I Miss Loving Him In The Fall

Benjamin Combs

I was seventeen. Naive. Innocent. Shiny and new. I had only been kissed by one boy before that, and I only ever had a boyfriend for just a few months. I had never experienced real love before. And nothing could have prepared me for the storm that would eventually brew inside my chest.

He walked into my life in the summertime. August, to be exact. He watched my shows and told me I didn’t mess up, even when I did. I watched his shows and told him he was amazing (because he never ever messed up).

We were different. I was a free spirit and he was a genius. I wasn’t good at math or chemistry, and everything came incredibly naturally to him. I guess I came naturally for him, too.

I fell in love with him in the fall. When the wind picked up and I threw away my flip flops for cozy brown boots. It happened when we carved pumpkins together and shared a kiss on his doorstep. I’d never been kissed like that.

I fell in love with the fall, and with him, all at once. And I knew right then and there that I was never going to fall back down.

I miss the smell of it. The smell of jumping into leaf piles and then laughing about how unsanitary it was. I miss the smell of him when I leaned into his chest, closing my eyes to memorize the moment. I miss walking through town, with rain falling around us. I miss when all he could see was me. And when all I could see was him.

I miss those moments. Those brand new moments that feel like heaven. The ones that never fade from your mind, because they were so damn perfect. The first kisses, the cold that made you want to run to him, the wind that tousled my hair, while he looked at me.

I guess I never thought it would end. I never thought he’d stop.

I love the fall. Everything is new. You get to start over. To be someone else. To be different. And I miss loving him through the seasons as they changed and twisted around us. I miss loving him when the world was dark, but we were light. And no matter which ways our universe’s turned, our love always remained the same.

There’s a park bench that sits, solemnly, where I carved our names onto the back of it. It’s still there. After all this time. I wish I had the heart to scratch it out.

As I sit here now, I’m hot and sweaty from cleaning my apartment. It’s July. I keep telling everyone I’m excited for fall. I need that fresh air. I need that breeze and the rusty leaves. I need to feel brand new.

But a little part of me is terrified that it’s going to make me miss you. All over again. And I can’t handle missing you for one more day. I can’t handle that bench and the air when I don’t have you to run to.

It’s been oh so long. Three years. So many seasons. When is my heart going to change as easily as the weather? When am I going to feel anything else but missing you? TC mark

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson

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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

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