He came back that day, running into my arms.
“Ma, she took my candy cane ring! Your son has a girlfriend, now.”
All of six years and three months, my son had found what he called ‘love’. I had found mine at 26, and it had swept me off my feet and brought me so high into the clouds that I never wanted to touch the ground again.
“Do you remember your first love, Ma?”
He was most definitely not my first love, but the first I had ever loved with the intensity of a burning flame. It seemed as if everyone before him was just practice; stretching my arms out, so that I could hold him perfectly. He was like an old song I had heard before, but never a full volume. He was the end chorus with all the instruments in.
He didn’t even try, but he made me write poems I had never written before. He was a beautiful set of words, strung together delicately only to elegantly roll off the tongues of those who read them. He made me wish endlessly on every star, every fault of the universe. He was all I wished for every 11:11.
Between the deep green eyes that sparkled when light hit them just right, and the half-lit cigarette hanging down his lips, he and I created a paradise of insanity. We danced in empty ballrooms and tripped on the same steps. And when we looked down at the wooden floor, I knew it was worth it. We were worth it.
Bu I threw up sixteen years of my life the night he said that he didn’t love me no more. I wasn’t rose water and smiles. I was “please love me back” and slit wrists.
“Of course, I do. But first loves are best left behind.”
I no longer replay our conversations. I no longer wish on shooting stars. I tend to avoid glancing at the clock at 11:11. I no longer rummage through my box of old trinkets to read his letters that are carefully tucked underneath the false bottom. They’re yellowing with age. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.