It’s funny because where I am right now, fall doesn’t even exist the way it does at home. Granted, I’m 4,000 miles across the world, but still. There is no apple cider, no pumpkin patches, no hayrides, and no apple cider donuts. There are simply people living their everyday lives normally because fall does not exist here. The leaves do not change, but the weather does get colder.
For some reason every fall, I find myself thinking about you. You creep back into my mind and for a minute I wonder where you are, what you’re doing, and how your life is going. I know it’s silly, the way a season can bring you back so quickly. But for me, you were my fall three years ago. Wow, three years has passed, but each fall it feels as if it were only yesterday that I dodged you while buying apple cider because we had been texting and I was unsure if I liked you or not.
When I see people posting pictures of the leaves changing I think about the time we first met. I think about the soccer games I attended with my friends at your high school, so they could see their boyfriends play, and so I could “run” into you. I remember the first time you asked me to get coffee. I almost said I couldn’t go because I was so nervous to ask my mom. Yes, a senior in high school and I was afraid to hang out with a boy alone. But hey, you were the very first boy I had ever hung out with alone, so it makes sense. I remember when you picked me up and told me to pick a song to play in the car. I remember how ironic I thought it was that you had “Breathe (2am)” by Anna Nalick on your iTunes playlist because I loved that song. I remember at the coffee shop we laughed, told stories and how you helped that worker pick up the stack of cups he dropped.
I remember when I had you drop me off at my friend’s house because I was mortified to be dropped off home. I remember how we awkwardly sat in the driveway and you leaned in to kiss me for the first time. I remember how I ran out of the car and into the house because it started to downpour. I remember it like it happened 4 hours ago. I remember telling my friends what had just happened.
I remember that one night in October when I finally told you I loved you back. I remember it well because it was the night of your birthday. I remember the night you asked me out and it caught me off guard. Our friend asked if we were dating yet and you said yes, and I looked like a deer in headlights. I remember how after that you actually asked me in the parking lot. I remember my response was, “I’ll think about it” but I was more excited than ever. You were my first boyfriend.
You became a symbol of home once we left for college and the season of fall long after we broke up. Fall will never be the same for me. Every year it approaches, nostalgia hits me like a ton of bricks. The leaves change, apple cider fills the shelves of the grocery store, and I crave apple cider donuts. At the same time, I crave you all over again. I miss how naïve I was that one fall. I miss the way the wind felt on my skin, as you would drive me home at night because you loved to drive with the windows down.
I miss fall more than ever, maybe because where I am this fall, it doesn’t exist or maybe because just hearing what season it is makes me think of you. I hope you’re doing well. I hope this fall is as memorable for you as fall three years ago was for me.