I look forward to fall.
When I think of fall, I think of you and the lavish seasonal dishes we whipped up together. I felt like French royalty enjoying the most tender fowl, hearty wild rice and creamed soups, succulent gourds and crisp fruits. You are a magician over the stovetop, and I am master of the oven. The apartment smelled of cinnamon, nutmeg, and the most mouth-watering pumpkin treats last autumn.
When I think of fall, I think of you and the enchanting melodies that would leap from your fingertips, lulling me to sleep after hours of composing music. I was most happy sketching or painting, with you nearby, concentrating in front of your keyboard. It was an unbelievably romantic pairing that took me by surprise. You inspired me, and we fed off each other’s creativity.
When I think of fall, I think of you and the epic road trips, adventures, and leaf-peeping along the East Coast. I smile when I think of the quaint fishing village we discovered, exploring the oldest lighthouse in New York. Watching the sunset across Montauk Harbor and feasting over buttered lobster and carrot cake, sand still between our toes, it was the kind of date found only in a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy. It was that trip I realized I was going to spend my life with you. I was embarrassed for the hotel staff when we upgraded to the Honeymoon Suite.
When I think of fall, I think of you and our trip to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Although I was terrified to meet your parents, your family was warm and welcoming. Dinner was lively and full of love, and we had so much to be thankful for. I loved learning your family’s holiday traditions, and exploring the snowy riverbank near the cider mill. Playing board games until early morning with your parents and siblings, I imagined future holidays together.
When I think of fall, I think of you taking my hand, whispering you had a surprise for me. My heart raced as I saw the unmistakable blue boxes with white ribbon in the windows as you led me into Tiffany’s. You promised that one day soon, you’d place a ring on my finger. I was so very much in love.
I dread the winter.
When I think of winter, I think of you and the apartment we shared, the home we’d made together. We could never get the apartment warm, and the wind screamed through cracks between window frames. Too many nights were spent shivering alone in bed while you worked late or left early. Weeks passed without your affectionate touch. I try to forget the morning you were showering alone, and I used your computer.
When I think of winter, I think of you and the lies I was fed. You swore the illicit Internet relations you kept were nothing more than entertainment and nothing physical. We exhaustingly worked to mend our relationship, but I was broken. I still can’t rid myself of the gut-wrenching, eviscerating agony after learning of your three-some and subsequent hookups the same night I ended our relationship, and you went home with a boy in your a capella group. For two agonizing months you slept on our couch while dating him, neglecting to pay rent.
When I think of winter, I think of you and our fights. The cold tiles of our kitchen floor are as harsh in my mind as your tone of voice when you shoved me to the floor. I think of how, for months, I never got an apology. Never an admittance you had done anything wrong. I think about the future, and wonder if other lovers will be as malicious and deceiving.
But I look forward to this fall.
When I think of this fall, I think of my new friends and the “Orphan Thanksgiving” feast we’ve planned, for those too busy or unable to go home this holiday. I look forward to being surrounded by people I love, whose energy and companionship never cease. I think of the unique plate each person will bring and how, like life, everything dished out is enriching and special. And I will sample everything at that table, even giblets, because every experience is worth having.