I remember the firsts. The first time I saw you. The first time I spoke to you, summoning up all of my courage just to get the words out of my mouth, words that I had rehearsed over and over again until they became a mantra, words coming in a nervous rush as I fought for breath. The first time I held your hand, fingers fumbling for yours, half expecting you to pull away, to reject the symbolic nature of the act, to shy away from the intimacy of physical contact. The first kiss, tentative at first, growing more confident as you responded, wanting me as much as I wanted you, the taste and smell of you filling my nostrils with each breath, a kiss that lasted forever. I remember every detail, every nuance, every moment of our time together and I lock them away, closed off, protected, hidden, too afraid to show you the depth of my feelings, the heart-rending, searing passion that burns in my chest, the whirling, chaotic thoughts that fill my head when I think of you. I never showed you, did I? I never let you see the way you made me feel, the way you lifted my heart, the way you made me smile or laugh, the sheer joy of being in your company. I should have, I know that now, too late, too late for you, you who loved me without reservation, who loved me without fear or expectation, who gave everything without limits….
….I remember the day you left