It was summer when, night after night, we fell asleep with fast hearts and hurried dreams of sunlight, fresh air and new adventures. You kneading my spine and pulsing through my veins, me telling myself that happiness never hurt anyone and, if worst came to worst, misery is always refundable.
Seconds diffused into days and memories in the making as I was holding your hand, growing luckier day by day. One morning, you said that you had never seen a spark before, that most people don’t sparkle. I knew I was light years away from what you saw in me, but your eyes were so used to darkness that even a shred of light like mine could blind you.
Like dust particles exposed for twenty seconds by summer sunshine before moving back into the shade, happiness lasted until late August. Then you held me an extra second, enough to let me know that it all meant something to you too.
Then it was winter. Coffee cups, train stations and flowers in all hands celebrating lovers’ day. Everything that was once so familiar had vanished into thin air. There was a ghost town in my head and millions of explosions at the verge of my skin. I caught glimpses of them when the nights grew cold and I couldn’t sleep, so l began to tell myself real stories about the girl who once lived inside my body.
This new heart could not be mine. It beat too slowly, like memory flutters of what was once young and alive and was now somewhere else. Somewhere where there’s warmth and hope that one day it might become the sparkle an old lover thought it could. They called it just winter. I called it the winter of my heart, when my soul grew icicles out of my unhappiness. when the power of my body went off, and when the rain came down for days. And then days diffused into months.
I leaned back and waited for the winter to push silently into spring once again. I wanted my aliveness back more than I could say, so I kept quiet and let it find me again. I watched others from behind tea cups and listened to their stories, like looking over a fence at someone else’s summer, trying to catch a ray. They were no different from me, I thought after having seen enough.
As soon as their storylines inevitably drifted towards the loved and lost, they quickly started to squeeze the loneliness out of their skin with shaky fingers. Nobody believed they were desirable when they were missing other people, but they were all missing other people. I wanted to press fast forward and skim through it all, for at times I couldn’t take seeing myself into everyone else.
But I stayed and I waited and I listened, and I learned about us all, and in the process I missed a little less and wanted a little more.