It was a cold winter night and we were talking about poetry, and so I read the last lines of my favorite poem to you.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
I wonder if you knew I meant it. It has been years since I first met you — since I first loved you — and by now I’ve forgotten the sound of your voice and the shine of your eyes. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. But at this point, I don’t know if I miss you or the person I thought you were.
You know, people talk about love at first sight but I never felt that way about you. Some things are instantaneous, but others are gradual, and I loved you slowly but I loved you regardless. I don’t know how to explain how I felt about you but when you looked at me I sometimes forgot how to breathe, and I wrote and wrote after you left and it took me so long to realize I was only ever writing about you.
My writing professor once told me that there are stories we get perfect on the very first go, and others that you write again and again in the hopes of eventually getting it right. This must be one of them, because we are a story of missed opportunities and second chances, and I hope that one day the stars will align and I will see you again.
You told me you played the violin, and I can imagine your eyelashes brushing your cheek as you bring the bow across the strings, and I can see the music notes floating through the air like your breath in the December air.
I have never heard you play.
There is so much of you that I don’t know, but I have seen you in the summer with a bright smile and brighter eyes, and I have seen you in the chill of winter with a red scarf and a laugh that warms the cold night. I have seen you standing in the pouring rain and I have seen you drenched in sunshine, and I have loved you through it all.
But summer turns to fall and then to winter, and your voice ices over with the lakes. I start to forget what your eyes looked like before they became so hard, and you begin to speak my name like a stranger’s. That’s when I learned that the seasons aren’t the only things that change.
I wished for you on a thousand stars, but wishes are for fools and so is poetry. I have loved you through still days and through hurricanes, but I can’t love you forever.
Not when you don’t love me.