you how I wondered if my decision to run away that time was my way of deflecting from how often he'd say this. I told you this even as I still clung to my nonsensical habit — I still kept my notepad in my back pocket, I still wrote out every small coincidence. In a way, I think I had always known I would return home.