I miss him most in the winter. That's when the memories- the ones of deep hugs, river side kisses and ice cream despite the freezing temperature - are most vivid. I remember how his face warmed up when he saw me smile that first time, so I tried to always smile around him. I always wanted him to feel warm when he was with me. It was a youthful, innocent, yet passionate, love affair. He was my oasis and I was his. When we were together, all that mattered was the moment. When we were apart, all that mattered was the next moment we could be together. Everyone knew I was his and he was mine and outwardly, they'd laugh at us. It didn't matter because inwardly, we knew they envied us. And so it went - for quite a while.
Then, inexplicably, things changed. River side kisses went from rare to nonexistent. His face would still occasionally warm up when I smiled, but it got to where I didn't feel like smiling as much. Our love was still there and passionate, but not quite as innocent. Then, sometimes, we needed an oasis from one another. Everyone still knew that we belonged to one another, but then I started hearing "Well why isn't he here?" just a little too often. And we started arguing just a little too often. And other guys started asking me out . . . just a little too often. He still wanted me, he just didn't necessarily want to be with me on my terms - not even part time. So I let him go. Just like that.
They always say, if you love something, let it go, if it comes back, it's yours. And you know what? For once, "they" were right. He still loved me. We were laughing and talking again. We would kick it and his face would warm up (and sometimes get downright hot) when I smiled. More importantly, I wanted to smile again. The change took what we had to a different place. I've never figured out if it was quite a higher level, or just somewhere else. Our relationship reached an "ebb and flow"period. We weren't quite "together" but we could not be apart. We never knew what was going to happen from one day to the next. It was confusing.
I remember sitting in my room after we had just argued and I heard the Lauryn Hill song "Ex Factor" for the first time. I'd heard the previous release, however, that song made me get on the bus and cop her CD immediately. Nothing put into words what I was going through like that song. He and I just could not seem to get on the same page again. The love was always there, but it morphed into something different through no fault of our own. We spent more time apart again, but this time, we couldn't quite pick up where we left off. Our conversations began to take a tone of how good one was doing without the other. We were both too prideful for love. Ultimately what was passionate, innocent, pure and whole was degraded by pride.
Now, we ebb way more than we flow. Once in a blue purple moon, we might bump into one another. At first, we'd be kind of excited and catch up as much as our busy, vastly different lives allowed. Then it turned into just the occasional obligatory friendly chatter. The last time we saw one another, we scarcely said a polite hello. Maybe that was because it was summer soI wasn't reminded of that February day. The day we stood by the river, melted into one another and kissed as the sun set. I loved him then.
I love him still.