Last May

Do you recall last May, and the way I was yours entirely? The way people smiled when they looked at us, as if they could see our hearts better than we could. Mine, at least, was on display. But was I in love with you as they thought? No, never had been; promised myself, never would be. But the prying eyes which enviously watched my happiness could not see the line between how dearly I loved you and what it would take to be in love with you. You were my inspiration, my grounding anchor, the living, breathing pages upon which I wrote my life’s story. Those fragrant days bewitched you into thinking that you were mine, as well. I learned that May what friendship is. Perhaps then too I learned the nature of love, for who could look upon such bonds, such beauty, and not better understand love, that agent from whence it all sprang?

May herself rejoiced around us. She delighted in us walking the garden path arm in arm, and it seemed that every wave of new green leaves she bore was laid directly at our feet, that we might have another wonder to marvel at together. And the woods we walked together that spring seemed created just for us. Excepting all but the way you had of looking at me with one corner of your mouth turned up, the woods is what I remember most. We picked the pale young flowers, breathed the fresh, damp air, and searched forever and forever for the bottom of that waterbed. You told me stories in hushed tones about what you thought would happen when we finally saw the bottom of the stream. It was magical, you promised me, and we would share it together. When night fell all around us, because we’d forgotten the time again, the brightness of each other’s eyes was a fairypath, a lighthouse strong and steady, to guide us on our way back home again. Or so it was when we both were there.

One cool silver night, when the fieriness of October was raging high, muted by naught but eventide, I was remembering, and my feet carried me unbidden to our old haunts. The wind cut lightly across my skin, and my wandering eyes would fix upon nothing but the dead greyness of the empty tree branches that made such arresting, lonely patterns against the dim, steely sky. The night was full of passion, and I knew you would have reveled in the beauty of it. I shuddered, could go no further. Without you by my side, nothing was magical, and everything was frightening. My stumbling feet turned, ran through the dead woods. Demons with rotting corpses confronted me at every turn. The past stared at me unforgivingly from every patch of moonlight. I realized that without your bright, vibrantly alive eyes showing me the way, I was lost in this forest of death and regret. The woods claimed me and my tears for the night. I could only pray that morning would not find me joining the rotting demons in their dance. Perhaps pity was taken on my pathetic state, for by a miracle, light did again find me, and I ran from the forest, wishing to never return.

December is nearly gone now. Drifts of startlingly white snow insulate me in this safe little house. I am alone here, because there has been no other way to be after I walked so long with you. Yes, there are people around me, but none of them see inside me the way you did, and perhaps still do. I couldn’t walk through the woods now even if the fancy should seize me. The world is dead, quiet, peaceful around me. I have not cried for you today. The snow is protecting me from that, for this no longer looks like the world that was ours. Do you remember me, even in this distant, foreign land? Do you recall last May, and the way I was yours entirely?

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